The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
Okay, fine...I admit it. I didn't watch any of today's E3
shenanigans. Well, except for the "How do you share games on the PS4" YouTube
video. It was funny. I laughed. But honestly, I don't think I needed to watch
any of it as I'm pretty sure I read everything I needed to on Twitter. The overwhelming
conclusion was that Sony's Playstation 4 skunked Microsoft's Xbox One.
If I had an extra life for every tweet I read that said the official score
was Playstion 4 - Xbox 1...
Anyway, against my better judgment I'm going to actually
talk about something that happened at E3, even though I don't want to and know
I'm going to take the less popular perspective and say I don't
really care who "won" E3...I haven't been persuaded to abandon my plans to buy an
Xbox One (hopefully on the day of release) and instead opt to get a Playstation
The truth is, I don't really care about the "almost always
connected" requirement (although the "almost always connected" coupled with a
mic and camera has me a little concerned) and I don't really care about the
used games issue. These aren't problems that really affect me. If they affect
you, then of course I'd understand you not wanting to buy one. But you at least
know up front what you're getting into.
Oh sure, I've seen the memes suggesting something like,
Microsoft took its servers down for maintenance, I didn't want to play anyway. Even
if that was true and it did happen like that, am I so obsessed with gaming I
couldn't find something to do instead (like play my PS3)? I have news for you...that's
happened with my beloved Steam before. More than once. And guess what, I
survived. One time, my Internet Service Provider suffered a cut line disabling
service to the whole neighborhood for a few days. I had minor withdrawals, but
I survived. These things happen...from time to time. I'm pretty sure Microsoft
has considered this and has a solution to ensure it isn't the issue some are
making it out to be.
I guess what surprised me the most about today's
announcement was the number of people ready to jump ship and switch their buffs
to Team Sony (a little Survivor reference there). If I'm not mistaken, besides
announcing kind of an opposite strategy to Microsoft, Sony also announced they're
going to start charging for their online service.
Now this is just me talking (meaning this is my opinion),
that was a far bigger deal than the actions Microsoft is taking with their Xbox
One. That little news probably means I won't be rushing to get a PS4 anytime
soon - I'm not about to pay for an Xbox Live account and a Playstation Network
account. Now, maybe that was a brilliant strategy, or maybe it wasn't (I didn't
see all of the details, so can't say for certain). How many gamers who own both
consoles will now have to choose one or the other? With the PS4 debuting with a
cheaper price tag (and a price tag only slightly higher than the Wii U - I'd be
worried Nintendo) and lacking any of
these "draconian" features requiring an online connection and limiting used
games, it would seem likely many gamers will jump ship. I kind of hope they do,
but I'm not convinced.
I know, I know...probably not a popular perspective at the
Sony might be able to buy allegiance with a cheaper price
tag, the ability to play offline and the freedom of sharing games by lending
your buddy your game...but there are still plenty of Xbox loyalists who aren't
going to just change. And it's not a loyalty necessarily to Microsoft or the
Xbox name, it's a loyalty to the games as well...plus the things Microsoft / Xbox
does better. For me personally, I will always have whatever console can play
the latest Halo game. Period.
But truth be told, I am the owner of a Playstation and an
Xbox and a Wii (or Wii U). And I've often said (it's documented) there is room
for all three. We should want all three and we need all three. I admit, I am an
Xbox fanboy more than the other consoles, but there are things I like and
dislike about each; things I think one does better than the others. So it is
truly with concern (and not as an Xbox fan boy) I wonder if Sony is treading a
dangerous line. Before you grab the pitchforks and torches, let me explain.
Everything Microsoft has done, can be undone - either before
or after it releases. They can cut the price if they decide to be more
competitive with Sony; they can patch the online connection requirement out of
the system if it experiences issues (or fails); they can patch the whole "used
game" function out of the system if they don't get support from the publishers
(or too much backlash from customers). With a well worded press release giving
players the credit, they'd actually come out looking pretty good.
Sony on the other hand...well, they'll have no problem selling
a next generation console for that cheap. But they're almost locked into that
price now. Imagine the heat they'd catch if they raise it. That's quite a
difference and almost reminds me of when Microsoft was selling Xboxes at a
loss, just to sell them. It almost sounds too good to be true. And since they've
also said they're not going to have any of those "extra" features, it would be
a PR nightmare if they changed their minds at this point. Not that I think they
will, but they've painted themselves into a corner, for sure.
You can tell gamers you're going to doing something and then
change your mind, as long as it benefits the end user...but you can't do it the
other way around.
In the end, Sony won E3...no doubt about it. Everybody was
saying it - gamers, journalists, developers... pretty much everybody. So, what?
What does that mean? We've got a long way to go, or at least a couple months
until both consoles are released, and a lot can happen between now and then.
Regardless, I know where I'll be at midnight the day
before/of the Xbox One's release...