Xbox? Done.

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Digital versions of a product are good if you are running out of space to store things. I have actual piles of DVDs, CDs and books that I don't have anywhere to put.

It does get my goat having to pay again for Sonic 2 the Megadrive version just because I don't want to have to get my console out again (SEGA consoles are notorious for stopping working, my Dreamcast had to have a hole drilled in it to let the demons out.)

I have not really used Steam, but have friends who use it and play a lot of games over the service.

I bought a XBox 360 as my computer is for editing photos on and not a gaming PC.

RikuoAmero:
They boot up their console, browse to the game, and a big error message is plastered all over the screen. A comparison to Steam can sorta be made, but one doesn't need to pay for a subscription to Steam to still be able to play games they were given for free. I got the original Portal for free when Valve offered it for free a while back. With PSN+, I'm basically obligated to continue paying, not because it adds any value or I get something great in return, but so that my games aren't being held hostage.

But they aren't your games. If you get games free from PS+, you're renting them. They never say that you own those games, but that you get to play them as long as you have a PS+ account. You never paid for them at all, you just paid a rental subscription fee similar to Netflix.(This also includes some other services and discounts, but we're talking about the games here.)

Uriel-238:

themilo504:
My biggest fear is that one day steam will disappear, taking away most of my game collection

Being one of the first groups try this, Valve actually has an apocalypse contingency plan, at which point they'll provide time for you to download and back-up your files, and they'll provide a universal unlock.

The real fear is if Steam got bought out by someone else, but their price is well beyond what EA offered.

238U

Interestingly, Valve isn't a public company. That is, it isn't floated: you can't buy shares of Valve. Valve would have to sell steam in one go, willingly, for another party to take it over.

Leather Ryu Hayabusa is videogames' saving grace. That is all.

The added achievements for watching TV seems more of an oddity than anything else. Are they trying to fight some sort of TV watcher exodus? The way X-Box handles achievements was notorious for spoiling games and damaging immersion. Not to mention they were incredibly disruptive in just about every game except for multiplayer sections: possibly the only place where such a system is justified.

Steam handles the achievements the best due to the neutral coloration of the pop up in the lower right hand corner and the fact the games don't seem to be flooded with them. I haven't played enough games on the PS3 to have much of an opinion on that one.

In my experience with digital books and music, namely through the struggling providers known as Zune Music Market Place and the Sony Reader Store, when things folded, when publishers had copy right issues with the companies, depending on the circumstances they either 1. Unlocked the digital media to use on any device I wanted. or 2. Refunded my money when the digital media was removed from my collection.

This is what I would hope video games companies would do too. Fingers crossed they unlock the digital media for customers to continue using if they fold, sell the rights off to another company to publish(in fact, Sear's photography sold the rights of their works to Walmart recently, so customers can continue to get copies of their photos) but at the very least they have to refund the customer.

This whole scenario has been something I've argued with older generations for years now. It is a major cultural change, a different way of looking at the copy right laws thanks to digital media in all of it's forms. In technicalities, it is illegal by federal law to be reselling your used games, movies, music and various arts such as posters/statues/photography. You own a physical copy of something someone else created, it is not yours to resell, remake, or claim as your own, the person who worked hard to create the item should get credit at the very least in the form of a copy right release. That is the nature of copy right laws. You can't spend several hundred on a professional photography, then expect to just go to Walgreen's and make cheap copies of their work. They have to give you written permission to do it, or you've given them the right to sue your ass and Walgreen's. It used to be you had to go directly to the photography for copies of pictures they created for you, yes, they are more expensive than going to Walgreen's, but you are paying for the quality print and work someone created. If you want Walgreen's cheaper price, take the pictures yourself, then you have full rights to do whatever you want. Cause you created it.

