This is a bit of expansion of what I posted earlier on Reddit. I’m trying to take a bit of a calm look at the Xbox One stuff - I really don’t want to hop on Reddit bandwagons that proclaim One the Worst Console Ever® and Playstation 4 will be the Jesus Box®.
Xbox One’s Internet/DRM requirement is a bit of a drag, but I don’t think it’s going to be a too major obstacle for me. I’m an Ethernet guy. Sometimes need to go unplugged with the 360 (my old 360 didn’t have wireless and I’ve not really tested the WLAN on my Slim). If Xbox One is going to have WLAN, it’s going to make things easier.
The Internet requirements frankly don’t seem too much harsher than Steam – i.e., it works fine offline, unless Murphy’s Law dictates otherwise. And I’m trying to remain hopeful that Microsoft has learned the good lessons from Steam (and bad lessons from EA and Ubisoft) and won’t fuck things up. If Xbox Live Arcade is of any indication, they can be trusted in my opinion. Xbox side of Microsoft has generally been the most clueful part of the company.
(And I’d also like to point out that initially Steam had the exact same concerns leveled against them. And now everyone seems to worship them. Go figure.)
The used games thing is going to be a minor headache, mostly because it creates extra hassle for everyone and we’re not exactly sure how this is going to work. I think used games sales are vital because new games have such a short shelf-life and not every game gets rereleased and kept on market as budget/GOTY/whatever.
I don’t really see Xbox One massively hurting used game sales for major used games sellers, but it does have potential for affecting smaller used games sellers. I really hope MS is going to make it easy for smaller game stores to get into the used-games mess. Because if not, this is going to be a headache in areas where big chains just aren’t around.
I’m living in Oulu, Finland. We didn’t have big foreign game store chains until recently, and I’m speaking of the whole frigging country here. I usually buy my games from the department stores, and preorders, major releases and used games from the big local game store. I was flabbergasted when I noticed there’s a GameStop here - and I also shop them, but not really for new releases.
Also, I’ve seen cheering from Playstation 4 side that there’s no restrictions on used games sales and shit is going to be really easy. Here’s two sobering thoughts, though:
- That’s what they said about Other OS. “Oh, look, everything is super awesome and you can install Linux on PS3”. Look what happened.
- Microsoft implemented the used games restrictions because game publishers wanted that shit. So while there won’t be any restrictions on used games sales that PS4 platform enforces on consumers, what exactly makes people think that game publishers willingly make a distinction between the platforms? They asked for used games sales restrictions on Xbox One. Why would they not want the same on PS4? This doesn’t make sense. I bet game publishers find plenty of ways to screw people with used games sales on PS4. In a proper, decentralised way. If your used game won’t work on Xbox One, at least you know where to send your complaint - it’s all in Microsoft’s hands. PS4? Yep, your guess is as good as any, because we long since learnt that Sony doesn’t give shit about consumers and leaves all that stuff to the game publishers.
So overall, I’m a little bit concerned on how it’s going to work, and I think DRM is going to make things a bit hairy. But I have hopes it’s not going to be that much hairier.