On the first day of ES 2013, both Microsoft and Sony unveiled their new gaming consoles the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 respectively. While this, at first glance, would seem a battle of two heavyweights introducing new consoles to the public at nearly the exact same time, this battle may have been over before it even began. The reason, of course, goes back to last week when Microsoft announced a set of draconian rules on its potential clientele.
On June 6, Microsoft announced, to the chagrin of many gamers, that the XBox One will need to be connected to the internet at least once a day in order to function. While this won’t affect too many people, it’s just plain silly. No longer will people be able to take their consoles on, say, a vacation to a remote fishing cabin and play HALO. Even games that can be played against the machine and not in multi-player mode will strangely require an internet connection.
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Worse for the hardcore gamer was confirmation that you won’t be able to loan games to your friends. That’s not entirely accurate, you will be able to loan games to your friends…but only once. After that point, the game will be disabled.
Additionally, second-hand games will only be available for resale at retail locations with the expressed consent of Microsoft and the game’s developer.
Tempering these rules a bit is the fact that you can share games with up to ten members of your XBox “family.”
My guess is that XBox and Microsoft have destroyed all goodwill with hardcore gamers, goodwill that may never be recovered.
PlayStation 4: Price A $100 Price Advantage
That was last week, yesterday both companies unveiled their consoles and their price points. When each released its last console Sony spotted Microsoft a $100 price point advantage. This time, Microsoft’s XBox One will cost $100 more than Sony’s product.
When you couple this with the ill-will that Microsoft brought on itself with its set of rules, it seems, at least on the surface, that Microsoft will seriously struggle to challenge Sony with the XBox One.
The only conceivable way back for Microsoft is with its game offerings. It will need a catalog of games that makes potential buyers look past the sharing issues and higher price on the Xbox.
While doubtful, it remains inside the realm of possibilities. Have a look at the various games that Microsoft showed through trailers yesterday here.