Everything Has A Price…Even Loyalty… - subsaint Blog - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

Everything Has A Price…Even Loyalty…

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 shouldn't.

AND...

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 4.

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 moment, but...

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...

 

comments