The whole reason selling used movies and music aren't a huge thing like used games are, is because buying new is far more affordable, and you would be getting something new, unscratched and untouched by someone else. Still wrapped in a shiny plastic. Things balanced out for those industries. Movies and music are far more focused on illegal digital copies of their works. Video games on the other hand, have allowed the used game market to thrive because they have continually kept the cost of their games above what many people can afford. If they want to kill the used game market, they will need to drop the price of their new games if they expect the customers to start buying new. That will be the easiest way of doing it without inconveniencing and pissing off customers.

crackfool:
For all the outrage on Xbox One games being "services, not products", there is very little when it comes to Steam, a retailer that has been selling "services" that exist only at the whim of a single company for the past few years. Most will say that the reason Steam gets very little backlash is because games on Steam are often put on sale for a fraction of their MSRPs.

Which means that the issue really has less to do with "services vs products" but rather price. It seems that consumers don't mind buying games whose functionality are tied to a single company so long as the price is right. But who's to say that the pricing model of the next generation will follow that of the current generation (in which nearly every retail game is $60, and every digital game is $10-20)?

But steam games travel with me to my new pc... xbox '360' to 'one' ones don't. Backwards compatibility ain't for the cool kids. Steam is cool as so far never taken a game from me that i cannot twist into working on my newer pc's.

It all stinks of forgetting about this being a consumer industry and customer services, they only focus on tricks that do the best for them and spin it to make it seem ok.

Tono Makt:
Hmm. Interesting points about the loss of Ownership. Unfortunately it seems that only the older generations (ie: Gen X and older) actually have this as a general point of view; younger generations seem to be (in general) fairly OK with the idea of not needing to physically own something to be able to use it.

Can you imagine how boned Microsoft would be if some clever, evil, hackerish-thingie-whateverthey'recallingthemselvestoday-guy got into the XBox servers and simply went "Delete - All" to all the user information that the XBox servers had? All the downloads, all the XBox Live ID's, all of that, on main and all backup servers? Didn't steal anything, just deleted it all?

It never does cease to amaze me how the younger generations were so easily changed into such conservative corporate defenders.

It's like they don't even care they don't own a library which will disappear once the generation is over.

IamLEAM1983:
This, the fact that the [B]Wii U's Amazon sales have skyrocketed[/b], UK polls showing that the Xbone has been given a very frigid reception, and the fact that my one industry buddy is now considering jumping ship as a consumer, from consoles to a desktop PC - all of that shows me that Microsoft and Sony are probably trying to bite more than they can chew.

Well, what do you know. The Wii U isn't 'doing badly' people were just reluctant to invest in a new console because Nintendo got to the next generation a little too quickly, and they didn't know what Microsoft and Sony had to offer.
To be honest, other than that YouTube douchebaggery, Nintendo hasn't done ANYTHING anti-customer with it's products (that I can think of). Backwards compatibility, firmware updates done when YOU decide, complete lack of DRM and online passes... Hell, maybe they'll actually use those points in their future advertisements.

New Troll:

My biggest concern is even though Microsoft seems to be doing everything wrong, I just know once the next Halo (or insert whatever other big title here) comes out the system itself will be selling well. Most buyers don't care about "facts" and are only concerned with getting their "fix."

That's probably why they're already saying "Look! We're going to have COD on our console! And it's going to have a dog that radiates emotions!" People aren't going to care about the bullshit being crammed down their throats, they just want another yearly installment of the same freaking game.

IamLEAM1983:
Pretty much this, Izanagi. This, the fact that the Wii U's Amazon sales have skyrocketed, UK polls showing that the Xbone has been given a very frigid reception, and the fact that my one industry buddy is now considering jumping ship as a consumer, from consoles to a desktop PC - all of that shows me that Microsoft and Sony are probably trying to bite more than they can chew.

I don't doubt that all the platforms will eventually have the same amount of evangelists and fanboys, but I wouldn't be surprised if initial sales for the new Xbox end up disappointing market researchers.

That is, assuming the community has a good long-term memory. Which it doesn't always have.

