OT: Microsoft Crumbles Under Consumer Pressure - Major Changes to Xbox One Policies

Submitted by boliver46 on June 20th, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Microsoft decided to reverse field on two of their most controversial policies regarding the Xbox One.  No longer will we be required to have an internet connection that connects every 24 hours.  Nor will we have to follow a confusing bureaucratic red taoe mess for used games.

The people have spoken!!!

Microsoft Bowing to Pressure

Will this make you more likely to buy the Xbox One?  Many people seemed to flock to PS4 in the wake of Microsoft's draconian policies...does this bring you back?


***EDIT - Adding Information regarding Spec comparisons to show differences between the consoles***




June 20th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

I'll be getting an Xbox One but I think I'll wait about a year after it comes out to get it. I've owned the Xbox and the Xbox 360, happy with both of those purchases. I've never owned any of the playstations but I've played them at friends and I'm just not a fan.

My 360 is doing me more than just fine and I dont really have a desire to own the Kinect. I do prefer the microsoft online experience over PSN though.

We Are The Borg

June 20th, 2013 at 1:06 PM ^

As I posted above somewhere, I'm also waiting a year or year-and-a-half. I am hoping any bugs will be worked out of the console by then AND a better deal (and hopefully some kind of bundle that includes a game I want). $500 is just too much for a gaming console. I know it is meant for more than that, but I use my 360 primarily as a game console, so $500 is not justified IMO. I have a smart TV in the basement with Netflix and Roku Box in the living room, also with Netflix and HBOGO. Since I don't have access to Watch ESPN (I have DIRECTV and AT&T Internet, so I can't access it for those reasons), I don't need to use the XBOX to watch that either. Now the TV integration looks really cool based on their demonstration, but I likely would not use that often.


June 20th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

...is that the tools for the DRM will remain in the machine. Once 20 million units are moved, what's to stop them from changing their minds again? I don't feel like rewarding a company that considered it a good business practice to put in place draconian measures dictating what I can and cannot do with discs after I've bought it. Sony might not be perfect, in fact, last gen their arrogance cost them a ton of momentum which gave the Xbox 360 room to breathe in the first place; however, this gen they seem to be asking, almost begging for my business while Microsoft is doing everything they possibly can to piss me off.

I've owned both current gen machines and enjoyed both and have had both break on me (RROD x2 for 360, just finally wore out for PS3). Though I'll wait until 2014 to see what second wave games come out and which exclusives are more in line with my gaming style...I am much, much more likely buy the PS4.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^

The "tools" you refer to are just software.  They don't have to remain in the box, they could be downloaded into the box at any time during an update.  For that matter Sony could add them into the PS4 at any time during an update as well.  So there is really no sense in worrying about whether the "tools" are in the box.  Any box that can receive operating system updates could be updated to do pretty much anything Microsoft or Sony wanted them to in the future.

I very highly doubt Microsoft would add back in this DRM stuff after they start selling the XBOX one with some bait-and-switch move.  That would open themselves up to a class-action lawsuit, not to mention the PR nightmare it would be.  I just don't see it happening.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:17 AM ^

There's nothing keeping 3rd party developers from adding DRM.  Don't think for a second they didn't push for this stuff (don't believe their denials for a second).

I didn't quite understand the hubbub.  I know DRM is a bad word on the internet, but we have it every where.  Phone apps, tablet apps, books, music.  Video games will move to mostly digital over time.  MSFT should have let that happen naturally and been prepared for it (as they seem to be) when it does.  No need to pick fights you don't have to pick.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

Yes, but the PS4 will not be free to play online. It will be $50 a year I think, which is not much if you use it a lot, but if you only play online occasionally it may be harder to justify. Not sure if you have to pay to use streaming services (e.g. Netflix) on PS4 - right now streaming is free (for Netflix members) on PS3, but XBox requires a gold membership on top of the Netflix fee to be able to stream.

 Both PSN and XBox Live do give a lot of freebies and discounts to members though to make membership more worth it (for example, XBox Live Gold Members get Fable 3 for free this month, nominally a $20 game, and PSN has had similar giveaways in the past).


June 20th, 2013 at 4:10 PM ^

That's excellent. I was a late adopter to PS3 (bought mine ~3 years ago), and the fact that it had Blu-Ray and I didn't have to pay extra for the privilege of streaming content I was already paying for were the main deciding features in choosing PS3 over XBox 360. I wanted one box to handle all my media needs on my main TV, and PS3 was it.


June 20th, 2013 at 10:56 AM ^

We can't say for sure what will happen when these consoles actually come out, but there's no question that this controversy has been a huge bonus for Sony. Getting a solid start in a console showdown is crucial, because it affects what games you get and what buzz your system has; the PS3 sold pretty well, but it was behind the 360 from the beginning and never made up the gap. A strong early start will be huge for them.

The stakes are pretty high, too--both Sony and Microsoft have been lagging in other sides of their businesses and need winners. And there is a good chance that the games market, which has been sagging as a whole, will be completely different in a couple of years. All it would take to destroy their sales to moderate and casual gamers would be an announcement from Apple of low-priced Apple TV unit that played games using either a controller or a free app on your phone and Sony and Microsoft would be left to battle for the hardcore gamer scraps.

