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Xbox One: Redemption

Posted by Electric Turahk , in Video Games Jun 19 2013 · 246 views

Xbox One Xbox Microsoft
So Microsoft just retracted its 24-hour check-in and limited game sharing policies* that had make many fans around the globe - myself included - deride and reconsider sticking with the next generation Xbox console.

So to make it clear:
  • You do NOT have to be online every 24-hours
  • You CAN sell your games at your discretion
I'm pretty much back on board, even at $100 more than the PS4. I honestly considered changing because of these restrictions and how arrogant Microsoft's execs were being about it (even though I am in the group that it didn't really hurt too much... everything they were saying about it kind of made me mad). But the only what-should-have-been an exclusive for the PS4 - Kingdom Hearts 3 - is actually multi-platform, so we're back to me wanting more Xbox exclusives.

*The original revision to this included allowing you to share games with up to ten people free of charge, and by simply playing online connected to the cloud server with the original owner's saves and whatnot. I actually really like that and thought it a great change. Oh well...

~|ET|~


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Engineer Alexandra Humva
Jun 19 2013 06:46 PM

The console war does seem to be back on for Microsoft, now that it's not blindly charging into obviously terrible territory.

 

I still have my concerns about it, but at least now it's an actual contender, and not a brick of solidified corporate desires.

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I agree that with this statement, Microsoft has mostly eliminated the flaws of the Xbox One and re-evened the playing field between them and Sony. I had no intention of getting an Xbox before or after the announcement of the One, since there are just a smaller number of games that appeal to me on the other consoles than on Nintendo's. But there's nothing wrong with the kinds of games on the Xbox, and I'm happy that people who DO enjoy Microsoft's offerings won't have to "settle" for a console they don't necessarily want.

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Electric Turahk
Jun 19 2013 07:16 PM

I agree that with this statement, Microsoft has mostly eliminated the flaws of the Xbox One and re-evened the playing field between them and Sony. I had no intention of getting an Xbox before or after the announcement of the One, since there are just a smaller number of games that appeal to me on the other consoles than on Nintendo's. But there's nothing wrong with the kinds of games on the Xbox, and I'm happy that people who DO enjoy Microsoft's offerings won't have to "settle" for a console they don't necessarily want.

And that's how it felt like to me - like I was forced to settle for a PS4, even though I want more games Microsoft has to offer.

Already I have friends telling me I'm mad and (putting it nicely...) stupid to reconsider. But it's not like I'm pre-ordering anything and it IS my right to play on what I want to...
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This isn't redemption, this is Microsoft doing what it should have done from the get go because of how badly they screwed up.

 

They're just covering their butts. Nothing worth commending in the least.

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Electric Turahk
Jun 19 2013 07:41 PM
I couldn't think of a better word, jeeze. >_>

Listening to their customers isn't a good thing though?
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Oh, yeah, listening to your customers is a good thing. It's just the fact that the original was so anti-consumer that it kinda overshadows any attempt they make to make up for it.

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I'm still going to stew over the fact that Microsoft tried what they did, because it was just awful. However, at the same time it is very refreshing to see a huge gaming company listen to their fans (unlike Nintendo, Ubisoft, heck, even Valve with some stuff).

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Electric Turahk
Jun 19 2013 08:04 PM
It overshadows it to people who have been paying attention - it all made me mad too. But that's probably a much smaller share of the market than most who will buy it.

I was and still am on the fence. I don't have anything preordered and don't plan to as of right now. But these are good changes and it's doing for me exactly what they wanted - trying to win consumers back.

It's still a good number of months before either console comes out. People can and will likely still be trying to decide the entire time. Who knows what could happen.
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Microsoft's plans didn't make sense in any way. They alienate those who might have bought an Xbox One, and unlike Nintendo's rejection of high-powered consoles in favor of motion control and second screens, their plans were certainly not going to bring in new fans.

 

Of course, i was probably going to end up switching to Nintendo one way or the other this generation anyway, but I can't say I didn't at least look at the new Xbox to replace my 360.

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Microsoft never should have tried to be Apple. Never going to buy one of their consoles, doesn't make a difference if they're changing their policies. 

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I'm honestly not sure if I'm pleased or not. On one hand, the information they gave on the Xbox One's DRM system was off putting. On the other, I would have liked to learn more about their family sharing plan's flexibility before completely disowning Xbox.

I feel like the original system could have been fixed (say, by being able to grant temporary licenses to friends, allowing them to play 30 days before the rights reverted back to you) and I'm a little disappointed.

To be sure, as presented their DRM system was flawed, but I wish they hadn't scrapped it entirely. Oh well.

