zerocrossing (User)

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"Indie game dev, Videogame writer, Game enthusiast, Guitarist,"

Xbox 180: a victory for gamers.

zerocrossing | 487d ago
User blog

I've been planning to write more on the Xbox One and it's restrictive, invasive DRM for a while now, but I also wanted to wait and see how it all paned out, or at least wait until the news calmed down a bit and we could all get a more clear cut and accurate picture of exactly what Microsoft are attempting to implement, and why exactly they felt the need to segregate consumers with such a divisive online requirement that would inevitably cost them potential sales.

With that being said, the sheer unprecedented turn of events that happened only yesterday, has spurred me on to to writing this inevitably drawn out rant of a blog on my feelings and impressions regarding MS's complete Xbox 180... or better yet, their new policy.

First of all I want to congratulate everyone who did stand up for their consumer rights, as most of us know all to well by now, being a gamer it has become common placed to accept getting shafted with unfavourable policies & requirements that exist primarily to part us with our hard earned cash while holding our gaming hobby to ransom, so the fact that more and more of us are getting tired of this, and are beginning to stand up for ourselves and our rights is a sign that I believe things are starting to turn in our favour (the gamers favour) so long as we stand in unison against that which threatens to cause our hobby harm, then we have a chance to improve gaming in directions we see fit instead of that of greedy, out of touch publishers, so with that being said, CONGRATULATIONS!

OK, better start getting to the point now. While I think most of us were aware that MS's policies in regards to the Xbox One's DRM would eventually have to change, I don't believe many of us saw this change coming before the console had even hit the shelves, especially when we have countless interviews/videos with MS corporate execs stating that they have no intention of changing anything. Major Nelson was quoted as saying " We're really not going to change anything" and Don Mattricks infamous verbal blunder "If you don't have an Internet connection buy an Xbox 360" certainly gives the impression that both corporate execs had no plans to remove the Xbox One's online requirements or DRM at the time.

So the big question knocking around in my head right now is, if the bad press Microsoft received at both the Xbox One reveal conference and the E3 show wasn't enough to convince them to remove the restrictive/invasive DRM, then just what was it that did?

I have a few theories that all culminate into one prominent theory on the matter, one being that Microsoft somehow realised that creating a wall (a insurmountable wall for some) between potential customers and the Xbox One, was not the brightest sales strategy, so they have been racing back and forth to fix this issue while trying to save face.

My next theory is that Microsoft simply did not expect such a PR shit storm to ensue following the Xbone reveal, lets be fair here, if you're going to announce to your potential consumers that they will need a constant Internet connection to play games, must register online at 24 hour intervals, can no longer resell their games and must install their games on the Xbone's hard drive before they can even play them, well then you've got to expect some backlash right? except MS doesn't honestly have that much respect for our intelligence it seems, they most likely hoped that all the fancy gimmicks would be enough to woo consumers into ignoring all the negatives and focus on the positives, positives like TV, Halo TV series, TV, COD DOG, TV, Kinect 2, TV, NFL, TV, Madden and TV and more TV. Because as a hardcore gamer those things somehow appeal to me... Wait, what?

My third and final theory is one that I share with many other users here and have seen floating around N4G recently, but now I hope to flesh these views out a little more as I believe it to be the more influential piece of the puzzle, I commented a good bit of my views on the blog of another user the other day so I'll expand upon it here. You see even though MS may be pulling a Xbox 180 (sorry couldn't resist) the fact that they even had the intention of following through with these anti-consumer policies in the first place speaks volumes of where Microsoft's loyalty's truly lie, they are still very much on the side of the publishers, and if you ask me this change of heart is more to do with a fear of loosing big on Xbone sales due to a rise in bad press.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the rumour of MS going back on their controversial DRM policies came shortly after the Jimmy Fallon show, where seemingly unanimous cheers of praise from the audience where directed toward Sony's PS4 and their un-restrictive stance on used games, the people cheering in the audience are not gamers like you and me, they are commercial driven, ignorant consumers who move from fad to fad based off of whatever is the "in thing" at the time, the ill informed masses that buy what they are told and care little for the eventual poor state the industry may be left in if MS's damaging DRM policies were to become the norm, they are representative of the target consumer that I believe to be the core demographic MS was counting on, the consumer that would be willing to purchase the Xbox One without knowledge of DRM or used game policies, but unfortunately for Microsoft it would appear that those who MS where counting on being their core demographic (the commercial driven casual crowd) have caught wind of all the bad press and like any consumer who values their "consumer rights" at least when they realise it is being threatened, have chosen to stand against that which they feel threatened by.