I think Microsoft really thought the other console manufacturers, all equally (legitimately) disgusted with serious piracy issues and all (greedily) hoping to capitalize on some of the used game market, would do exactly the same kind of thing they did. They got worked. 

And when the data collection news of the last couple of weeks came out and spooked people of every conceivably politicaly orientation, they knew they would be in deep trouble if they didn't pull back. 

They can recover, but it will be hard. They need to drop their price, too.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:18 AM ^

I don't see this happening as the $499 will stick in people's minds through the holidays - they're giving people time to "get used" to the price point.

More likely, I see them packagaing the base system with an exclusive title for the holidays at the $499 price.  Some sort of bundling to justify the extra cost (extra controller, etc.).


June 20th, 2013 at 11:24 AM ^

Comparing Sony and MSFT's other business is laughable.  Sony is a $20 billion company, MSFT is literally 14 times that.  This is definitely critical to Sony, but it's a very small slice of the MSFT revenue and profit pie.

Comparing Apple TV to a console is also misguided.  Apple TV is less powerful than most smart phones.  It couldn't even run 360/PS3 level games.


June 20th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

and give up its idiotically horrible policy of making users of their products rent them from the Cloud instead of being able to make a one-time full purchase.

Unfortunately, I bet the XBox user base is louder and more vehement than the mild-mannered designers and communications types who have to use Adobe products.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:00 AM ^

I am way over my head, and have nothing to contribute, because I haven't entered into this world. My son does xbox, and had a ps3, and we have wii, but I just don't want to take the time to learn all the combinations of moves, and to master what it takes to shoot imaginary bad guys and drive imaginary cars and do imaginary things.

I'd be fascinating to know the demographics of this thread:  I'm guessing it is even more overwhelmingly male than usual, along with being closer to 20 years old.

We Are The Borg

June 20th, 2013 at 1:14 PM ^

I don't know if that is the average, but many people over the age of 30 (I am 31 and play XBOX a lot) still play. Why? Well the answer is simple. People in my generation were kids when NES came out in the 80s and lived through the boom of the video game industry. We still like video games and there is nothing wrong with that. They're just another mode of home entertainment and I don't know why some people make fun of adults for playing video games. What is the difference between sitting on your ass for hours watching television/movies and sitting on your ass for hours playing video games (or even reading a book for that matter)? There is NO difference. I guarantee there are some video game stories that are far superior to many movies and books. If anything, at least I'm involved in a video game as opposed to watching television.


June 20th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

Despite my counter example of being 35 and married with two kids(wife still cannot figure out why I still play videogames), I imagine in general your suppositions on the demographics of this thread are true, but that's because that's the general demographic of most hardcore sports fans.  

I think the gaming demographics are changing as people who grew up playing videogames won't stop, but there will probably always be constants influencing the demographical trends such as: disposable income(as a dad I don't have much, one reason I was so pissed about the used game thing for the Xbox1), inherent storytelling limitations of the videogame medium, and also free time(something younger people tend to have more of).  Similar trends influence almost all entertainment mediums though(types of movies that get made, TV shows, popular books, etc.)



June 20th, 2013 at 11:01 AM ^

I'm on the fence.  I'm not much of a gamer but had both consoles.  I generally like the Xbox 360 more simply because I like the interface and controller.  That being said, the PS3 was probably the greatest piece of home theater equipment I have ever owned.  I have one of the original fat PS3 players and it still works perfectly.  It has always been used basically as a blu-ray player, and has been outstanding.   It was basically future proof.  I think it was kind of ahead of its time and probably cost the PS3 the last console war.  It was expensive at the time and hard to develop for, but it was an amazing piece of equipment. 

I think I'm on my 3rd Xbox 360.  The newer ones are very nice but the original ones were not reliable.  It never had close to the bells and whistles the PS3 had.  I like all the apps associated with 360 interface but could do without kinect.

I'm not sure which one I will end up with.  It may come down to the simple fact that I really like the XBOX controller much better.  I use my consoles more as entertainment boxes that can play games.  Both of them appear very similar this time around.



June 20th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

Saying the original 360's were "unreliable" is a massive understatement.  There was a horrific design flaw in the original run of 360's that caused a HUGE failure rate.  Microsoft never released the numbers, but my own personal talks with at least 50-60 people who owned inital run boxes found about a 100% failure rate with those boxes.  They pretty much all failed eventually if they were used on a regular basis.  Luckily Microsoft replaced/fixed a lot of them for free since they failed under warranty, but it was a major pain in the ass.   The flaw involved something with overheating causing one of the boards inside to warp slightly which caused a chip to actually pop out of the socket. 

My first 360 red-ringed in 5 minutes.  My second one lasted just to the edge of the warranty before failing. 

They finally found the design flaw and since then the reliability has been fine.  After I sent my 2nd one in to be fixed by MIcrosoft, it has run fine for the last 6 or 7 years or so.




