A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever -Shigeru Miyamoto
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Killing two birds with "One" Xbox: What Microsoft REALLY hopes to accomplish with thier new console.

With the unveiling of the Xbox One, Microsoft has inadvertently set the world on fire, and not in a good way. They say no press is bad press, but I think in this circumstance we can all agree that this isn't helping the Xbox brand. The conference seemed to not only focus on all the wrong things, but also set to rest all the rumors (most being negative) that have been flying around the past few months. Unfortunately they confirmed these rumors to be true, although not many specifics were given. Microsoft has laid out the basic game plan without out giving out specifics. This is to gauge the public, on how accepting they will be of the new system, while giving them leeway to adjust it accordingly. This is a mind game they are playing with the consumer. Let their imagination run free, and offer them a sort of lesser of two evils, leaving the consumer thinking... "Well it isn't as bad as we thought", all the while performing a slight of hand and getting what they really want. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book.

Now what does Microsoft really want you ask?? Well with the information provided to us by Microsoft themselves I have come to the conclusion that they are going to use this to sort of "ease" us into the digital download era. The biggest problems with that are... The world, and it's network infrastructure simply are not ready for digital downloads being the only method of obtaining content, and that people have a sort of mental connection with physical media... owning something tangible that can not be taken away. In a consumers mind, they can buy a game disc, and as long as they retain the disc it is their game to play as long as they retain ownership of the disc. I would assume most of you reading this article feel the same way.

Now let's take a look at the way the Xbox One handles physical media. You receive a disc with the game install data, and an activation code. The game must be installed to the hard drive, and then you input your activation code. The console then must connect to the server to verify the activation code, and to enable your game to be played. Once completed the game can be booted from the console without the need for the disc. If you want to sell or trade that game you will have to do so using the system they set up, and at the rates Microsoft chooses.

It seems obvious to me Microsoft knows we have a connection to physical media, and the ownership of said media. This is the main obstacle to overcome in making digital distribution the standard. So what the Xbox One is doing is removing the connection between physical media and ownership. It seems to me they are attempting to separate the "Value" of the physical game disc from a consumers psyche, and since the game disc itself will no longer be needed to play the game or to "Own" the game it accomplishes just that. Now that an Xbox One game disc isn't worth the plastic it is printed on, they are hoping the connection between game ownership and physical media will be abolished, which is exactly what will happen over time with consumers equipped to handle digital downloads. Why go out to get the "physical" copy of the game when it is essentially a glorified installation disc?

With this comes another scary thought about the future of technology. Tech companies are working as hard as they can to establish a strictly digital marketplace. The problem is the ISP's will soon realize the power they have as the sole "middle man" between the customer and the product, and take advantage of this fact. Why offer unlimited data when the ISP can charge by the GB, and rake in cash hand over fist? This is already evident in some markets overseas, and is the standard business model for cellular data plans. The problem with this is gaming is already too expensive of a hobby, this is why people buy pre-owned games. Microsoft will have 100% control over the pre-owned market, and the rates they can be traded in for and resold for. With absolutely no competition, and essentially monopolizing the pre-owned market for Xbox One they can offer as little as they want for a trade in and charge as much as they want for the license to use that game.

Think about this for a minute, and tell me... With Microsoft retaining absolute control over the entire market, do you think they will play fair? For instance people bad talk about Gamestop for their low trade in values, but do you honestly expect Microsoft to do any better? When you remove the advantages of a free market what do you have left? With no competition there is no reason to offer more for a trade in. With no competition there is no reason to lower the price of a game/license. With no competition there is no reason to believe Microsoft will play fair, and that in itself is a shame.

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Darrius Cole1791d ago

I agree

Microsoft is setting itself up to be the sole source of games that people buy over the Xbox platform. Everything that they are doing is consistent with that. Always online, used game fees, 100% installation for all games, etc.

It's actually a greedy and not too well thought out model, that is one step a way from catastrophe in the game market.

HammadTheBeast1791d ago

Cable TV is a dying market and they're pushing away gamers who make up the majority of their audience.


Anthotis1791d ago Show
RoninRaven1791d ago (Edited 1791d ago )

Good read. If I may, your portrayal of digital distribution makes it seam like something to be avoided. It appears to me you are saying that my Steam games don't belong to me just because I lack the physical storage medium. I'm afraid I don't agree with you on that.

