Thursday, June 20, 2013

Microsoft and the X-Box 180, and DRM thoughts

So Microsoft caved into consumer pressure and dropped it’s (mostly) always on requirement and used game restrictions. I wonder what Sony execs are saying behind closed doors. PS4 is still $100 cheaper and arguably has the better specs minus Kinect. I am curious how things will play out.

With the changes though, Microsoft is also seemingly needing to cut back on some other things they’d planed. Dorkly has a great tongue in cheek mock up of Microsoft’s first draft of the changes announcement. Some of the things mention do actually sound cool (though I do think it’s wishful thinking Steam like sells would ever happen). Honestly, most complaining was probably hyperbole, the DRM now previously implemented would not have been that restrictive, if at all. A few isolated cases such as servicemen and living in rural areas may have had issues sure. But really, that’s why the market has choice. I doubt I personally would have ever be affected by it next generation.

But then, my concern has never been about a current generation, it’s about the previous generations. Looking at my shelf right now I have 43 (holy crap) PS3 titles. Four of them were bought used. It’s just not something that I normally do.

However, out of 15 Playstation *2* games, 9 of them were bought used. Most of them are sequels to titles I did buy new and enjoyed, but simply couldn’t afford when I was younger (Xenosaga 2-3, FFX-2, Dark Cloud 2). If PS2 had the types of DRM XBone has intended, I would not be able to play those titles.

Some people will respond that the PC has had to deal with DRM for years and it’s doing fine. Well… yes and no. We can look at server issues for always on DRM on the PC to see how it doesn’t work. When it does work though… The thing to keep in mind is that a 20 year old PC game is still a 20 year old PC game. I can still play Baldur’s Gate on a modern PC. I can’t put in Halo into a XBone and play it. Once 360 came out support for Xbox was dropped almost immediately.

For the record I intend to eventually get a PS4, though probably not at launch. I’ll take Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank and Sly Cooper over Halo and Gears any day.

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