Xbox One Does a 180
It appears that Microsoft has done the unthinkable - listened to the consumers voice. While the consumer does carry quite a loud voice - and especially consumers that play video games, it's not often that a company will make such drastic changes to policies based a few days of outcry. Microsoft released a statement today saying that they are making changes to the Xbox One. Even the page title states "Your Feedback Matters..."
At E3 last week, Microsoft made their next-generation console announcement before Sony and Sony wisely measured the outcry and likely made last-minute changes to their platform announcement. For one, the price of a PS4 is $100 cheaper and it doesn't require an internet connection to play. Along with the used game fiasco, Microsoft had created a massive hole for themselves. In just a week, things have changed - as I told Jason Schneider in Episode #216 of WeeklyTechUpdate that it would. They're are really only two major changes to the platform, but the implications of these address the issues that gamers had and what I knew they had to change. I honestly didn't think they'd make changes to both issues, but they did. Hit the read more link to see what all has changed.
Microsoft stated in their release, "You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world." As such they are completely pulling these policies and allowing full and simple used game trading, buying and selling on their Xbox One platform. Also, after initial setup when you sign in with your Xbox Live ID, there will no longer be any internet connection required. Ever (in theory). This sounds good and it sounds like Microsoft felt more than a little heat from consumers when the PS4 pre-order sold out on Amazon.
- An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
- Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
In addition to the discs you purchase from a retailer, full game downloads will be available on release day and when you download and store these on your Xbox One, you'll still be able to enjoy the single-player experience offline. Here's a summary of what we can now enjoy on the Xbox One:
- No more always online requirement
- The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
- All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
- An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
- All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
- No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
- Region locks have been dropped
With these changes, the Xbox One actually becomes attractive. The question is, "Can you live with the extra $100 price tag?" In the end, I believe that the Xbox One offers a lot more value than the PS4, but Jason Schneider attests that price is still the deciding factor. If you want similar functionality with the PS4 you will have to drop extra money on accessories, so I believe that the Xbox One is now positioned correctly. Still, I'd like to see the price at $399 or at most - $449 to make it become really exciting.
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