Again, I have to call out some pretty generous assumptions you make with this argument because how they were implementing the infrastructure was not materially different from other successful, consumer-friendly services such as Steam, at least in terms of what you seem to imply is “taking all power away from the consumer” in terms of digital rights management and the need to authenticate a purchase, which is only compounded by the fact you could still purchase disc-based content if you wanted and have the option to trade-in with retailers, arguably more freedom than exists with the PC model as an existing point of reference not based on hypothetical posturing.
You can only hold onto the “they don’t offer weekend/digital sales” argument – let alone how many post-launch-million-sales games you deem a company is entitled to give away for free each month, until you be honest with yourself and realize that every game still launches at full retail price on every. single. platform. and remains that way for months at a time anyway.
More to the point, Sega is proof publishers have no choice but to remain relevant and competitive in order to survive in this industry. If you seriously think developers and the open consumer market would support a company suddenly charging extortionate prices for their individual platform when the exact same product is available for cheaper rates on six other Multi-Million user-base platforms jockeying for competitive advantage than you’ve already drank the panic Kool-Aid. I’m just suggesting that your comments assume the Xbox One would have existed in a vacuum market with no other competitors to be taken remotely seriously.
With this in mind, and knowing the reality of how PSN and Steam are implemented, it’s statements like “But, as it was, they wanted to OWN everything.” that come off as blind fear-mongering. I mean seriously, you don’t even bother to explain what you mean by that statement. It’s an effective statement, it is certainly fear-mongering and designed to come off as dystopian panic, but do you believe this? How do they want to “own everything” in a way that Sony, or Steam, or Apple for example don’t? Seriously, just think about it.
Boil it all down to the very core of what you’re arguing here.
They want to “Own” all the games? How? Compared to Steam how would that model be any different? If you have to go back to weekend sales you’re missing the point here.
They want to “Own” all the music or video services? Refresh my memory, did Sony allow streaming or even playback of any personal video or mp3s or did they force their own proprietary Music and Video Streaming service for this functionality with the launch of the PS4? btw Sony is referenced here as the leading competitor for MS in this market.
They want to “Own” all the online multiplayer services? How is this different from PSN? access to Netflix? is that what you mean by everything? Is that the argument? does “owning EVERYTHING” equate to Netflix behind a paywall? When access to Netflix is essentially ubiquitous to anyone who owns a flat screen TV or $30 Chromecast?
“Microsoft has given absolutely no indication that they’re willing to start offering competitive (read, consumer-friendly) pricing for their goods and services.” Do you mean how they charge the same rates as Sony for their first party games and online services? Or are you referring to the $50 price drop console bundles recently announced in contrast to the $50 price increase without bundle for the PS4?
Either way, my overall concern with the whole affair (not you personally, you are certainly entitled to your opinions of course just as others who share your point of view) my BEEF is with the hubris you see a lot of on Internet forums when commenters rely too heavily on emotionally charged absolutes like “ALL” or “EVERYTHING” or “OWN” that use convenient AtoBtoC logic and not enough reason, or even facts. Anyone can make a statement, a claim, or a convincing prediction because it’s popular, it doesn’t make it truth. I just find it frustrating when the masses choose to believe without basis, and the Internet is often a terrifying wasteland in that respect.
Uhhh…. what? It was precisely knee-jerk internet panic logic like you just illustrated that Hamaki was referring to. Online authentication on the Xbox One wasn’t going to be “locking people out of their console” it verified ownership of individual games. Yes it employed DRM, not unlike every downloaded game on both systems use today (whether continuous authentication is required or not). The benefit (yes, benefit) was a ubiquity in terms of gaming environment as an ecosystem that in theory woud make sharing and accessing those games and content more convenient to the consumer, not unlike Apple or Steam.
Not sure how you managed to equate this feature to being the same as being “locked into a pricey walled garden” given that “Internet” is not the same as paying for “XBL” or “PSN” aka the actual price wall behind which multiplayer content exists, but perhaps we can chalk that up to panic internet comment fanaticism as well.
Was it a great innovation to the platform that could have made things better for consumers? Was it to be the downfall of videogames locking people out of their homes and killing their family members even if they legitimately purchased a game and lost an internet connection for a few minutes more than 24 hours since their last successful connection to the internet price wall garden? Oh no, here comes someone with “the internet is not available everywhere so let’s trade disc based media and support the gamestop mega corp because that’s noble and just” argument. Don’t look now but casual and free to play games are eating your lunch, console gaming needs to stay relevant to the market, wake up, evolve, or die. Discs are not the future and the semantics between one-time online authentication vs 24hours is simply that: semantic.
Because of panic-fueled outrage over a mere IDEA by those who claimed to know with such absolute certainty what the future would hold and propagated on Internet forums loud enough to apparently affect pre-orders among the core, none of us will ever know, and none of them really did know in the first place. Until a similar infrastructure defines the entire industry in the coming years I suppose maybe less knees will jerk with such unfounded certainty.
But yeah, I agree with Hamaki’s thoughts on the larger discussion in every way.