Time passes so quickly, we're already half-way through October and those Next-Gen consoles that seemed so far away are just looming over the horizons. Lines have been drawn in the sand, sides have been taken, shots have been fired and people lost their jobs in the process.
In an effort to turn the very nature of Gaming into a Nightmaish Corporate Wetdream, Microsoft attempted to force themselves on gamers and violate them in every way imaginable until they have no choice but to consent to a future where the consumer services the corporate machine.
Only the consumer wasn't having any of it.
Long story short, Microsoft caved and like the rapist that suddenly backs off because he was caught in the act by the cops, we're supposed to clap and pat them on the back for saying "Eh, well if Gamers didn't want me to violate them they shouldn't have kept those wallets wide open." Frankly, I'm not one to troll the countless sites on the internet and eschewing hatred for the Big M (plenty of people are doing that, God bless 'em) but I find it hard not to be offended to the very core when Microsoft attempts to act all morally superior when every Joe and Jane Gamer called them out on their b.s.
Yet even after I and everyone know had broken ties with Microsoft this generation, are we truly safe from their machinisations? The answer, quite simply, is no. This next gen, we'll still be royally screwed by the influence of the Big M.
1) Leading the Charge from Behind: Of the two, the Xbox One is almost half as powerful as the PS4 and yet the latter is getting ports that do not take advantage of its graphical prowess due to Devs living in fear of Microsof. We've seen evidence of this before, Microsoft using their infinite coffers to pay off Devs and now that shiny game for your PS4 gets stuck on 720P just because it doesn't want to be prettier than its cousin. Once again, it's up to Sony's First Party Devs to wow us next gen but it still stucks to be saddled
2) DLC, Mighty is He: Microsoft infected the genre with that cancer known as DLC the moment Horse Armor trotted unto the Xbox Marketplace. While I'm not against DLC as a way to enhance a game, unfortunately Microsoft was allowed to get away with so much crap that DLC turned from a game enhancing tool to the actual content of supposed game. When you get away with releasing an unfinished product (Forza 5), is it unkind to say the Capcom is entirely justified when they say their problems aren't making fun, enjoyable games but that there isn't ENOUGH DLC. More and more content will be cut on Multi-platform games, courtsey of the Big M's business practises.
3) Call of Doody, Call of Doody: Microsoft caught Lightning in a Bottle when they snagged the Dude-Bro Douchebags who probably bought only ten games for their Xbox 360 (Here's a hint, all shooters). Like Nintendo's own slice of the pie, Microsoft wants to lock this demographic in an iron-vice and never let 'em go. Everything about the Xbox One, from the very first reveal (where they only showed ONE game...a shooter, gee, I wonder why?) to the Doritos and Mountain Dew Ads that will plaster on your screens, was aimed at this particular demographic and the rest be damned. Yet, even though we are very content with our RPGS and Adventure games, we're still being inadvertedly harmed by this group. In an attempt to snag some of those numbers, Sony tried to get as many Shooters as possible in hopes of getting its own Halo. Shuhei Yoshida lamented the amount of shooters this gen (indeed, I only left my 360 and paid attention to the PS3 when it stopped peddling to this demographic and did it's own thing). Capcom gutted their Japanese roots and transformed their beloved franchises into grittier, action-y versions hoping to catch some of that trickle. While I have high hopes for Mark Cerny who champions the return to PS1's variety, I fear that Sony will cave once again and champion for more shooters.
4) DRM to Rule Us All: DRM will be back. It is inevitble. Please don't fool yourselves, you're embarassing the both of us. Several MS Execs came out and stated that their vision remains 'Unchanged' and once they have a large enough install base, they WILL patch it back in citing 'rising costs' and other soulless jargon and you know what...they will be lauded because people are that easy to fool. For Pete's sake, people are paying MORE for the privlege to see Ads on their Gold Membership!
Mark my words, this generation will be a litmus test for the consumer with Microsoft, once again, wading their waters and testing just how much thievery they can get away with...and once other companies start noticing, they'll follow suit.
After all, this is a world where people defend 'poor, selfless' Microsoft against the sub-humans who live in other countries...