Great news came out this past week for Xbox fans. Microsoft finally caved into popular demand and reduced the restriction on gaming that the original Xbox One had in store. From a 24-hour online check to only being able to sell used games at specific retailers, Microsoft looked like they wanted a lot of control over how you, the gamer, would be able to play games on the Xbox One. A lot has been made mention of the pre-order numbers for PS4 vastly outnumbering the Xbox One’s, but even then, that is still the consumer speaking, and Microsoft had to listen. Kudos.
The problem though, is that Microsoft seems intent on blaming others than themselves. They strip away practically everything that they thought was ‘the future’ in order to meet the gamers demand, all the while spouting that their version of ‘the future’ is still the best and you guys will cry later when you realise just how you have restricted them in giving you that future. There in lies the problem. Microsoft’s lack of ability to future-proof its console is not the fault of the gamer, but their own thickheaded-ness. Apparently, all it required would be a day 1 patch in order to eliminate all those restrictive settings Microsoft wanted to impose. Really? A simple patch was all that was needed? If anything, that makes it sound like the restrictions were shoe-horned in at the last minute or something.
Thing is, if all it takes is a simple patch, then all it would take would be a simple patch to reactivate it, wouldn’t it? We all read how Microsoft’s terms and conditions are subject to change at any time (granted, all companies do this), so what’s stopping Microsoft from future implementation? Nothing really, except more bad press. But if you’ve won the console war, then people will have to follow.
My personal biggest irk with the recent Microsoft u-turn is that they could have simply added the new features to the old. Keep their online check policy for downloadable games. Heck, keep it for disc-based games too for those that don’t want to change discs all the time and instead want quick access to all their games from the hard drive, but prefer buying retail. They could’ve just added the disc checks for those that don’t have a good online connection or don’t want to be constantly online. You know, provide the choice. Choice is always good. They could’ve even kept their used game policy, lending policy and family sharing policy. Instead they look like they’ve spit their dummy out at having to cave in to popular demand. The inability to adapt is yours Microsoft, not anyone elses.
You have to keep in mind how the game developers must be feeling now too. It seemed like a lot of games were going to use this ‘cloud’ system or require being constantly online anyway. As such, to play most of Xbox One’s games to their full extent, you will likely need a stable internet connection anyway. The ideology behind the Xbox One is still there and the games being created are utilising it. To change stance now might not change anything. Games will require that online check where the Xbox One doesn’t. Making us all go back to square one. Thank God they got rid of region locks at least.