Opinion Piece: Microsoft isn’t trying to ruin your life with the Xbox One

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Why is everyone so outraged?

Lets take a moment to just calm down and breath.

See, much better.

Right before we begin lets point out that the Xbox One isn’t going to be released until November. So no one is thinking about picking up an Xbox One during the next shopping trip to Asda, so we can all march on carrying our current generation of consoles with a smile on our faces, at least for one more summer.

Also Microsoft have made it very clear with each announcement that anything could change and nothing is set it stone, meaning that even they haven’t drawn any definitive lines on what’s going to do what or the rules that will bind us.

Lets start with the big one…

You’re buying a license, not a game

In a way, people have a right to be outraged at this one. On initial reading anyway. Gone will be the days of buying cheap second hand copies that are a bit tatty and have been around the block.

I firmly believe that Microsoft are well within their right to offer developers the ability to block people from selling on their games. It’s good for them, they earn more money and its good for consumers, games will become cheaper because they are selling more copies.

Think about it logically, when you buy a second hand game (or DVD/Blu-Ray Film) the publisher and content creator isn’t seeing any of that money. Instead, your giving your money to shops like Game, CEX and HMV to profit off. These second hand sales are directly taking profit away from the people who actually created the game. You might of heard a statement similar to that before. Generally accompanied with ‘Piracy’ and ‘Copyright Theft’.

It is very much the same thing. You are playing a game without paying the correct people for it, just as though you’d bought a ‘nock off DVD’ at the local market.

Sounds harsh but it’s true.

You have never owned a game you have purchased. Ever.

You have never had the right to ‘do what you want’ with a game you have purchased.

Everyone is moaning they won’t be able to share that brand new game with a friend, well, legally, you can’t right now either. Just the same as you can’t let your friend borrow that new must have CD you just bought. Just because you haven’t been stopped from doing it before, doesn’t mean you have had the right to do it.

Always on Internet

This one is a love or hate. How many of you use your Xbox 360 disconnected from the Internet? I bet there is only a few of you. Unless your console is chipped/hacked, in which case, you’re hiding from the Microsoft bots anyway.

The rest of us will continue fully connected as always, so we are really going to be unaffected by this move. I’m not saying once every 24 hours is a bit too frequent (even Spotify only checks for your premium 30 days after disconnection) but like I’ve said, this will probably change before it is released. Once a month seems like a happy medium to me.

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Microsoft aren’t killing anything, they are providing options

At the end of the day, the developers and publishers will be in control of how many of these restrictions they will use in their games. Microsoft have already expressed this several times, yet people are still pointing fingers at Microsoft.

Whether a game can be traded in or lent to a friend - Publisher or Developers decision.

They have also stated that they will not be setting the prices or taking any money from the sale of pre-owned games. Which makes sense, as the licensing fees will of already be paid for.

It is nearly giving the tools needed to combat an industry which a lot of people think is suffocating the gaming market.

The Price

So E3 just happened and the price is looking to be £429 here in the UK.

Stop complaining. Now.

The original Xbox 360 was £400 at launch and didn’t include a Kinect, or a HD disc drive. So just stop complaining on that one. You didn’t complain at giving Apple £800 for your iPhone or £600 for that latest Samsung tablet.

So what do I think?

I’m not too bothered either way. I for some reason feel the need to defend Microsofts decision here, but I can’t say I’m fully on board with the direction they have taken to address the issues. I am just as guilty as everyone else for buying pre-owned titles, but I do understand the pressure that Microsoft will of been under from publishers to address this issue.

I normally wait around a year before jumping into the next generation anyway and my Xbox 360 is running just fine at the moment. In fact, I use it a lot less these days and have even debated cancelling my Xbox Live subscription.

The fact is though, out of all of this, there is a lot in the way of progression to be shown here, having your game catalogue fully in the cloud for example is a step in the right direction. I’ve always loved having my Xbox Arcade games with me on a pen drive at all times, so this takes that principle one step further and I’m excited to see how this progresses.

No matter what happens and changes between now and then I’m sure the Xbox One will be a huge success. Microsoft have proven themselves a worthy and highly competitive player in console gaming and Sony definitely felt the bullet last time around with their shocking and disastrous launch of the PlayStation 3. Price will once again be the deciding factor, that and exclusive titles, but Sony doesn’t have a track record for having a great starting price on their consoles.

Signing off

that sdmix guy Matt Allen

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