A Winner Is You

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A Winner Is You

MovieBob doesn't think credit should be handed to anyone else but the consumers over Microsoft's recent revision of the Xbox One's features.

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We won a battle, but probably not the war.

Microsoft will probably just slip this stuff back in as an update after they've sold millions of Xbones. At that point it will be too late to say no.

call me paranoid, but i smell manipulation all over this

it was so forward and blatant and now retracted because 'we love you gamers'

big picture time, when all's said and done.. seems to me that microsoft is simply selling the same product they always have, but managed to twist the market and play mind games with people so well that they don't know what they want anymore

I mean, damn it's a masterstroke but i still don't buy it.

shame others will really

Don't let Cliff Bleszinski hear you saying the consumers made this happen. Apparently we're the devil and the cause of everything bad that happens in the industry.

*strong, slow clap*

I didn't think about it that way, but you're right Bob. I think that the gaming community is too quick to rally behind Sony as the winner, the champion, the hero...but this is, and most importantly it should be recognized as, a win for consumer rights and freedoms; it's a message that corporations (particularly those that produce non-necessities) need US, and not the other way around.

I hope that consumers and corporate leaders remember that.

BostonBob, can I have you read this to me while we are in a locker room at half-time?

Nobody "won" anything and anyone who says otherwise isn't looking a the big picture. We've just entered the age of microsoft, sony and nintendo becoming political parties.

I'm disgusted at all this back patting silliness. Anyone who sees the events of the last week as a positive thing, well, I'll tell you I told you so, just saying.

Thank God someone else gets it that Sony weren't the heroes here.

Make no mistake, It's good that they took a pro-consumer stance, but it's still a reactionary one. One born of their previously anti-consumer stance just a few short years ago. They didn't go pro-consumer because they wanted a hug, they did it because they got slapped down in a similar fashion with the PS3 after making remarks like "We can charge whatever we want, our fans will buy it". The PS3 was so anti-consumer that it took them from industry leader to punch line virtually overnight. I'm glad they wised up, and I plan to support "new Sony". But it's important to remember how we got here. That way it hopefully won't happen again.

I agree that this isn't a "win", it's an "objective accomplished". There's no time to sleep on one's laurels, there's no time to grow complacent with the feelgood of this "win".

If anything, we need to keep an even stricter, more vigilant eye on the industry now. Make them realize we're watching them, and that we will stir up another mess if they think it's been long enough to try and screw us again.

I would buy new hardware that ran older games as better res with some filtering, hands down I would. But just for new games? No never I have to wait 2-3 years till prices are low enough for me to afford them. ANd thus none of my money is spent on possible online media and games offered. They are losing money by not putting in BWC, PERIOD.

I don't feel particularly jubilant as I had decided not to enter the next console generation at all, instead upgrading my video card and settling in for a long continuance of my stint as a P.C gamer. However I don't really feel that I'm neutral in this either, really it's not as though I sit on the sidelines of this as consoles, for the most part, dictate what games come too P.C and the quality of those games, as almost all games are made for consoles first and then ported too P.C

So, in that state of mind, I was feeling rather concerned about the Kinect specifically. If this is going too be anything like the Wii, where too develop for the console you MUST put in a tiny token feature that exploits the motion controls, that's going to be annoying. I don't want too have to buy a... P.C Kinect or whatever, too play games that were developed for the Xbox One, to take advantage of core features. Too that, I am still hoping that the requirement for Kinect too always be on is dropped before release as well.

The only reason in my mind that they included that requirement too begin with is because they knew no developer in their right mind would waste time and money developing extra little bits of a game too take advantage of the Kinect if they didn't -HAVE- too, and that concerns me.

Sony isn't the hero here...

I would like to interject that I consider Sony a hero for standing up for gamers. Allow me to explain: MS showed their hand early. Sony could have just as easily gone along with it. Why not? It's good business. Walk the trail MS blazed. Regardless of how self serving Sony's intentions ultimately are in the end (to gain the customers MS lost), I consider them a hero. An "anti-hero?" Perhaps. But:

"A hero. Not the hero we deserved but the hero we needed."

