"Rumors" and Blame: The Downplay of Xbox One DRM Criticism
It would be too much to expect for fanboys to not (poorly) play head games with absolutely any criticism that bestows their favorite system, I suppose, but that doesn't mean that it isn't bothersome reading such excuses. Xbox One has become a veritable punching bag over the last few weeks, but it would be a lie to say that it doesn't almost deserve it; Being the first system with console-wide DRM is a sharp sword to swallow. That analogy being that swallowing such a thing could be life threatening, or at least slice your vocal cords and change your life forever, for the worst. And swallow some have, with pitiful attempts at mitigating blame.
Before revving up the blame machine, we saw lots of talk about the Xbox One DRM being merely "rumored." That's interesting, considering that all of the rumors were based on Microsoft comments, such as their own VP. Their VP confirmed 24 hour checks and unnecessary license complications weeks ago, and yet we were told time and time again, "It's just a rumor!" And not just by fanboys; by Microsoft themselves. When the reception was unsurprisingly terrible (unsurprisingly if you have an ounce of brain; gamers hate DRM and console gamers have always loved not having to deal with it), Microsoft pulled back, shouting "Rumors! Falsehoods! We will clarify later!" Only to confirm these self-rectified "rumors" weeks later. Fanboys were happy to oblige in this fantasy and until the other day, some held off another fantasy...
That other fantasy being that the unhappy reception was the cause of people that hated Xbox to begin with. Certainly the loyal fanbases of Microsoft's consoles' competitors didn't help; Especially as Microsoft began putting a lot of time and energy into Kinect, loyalty to the Xbox brand on the interwebs fell apart. With instances such as being more or less lied to about "Fable: The Journey" being on-rails and ultimately getting a mediocre game instead of what Fable fans actually wanted...is there really need for shock that some people have found disdain for Microsoft in recent years?
Obvious bias aside, it's a joke to pretend that the reception is mostly due to that. Console gamers don't want DRM. Many gamers don't have internet available to them that they can trust to always work for Microsoft's check ins. Many gamers hate the idea that they should justify their purchase every 24 hours. Many gamers don't like the idea of any form of forced connection to a company that participates in PRISM.
PlayStation fans are the main target of blame shifting. Apologists throw around "if" situations where Ps4 has the same DRM and PS4 fans still accept it, constantly. Where were these people when a million Tweets from PlayStation fans begged Sony not to implement DRM? In what world would Playstation fans have accepted DRM? One that would take a load of self-indulging theoretical BS.
It won't end there, either. As E3 approaches, we're told that "15 exclusives" will make up for DRM. The translation being "We'll find another reason to pretend like only Xbox haters take issue with DRM; the next excuse being Halo 5's announcement!"
I suppose we will never stop dealing with the lies and blame shifting, though. If Xbox One thrives (and it will no matter what, Microsoft spending millions to be sure of that), it will likely always have DRM and there will always be fanatics of it there to pretend it's a non-issue. As Microsoft plays publisher to journalist games, it will start to be accepted and fans will build up and turn their noses to any continued criticism. All we can really do is prepare some air sickness bags...God help us.