Xbox One, free from online restrictions.

After a media bungle after media bungle, it is no surprise that Microsoft just released a statement reversing earlier online requirements for their new console the Xbox One. While this is a welcome announcement as it now puts the Xbox One back on the playing field, the sceptic in me wonders if this wasn’t their plan all along.

  1. Release unrealistic requirements.
  2. Incite public outrage.
  3. Backpedal.
  4. Claim re-evaluation was based on their desire to please the consumer.
  5. Win the hearts of all.
  6. Profit!

Whatever their true motivations, I am happy about it!  The earlier restrictions were completely unreasonable, in an attempt to stop piracy, all the restrictions did was punish those who went through legitimate channels. The old saying, “All publicity is good publicity” springs to mind, but I wonder if some serious damage hasn’t already been done. Even though E3 was only last week, in internet time it feels like eons ago and by now the idea of Microsoft being the ‘evil’ company is imprinted in many gamer’s minds. The anti-xboxone rhetoric has been going strong for the last week, many gamers may not want to lose face. To add to that, pre-orders have been made, trade-ins completed in the favour of Sony. Is it too late for Microsoft to get the first wave of gamers to be excited about their product? History shows from all the failed game and console boycotts that gamers are a fickle breed, so I can’t write off the Xbox One yet.

Now that Sony & Microsoft are on relatively level playing fields  the real battle for our money has begun, they both have to really work hard to get the consumer’s attention. Sony can’t rely on that big E3 announcement to ship their consoles and games, but I’m assuming that Sony knew this was coming based on MCV’s interview with SCE UK’s boss. He says, “Winning is determined by a much longer timescale”, and he’s right.

So let’s wait and see. This is exciting indeed.



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