Riding high off its announcement that the PlayStation 4 will have no DRM, no anti-used game policy, and will support game ownership, Sony has released a video detailing its incredibly deep and nuanced system for sharing physical copies of games.
This, right here, is the great video of E3 so far. Bar none.
Oh my GOD, is this stuff glorious.
Sony confirmed that they won't be putting any restrictions on used games. They stated that they believe people have the right to do what they want with the games they buy. Gamers will be able to sell, trade, lend, and rent video games as much as they want.
You also won't have to be online to play games, there won't be a check every 24 hours, there is no DRM built into the system, and an internet connection won't be required to use the system.
Way to go Sony! They really stuck it to Microsoft with this one.
Microsoft finally clarified much of its policy on used games and online restrictions with the Xbox One, and the news is grim for those who actually believe in consumer rights. With its new system, Microsoft will take the final step in stripping gamers of their property ownership, and control every moment of their experience.
Making you check in every 24 hours like a groveling lapdog, restricting your ability to lend and rent games, and effectively pursuing the industry dream of keeping goods long after they've been sold, the Xbox One is a corporation's fantasy machine that flips off the common end user.
The Xbox brand's most vocal fans, those posting on Major Nelson's blog, were among the first to react to the news, and even among such die-hards, the reactions weren't pleasant. Gamers from all sides seem furious at Microsoft's publisher-friendly, consumer-kicking policies, with only a scant few gathering the nerve to defend them.
Spread across multiple blog posts, Microsoft has finally clarified some of its policies regarding online connection requirements and trading in used games. Describing the system as being "designed from the ground up to be ready and connected," the company confirms that users will need to check in to "verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend":
"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," reads the official explanation.
Another post describes licensing: "After signing in and installing,you can play any of your games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of your game is stored on your console and in the cloud. So, for example, while you are logged in at your friend’s house, you can play your games." Up to ten family members "can log in and play from your shared games library."
On the used games front, Microsoft says it's up to publishers. (Great...) "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."
Whoever manages eBay Germany's Facebook page must be a huge Nintendo fan -- or at least is a master at capitalizing on current gamer worries and frustrations.
It's apparent that Xbox One is charting a dark path, and the jury'...
The Xbox One will kill used games and control second-hand sales, and some people think that's great. Jim Sterling is not among them.
While members of the gaming media attempt to see the positive side of murdering the used game market and snubbing retailers, all Jimquisition can see are greedy, cowardly Starscreams, waiting to sieze power and do terrible things with it.
Because that's what they do, and we have no reason to believe otherwise.
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Your ol' pals Jim and Yahtzee are back with some more poetic justice. This week, your ears can be teased with the tale of Always John and Fear's Farewell. They are poems, you see. About videogames.
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Despite the massive outrage sparked by ex-Microsoft employee Adam Orth and his suggestions we'll have to "deal" with an always-online console, Ubisoft thinks the game buying public will be just fine with it. Responding to questions regarding a DRM-locked Next Xbox or PS4, Ubi Montreal's CEO was casually in favor.
"Well, that's a question you should put to Microsoft and Sony," said Yannis Mallat in a Guardian interview. "I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices -- I would suspect that the audience is ready."
Yallat's reasoning echoes that of Orth and other supporters of a hypothetical "always-on" console -- most electronics are online a lot, therefore it's not a problem if a home console demands a persistent Internet connection. Of course, the reality is a lot more complex than that, but industry spokespeople don't seem to like acknowledging that.
I don't think it's even a case of whether or not the audience is ready. I don't think the game industry is ready. I don't think most countries' broadband infrastructures are ready. The practicalities of real life make this whole thing a bad idea, without needing to factor in what the audience wants ... and I don't think the audience wants it either.
Just talking about an "always-on" Xbox is a really dumb idea.
Hopefully not even Microsoft would be so stupid, but just in case any of the platform holders are seriously considering this awful, nasty little idea, let Jimquisition lay out the many good reasons as to why an always-on console would be utterly ludicrous. Seriously, it's ... it's terrible. Deal with it!