Edit: As for the cost difference between the PS4 and One, I imagine that's the Kinect. I never got one for this gen, but I imagine now that it's mandatory we'll see more interesting and widespread applications.
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i'm still not going to be buying their console products for, at least, a very long while

 

the fact they had the audacity to even implement those policies in the first place just bothers me, significantly, and even though they took away some of the worst parts... i dunno, but part of me can see them re-implementing them in the future and i honestly wouldn't be surprised by it :/ 

 

though i'm still rather bothered by how their customer service responded to a question, that if a player were to be banned from XBOX LIVE then no games they owned would be playable (the customer service rep mentioned revoking all licenses to the games, meaning, even offline single-player games would be off limits... kinda giving you a $500 brick). this goes for the 360 as well, so i have a feeling this would still be in effect with the new system (and, as far as i'm aware, Nintendo and Sony don't hold the same policy -- Sony, at least, could ban a PSN user from using the multiplayer service and potentially other PSN services, but i've never heard of them including a "and we'll retract your ability to play the games you purchased, all of them")... and it just seems... excessive. especially when those ban-systems aren't perfect (they just simply can't be). 

 

i still dislike the kinect integration, mostly since you can't turn it off. (and i don't have room to use motion sensing things nor do i want to)

 

this time around, i'm still thoroughly going with Sony. nice to hear MS isn't completely throwing bricks at their customers anymore, but i just don't trust that company after all of this. (i'd go with sony this time either way, as there's more games for the PS4 i want, and i'm not buying a whole console for Halo)

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I'm just waiting for them to pull the rug out. What's to stop them from selling a billion consoles after launch after rescinding all those terrible ideas, and then implementing them six months in? The architecture for it all is clearly already in the consoles and online, and they clearly put a lot of R&D into all of this "no sharing, it's OURS NOT YOURS" concept. Do you really think they'll just abandon it for this entire console generation?

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I'm just waiting for them to pull the rug out. What's to stop them from selling a billion consoles after launch after rescinding all those terrible ideas, and then implementing them six months in? The architecture for it all is clearly already in the consoles and online, and they clearly put a lot of R&D into all of this "no sharing, it's OURS NOT YOURS" concept. Do you really think they'll just abandon it for this entire console generation?

This as well. I wouldn't put it beyond them to do that. 

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I'm just waiting for them to pull the rug out. What's to stop them from selling a billion consoles after launch after rescinding all those terrible ideas, and then implementing them six months in? The architecture for it all is clearly already in the consoles and online, and they clearly put a lot of R&D into all of this "no sharing, it's OURS NOT YOURS" concept. Do you really think they'll just abandon it for this entire console generation?

Because that's mildly illegal, for starters. You buy a product as advertised. False marketing and all that.

 

Then again, games DRM was also a slap to the first sale doctrine, so maybe Microsoft doesn't care about the law OR their consumers.

 

Regardless, I am very glad to hear that the Xbox One has decided to revoke certain policies. Say what you will about integrity, or sticking to your guns, but they realized it was a stupid move (based on capitalistic evidence, and isn't that kind of what drives these things?) and reacted smartly to it.

 

I'm not planning on getting an Xbox One, and never was, but these changes can only be a good thing.

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Because that's mildly illegal, for starters. You buy a product as advertised. False marketing and all that.

 

Then again, games DRM was also a slap to the first sale doctrine, so maybe Microsoft doesn't care about the law OR their consumers.

 

Mildly true- courts have ruled in favor of digital providers in terms of the first sale doctrine for several years now (spottily, they have also ruled against digital providers and for consumers, but not with video games yet). If a company wants to revoke your access to digital content you purchased... they can and it's legal. You don't own it. Amazon and Apple both have clauses in their agreements that mention in passing that they can nuke all your purchases at their discretion.

 

As for "buying a product as advertised" sure. But buying a service is different. Especially an ongoing service with an ongoing fee and a contract that can change and be opted out of. It would be fully within Microsoft's abilities and rights to suddenly decide that games that require the online service can be only played through certain accounts, as it would only take an update of their online ToS, and that, as a service, is legally allowed to change to that extent as long as warning and an ability to opt-out is given.

 

It's really not any different from PC software and product keys. Have you ever tried to install a program a friend owns or used to own with the same product/validation key that was given originally?

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Engineer Alexandra Humva
Jun 20 2013 02:26 PM

I would like to pop in for a moment to say that, last time I checked anyways, Microsoft's ToS already gives it the ability to change its policies at any time and very little notice. So Microsoft could wake up one day, institute the phoning-in DRM system in the morning, and simply say "hey guys if you don't like it, tough ****, go buy a PS4. Oh, you already bought a dozen games for the system? Sucks to be you."

 

Which, well, let's face it. Microsoft hasn't been doing much recently to endear itself to the consumers, so I can't say them doing that would be any shock at all to me.

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Because that's mildly illegal, for starters. You buy a product as advertised. False marketing and all that.