Wheres Sony coming into this? They haven't pulled the service line at all, you buy a PS4 disc and you own the hard copy that still works. Nintendo are also keeping to the proper system, it really is just Microsoft trying to bully their fans from last gen to roll over and take it since they have/had the biggest fanbase for the 360.

Webb Myers:
I'm not sure what to think about someone complaining about entertainment being turned from a product into a service. The very notion of video-entertainment being a product (something you can buy and keep forever) is only about 30 years old. Plays, movies, and television were scheduled events that you planned around and savored. Books and records have existed for a while, but those are still much cheaper to produce (especially now) than a video performance.

Those action figures he talked about were valuable precisely because kids COULDN'T purchase the entertainment on an ongoing basis. If you can buy the DVD set and watch it over and over, why would you need an action figure or doll that you have to move yourself. Professional TV writers obviously have much better imaginations than kids so we should be happy to pay for the enhanced experience </hyperbole>.

From an archival perspective, sure, it's risky having the continued existence of a work be dependent on the solvency of its creators (even though that work will certainly be sold on as an asset in bankruptcy). But having those works be continually available to everyone cheapens them. Whether "cheapens" means "horay! more people can see this great and worthy thing" or "this will take up space on your shelf for years even though you got bored and quit in the first hour" is a question I'll let the media (social and otherwise) sort out for me.

To me though, that's exactly why this is disturbing. I still cling to the idea that, as cyclical as history is, there is a sense of progress and liberalization that has and should accompany those cyclical periods. The advent of media-as-a-product is precisely the kind of progress that engenders freedom from coercion, both actual and ideal. The fact that the power elite is attempting to reverse this process (through both capitalist and socialist channels, one in our products and the other in our worldview) is profoundly concerning to me.

themilo504:
My biggest fear is that one day steam will disappear, taking away most of my game collection

That will never happen. Even if Steam DID die, Valve has said they'll disconnect the DRM so you can still play your library.

RicoADF:
Wheres Sony coming into this? They haven't pulled the service line at all, you buy a PS4 disc and you own the hard copy that still works. Nintendo are also keeping to the proper system, it really is just Microsoft trying to bully their fans from last gen to roll over and take it since they have/had the biggest fanbase for the 360.

Oh, I'm sorry, then. I figured that with Sony being one of the Big Three and the one that's most likely to be stuck in a toe-to-toe match against the Xbone, it'd be fair to assume them to come up with something that's equally draconian.

They haven't, but I still can't get over the "Share" button. To me, it should be renamed as the "Brag Pointlessly" button.

IamLEAM1983:

RicoADF:
Wheres Sony coming into this? They haven't pulled the service line at all, you buy a PS4 disc and you own the hard copy that still works. Nintendo are also keeping to the proper system, it really is just Microsoft trying to bully their fans from last gen to roll over and take it since they have/had the biggest fanbase for the 360.

Oh, I'm sorry, then. I figured that with Sony being one of the Big Three and the one that's most likely to be stuck in a toe-to-toe match against the Xbone, it'd be fair to assume them to come up with something that's equally draconian.

They haven't, but I still can't get over the "Share" button. To me, it should be renamed as the "Brag Pointlessly" button.

I agree the share button will be mostly useless (unless you make a fb page to keep up with fellow gaming mates, guess theres a use there when you have funny experiences). For the most part I doubt I'll use it, but I must hand it to Sony that they've focused on gaming, on making their system do that well without tieing the customer's hands in any way and the few new features (like share) are optional extras for your games rather than unrelated media crap (aka xbox).