The only video I can find of Jimmy Fallon and the Xbox is him drooling all over it like a tool. Where is this infamous reaction clip I keep hearing about?

While I applaud the positive appraisal to the consumers' win, I don't think we would have stood a chance if we did not have alternative choices to console gaming from both Sony and Nintendo. Microsoft backed down because of the spectre of losing sales of Xbox ONE to PS4 and Wii U this coming Holiday season, not because they are really concerned about what the consumers want. Once you have a poor initial consumer base for your console, there is little chance you will ever recuperate.

ZippyDSMlee:
They are losing money by not putting in BWC, PERIOD.

I think to them it's a necessary loss. Backward compatibility means that games from previous generations are still being bought. But, because it's from a previous generation, those sales are usually used games. Meaning they're not getting anything out of it. The are PSX games that I'm still trying to buy in order to play on my BWC PS2.

Sony had BWC on the PS3 as a selling point. Then they realized "we remove BWC and all these people just getting introduced now that want to go back and play PS2 games will have to buy PS2 consoles." Sony was still selling new PS2 consoles well into the PS3 cycle. Instead of selling a single PS3 that allowed you to play PS3 and PS2 games, you had to buy a console for each. That's why there is no BWC. It's to stimulate the sale of consoles.

That's why MS won't allow the 180 to be BWC with 360 games, even the ones you downloaded via XBLA. Why allow you to continue to play them for the price you paid, when they can goad you into buying them again on the 180? I downloaded Perfect Dark (the N64 port) on XBLA. Are you ****ting me when they say "Sorry, it's just not compatible with the 180?" Bull ****! They just want me to buy it again.

Joke's on them cuz I'd have to buy a 180 first, and that **** ain't happening.

I somewhat disagree. This is certainly a victory for consumers and not corporations, but had Sony revealed much the same requirements for the PS4 during E3, we would certainly not see the same turnaround from Microsoft right now. It would remain to be seen whether such a scenario would result in a mass exodus from Xbox/PS4 to WiiU/PC once the new consoles went on the market, but given consumer history, I remain highly skeptical.

Of course, had we not shown such outrage/dissatisfaction/etc/etc, Sony's rejection the XBOne's requirements, by itself, probably wouldn't have made Microsoft relent, either.

In short, while we are the winners, I don't think that we can claim all the credit. Microsoft took a risk, and Sony made them backtrack.

I think you're right Bob. On the other hand, prior to this it seems like Microsoft was content to push ahead and count people buying the grudgingly buy the console anyway. I don't think they predicted that Sony would turn this to their advantage the way they did and then giving them such a sound beat down as a result. It would explain the suddenness of this reversal. Still, I think it's thanks to the massive consumer response that Sony came down on the side it did so in the end it is still a victory for us.

We won only because sony was smart enough to do nothing new. And when the mainstream media finally caught on (only took them a week after E3) for them to take back their scheme.

Now all they need to do is to force every game to use cloud processing and BOOM we are back to where we started. Games that do not work without internet, vis-a-vis SIMCITY.

Microsoft will not get any money from me. Not this generation. If that means i'll miss out on some great games, so be it.

Does this mean we can get backwards compatibility too? Or does Sony have to add it first?

tdylan:

ZippyDSMlee:
They are losing money by not putting in BWC, PERIOD.

I think to them it's a necessary loss. Backward compatibility means that games from previous generations are still being bought. But, because it's from a previous generation, those sales are usually used games. Meaning they're not getting anything out of it. The are PSX games that I'm still trying to buy in order to play on my BWC PS2.

Sony had BWC on the PS3 as a selling point. Then they realized "we remove BWC and all these people just getting introduced now that want to go back and play PS2 games will have to buy PS2 consoles." Sony was still selling new PS2 consoles well into the PS3 cycle. Instead of selling a single PS3 that allowed you to play PS3 and PS2 games, you had to buy a console for each. That's why there is no BWC. It's to stimulate the sale of consoles.

That's why MS won't allow the 180 to be BWC with 360 games, even the ones you downloaded via XBLA. Why allow you to continue to play them for the price you paid, when they can goad you into buying them again on the 180? I downloaded Perfect Dark (the N64 port) on XBLA. Are you ****ting me when they say "Sorry, it's just not compatible with the 180?" Bull ****! They just want me to buy it again.

