When a company does wrong, we take to the internet to eviscerate it. When a company responds and tries to unfuck itself, it’s only fair to give praise.
In a response to the increasingly negative feedback from the gaming community, Microsoft announced that it’s changing two of its most asinine Xbox One policies, you don’t have to have a persistent internet connection to play offline and you can share and resell games however you like. You will need to connect the first time you play your game and your disk will need to stay in the console. But this is still pretty good news.
The question is, is this policy shift enough to stem the flood of gamers abandoning the One in favor of the PS4. Microsoft has clearly shown where they want to take gaming, an environment tailored to the publishers rather than the gamers, where you are purchasing a license to play and not an actual game, where they dictate your gaming experience. I fear that even though these policies have been reversed for launch, there’s a good chance that Microsoft will try to change them back little by little.
I don’t like their vision of what gaming should be. And I just don’t trust them to keep gamers first.
At around 2:09, there’s a guy telling one of the few women to appear on stage to “Just let it happen, it’ll be over soon” while beating her at Killer Instinct. This is exactly how I feel about all this Xbox One bullshit.
And it is complete and utter bullshit.
Also, rape jokes at your press conference are an automatic fail.
Besides the fact that they’re trying to revive a 20 year old, long dead fighting franchise and a generations old dragon rail shooter as launch titles, the Xbox One policies and requirements make it one of the most hostile, anti-gamer consoles to ever come to market from anyone.
MICROSOFT DOESN’T TRUST YOU
It’s certainly true that piracy has changed the face of just about everything, including gaming. A number of companies have come up with fancy ways to get around that. Some games require you to always be connected to a server which makes it difficult to play games if your connection is shit. Still, you can avoid such hassles by playing games that don’t have overly restrictive requirements.
Xbox One is the first console to implement some of these more restrictive policies system wide. You can’t trade games. You can’t share games. You can’t resell games. And once you’ve bought a damn game, you’re required to check in online just to prove that you purchased the right to play the fucking thing.
Sure, the graphics look pretty sweet. But who is this fucking thing for? You’re not buying games. You’re buying the privilege to play. What about people who have wonky internet connections? What about our service men and women overseas who for damn sure can’t keep a system logged in all day? What about people who can’t afford internet connections?
Seriously, who is this elitist goddamn thing for? Yay, it plays TV. So does my fucking TV!
The funniest shit to me is that Gamestop is now taking pre-orders for the thing when it’s so hostile to Gamestop’s core business model. There is no used game market for the Xbox One.
This is how gaming should work:
DESIGN BY LAWYERS
While the Xbox and the 360 felt like there were gamers somewhere in the development cycle, the One feels like it was designed by lawyers. Instead of answering gamer-centric questions like “how can we deliver a unique gaming experience” or “how can this new system foster an active gaming community” the One answers questions like “how can we prevent piracy” and “instead of expanding our appeal, how can we extract the most money from the people we already have.”
If there were any gamers on the console development team, they would have kicked the lawyers in the face the minute the questions of whether or not the bloody thing should always be checking in came up. They would have reminded the rest of the team of all those times they’ve played games that their friends let them borrow. They would have told the team to put the games and the gamers first and cut out all that TV and sports bullshit.
I don’t understand how they can be so damn tone deaf!