Thursday, June 6, 2013

Get Fucked, Microsoft

I'm not supposed to be so outwardly negative.

I'm supposed to be responsible.  Supposed to try and take everything objectively and lay it out that way.  Supposed to have a certain level of separation between the news and my opinion of it.  I like to think I accomplish that more often than not, whether that's actually true or not.

Tonight is the exception.

Allll those things we were told in 'rumors' about the XBone that made it seem like this horribly ill-conceived idea that nobody really should've expected to go along with because they are that dumb?  All of those things that are so unbelievable consumer un-friendly that it has entered a realm of absurdity to assume they were true?  All of those things that should, by all logic and rights, be a fucking death wish for the product?

They are all true.

Internet Check-In Every 24 Hours or else your gaming console cannot play games?  ConfirmedOfficially on
With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies
Thank fucking Christ for the under-lined, though.  I mean, if you don't have internet for an extended period of time, at least you can use your $500 GAME CONSOLE to watch a fucking movie!  Because who needs to blow off steam with a video game when you can't do anything but watch TV/movies or read physical copies of things that this type of product specifically expects you to eschew.  Why buy DVDs/Blu-Rays when Netflix is right there with all sorts of stuff (Mogs Note:  Netflix does not actually have all sorts of stuff that you want.  Did you hear about South Park and old Bond movies being de-listed?  DIGITAL FUTURE!) until oh no, it's not right there because the fucking internet is out which is a common fucking occurrence.  But gaming?  Every 24 hours if you want to play it, which is fine and dandy if you live in wonderland where your internet ever ever ever goes out for more than an hour or so at a time.  Less so if you live in the real world.

Is giving your copy of a game to a friend or a store more complicated than it needs to be?  ConfirmedAnd on
Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers.  Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.

In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers.
Cutting the bullshit out, what this all means is that 'certain retailers' (Meaning, likely GameStop, -maybe- Best Buy and/or Wal-Mart since they're in the Used business) will be able to take your XBone games when you want to trade them in and it will likely be fine.  And you can buy that game used and it will also probably be fine, maybe.  Because third-parties will be allowed to decide every single thing that happens with their game.  EA decides they don't want you to be able to sell your games?  Well, they opt out of supporting that.  That simple.  Activision wants to assign a transfer fee instead of just blocking resale entirely?  Hell, they're more than able to do that.  The optimist in me wants to say that most companies will maintain the status quo since, well, that is entirely possible with this method....I think, but the optimist in me is stupid.  Also, it...kind of directly clashes with something else that's being hailed as 'the good news' in all of this.
Your friends and family, your guests and acquaintances get unlimited access to all of your games.  Anyone can play your games on your console--regardless of whether you are logged in or their relationship to you.

Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games.  You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.
I'm gonna be honest.  I don't know what the fuck this is, but I certainly don't think it's as good as they're making it seem.  There's absolutely no way the XBone is designed in such a way that you can associate your account with someone else, stating that they're your brother or what have you, and then only one of you has to ever buy one copy of a game ever.  Mostly because it's this exact scenario that this draconian bullshit is meant to do away with.  Things like this, allowing people to experience a game without paying a dime for it, that is literally the only reason for this whole non-used game bullshit, so to say that it's possible leaves me wondering exactly what the catch is.  Normally, I'd say, you know "They have to be signed into your account", but the first part kind of cancels that out...somewhat.  I dunno, maybe you have to initially sign in as you, but then they can sign out or something.  I don't know, but that is just -weird- and goes completely against everything else.  There -has- to be a caveat.

Especially since this is still true.
Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.
Minding that the publishers -also- likely have control over this area, which means you will likely -never see it implemented-, this carries the company line....directly away from that last bit.  So you can let up to ten friends and family members play your games with 'no strings attached' but if you want to give a game to them, you can only do it with that -one- friend (they can't give it to anyone else), and they have to have been your friend for a month for it to activate?  In what world is this step necessary when the other thing is so wide open and friendly and such?  Maybe it's just me.  Maybe I'm just not seeing the correlation which makes this good and that bad.  Maybe I'm the only one who thinks they managed to fuck up one single thing in their otherwise clear and concise "Fuck you" letter to everyone.

That's just me, of course.  If you're in a position that the XBone's short-comings will never cause an issue for you, well, more power to you.  If you're -also- in a position where you want to support it regardless of all this, well, I can't stop you.  Unfortunately.  This shit is just damaging and there is a very, very real chance that absolutely no one who matters will care.  Because all of this used game business is -likely- a Microsoft power play since we haven't heard word one of a similar thing from the PS4, yet we knew all about this for the XBone months in advance.  I think I can't say it any better than I did on the Penny Arcade boards.
The way I'm thinking of things, it seems like Microsoft might think this was their way to keep the train going from this generation. Yes, the Wii out-sold them by miles and miles, but to Microsoft, competition was Sony. For a -long- time, they completely out-paced Sony and only here towards the mid-end was Sony actually catching up. Still, things like Sports games, big multiplayer focus games all sell better on the 360 because of whatever reason you could think of - 360 was out first, People really dig XBox Live, etc. etc. But with this new round, they know they're launching around the same time, so the slate is 'clean' and they have to have something to drive it.

So they go, "Games". And how do you get games? By sucking up to Publishers/Developers.

It is entirely possible that this is Microsoft's baby because it is a fucking huge power play. If you set up this system, it's enticing to the Publishers/Developers which brings them around for big exclusives (Respawn's thing) and great partnerships to make your version of a game more enticing (EA's Special Partnership). As many, many, many, many, many companies have proven time and time again, people who have objections about a product because this and that really don't matter in the least so long as that product is shiny enough to make a larger amount of people buy it and not care.

So, really, it is very possible that Sony will come out and win our hearts by saying "Off-line always is totally viable, no DRM", because the way Microsoft figures it, they've already won our wallets if that is the case. Barring big, big backlashes (not a bunch of people being angry on internet forums) that -might actually be the case-, since if you have the publishers, you have the games, and if you have the games, you have the customers.
For all you folks going "Oh, the PS4 is going to be just as bad!", well, there is your scenario that suggests it might not be.  We'll find out for sure at E3, hopefully, but Microsoft is going to be there in force with a load of exclusives that I'm willing to bet aren't -all- from EA.  What Sony shows off as exclusive will likely just be because of good old-fashioned money, which might just be the only card they have in hand.  Sure, maybe we can hope that the XBone won't do so hot, thus informing everyone involved that we don't want this kind of bullshit, but I'm really not expecting very many people to ignore the allure of Halo 5, Respawn's thing and, well, other Halos.  So I'm not really too hopeful for this generation.  But hell, I'll be set with my PS3, Vita and 3DS if nothing else, though I imagine a PS4 will eventually find its way into my collection, since I don't foresee any of this bullshit landing on it.

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