Back in 1999 I bought myself the Sony PS 1 and played my first game called Syphon Filter. I enjoyed the game so much that I played the follow up to it and took the character name as my own gaming tag, Gabe. From then on, I have owned the PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360 along with my PC. Since, I have sold my Xbox 360 because I didn’t like the fact that I had to pay the same amount for my games as you do for PS3 whilst still having to pay a monthly connection fee to Xbox Live.
There are some things that gamers tend to do when making a choice, and that is trying to find the best possible experience in gaming while still trying to do so cheaply. That isn’t to say we wont fork out big money for something we really want. Only recently I bought a R5500 graphics card for my PC. I convinced myself so much that I needed it, that I went out to buy it. That’s what we do, us gamers. Sometimes we stick to a product we know, and trust. That’s what consumers try and do to win you over: they rely on your loyalty. If they don’t, they are fools.
That’s what I thought about Microsoft and the recent reveal of the new Xbox One. I thought they were fools. I thought they were not rewarding the loyalty of their gamers. Those that have owned their product for years, that have spent thousands on their games, upgrades, online connections and more. So why did they do it? Why did Microsoft try and infuse so many restrictions on their console which clearly did not benefit their loyal customers, their loyal gamers? I don’t know. Money must have been its factor, perhaps the ideal that it would minimise piracy, and bring exclusion to the gamers that bought it. I don’t know their reasons, but I know people weren’t happy about it. How far gone are they that they couldn’t, or wouldn’t be able to understand the needs of their gamers? How could they not know, having already been in the market so long? Surely if it was beneficial to the gamer, they would have included the benefits of these restrictions in their reveal? But they didn’t.
Now I have read that Microsoft has done an about turn. Xbox head huncho Don Mattrick stated in his blog: “Your Feedback matters. Microsoft believes in the benefits of connected digital future.” He goes on to thank gamers for their assistance in helping Microsoft reshape the future of the Xbox One. “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," Mattrick said. "Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world."
Of course there are those in the industry that feel that Microsoft was not heeding the feedback from the gamers but rather what Sony and their new PS4 was doing. That the only way to maintain its share in the industry was to make their Xbox One as competitive and flexible as the PS4. I suppose in the greater scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. As long as the gamer wins, and I feel for most part they have here, then the mud in the face can splash firmly in the faces of the executives of Microsoft and Sony.
Whether or not the damage has been done to an extent that they won’t recover easily from their initial reveal remains to be seen. Even though now the Xbox One will permit trading, lending, reselling, gifting of games. However nothing is said about backward compatibility. Which I think is still a huge disservice to long time Xbox gamers. Then there is the other new change, and that being that no internet connection is required to play Xbox One games offline, which means that there are also no 24 hour connection requirements.
I suppose it comes down to whether we are in fact loyal to our particular gaming platform or not. Whether or not we feel that Xbox in fact didn’t care about us in the first place. I don’t know. I do suppose that only time will tell us the truth of the matter when the Xbox One and PS4 consoles are released into the big wide world. One can only hope that we, the gamers, come out on top.
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