Joke's on them cuz I'd have to buy a 180 first, and that **** ain't happening.

Ture, but one of things they can do with BWC is sell a game digitally with the unit making it look like something worth getting. It took me forever to get a PS3 due to the game droughts it had.

There is just so much positive potential in BWC they should not scoff at it. Hell release system documentation or whatever to emulator groups under GNU licensing. That way the world can work on emulation and you can more easily do BWC going forward. Tho I think the PS3 is more a one off kind of thing as far as compatibility goes.

There is no real excuse for the Xbox one tho.....

Bob, I often find myself disagreeing with you on the topic of games, but not this time.

Ickabod:
We won a battle, but probably not the war.

Microsoft will probably just slip this stuff back in as an update after they've sold millions of Xbones. At that point it will be too late to say no.

Sure, it's not over yet.

But we so seldom get to taste victory, no matter how small or meaningless in the bigger picture. We shouldn't sell ourselves short when we do, lest we forget and slip back into the same mindset that causes the industry to think it's ok to try crap like the XBone. I've said it a couple times before but:

I hope the rest of the industry was watching the events surrounding the XBone. And that they took notes[1].

[1] No, not "find sneakier ways of screwing the customer over." Try again.

You sir, are at least partially wrong.

Sony is a HERO....so are we.

Why? Because if Sony had gone along with Microsoft....if both consoles had the same draconian measures, we would have had no choice if we wanted a console, but to accept them.

So yes, some people would then buy neither....but that would mean no Kingdom Hearts 3, no access to all the mutliplatform games at all...and basically it would mean that it would be a minority of people that would have actually given up console gaming all together. I would have still bought a Ps4 if they added the same restrictions for instance.

So yes, Sony could have pulled the same thing as Microsoft...and they could have gotten away with it. They are, in large part, responsible for Xbox One backing down...and they dealt them a large blow in the process

Henson:
I somewhat disagree. This is certainly a victory for consumers and not corporations, but had Sony revealed much the same requirements for the PS4 during E3, we would certainly not see the same turnaround from Microsoft right now. It would remain to be seen whether such a scenario would result in a mass exodus from Xbox/PS4 to WiiU/PC once the new consoles went on the market, but given consumer history, I remain highly skeptical.

Of course, had we not shown such outrage/dissatisfaction/etc/etc, Sony's rejection the XBOne's requirements, by itself, probably wouldn't have made Microsoft relent, either.

In short, while we are the winners, I don't think that we can claim all the credit. Microsoft took a risk, and Sony made them backtrack.

Yes, the combination was a big factor, but one has to ask: why Sony decided not to implement those kinds of policies?

They almost certainly were being pressured by the publishers to do so (publishers that ran for the hills when they saw Xbox fans simultaneously going nuclear, but still), but still they refused. This was not out of altruism, it was because we were pissed & they knew we were ready to catapult money at the company that was willing to stick it to Microsoft. If we hadn't cared about the anti-consumer policies, they'd have implemented them too

Again, it all comes back to gamers & our legendary vitriol

Ickabod:
We won a battle, but probably not the war.

Microsoft will probably just slip this stuff back in as an update after they've sold millions of Xbones. At that point it will be too late to say no.

That's why we have to keep fighting. We can't let them get away with this bullshit. We have to cause unbelieveable amounts of uproar if we want to stop them doing this shit. We've won once. That means we can do it again.

In other news that was a surprisingly uplifting and inspirational article. Thank you Bob.

No, this does matter. The corporations as a group have gotten far out of hand, not just in the games industry, but in the banking industry, the biotech industry and many others. Protesting the abuse of people by corporate powers is an absolute necessity at this time and any victory, even if it is just against the gaming industry, is good for the higher cause.

So how about we give Monsanto Corporation a sharp kick in the ass now?

Jamous:

Ickabod:
We won a battle, but probably not the war.

Microsoft will probably just slip this stuff back in as an update after they've sold millions of Xbones. At that point it will be too late to say no.

