In what could potentially be the quickest – and most surprising – U-turn in history, Microsoft have announced that they have changed their minds about some of the restrictions that they had originally planned for their new Xbox One console.
Daily authentication checks are out, as is region locking and the restrictions placed on pre-owned games, which is great news for gamers perhaps, but maybe not so much for rival company Sony.
A fair amount of people were more than irritated about the fact that gamers would be required to connect the Xbox One to the internet every 24 hours in order to authenticate games and server data, but practically the whole gaming industry seemed to be fuming about the limitations that Microsoft was planning to impose on their games.
Under Microsoft’s proposed restrictions for the Xbox One, each disc a player buys would only be playable by one other person who has been a friend on Xbox Live for more than 30 days – not such great news for anyone who likes to share games among family and friends.
After a massive backlash from gamers and critics, however, both of these proposals have now been dropped much to the delight of loyal gaming fans. The news doesn’t really come as much of a surprise to anyone though. The reception that the Xbox One received at E3 last week was less than warm and it’s likely that the sudden change of heart is in response to the immense reaction towards Sony’s PlayStation 4.
The crowd broke out in cheers during Sony’s E3 presentation after hearing that their newest console wouldn’t require an internet check every 24 hours and would still allow fans to play used games.
The U-turn isn’t likely to be welcomed by Sony who have built most of their marketing campaign around the differences between the two consoles (and how the PlayStation 4 offers much more), but Microsoft isn’t out of the woods just yet.
Their console is still more expensive than the PlayStation 4 and many will feel that it is more expense for a console that’s now offering similar features and capabilities.
Add this to the fact that Microsoft’s reception at E3 has probably done their console’s reputation some major damage and it seems unlikely that sales will extend past hardcore gamers and long-time Xbox fans.
That said however, it might surprise us all and create a new generation of hardcore Xbox fans – after all, where Microsoft is concerned, stranger things have definitely happened.