Sometimes companies do listen to the customers, but this is something I never expected. Microsoft actually listened to the customer critique on Xbox One’s functions such as needed Internet connection and locking games to one account. They actually changed their policies.
It’s mindbogglingly laughable and admirable really. It’s a step to the right direction on Microsoft’s part. This is what they should do ; listen more to their customers more often. After the brutal feedback that Windows 8 got, as Microsoft reworked many elements of it for Windows 8.1. It’s still piece of shit even after that, but at least now it’s slightly less so. Nevertheless, one still has to question why did Microsoft ever think these policies they’ve backed down on were a good idea? Who the hell ever thought they were good idea in the first place? Well, at least everybody’s happy to see these changes… except few people.
Kyle Wagner is stupid. I’m astonished that this person is even writing on Giz- oh wait, video game journalism. Pretty much all of his complaints have no basis. I’m laughing at his idea of publishers reselling digital games at some sort of hubs. That’s like saying Steam would begin to allow its users to sell their games to other Steam users like the EU courts are demanding. It just won’t happen. New games wouldn’t be cheaper either.
This person doesn’t understand that the industry is going down (all industries are going down) and games won’t get cheaper because the industry refuses to drop the AAA hardcore titles that drain money like no end. Add huge marketing campaigns, paid reviewers, long development times and that added extra 150% of the wholesale price (which is +50% of the production costs) and you end up games with high price. Publishers are not losing money on used games sales; they’re losing money because their games suck. People want to buy their games used because they do not want to pay full price for a game that is both low in quality and expensive. Thus people expect price drops or buy the game used. And nobody wants end of discs. Physical media is not going to go anywhere, much less from anything Xbone does. Digital form of products is still less than what physical media sells. Wagner also seems to think that it’s hard to loan your game disc to a friend is hard. It’s only hard when you have no friends.
But seriously, there’s no basis on Wagner’s complaints. He wanted Xbone to be hardcore game console, and now we’re getting a better one instead. We already have a Steam console, both in digital form and the upcoming physical form, and Microsoft shouldn’t follow in its wake. Microsoft should see why Atari survived in the late 70’s and why the industry crashed the second time in the 80’s. They should investigate why Nintendo managed to revive a dead industry with the NES and why the Wii and DS made money more than anything else. Xbone’s now taking a course for the better, but dear lord it still has problems, like the ever watching Kinect. That’s illegal in certain nations, y’know. Invasion of privacy is no laughing matter.
Even discarding all of Wagner’s hardcore gamer rants, the core reason why Microsoft did was because they listened. Microsoft was devastated by SONY’s presentation at E3. Thus, they did what they should have done in the first place; look at what customers want and what they don’t want, and then continuing from there. It’s like Microsoft almost grasped on the concept of giving your customers what they are looking for and fulfilling their needs.
Seeing that this change has received highly positive reception within a day, it’s somewhat safe to assume that there was more people for the change than against it. The vision what people seem to think the overblown limitations represented never was there. It wasn’t about moving away from physical markets or allowing your friend to loan the game virtually. No, it was just to limit the customer even further down and to tie him down to a chair. Now hardcore people seemed to love the idea of being tied to a chair by a big black box while recording everything they do, but now at least we have the freedom to move outside the room even if the big black box still records everything.
The Xbone has similarities with Steam, and these changes are actually step away from it. That’s good. If we are to have multiple game consoles, then they might as well be different from each other in overall appearance and through the interface, but the core functions and what they allow us to do should be rather universal, as it’s the games that run the show. This is where Microsoft needs to step up again and listen to their customers. Ryse was just bad and the Drivatar, while nifty idea, got an apt comment from an automobile enthusiast I know; Now why the hell would I ever need to drive against me or my friends? Why should I make the game drive itself? Now that I think of it for a second, the Drivetar sounds neat, but if it makes the game play itself, then we’re back to the black 90’s FMV-hell, except with prettier graphics.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Microsoft will be doing something else to improve their console design. In the meantime enjoy the Midsummer night festival this weekend.