I am sure that the events that took place at E3 were the first instance in which the gaming community has been capable of coming to a general consensus regarding the perpetual console war: the Xbox One’s presentation was a disappointment to all gamers. From its VCR-esque appearance, to the incontrovertibly ridiculous DRM (Digital Rights Management) provisions, the Xbox One has left a sour taste in all of our mouths, even the diehard Xbox fanboys. Microsoft had intended to steal the show at E3 by presenting a series of revolutionary autonomous technologies built into the Xbox One; however, the fact that the Xbox One would require a continuous round-the-clock Internet connection in order to perform rudimentary functions that the PS4 can easily do (see Sony’s further domination of Microsoft here) led to a mass migration of supporters of Microsoft into the welcoming arms of Sony. The global disdain of the Xbox One is evident in the myriad of anti-Microsoft memes being posted across Internet. In one week, the Xbox went from being a viable belligerent in Internet “console war” to the laughing stock of the gaming community. However, Microsoft has noticed this shift in the gaming community’s climate, and has decided to do something about it in order to make a brazen 180 towards success.
Microsoft announced earlier this week that they have made some much-needed changes to the DRM provisions of the Xbox One; in particular, the 24-hour Internet connectivity provision, and the stringent restrictions on previously used video games. Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, stated in a press release “An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games; after a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360. Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360. In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.” (You can read the rest of the press release here)
We can deduce from the preceding statement that Mr. Mattrick recognized the impending failure of the Xbox One console, is not dogmatic about the marketing strategy of the upcoming console, and earnestly wanted to address the concerns of the consumer. Who knows what Microsoft was hoping to accomplish with that resounding display of ignorance and sheer disregard of the everyday consumer at E3? Fortunately, Microsoft has made a turn in the right direction. This reversal of the ridiculous DRM provisions associated with the Xbox One provides some hope for the future of Microsoft’s fledgling console. Besides the provisions that evoked so much ridicule and disdain, the Xbox One is actually a revolutionary console that is essentially on par with the PS4 in terms of hardware specifications (the unnecessary provisions only shrouded this potential).
Both consoles will have a subscription service (Playstation Plus and Xbox Live), both are equipped with 500 GB hard drives, both will come with 8GB of RAM (although PS4’s GDDR5 beats out the Xbox One’s standard DDR3), and both will have top the line, 8-core CPUs. The only factor that will determine the winner of this war of the consoles is whether or not Microsoft can win back the loyalty of its previously loyal fanbase.