That's why we have to keep fighting. We can't let them get away with this bullshit. We have to cause unbelieveable amounts of uproar if we want to stop them doing this shit. We've won once. That means we can do it again.

We won this time because we had leverage: they didn't have our money. Once consoles are in homes they can flip the switch because at that point it's "their way or the highway." They'll already have your money. What are you going to do? "Not accept the update?" Fine. Enjoy being able to use your console for nothing but single player and blu ray. Most of the features that you'd buy an XB180 for require an internet connection. And they'd no doubt make it that you have to enable the DRM in order to get on the internet.

"But that's not what you paid for?" No worries, that's what the EULA, and its "terms subject to change without notice" clause is for.

Here's my take...

We, the gamers, are heroes... But Sony SUPPORTED us.

And, well, I think that actually does mean something. They're a business. Of course they want money. But, unlike Microsoft, they put their CUSTOMERS above the publishers, and even their own means, and decided to gamble on CUSTOMERS supporting them out of CHOICE rather than necessity. They could've just launched the PS4 with an even playing field with Xbox One, same restrictions, and a cheaper price, but instead decided that they believed in the value of the products they made, and that those products, as bought by customers, were worth supporting and not devaluing through draconian DRM and anti-consumer restrictions.

They're no saints... but they came out, in public, on a stage in front of millions, and announced to the world "we support your right to ownership". That's HUGE. They could've phrased it any other way, but they affirmed your consumer rights in the face of what was surely intense pressure to do what Microsoft did and give in to the big businesses and restrict gamer's rights.

Granted, we may have pressured them to do so, but that's exactly the point. They felt the pressure, surely, and didn't just go along with it but fully threw their support behind it to a degree I've NEVER seen a huge company do.

Even with the 180 Microsoft pulled, Sony support is unbelievably high because we all know Microsoft's lack of respect for customers, caving in ONLY when they have no alternative ("they'll do the right thing, after they've tried everything else"), while Sony began the next console generation with a message that they'll support the gamers, pick the gamers over the publishers and short-term profits, and, shockingly, customers will flock to a company that treats them with respect.

If nothing else, Microsoft's Xbox One provided me with nearly a month of constant entertainment. I'm almost sad they reversed their policies, because each morning was like Christmas where yet more bad news came out to be mocked and torn apart from the gaming community. For the first time in AGES, the fanboys by and large stopped fighting and banded together to fight policies so awful that no amount of Halo could fix them.

No we didn't.

Sony took a business advantage of the situation, simply by promising us a halfway decent product, and Microsoft had to back down out of competitiveness. Had Sony had the same DRM, the same online necessity, the same everything, then no one would have backed down.

The only things worth celebrating is that a) The PS4 was so underdeveloped that Sony could announce whatever the hell they liked, and b) They managed to convince (or lie to) upper management to not include those money making details. The games industry is an oligopoly, and the only thing remarkable here is Sony attempting to jump the pack once more.

Sony has over the years built up slightly more trust from me than Microsoft, mostly for seeming to have a better grasp of what people actually want and how to be nice to your consumer base. So the question of whether or not they would have enacted the same policies if they thought they could get away with it is one I don't think I'll ever be able to properly answer. This is still a massive win for us and a good sign of changing tides overall.

That being said, I do have one minor nitpick. While I don't certainly don't think every game has to be some grand literary masterpiece, gaming on a whole is not a toy and these companies are not toymakers.

The possibility exists for things that are nothing more then fun little diversions just as much as it exists for those grander literary works, and trying to simplify things down to one side or the other isn't good for us. Games aren't just Mario and they aren't just Journey, we should be happy about that.

Verlander:
No we didn't.

Sony took a business advantage of the situation, simply by promising us a halfway decent product, and Microsoft had to back down out of competitiveness. Had Sony had the same DRM, the same online necessity, the same everything, then no one would have backed down.

The only things worth celebrating is that a) The PS4 was so underdeveloped that Sony could announce whatever the hell they liked, and b) They managed to convince (or lie to) upper management to not include those money making details. The games industry is an oligopoly, and the only thing remarkable here is Sony attempting to jump the pack once more.

