Sometimes, it just seems like everything is happening all at once, doesn’t it?
And some other times, everything is actually happening at once, and your attempts to convince yourself that it only seems that way are just an exercise in pure denial. Seriously, you should stop that ASAP, because gauntlets have not only been thrown, but they have also been picked up, and used to smack certain entities clear across the face.
You know what I’m talking about. Yes, I know you heard all about the Sony E3 announcements, and how ironically enough, the most popular feature of the PS4, is a decidedly low-tech one. Admittedly, for a technology company to tell you that one of their next gen console’s key features is that if offers you the option to play offline is pretty chuckle worthy. And by chuckle worthy, I mean I nearly choked on my chai over here.
Despite the on and offline haterade we have going on at the moment, I find myself sitting on a particularly spiky part of the fence. On the one hand, I feel like Microsoft’s approach in their design of the Xbox One isn’t wrong, per se, nor an indication that they don’t truly understand their core audience, as three quarters of the internet seems to think. On the contrary, the move away from physical media, and into cloud-based models is actually a pretty intuitive one, and one which I feel we will be moving towards soon enough in any case.
The problem here is that as much as we all like to think we’re on the cutting edge of whatever, the DRM restrictions, and the micromanaged sharing polices are simply not something we’re ready for right now. Yes, we might be ok with it at some point in the future, but only if it’s something we a) are control of, and b) see a marked benefit in.
To use the music industry as an example, we were all happy to move over to the the digital downloads market, with the full understanding that lending your friend an album wouldn’t be as simple a matter as it was in the days of CD’s or cassettes. It was a decision we made organically, and not one that was made for us by say, Sony Music.
By that logic, then, Microsoft is now tasked with either thoroughly convincing everyone that their approach is a good idea, or changing their policies so that they are more in line with what most people seem to want.
So, you tell me: What do you think will be Microsoft’s next move in the console wars? (Or do they even have one?) Comments and rants below, please.