I wrote a whole blog post about the things talked about in the article. It's basically that digital goods aren't the problem, it's that our economic system tries to monetize something that is abundantly available to everyone through piracy. If the clouds dies and your entire gaming library with it, it isn't the clouds fault, it's that it (and by extension you) is owned and tied to the company that made it.

http://lostinthezone.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/response-to-xbox-done-piracy-has-a-valid-point-you-know/

Very well written article Bob, lacking much of the paranoid hyperbole of some others. As a PC gamer for the most part (and a Sony gamer for the rest) I'm glad that, for the moment at least, I'm safe from this madness. We can only hope that those less tech-savvy don't blindly go out and buy the xbone just 'because'.

My hope is that Steam stick with their current philosophy and continue to make content available for reasonable prices and a DRM that allows you to play your content on any machine you choose. They may not be physical copies but at least I feel like I own my games from Steam, rather than have permission to use them; often picking them up at prices that don't leave me out of pocket.

Until recently, I didn't this a company could do more to alienate gamers than EA. Oh my, how wrong was I?

This is a sad evolution, but it was bound to happen. You have to understand that 'ownership' of media doesn't exist. What you paid for when you buy a CD isn't the disk (way too cheap to justify the price of a music CD) or the information stored on it (since information is so easy to copy, it's supply is practically infinite so it inherently has no real value), it's the permission to use the disk. And while the physical carrier technically becomes your property, the information stored on it isn't; even after you bought it, there are still other people telling you what you can and can't do with it, so you can't reasonably see your own music, film or video game collections as your property. You're not allowed to share your 'property', you're not allowed to lend out your 'property', you're technically not even allowed to let others listen to your music or watch your films when they're in your house. The only reasonable conclusion is that it's just not your property.

The whole concept of 'buying' media was a lie to begin with. Publishers could pretend you were buying their stuff as long as the carriers were physical, because it's easy to see a music CD as an item you can own, but now that physical carriers are becoming obsolete, the true nature of copyright law, in all its arbitrarity, becomes more clear. Don't make the mistake of thinking this is a new thing. It's an old thing becoming more apparent.

Load up your gaming PC's!
Paint your tabletop models!
Dust off your boardgames!
Find a creepy guy who can GM tabletop RPG's!

There's plenty of gaming to be had, even without those overpriced frankenstein consoles. I believe a crash in videogames would, eventually, revitalize the industry and maybe then we can move forward again, instead of going sideways all the time.

Consumers care about value, that's why it will never actually become that bad. People will buy almost anything, not caring what horrible practices are behind it, but they must want it first. And say what you will, publishers will never have the kind of power that grants them this kind of immunity. It is too easy to become a competitor, as Microsoft will find out very swiftly.
The world of games is no longer one where you can 'lock-in' people on an entire system. On a single game, maybe, but for systems it is suicide to even attempt.

And once a company (be it nvidia, valve or someone else) develops a good thin client that'll stream your games to your TV with minimum lag, the console-game will be kind of over imo.

I don't see it so bleak, sooner or later all the games, music and movies, consoles games come to GOG.com.

It may take 30 years or more, but it's only a question of when.
They managed to re-release System Shock 2, that was a fundamental shift in Digital History.

kingmob:
Consumers care about value, that's why it will never actually become that bad. People will buy almost anything, not caring what horrible practices are behind it, but they must want it first. And say what you will, publishers will never have the kind of power that grants them this kind of immunity. It is too easy to become a competitor, as Microsoft will find out very swiftly.
The world of games is no longer one where you can 'lock-in' people on an entire system. On a single game, maybe, but for systems it is suicide to even attempt.

And once a company (be it nvidia, valve or someone else) develops a good thin client that'll stream your games to your TV with minimum lag, the console-game will be kind of over imo.

The day a company develops a thin client that will stream games to our computer is the day that company goes bankrupt because no one wants to have games as a service. We already have a bad enough time with DRM being shoved onto retail level purchases: a game streaming service would be the worst possible DRM a company could shill. Plus, we'd have so pay for the servers those games are running on via some kind of subscription service and likely still pay for each individual game we want to access.

Companies are seeing MMOs and thinking they can apply this always online aspect to every other type of game when this is NOT the case.