I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and ask what are these "money making details" that you feel Sony omitted?

wulfy42:
You sir, are at least partially wrong.

Sony is a HERO....so are we.

Why? Because if Sony had gone along with Microsoft....if both consoles had the same draconian measures, we would have had no choice if we wanted a console, but to accept them.

Not really. I mean, its nice that Sony didn't go that route and the response forced Microsoft hand to take a good look at their policies, but make no mistake... Sony didn't go through that route because:
1- They didn't thought about it, not at the level MS had.
2- They were cowards enough not to jump suit.
3- They saw it as an opportunity to get an advantage over Microsoft.

We all knew this was coming. We all heard the rumors, saw them patent weird technologies and prepared ourselves for the punch, because we knew sooner or later, they would say "the new consoles uses technology that prevents used games". The only reason we were distrustful was this: whoever jumped first, all the other had to do to gain a huge amount of goodwill was to step back. It was an "either all of us do it, or no one does" situation. It happened, in E3 nonetheless; and as soon as people saw the backlash, all publishers turned back, all of them started saying "we didn't know about this", "we didn't agree to this", "we are discussing our plans with MS" (when we all knew they were the most interested in all this). I am not saying I liked MS policies (god no), but I won't kid myself thinking Sony was fighting the "good fight".

The reason is simple. Consider this "what if" scenario. Microsoft doesn't turn back. The publisher doesn't abandon ship; and in fact start ostracizing Sony of most AAA games because it doesn't give them enough guaranties against used games and piracy. As a result, games like Call of Duty XXIII, Final Fantasy XVIII, FIFA XXII and Assassins Creed IX become Microsoft exclusives. At that point, do you think Sony would stick to their guns as say "we are loyal to our customers"? Or will they include a half-baked equivalent of MS policies in a mandatory patch? Sony's stand and Microsoft's change of heart are not motivated by loyalty, but by cunning.

And Bob, this reaction is nice and all, but you should tone down the back padding. This kind of "industry listening to fans reaction" is not new. In fact, it has happened in this generation several times. While I was reading your article, I was listening to Gaider's talk in GDC (Highly advisable http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/194571/Video_Sexism_and_sexuality_in_games.php) and it all went full circle. Remember when Bioware had to redo the ME 3 ending because the backlash has reached creepy levels (with packages sent to their offices and people getting death threats)? That was the industry listening to fans reaction. Remember all the issues with Anita's videos, or Street Fighter 4 tournament? That was the industry listening to fans reaction. Remember the whole debate of Bioshock Infinite having Booker on the cover (at that time, the stereotypical white male protagonist) with a big gun because they were told "games with women on the box don't sell"? That was the industry listening to fans reaction. The truth is the industry listens to fan reaction all the time, and its scared of us (or, at least, scared of the most vocal section of us), scared of their contempt. That is the reason we have hundreds of games that look the same, all the protagonists look the same: because the industry listen to their fans, and the fans value nothing more than the status quo in our little club.

So, yes... today it was "the good fight". We should be proud of the power we had to prevent Microsoft from turning our hobby into something more excluding and restrictive. But we shouldn't gloat over it. We have a great power (and also a great responsibility) that we should always use to make our hobby a more open and diverse place, because sometimes status quo is not a good thing.

Sony was simply seeing where the wind was blowing Microsoft tried to direct it and failed (Nintendo just gliding through ;))

No Sony aren't heroes but they are much wiser to a degree but if Sony where planning on doing the same their own software and infrastructure is still designed similarly to M$ to support many DRM polices that we hate

Ironic that Bob takes this stance, when he blasted the same culture who complained about the poor quaility of the Mass Effect 3 ending, Because like the Xbox One, the company in charge of that product essentially bullshitted the fans and screwed them over.

jluzar20:
Nobody "won" anything and anyone who says otherwise isn't looking a the big picture. We've just entered the age of microsoft, sony and nintendo becoming political parties.

I'm disgusted at all this back patting silliness. Anyone who sees the events of the last week as a positive thing, well, I'll tell you I told you so, just saying.

Hi Cliffy B! I didn't know you maintained an account here?

Not having backwards compatibility is suffering an indignity now? Isn't that a little dramatic?

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