Now I'm sure even after reading through this blog there are still many who plan to purchase an Xbox One, so if you are one of these people I have just one thing to say. Always remember this, MS had every intention of screwing over all of us by implementing online restrictions and intrusive DRM, so don't think their philosophy has changed just because their current policy has shifted due to fears of loosing out this coming gen, you wouldn't forgive a person trying to steal from your home but who then decides against it when caught because they realise everyone who finds out would think less of them for it, right? so then why forgive Microsoft when they pull a 180 for fear of alienating consumers and loosing out on sales? They are shifting direction due to necessity not compassion... Anyway I expect these issues of DRM and restrictions to rear their ugly head again when the Xbox One receives a decent install base, I doubt MS have honestly learned their lesson, not yet anyway, the features that they have removed like game sharing will be back but with strings attached, you can count on that.

Well I think that's pretty much it, these three points I feel combined are responsible for Microsofts hasty removal of the Xbox One's controversial DRM, well other than the NSA's PRISM program and data mining concerns some European countires have raised when the Kinect 2 is thrown into the equation (and quite rightly so) but I honestly can't say how much influence that had on MS's new direction.

Anyway thanks for reading my blog and as always please feel free to leave a comment, if you disagree or have something to add please do so.

HyperBear  +   487d ago
Great blog post! It's nice to read something that isn't fueled by immediate hate, like other bloggers who shall remain nameless, and a blog that has actual reasoning behind it.
Vigor  +   487d ago
MS still reserve the rights to reinstate the drm function once they deemed that their install base is big enough.

http://www.vg247.com/2013/0...
#2 (Edited 487d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
HammadTheBeast  +   487d ago
No offense.

But gamers didn't do much lol. They don't give a **** about people complaining on the internet, if they see pre-orders are ay behind the PS4 and guys like Jimmy Fallon are embarrassing them, then they know they have a problem and change.
zerocrossing  +   487d ago
that's true, gamers had very little effect on MS and their recent policy change.

However an indirect victory is still a victory IMO, in this case we should be thankful of the outcome not cause, although having said that, the cause is an intriguing one for sure.

This whole thing does well to highlight how much Microsoft truly value core gamer input, not much it seems....
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_FantasmA_  +   487d ago
Its a victory for the undecided and previous Xbots. "Oh hey look M$ wants to bend me over, but no wait now they change their minds, let me just fall for this trap again for the third time." LOL M$ gave me the shaft when I bought their ugly box in 2001 because it Rested in Peace by 2004. Then they gave the shaft to gamers again with paid P2P connections and lack of content. You can only use Halo to save your console so many times M$, but time is not on your side!
DragonKnight  +   487d ago
Excellent blog post. I'm still 100% certain that MS didn't do this because of the community, but people who buy an Xbox One now can't really be faulted for doing so. I personally will not as I do not support mandatory Kinect nor do I want to support a company that was completely willing to screw everyone over and only decided to overturn that decision based on the mainstream casual market instead of the market that were telling them it's a bad idea.

Now we have to wait and see if they roll out the anti-consumer tactics over time.
zerocrossing  +   486d ago
Thanks mate :)

It really does speak volumes about where Microsoft interests truly lie, the fact that even after both the Xbox One reveal and the E3 Microsoft press conference, the endless negative PR they received from core gamers did nothing to sway them, yet the moment the mainstream casual market started kicking up a fuss they suddenly took notice and removed the DRM.

Oh they will for sure, it's just a matter of time IMO.
Maronic  +   486d ago
2 Main reasons I would buy an xbox
1. The pad is WWWWAAAAAAYYYY better to use than Playstations.
2. My account wont get hacked and all my details stolen, for my money Microsoft have my trust because I have confidence in there OS whether or not they remove the Drm.
zerocrossing  +   486d ago
Hey, feel free to choose whichever you please, but In think your a little mistaken given the claims you're making.

1. It really all comes down to preference, I happen to prefer the dualshock style but there really isn't a "WWWWAAAAAAYYYY better" controller either way IMO, I will admit though, that the New Xbox One controller certainly beats the 360's, it's great MS managed to fix that awful D-pad.

2. As for believing your account is safe, unfortunately that's not true at all, you see any Internet service is open to attack and is absolutely hackable, if the hacker wants in enough they will find a way. So you don't mind the 3 OS's taking up all that extra processing power that could be going toward improving your gaming experience? Well fair enough I guess, but the DRM was indeed a negative aspect but props to MS for finally seeing sense and removing it. I know some people disagree since the DRM doesn't directly affect them but it is good news that it's gone, what's the point of being forced to play online all the time anyway? There was just no need, just like there was no need to block used games, or force a mandatory 24 hour authentication.
#6.1 (Edited 486d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
bunfighterii  +   486d ago
Good piece. My take on it is they simply did it to stop the bad press. Virtually everyone had only heard bad things about MS since it launched pre-E3. First it was the "TV, TV, TV' debacle and then their pre-E3 policy announcements. They had a solid month's worth of bad press in the gaming media and we all saw how it affected their reputation.

Poll after poll online showing people were abandoning their brand loyalty in droves, Sony lambasting them to cheers from the audience on Jimmy Fallon... they couldn't launch to all that bad press, it would have sucked the oxygen right out product.

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