Microsoft have announced that due to feedback from the community they have abandoned their controversial plans for the way games are bought, re sold and shared. I’m a bit sad about this as you will see if you read this the post I made last week below. Now when the all/ primarily digital future kicks in an even bigger stink will kick off because they haven’t been eased into it slowly. I personally think they should have stuck to their guns but then, what do i know. I was glad to see however when I read the comments on The Verge that there was about a 50/50 split of people happy this was happening and people sad that they had done this U-Turn. Read on below for the post I posted last week.
We now know what both the PS4 and the XBOX ONE are called. We also know what’s in the box, what said box looks like and the peripherals that connect to those boxes. As far as physical attributes for the Next Gen consoles go that’s it isn’t it… Unless of course you include the delivery system for the majority of the content of course! The thing that’s causing the biggest stink for the as yet unreleased consoles is the discussion around the games that has every bodies knickers in a knot. The exclusives each platform has is part of that but it’s the discs themselves raising the eyebrows.
Are they a different shape, do they use a new standard that isn’t DVD or Blu Ray? No, the argument is almost more philosophical than it is technological. Is the disc the game?
Lets travel back in time a little. I was a PS2 owner and I didn’t really like the XBOX however this was based purely on not liking the first iteration of the controller. Announcements are being made about the 360 and PS3. I dismiss the 360 out of hand cos I’m a Playstation guy, that is until I used a 360 and specifically the controller. It just melted into you’re hand like the sole purpose of hands was to hold that controller. I was converted instantly and I have ever since been an XBOX guy. So the upcoming scenario for me feels very familiar just flipped.
Physical media is going through a bit of a crisis, music and movies have been feeling it for some time now and while TV isn’t physical media it is also feeling the digital pinch recently. Maybe the issue lies in the term “physical media” itself as its quite a misnomer. Media by its very nature isn’t physical, the physical aspect is merely a means of distribution and with the onset of digital distribution physical media becomes less necessary. For my money Microsoft have recognised this and also that leaping to all digital is a massive leap not only because of the limitations of the technology but also customer perception. They have instead found a middle point, a stepping stone to the all digital (or at least primarily digital) future that is coming. No, they probably haven’t got it completely right but for the most part (specifically the game licensing stuff) I don’t have an issue. Yes the 24 hour connection thing seems harsh and I can’t see why that could not be relaxed however the key thing is control. For this system to work they need to control it and that is definitely what they are doing.
I am leaning towards XBOX and that may or may not be a misguided sense of loyalty. The people most vocal (not necessarily the majority) on twitter are decrying Microsoft as evil for what they are doing and that they are spitting in gamers faces. I’ve heard “stats” about people’s friends all saying they will switch from XBOX or podcasts taking straw polls of their listeners. While these seem fairly damning they are from specific sub sets of gamers and aren’t representative of the whole user base but it does make me wonder. I feel like I’ve picked Team Jacob in a world screaming why it’s obvious Team Edward will prevail (if that metaphor doesn’t work it’s because I’ve never seen or read Twiglet, yes you did read that right I said Twiglet on purpose).
It could well be that just like last generation my mind will change when I see or feel/ use the consoles in real life. At that point I will be making my decision based on what I can see and touch in front of me. Cost is a big issue however (I’m not talking price of the console itself) people are basing decisions based on the current costs of games. The issue being this model turns all that on its head and current pricing structures won’t fit. Until it comes into practice we just don’t know so I will remain in my XBOX leaning