Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Business Breakdown | Exploration of the Xbox One 'Always Online' & 'No Used Games' Controversy

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A lot of negative feedback and hatred is feeding to Microsoft for the features of the Xbox One that include requiring an internet connection at least once a day and the elimination of lending games and selling them on at independent resale stores such as Gamespot, Game and even C2C (Customer to Customer) services like eBay.

Don Mattrick discussed the 'Always Online' feature yesterday. Microsoft's attitude seems that of future proofing Xbox One as they try and lead the way to the future of gaming systems. Perhaps it is one generation too early? I respect gamers views on having to connect once a day to Xbox LIVE to even play offline single player being a nuisance. Fortunately for myself I am truly always connected to the internet when on my Xbox360 but even I have times of no internet connect, such as our impending internet provider changeover resulting in a lack of internet for a couple of days. With that I do strongly believe Xbox One is following Valve's gaming platform Steam as a business model. Having superb benefits of being online but it does enable a true 'Offline' mode for when you do not have a connection. I think this would solve a lot of issues regarding the Xbox One controversy.

So from there we move on to Microsoft's elimination of the second hand market with Xbox One. Well, that is an unconfirmed fact as we are yet to see their plan for selling used games they mentioned back at the Xbox One unveiling. But I think their motives were trying to balance out too much. This new method enables the developer to receive more money from sales than the 3rd Generation method, which Sony is adopting for the 4th generation but allowing devs to integrate the digital medium in the future.
Being a Playstation to Xbox gamer I try and stay as little biased as I can. But I believe the Xbox One could actually develop their Marketplace well if we imagine it to be like the Steam store. With such diverse prices and multiple sales per year allowing for such deals as the entire GTA Franchise for less than £15. If it allowed me to purchase a game such as the upcoming Battlefield 4 for £29.99 rather than a normal £39.99 disc edition it would be quite exciting. Giving developers the choice of pricing could drastically change the console gaming community. Plus opening up the Indie market being able to snap up new games for a couple of quid!
But this does mean that you cannot simply share games with your friends, say lend it to them for a week which will affect the younger gamers who depend on this sort of socialisation with their gaming. For the adult community it will be less of a diminishing factor. That being said the implementation of adding up to 10 "Family Members" means those included in this can use the same copy of your game free of charge, even on another console thousands of miles away just you cannot play them at the same time. Which is actually a nice touch.
I think that if Microsoft had actually wrapped up some of these queries and presented their reasonings to the world during their conference and not via different reporters it may not have received such a negative reaction from the community.

If we see the Xbox One marketplace as diverse in pricing as Steam is then I would be more than happy to purchase one. The always online topic still is a sticky one and a true offline mode would make the console much much better.

I guess as always... we wil have to wait and see...

I'm tired of waiting though...

Thanks for reading,

Rob Tyler

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