June 20th, 2013 at 11:56 AM ^

If you ever took one apart you can see that the heatsink/cooling was totally inadequate.  However, I only ever suffered 1 RROD b/c my 360 was in an open area and not stuffed into a entertainment console with the cable box, router etc. 

Once, MSFT released the "Jasper" chips most people never had a problem again.  While it may have been shitty engineering, people also have to think about the amount of heat these things give off.  Its just like a laptop, get a lapdesk so you dont fry your MOBO/battery because your laptop is propped up on a pillow with the fan covered for 6 hours a night.


June 20th, 2013 at 3:10 PM ^

You could have the damn thing running in a wind tunnel and it was still likely to fail eventually with heavy use.  I never had mine in an entertainment center either.  It was completely out in the open with nothing else around it.  My friends did the same and all lost theirs too, usually multiple times.  The things were just doomed because the initial design was flawed.

Like I said, Microsoft figured out what the problem was and if you got it fixed after the date that Microsoft had the proper fix, then you were pretty much golden.  Mine has worked flawlessly for years since they fixed it.

I'm not bagging on Microsoft, just stating the facts of what was a major issue for early adopters of the 360. I've loved the 360.

Blue since birth

June 20th, 2013 at 3:47 PM ^

New consoles are one area where I always opt for the extended warranty.

I went through four PS2s in less than 18 months and three 360s over the same amount of time. The Xbox red ring got a lot of attention. But in my experience (consoles owned by me and those I know/knew) the PS2 was at least as problematic. The original Xbox and the PS3 seemed to be better... But I always assume it's a roll of the dice when buying a new game system.


June 20th, 2013 at 5:16 PM ^

There are massive corners cut in the rush to gets these systems out and get them produced cheaply enough to turn a profit on them.  In the 360's case, Microsoft really rushed the product to get it market a full holiday season before the PS3 and it was a hugely successful decision, but it also probably led to the flawed design that caused so many of them to fail.

I would expect this generation to have more stable hardware just because it has been so long since the consoles have had a refresh that there has been tons of design time for the hardware.  They should have had a lot of time to figure out exact what they wanted to do.  But new consoles always have room for errors.

Blue since birth

June 20th, 2013 at 11:06 AM ^

I'm glad this is out of the way now (and it is). People afraid they'll bring this back post launch are insane. If they folded to the backlash of a bunch of people who hadn't spent a dime, what makes you think they'd invite the massive cluster fuck that doing it to paying customers would look like?

I was actually browsing a couple places trying to decide where to pre order a PS4 yesterday when the news broke. Glad I didn't... I'm happy to able to stick with the Xbox.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

While I own both consoles, and I am glad to see Mircrosft reverse their stance on the always online "lincenseship of games", I can see the argument that their plan wasn't bad. I mean they were basiclly using the Steam model for gaming. Be able to log into your account on any machine and have access to your games. I know when Steam first moved towards this no disk policy there was alot of uproar, but now PC gaming cant be imagined without Steam. Just some things to think about.... Gizmodo had a nice article about it that..... LINK

Michigan Shirt

June 20th, 2013 at 11:44 AM ^

While the Kinect may be on at all times, it will not be recording or uploading any video, you would notice this fairly easy when it slows your internet speeds way down. It is staying on in a low power state so you can turn your system on with voice activation, which you may be able to turn off.

Jaqen H'ghar

June 20th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

This isn't MSFT listening to the consumer, this is MSFT covering their own ass in the wake of a consumer with a superior substitute product. If MSFT was only competing with Nintendo the wouldn't give two shits about whether people wanted DRM and always online or not.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:45 AM ^

They are a business. Fuck integrity, they are in this to make money. Do you honestly think Sony went into E3 thinking "No DRM!! For the consumers!!"??

no. Sony chose no DRM because they have enough business sense to see it ad a competitive advantage over Microsoft. Sony doesn't care about you or I any more than Microsoft. They just want you to think they do.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:53 AM ^

So what are the costs to play online for both systems


I have heard some games will still be free to play online for the PS4 /


So somebody tell me the cost to play online for both systems


All i play are sports games, and for 2014 , FIFA probably the only game, maybe MADDEN, as I am not feeling NCAA 14, as they haven't updated it in awhile it seems in regards to gameplay, they don't give player updates during the season ( Manziel was still a 76 overall after he won the heisman), and too many issues in dynasty mode, EA seems not to give a daam about NCAA once Madden comes out.


As for Madden, the only 2 reasons I am considering it is Barry is on the cover, and the direct tv deal. But I already have direct tv, so it not even be worth it.


So if you already have Direct Tv, is it worth buying madden for the sunday ticket , i had direct tv last year and had the ticket, but is their any benefit of getting madden if your already a direct tv customer ?




June 20th, 2013 at 12:15 PM ^

I gave Sony a lot of credit for "listening" to the consumer base, but now that Microsoft has caved I have to admit...If they were the same price, I'd get the xbox.  Their launch exclusices do look better.  But with the $100 difference...I'm still going Sony.  I'll probably grab an xbox when I can get it used on ebay for $150.