It takes a lot of oomph to move a mountain like Microsoft. Where the Xbox 180 is concerned, that push came from the mainstream media - specifically, the mainstream media picking up on the military angle of elements like always on, region-locking and even Kinect security concerns.
At the start of this week I asked a Marine Corps Captain what "always on" meant for guys under his command. Military personnel most likely to be affected are junior officers. Internet is not provided in the barracks, and funds are limited. To pay out of pocket would be difficult for many - though he was quick to say that gaming is a priority for junior officers. Overseas, region locking is the least of their worries: only on super bases (like that of the AF and Navy) would there be the sort of connectivity the One originally required.
Maybe somewhere a guy with a functioning calculator realized what it would mean to Microsoft's bottom line if the US military defected from their cause. All those junior officers, for whom "gaming is a priority", spending their money not on 360 games, but PS4. More likely, I think, is the emotional response prompted as the mainstream media cottoned on to glib corporate commentary coming from MS executives. We don't need to know what it's like to serve on a sub, we're pretty sure it's a tough gig.
It's this very human element that changed things. Ticking off core gamers doesn't get the corporate giant to flinch, we're just cranky and entitled with Twitter accounts. When the gamers are young people willing to die for you, far from home, well maybe that matters.
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