So, this happened. Microsoft actually reversed their stance on DRM. So, why do I still feel a bit empty and upset? I think I feel like this because this backtracking reeks of desperation and in some ways hubris. Microsofts expects us to take these news in stride and go out there and buy an Xbox One, just because of this change. They expect us to disregard their arrogant and ‘I know better’ attitude that they continuously displayed merely a week ago. Truly, in this situation the consumers have won. And that is a good thing. However, while we should forgive, we should not forget. More than anything, this situation shows that as consumers we do have power. Go out there and make your opinion known. It is a whole lot better than sitting back and waiting until someone does it for you.
What we certainly must not forget is the atmosphere of hubris surrounding Microsoft’s exec’s statements on their new policy. Not only it was unclear and often confusing, they failed to actually outline any of the benefits, used a lot of buzzwords (infinite power of the cloud) and sometimes even told people to stuff it and buy and Xbox 360 if they can’t deal with the “future”. In some cases, Microsoft resorted to outright lies, stating that the always online connection is needed to harness the “infinite power of the cloud” for games such as Titanfall or Dead Rising 3. Now, I can only wonder how these games will run without online connection (if no one can tell, I am being quite sarcastic here). Another rather hilarious point is Microsoft’s insistence that these policies are set in stone and cannot and will not be changed. The truth is clear. Once Microsoft realised that they cannot expect to bleed people dry (where else is that cut from used games going to go) with no resistance, they changed their tune momentarily.
Another point that I wish to address is the persistence of people who suddenly decided that stifling our consumer rights equals innovation. According to them, this completely digital future can bring forth new benefits such as selling and trading digital games, something that is now impossible because the internet “whined” too much about things and preferred to regress. In my humble opinion there is no need to take away options and force this innovation down our throats. Rather than giving us only one option, Microsoft or Sony should simply make digital more appealing than physical and thus gaining our trust. Steam seems to doing it well enough after all.
Either way, it appears that this is no longer a one sided fight. Aside from the price point, both consoles are evenly matched, exclusives notwithstanding (it is a matter of taste after all). So vote with your wallets and do what you think is right. Then again, Microsoft might surprise us in few more days once those pre-order numbers start to look up. Anyways, to finish this up and in order to put smiles on my readers’ faces, here is a gif which represents what I felt like when I read these news.