All the cool kids are Xbox bashing
Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways
Not that kind of bashing! You’ll not want to do that with the Xbox One constantly watching you anyway.
I mean that Microsoft have been receiving a lot of flak for their announcement concerning DRM and online check-in for the new Xbox One. So much so that they have performed a U-turn and dropped these ‘features’ as well as some of the cloud based functionality that clearly required these stuff to work.
Yes DRM is annoying and needing an Internet connection to play games you have on disc seemed baffling but for me the only time this would really affect me would be when moving house and waiting for the phone and Internet to be re-connected. The ability to play any game without having to have the disc in tray seemed a cool innovation that would make the next generation of consoles more than just an upgrade of hardware and I’m disappointed that this could be the casualty of a market unwilling to adapt.
Many of the arguments against Xbox One and thus for Playstation 4 kind of got me unnecessarily annoyed, the assumptions made and the facts missed seemed like the whole argument was unfairly balanced. Here’s how I see a few things:
So the Xbox One will cost £80 more in the UK. I may have a little more money to burn than most but £80 doesn’t seem too bad an extra to pay if I think the Xbox One is worth having. But the price difference isn’t all that when you look at the details.
Firstly the Xbox One comes with Kinect, sure some don’t care about Kinect but with the right game it should surely enhance the gaming experience. The PS4 has the equivalent Playstation Eye, but from all reports I see this doesn’t come bundled with the console, so it costs more; $60 (£38ish) in fact.
If you but the Playstation Eye that £80 difference is now a little over £40.
Then there’s the Playstation Plus account that is now a requirement for online multiplayer gaming on the PS4. Hopefully with a little money Sony can pay for some extra security and keep everyone’s personal information safe. But the Playstation Plus subscription currently works out at £5 more per year than Xbox Live. Sure it won’t break the bank, but if you assume an 8 year lifecycle of this generation of console the price difference between the subscriptions makes the price difference between the two consoles just loose change.
At E3 Sony made a big deal about not having DRM, making jokes at the expense of Xbox. We’ll probably never know for sure but given Sony’s announcement came after the first details of Microsoft’s DRM announcement we can safely expect that if Playstation wanted to they could have reversed any decisions they had made in regards to DRM and upon that announcement look like the heroes of the show.
But DRM isn’t just in the hands of the console makers. The current generation have no in-built DRM system yet many online multiplayer games come with access codes that render this part of the game useless should you wish to share or sell the game.
Are Microsoft and Sony now saying that they can fully control what DRM the publishers decide to integrate into their games and ensure that all games are completely DRM free. Somehow I think not.
Not enough details really came out about this to say for certain that the second-hand game market would die off. From what I understand approved retailers would be allowed to buy and sell second hand games and the publishers would then somehow get a kickback. The impact on gamers might be more expensive second-hand games but little to no details came out about this.
I’d be foolish to fully believe the following but if the publishers are able to get a higher return from games in part due to the kickback from second hand sales then would this not benefit the games makers and publishers and possibly drive down the price of games?
Current Status: Xbox One
At this moment I’m on the side of buying an Xbox One, it seems the more innovative machine and the whole TV/all-in-one entertainment actually seems like a good addition if it’s not at the detriment of the quality of the games.
Yet what I decide isn’t my choice alone. As console gaming has become a more social pursuit I can’t help but think that my buying decision will be largely swayed by the decisions of my friends. Sure I think the Xbox will be the more ideal machine for me but if all my friends have a PS4 do I really want to be the one sat alone hugging the better but less frequented machine?