Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Microsoft Reverses Course on Xbox One

Just when the controversy over Microsoft’s update to the Xbox 360 couldn’t possibly get any juicer, it did.

A few days ago, Microsoft retracted two of their more upsetting features for the Xbox One – that of a required always-on connection and the inability to play any used games. In a statement by Don Mattrick, an Xbox executive, the company reversed the decision that insisted on DRM policy for used and shared games and that the 24 hour online requirement was nixed, meaning players can take their Xbox One anywhere.

Well mainstream opinion would cite the ever growing howls of pain, gloom, and doom from gamers who, even before the official word came down in May, had known that things were not happy in the land of Xbox games. Rumors had been swirling for months about the console needing an always on connection and that there would be no sharing of any games.

There are of course advantages for having an always on connection. Many consumers who work from home rely on their connections to keep them tied to work computers or servers. Moreover, Xbox Kinect and other extensions have been used for varied business endeavors, including teleconferencing, PowerPoint presentations, and even employee training for online contract management and other virtual tasks that integrate with

Another fact could point to the gauntlet thrown down by Sony. Weeks later, at this year’s E3, Sony unveiled their new console with the PS4, stating that gamers would never have to worry about restrictions when playing their system. Not only can gamers share and play as many used games as they want, their PS4 doesn’t need an Internet connection, and the final nail in the coffin came as the console will best the Xbox One by $100 when it hits the markets.

This double two punch could spell the downfall of an amazing looking console, but will it? So far, pre-orders for the console have ticked back up, thanks to the reversing of course, putting the console back on top on Amazon’s UK page.

While the two current kings battle it out for console rights (sorry, Wii-U), the important facet for gamers is, duh, the games. The Xbox One is coming out of the gate swinging, with the latest in game series Assassin Creed, Battlefield, Call of Duty, Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts. Halo fans rejoice as the popular game will see a new start for the One with Halo for Xbox One.

The final decision will of course go to the fans and to gamers. With this reversal, Microsoft has seen that their decisions impact a great number of people and it’s not the first time they’ve had to back pedal. The release of the new operating system, Windows 8, caught flack from users who were baffled by the new interface, mainly because the familiar Start button was no where to be found.

With the announcement of a supplemental Windows 8, Microsoft backtracked and gave users what they wanted – a Start button. Both of these are startling changes for a company that usually doesn’t retract their decisions, but both reversals come within months of product announcements and upon the backlash of angry consumers.

Who will win this round of Console Wars? We’ll have to wait until the holiday season to see who wins this battle.

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