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Microsoft confirms daily online requirement, limited used games


Microsoft has released the official details about the Xbox One’s online connectivity and used games policy.  While it won’t need a constant internet connection, the Xbox One requires users log in once every 24 hours on their main console and once every hour on other consoles.  Xbox One games can be traded in to “participating retailers.” Up to ten people can use your game library from any Xbox One, and you can give your Xbox One games away to someone else, but you are required to have been friends on Xbox One for 30 days, and you can only give a game away once.

Microsoft had very hazy policies on these two topics, until now, and I couldn’t be more disappointed.  It seems people care more about their used games than anything else, because that seemed to be the issue on various message boards as opposed to literal DRM.  What no one seems to realize is that PC games don’t have a used option, and it works just fine.  If anything, PC gaming is better off because, without used games, developers can afford to have huge sales on their games because they are making a profit.  When someone buys a used game at GameStop, the developers see none of that money.  I was hoping the Xbox One would embrace digital distribution in exchange for used games, and possibly opt for a system similar to Steam.  Instead, used games still exist with new, strange restrictions.

Meanwhile, the online policy remains the same, connect online once a day, or we take your games.  Or once an hour if you are not on your main console.  This is DRM, plain and simple.  And it should never be tolerated, especially when it is coming from the console itself.  This is a ridiculous requirement, and the fact that it went through unscathed while used games were shoehorned into the system is insanity.  At this point, none of the next-generation consoles have managed to catch my interest.  Rather, I feel more isolated as a gamer than ever before.  Of course, E3 is right around the corner, but even if Microsoft pulled out all the stops, I can’t see myself opting into such a system.



Five next-gen issues


The next generation of video game consoles is upon us.  As developers walk away from the Wii U while it hemorrhages money, Microsoft and Sony have prepared a more traditional evolution of their respective consoles.  Both systems offer similar technological advancements, as well as a variety of new features — some better than others.  With such little information available, it is pointless to try to measure which console will be superior.  Therefore, I will detail the five biggest issues I have with both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One.

  1. No backwards compatibility: Yes, I know the seventh generation of consoles hasn’t been the greatest for backwards compatibility, but the PS3 originally had the feature and the Xbox 360 covers a decent part of the Xbox library.  While most video game enthusiasts won’t need to worry about this, I can definitely see this being an issue for someone trying to get into gaming.  It’s not the most important feature, but it’s that extra bit of effort that would add value to the total package.
  2. Social features: Not an issue, but a very strong focus that I feel Microsoft and Sony should tone down.  I am realistic, and I understand why Microsoft and Sony both want to boast these features.  But do we need a dedicated “Share” button?  I’m not dropping $400 or more on another Facebook machine, I want to play video games.  Which leads to my next point…
  3. Not enough games: E3 is around the corner, so I hope Sony and Microsoft make me eat these words.  The official announcements for both consoles featured very few games overall.  And what little they did show consisted of either games which were already announced or trailers that served no purpose beyond being pretty.  The actual games need to take priority if either company wants to sell their console.
  4. Online: An internet connection should never be a requirement for something to work.  We don’t live in a world where everyone universally has access to a connection, even if it seems that way.  Consumers have nothing to gain from always-online requirements, and they shouldn’t stand for them.
  5. Motion controls: Between Kinect and the glowing blue strip on the PS4 controller, motion control is here to stay for the eighth generation.  It almost always feels forced unless it is a game based around it.  It is a gimmick, and with luck it won’t overstay its welcome.