 

Then again, games DRM was also a slap to the first sale doctrine, so maybe Microsoft doesn't care about the law OR their consumers.

 

Mildly true- courts have ruled in favor of digital providers in terms of the first sale doctrine for several years now (spottily, they have also ruled against digital providers and for consumers, but not with video games yet). If a company wants to revoke your access to digital content you purchased... they can and it's legal. You don't own it. Amazon and Apple both have clauses in their agreements that mention in passing that they can nuke all your purchases at their discretion.

 

As for "buying a product as advertised" sure. But buying a service is different. Especially an ongoing service with an ongoing fee and a contract that can change and be opted out of. It would be fully within Microsoft's abilities and rights to suddenly decide that games that require the online service can be only played through certain accounts, as it would only take an update of their online ToS, and that, as a service, is legally allowed to change to that extent as long as warning and an ability to opt-out is given.

 

It's really not any different from PC software and product keys. Have you ever tried to install a program a friend owns or used to own with the same product/validation key that was given originally?

 

Well, that's exactly to the point; console games, as it stands, are still not a "service", they are a product. Digital games obviously fall under a very different purview, and Microsoft wanted to orient the market toward that way of business. Which, overall, is not a horrible idea; CD's are practically a dead format as it is, and DVD's look to be going that way as well. I just think they underestimated how the market and public would respond, which is why they find themselves in such a pickle.

 

The music industry had a fairly rough transition, but things have kind of reached an equilibrium now in that regard; would the video game market be able to do the same? Change for the sake of change is not innovation, it's chaos.

 



I would like to pop in for a moment to say that, last time I checked anyways, Microsoft's ToS already gives it the ability to change its policies at any time and very little notice. So Microsoft could wake up one day, institute the phoning-in DRM system in the morning, and simply say "hey guys if you don't like it, tough ****, go buy a PS4. Oh, you already bought a dozen games for the system? Sucks to be you."

 

Which, well, let's face it. Microsoft hasn't been doing much recently to endear itself to the consumers, so I can't say them doing that would be any shock at all to me.

TOS always have that. They technically could, but it would be a highly unethical business practice.

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though i'm still rather bothered by how their customer service responded to a question, that if a player were to be banned from XBOX LIVE then no games they owned would be playable (the customer service rep mentioned revoking all licenses to the games, meaning, even offline single-player games would be off limits... kinda giving you a $500 brick). this goes for the 360 as well, so i have a feeling this would still be in effect with the new system (and, as far as i'm aware, Nintendo and Sony don't hold the same policy -- Sony, at least, could ban a PSN user from using the multiplayer service and potentially other PSN services, but i've never heard of them including a "and we'll retract your ability to play the games you purchased, all of them")... and it just seems... excessive. especially when those ban-systems aren't perfect (they just simply can't be). 
 
i still dislike the kinect integration, mostly since you can't turn it off. (and i don't have room to use motion sensing things nor do i want to)


1) I'm not sure where you heard that. Soon after launch a knowledgeable employee explicitly stated even if you're banned from online play you still have access to your game library. Which wouldn't have helped for games like Titanfall and Destiny, but I guess the point is pointless now anyway.

2) Once again, they've said you can turn it off. It's just included with all Xboxes now, which I think is great.

But I'm a hopeless Microsoft fanboy. =/
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1) I'm not sure where you heard that. Soon after launch a knowledgeable employee explicitly stated even if you're banned from online play you still have access to your game library. Which wouldn't have helped for games like Titanfall and Destiny, but I guess the point is pointless now anyway.

2) Once again, they've said you can turn it off. It's just included with all Xboxes now, which I think is great.

But I'm a hopeless Microsoft fanboy. =/

 


1) For point number one, from the time I read about it to now, the Customer Service Reps have claimed it was a miscommunication. (Revoking licenses to downloadable games when banned, though considering how the XB1 was originally planned to operate... that type of miscommunication was sort of big). 

 

2) I've heard the exact opposite, quoted from their own people in articles on various gaming websites. Since they wanted to keep the Kinect on so it could always listen for the user to say "XBOX On." That, and they also did secure patents to monitor heartrates and audience sizes, which I have a feeling would be connected to their kinect service as... what else would it be connected to, other than the mandatory camera and recording system with their in-house built system? (And even though I imagine it can be turned off via completely turning off the entirety of the console, it's still running when the console is on and, from what I've read, there's not a way to have it turned off independently of the console)

It's an okay thing to have as an optional item, with the ability to unplug it and still play games and have everything work as it should, but it's silly for a mandatory item considering not everyone has the space to use motion technology in games (or wants to) and it adds $100 to the price tag.

 

The console is miles better without that laundry list of issues, but I still don't trust Microsoft to keep their word on it at this point. (And the $100 over the competition, along with the mandatory camera and listening device, doesn't sit well with me). 

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Electric Turahk
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