You really hit the nail on the head with "permission" over "ownership". When I pay money for something, I better damn well be able to do whatever the fuck I want with it.

Well, Bob, when Nintendo eventually adopts this business model too, and there's NO way to legally play the latest Mario title EXCEPT on Nintento's cloud, will you buy a PC game that has gameplay sorta like Mario instead?

If the answer is "no," you're part of the problem.

And, yeah, in the future, PC (regardless of operating system) is going to be the ONLY platform where your game is still "yours."

Assuming it's not on Steam, of course.

Good lord we are fucked.

Hear, hear!!! (while pounding on my table).

Are we still talking about video games and other forms of entertainment here? Because even Microsoft knows that if their product is too impractical or inconvenient for the majority of consumers, they will choose to simply do something else for fun. Really, as much as I hate to say it (and as much as you will hate me for saying it), we will not die or go crazy if we stop playing video games due to how much commitment the company that distributes them will demand from us in order to play them. We will just do something else.

And, as Bob implied, our Gameboys, DSs and PS2s will still continue working for many, many years.

Fifth rule of gold

"Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment."

EA, Konami with Dark Souls II Advertising "going guns blazing" and Microsoft might do well to heed it.

IamLEAM1983:
Pretty much this, Izanagi. This, the fact that the Wii U's Amazon sales have skyrocketed, UK polls showing that the Xbone has been given a very frigid reception, and the fact that my one industry buddy is now considering jumping ship as a consumer, from consoles to a desktop PC - all of that shows me that Microsoft and Sony are probably trying to bite more than they can chew.

I don't doubt that all the platforms will eventually have the same amount of evangelists and fanboys, but I wouldn't be surprised if initial sales for the new Xbox end up disappointing market researchers.

That is, assuming the community has a good long-term memory. Which it doesn't always have.

There was a thread on the WiiU's "skyrocketing sales" on Amazon. I'm pretty sure it was debunked at fraudulent due to a bad source.

Read this thread:http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.408774-Amazon-UK-Wii-U-sales-rank-jump-by-875-following-Xbox-One-reveal?page=1

It went from "Wii U sales on Amazon up 875%" to "Wii U rank on Amazon up 875%" to "Wait...nvm...the Wii U's rank went up 129% from one store on Amazon." Hardly skyrocketing sales.

Edit: Looking further into that thread it turns out that the 129% number was actually a lower rank that the Wii U sales were the day before. Falling from 160%. Yeah, there was no rise in Wii U sales.

For me the Xbox was done when the 360 was proved completely unreliable.
I've known about 20 people in real life who bought the system and the LEAST times they replaced it was once.
The majority had to buy the console at least 3 times over (one person 7 times over)

That said I really don't think the Xbox is done with recent announcements. Gamers are notoriously bad at voting with their wallets. We'll see hate and rage on the forums for months/years but in the end it'll still be a tight console race against the PS4.

Personally I won't give Xbox One a second thought until at least 3 years pass and I'm confident the console is reasonably reliable.

themilo504:
My biggest fear is that one day steam will disappear, taking away most of my game collection

Except all Steam DRM is easily crackable. It's pretty much only there to ensure integrity of the multiplayer and their SteamWorks system as well as appease various publishers. Valve knows this and does nothing to really change it because 1, they know it's a waste of their time and money, and 2, because if for some reason the company collapses and they can't make good on their statement to unlock their DRM the pirates can easily do so. Everybody wins. Except Sony and Microsoft.

Sanunes:

Vigormortis:

Uriel-238:

The real fear is if Steam got bought out by someone else, but their price is well beyond what EA offered.

238U

It's rumored EA offered Newell and company at least three billion dollars for ownership of the Valve brand, even before Steam's prevalence.

Valve turned it down. Not because it wasn't enough but because of what it would mean for the company. The change in direction. The strict corporate structure. The adherence to the whims of the stock holders instead of to the customers, the artists, and engineers.

