Will Sony finally have to start worrying about the console war now that Microsoft retracts there DRM policies?
Earlier specs for Microsoft's new console caused an outcry like never before seen in the gaming community. This made the Xbox One’s future seem bleak, with little chance to compete with the PS4 if they didn’t retract these policies. But back peddling on such a massive issue can sometimes cause a company or product to stumble and fail just as badly if not handled right. The console war has only just begun, and Microsoft is already changing tactics.
Microsoft has announced that they have “Been listening to the people’s complaints” and are now changing some of the features of the Xbox One. This seems to be an overall a smart, if somewhat risky, move for Microsoft. They have announced that many of the policies that alienated gamer during the Xbox One’s unveiling will be replaced with the more stranded, current traditions of how gaming works. There will no longer be mandatory, once-every-24-hours, internet checks. So you can play offline as long as you want without worrying about your Xbox suddenly shutting down on your and refusing to play games until you can get it hooked back up to the internet. There will be no restrictions on sharing your games with friends or the buying and selling of used games. They also mentioned that a previously promised feature of the Xbox One, the ability to share and sell digital games to a certain extent, will no longer be available. This is not surprising since all of the invasive privacy measures were the justification for this feature. There is still the issue of the High price range and the mandatory Kinect, a smart camera that is always on in some way or another.
But is this all too little too late? Microsoft alienated and offended many gamers with their early responses to the outcry against the DRM policies. It’s too early to say for sure, but even with these retractions of policy on Microsoft’s part, this still looks like Sony’s game to lose. The PS4 is a cheaper system with a bit more kick. It got a massive head start due to its gamer friendly set up, it doesn’t force you to buy a camera you may never use; it has many strong exclusive titles in the works, and has promised to improve many of its older features. Its future is looking bright, but while defeat seems unlikely, isn’t impossible. Before launch their respective launch the PSP seemed like it was going to destroy Nintendo’s DS, but the DS and its brother the 3DS have completely defeated Sony’s PSP and PSVita. Given the somewhat fickle nature of gamers and how important 3rd party support is at the end of the day to a console’s success, It’s almost impossible to say what will end up winning before both products are released to the public, especially now that the Xbox One is fighting on a more even playing field.