I've been an avid advocate of physical media in gaming ever since Steam started nesting in. I was extremely skeptical of the benefits of this distribution method and refused to take any part in it. I didn't even considered the many many great games that PSN and XBLA had to offer for the same reason.

One day I was shopping for games online, and stumbled across a Steam sale. Amazing prices, for games that were not even one year old. Needless to say I was hesitant but I decided to give it a try. And many games later (Steam, Origin, PSN, XBLA) I never felt like my games have been loaned to me by somebody else. I OWN them.

As I am sure you are aware, when you buy a digital PC game you are given a unique serial number. That string of numbers and letters are yours and yours alone. To some extent you can lend them, sell them, trade them (it depends on the game and the service). What the X1 is trying to implement is nothing new. Ever wonder why Gamestop and many other used games stores don't accept used PC games? That's right this kind of system has been implemented on the PC market for years in an effort to combat piracy. Did it succeed? No, in combination with DRM it becomes a very strong obstacle for those that wish to "crack" any software. Not that MS is trying to combat piracy with their poor decision to implement such features into the X1, at least I'm pretty sure that's not their primary intention.

They mean to control. If they can control what you want, then they can control you. BUT ONLY IF YOU LET THEM. You can chose what service and policies to accept as valid when it comes to games distribution, and fortunately for us there are options. If MS thinks that people will buy X1 just because it has Halo 5,6,7 and are willing to accept ANY condition they deem necessary let them swim in their own greedy arrogance. As for the people that will accept such treatment from any company, I say, WAKE UP, and if they don't want to listen, well then, they deserve it.

Digital distribution is the future, and not because MS wants it, but because the future will require it. And, yes there will be those who will try to take advantage of the situation and then it will fall on us the consumers to learn to say NO, THANK YOU!

mixelon1790d ago

I agree with this. It's interesting to think the post ps4/XB1 generation could be the first without physical media.. If PSN and XBL digital downloads start drastically overselling the hard copies I wouldnt be surprised at a smaller slim, diskless model a few years down the line either. It wouldn't float in some territories, but others would lap it up. I just hope BDs remain an option for a long time to come.

Whatever Apple are working on seems to be more of an immediate concern to Microsoft and their living room TV/cable plans, but obviously that'll be iTunes content only, presumably apps and games included. If they can make that fly while MS can't I think it's obvious MS are getting things mixed up.


Ahh but there is a difference between the two services. Steam is not the sole and only medium to acquire PC games, and it is this fact alone that Steam has huge sales. Microsoft will have no competition, every sale of a preowned game, or sale of an activation code will be provided only via their service. With nobody to compete with, what reason do they have to price things competitively?? Also im not speaking ill of digital distribution, i own many PSN, XBLA, and PC games digitally, but the reality is many people DO have this connection to a tangible thing they can hold and say "This is mine". A friend of mine lost all his NintendoShop games he had on his Wii when his system failed. They told him good luck with that... Is that fair?

I look at it from my point of view. I am an avid game hunter, i scour garage sales and thrift stores looking for the classic games of yesterday to build up my collection. All i need is the game itself, and that game is mine to play. With this service Xbone game discs will be rendered completely useless, and finding them in the future at say a garage sale will not accomplish anything. Even IF the service was still active at that point, i would have to pay whatever the price is for an activation code, and for that i could just buy the game digitally. In the event the service has been discontinued then there would be no forseeable way to play that game. You see what has happened there? The game disc has been reduced to nothing more than an installation disc, and personally for me that is a deal breaker.

RoninRaven1790d ago

Sorry for your Nintendo fan friend :D. With all the bad press the X1 has gotten since its launch I am doubtful their marketing plans will be mirrored by others in the industry.

"The game disc has been reduced to nothing more than an installation disc, and personally for me that is a deal breaker."

That's exactly how MS sees it. At least from my pov. It has nothing to do with digital distribution. They are simply masking their intention to control the market with a future necessity.

RoninRaven1790d ago

Personally on my PC I try to stay away from DVD's. They seem useless to me now. The Steam system works, at least on the PC market and was a game changer when it took flight. People often confuse the idea of ownership with that of materialistic aspect of things. Thinking one can't exist without the other.

The money in my bank account is mine, though I don't know the serial numbers for each bill. But if I need it I can access it. And basically that's all I want. If I payed for it, I want access to it anytime and for all the time I want I don't care were if it's on a CD or on my HDD as 0's and 1's.