Newell himself said, and I paraphrase, "Should it come down to that; having to sell the company; we would rather just close our doors for good than give up what makes us us."

This is not to say they can't or won't change their minds, should the right off come in. Even so, you have to admire the conviction to some degree.

I don't know how true the war is between EA and Valve, but if Valve really has gone to developers and said that "you must sell your DLC a specific way" I consider them no better then what Microsoft is rumored to be doing here. I have been going back to try and find a few articles, but the statements from Microsoft change so much depending on what article you are reading I am not even sure how much of it is true and just guessing from people that aren't completely up to speed on what the current implementation is.

The only thing they have done regarding DLC is that it must be offered on Steam as well as whatever other venues it is sold in. So if it is sold in game on a game running from Steam, than that link should redirect to the Steam DLC page. They never said that Steam games should only be compatible with Steam DLC or anything else.

That entire froufrourah came about because EA tried to be assholes by slipping in a buy DLC link that directed to their page from inside DA:O. So they quite rationally changed it for all games going forward. At which point EA pushes Origin even harder and then eventually yanks their new stuff from Steam.

Colt47:

kingmob:
Consumers care about value, that's why it will never actually become that bad. People will buy almost anything, not caring what horrible practices are behind it, but they must want it first. And say what you will, publishers will never have the kind of power that grants them this kind of immunity. It is too easy to become a competitor, as Microsoft will find out very swiftly.
The world of games is no longer one where you can 'lock-in' people on an entire system. On a single game, maybe, but for systems it is suicide to even attempt.

And once a company (be it nvidia, valve or someone else) develops a good thin client that'll stream your games to your TV with minimum lag, the console-game will be kind of over imo.

The day a company develops a thin client that will stream games to our computer is the day that company goes bankrupt because no one wants to have games as a service. We already have a bad enough time with DRM being shoved onto retail level purchases: a game streaming service would be the worst possible DRM a company could shill. Plus, we'd have so pay for the servers those games are running on via some kind of subscription service and likely still pay for each individual game we want to access.

Companies are seeing MMOs and thinking they can apply this always online aspect to every other type of game when this is NOT the case.

You misunderstand. The streaming is done from your own computer/server, not theirs. It'll take some time until people understand it for sure, but then the value will be obvious. You no longer have to choose between pc games and console games, you'll have both available. Consoles will never be able to compete in price, convenience and useability.

kingmob:

Colt47:

kingmob:
Consumers care about value, that's why it will never actually become that bad. People will buy almost anything, not caring what horrible practices are behind it, but they must want it first. And say what you will, publishers will never have the kind of power that grants them this kind of immunity. It is too easy to become a competitor, as Microsoft will find out very swiftly.
The world of games is no longer one where you can 'lock-in' people on an entire system. On a single game, maybe, but for systems it is suicide to even attempt.

And once a company (be it nvidia, valve or someone else) develops a good thin client that'll stream your games to your TV with minimum lag, the console-game will be kind of over imo.

The day a company develops a thin client that will stream games to our computer is the day that company goes bankrupt because no one wants to have games as a service. We already have a bad enough time with DRM being shoved onto retail level purchases: a game streaming service would be the worst possible DRM a company could shill. Plus, we'd have so pay for the servers those games are running on via some kind of subscription service and likely still pay for each individual game we want to access.

Companies are seeing MMOs and thinking they can apply this always online aspect to every other type of game when this is NOT the case.

You misunderstand. The streaming is done from your own computer/server, not theirs. It'll take some time until people understand it for sure, but then the value will be obvious. You no longer have to choose between pc games and console games, you'll have both available. Consoles will never be able to compete in price, convenience and useability.

It sounds like you're talking about remote play using a device like the PS Vita and that's far different than what people are complaining about here. Also, I work with networking a lot so it's kind of frustrating when I see companies trying stupid ideas like centralized GPU servers.

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