A few weeks ago Microsoft finally announced the successor to the Xbox 360. The new console, the Xbox One, is slated for release later this year. I’ve been a diehard Xbox fan since the original Xbox for a few reasons including the size of their controllers over Sony’s Dual Shock controllers. That all being said, MS might be pushing me towards using Sony’s small controllers with their 24 hour connectivity checks.
What Microsoft is proposing, is that if you want to play video games on your console, it will check with their servers once every 24 hours to make sure you have the right to play the game. This will help prevent piracy, and make used games a pain in the ass. The image below attempts to clarify Microsofts anti-consumer used game policy. You also won’t be able to let your friends borrow your games.
For the most part I wouldn’t mind this except for the 24 hour time period. During Hurricane Sandy I was fortunate enough to have a place to go to with power, but it didn’t have internet access for a week. One of the things I did during that time period to keep my sanity was play video games. If I had the Xbox One I would be SOL. I also wouldn’t be able to take the console with me on trips where they didn’t have standard internet access. I don’t do this often, but often enough that it would be a pain in my butt. To top it off Microsoft’s servers have been known to be down for a few days at a time. Once again, not often, but often enough that this policy is asinine.
It also means those without good internet access can kiss this console goodbye. While the east and west coast have pretty decent internet access, there are some parts of America that don’t have high speed internet access. What about those outside of America where the internet may still be dial up based? This console feels like it was developed to be used by people that have everything perfect. For those that aren’t living that perfect lifestyle, we’ll just have to deal with it.
While you might think that as long as you have good internet access this won’t affect you in the slightest, I’d say you’re wrong. Publishers put video games on consoles that sell well. The Wii U had a pretty decent launch lineup, but after its dismal launch there hasn’t been much released for it. If the Xbox One doesn’t sell well because of the DRM situation then publishers are more likely to abandon the platform just like they have with the Wii U.
I understand that piracy is a large issue and definitely needs to be addressed, but I don’t think this is the way to handle it. If they were a bit more lax about things, where it only checked once a week I’d probably be fine with it. Steam checks once a month on their game, and I’ve only found that out recently. It’s never been an issue for me. I’d probably be fine with once a week, but once every 24 hours? Looks like MS just talked me into buying a PS4.