GamesBeat

Microsoft’s Xbox One policy reversal is bad for gaming

This post has been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
Editor's Note from Eduardo Moutinho:
While I feel that Microsoft made the right call in giving consumers more rights to their content, Theo makes an interesting counterargument. Maybe an always-online console would have brought more advancements to the way we play games. I'm skeptical about the approach, but it's worth talking about.

Forcing Microsoft to reverse some of its key plans for the Xbox One console maintains the status quo for the gaming industry — one that needed to grow and evolve. I work predominantly in a sector where I often encounter resistance to change and am frequently met with challenges because “we’ve always done it this way,” and it appears that gaming is no different.

Microsoft made a lot of bold moves for the Xbox One, which clearly pissed off the hardcore set. But frankly, the hardcore don’t pay for the interactive-entertainment industry to function. Casual and average gamers do. Ask the man or woman on the street, the consumer whose children will harass him or her to buy a console for Christmas. These individuals couldn’t care less about what has gone down over the last month. All they’ll bother with is to pick up their pre-order units and promptly shove them in their cupboards until December 25.

The Xbox One’s architects designed its online and DRM policies to drive the industry forward toward a digital future. Sure, some of these advancements would have killed off the second-hand games trade, leading to certain retailers closing once and for all. But really, is that a bad thing? The Xbox 360 still has legs, and it has plenty of titles to tempt you back to it while the One gains steam.

You know what would have happened if Microsoft stayed the course? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. People would have initially bucked against the hardware maker’s plans but eventually fallen into a new way of gaming. Sony is preserving the status quo because it doesn’t understand where the industry needs to go. The company’s just appeasing the crowd, and it’s obviously pleased that the masses rose to the occasion.

This venomous backlash has actually cost the games industry a few years in advancements. Now, we’re back to comparing stats and launch prices, completely losing the focus of what “next gen” means. Look at the startup scene, for example, and you’ll see that forcing Microsoft to remain tied to decades-old thinking is wrong.

Well done, everyone. Welcome back to the current state.

We’ve always played games this way….


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