Ashley Crocker ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Writer
Since the announcement of the Xbox One last May, Microsoft has been standing behind two very controversial plans: DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions and the Always Online policy. They stood behind their policies on twitter with Microsoft Studios creative director, Adam Orth’s, “deal with it” and they failed to address the growing criticism at the recently passed E3 conference. Microsoft even took a huge blow when Sony PlayStation announced, as a direct counter to Microsoft’s stance, that their games would have no used restrictions on them and internet connection would not be required; They even set the price bar lower at 399$ in comparison to Xbox’s 499$. According to a poll done by Amazon.com after E3, 94.7% of voters said they would rather purchase the Play Station over the Xbox One.
Finally, Xbox decided to give in. On June 19th, Xbox posted on their Facebook, “Today we announced changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, loan and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Also, an internet connection won’t be required to play offline Xbox One games.” Instead, Internet will only be required for a first time check in. Also, they have decided to not require region locking.
What does this mean? A sigh of relief for Xbox fans, but has Microsoft’s previous unwillingness to change their polices lowered their chances in the Next Generation Console race? I think there is still time to make it up. While PS4 gained a lot of popularity at E3, Xbox is now on the same playing field as PS4. Yes, the price tag is still higher, but it includes the Kinect this time around. With those two big problems out of the way, people might consider giving Xbox One another chance.
After all, they were only trying to move the gaming world into the future. Eventually, video games will have to step into the digital world. With Xbox’s latest statement, the question becomes when and who will take this leap forward – and will they be successful? If you think about it, PC gaming already has.
Xbox One arrives in Stores November 2013. PS4 arrives in stores this holiday season.