This is an interesting article. Seems very solid, and well-thought out, maybe even intelligent...but it's not. And I'll demonstrate why. Also, yes, I'm a new poster to Eurogamer. I browse through the site every now and again, but stumbled upon Tom's post while on another site... I couldn't help but respond. But no, I'm not responding in that cluster of, mostly ignorant comments in the comment section below his article. That's a waste of time.|
I'll start by saying this... Well, wada'ya know... Turns out the family sharing feature wasn't a time-limited demo, but I'm sure there must have been some catch to it. I digress...
Tom's article has several holes in it. For the most part, they're based on presumptions. For the lesser part, he's rebutting some of the less-intelligent, ignorance-filled arguments with even lesser-intelligent, more-ignorance-filled rebuttals.
His first rebuttal against: "Xbox One would have solved the problem of buying a game on disc and then not being able to store it digitally or download it from the cloud." - It's a good rebuttal, but, it falls flat on its face, because, although the movie-industry has triple play, it still doesn't combat piracy. The point is, having the game on disc, and being able to fully install it and not use the disc as DRM to play it (yes, the disc is a form of DRM) will require some sort of authentication to ensure that people simply aren't copying, or "burning" their discs to HDD/cloud, then giving away the disc for others to do so. The online check was how that would be done. I'm sure there're other ways to do it, but other ideas seem a lot more cumbersome. And honestly, I can't think of much practical ways to do it, without requiring on-line access, especially if libraries were copied to the cloud.
"Publishers could charge less for games." - He presents a decent enough argument against it, however, like the people for it, it's based on ifs and maybes. Even my declaration isn't a solidified fact, it's a supposition, based on 1) Publishers receiving revenue from the used game market, 2) Middle-men brick and mortar stores being cut out, and 3) Shipping, delivery, packaging, pressing and printing being eliminated. Those things could possibly lead to cheaper games. And saying that we definitely won't have cheaper games digitally is stupid. At this point, no one knows for certain. All both parties can do is present their reasons for or against it. But, I must say, the reasons for it being cheaper seem a lot more significant. Another huge indicator that it may indeed get cheaper, is the fact that everything that has gone from physical-to-digital is cheaper than the physical product was. Movies, music, VST software, games (on Steam)...history points to a greater likelihood of the same thing happening here. His argument that games will get more expensive, is a given. They will! Whether they go digital or not, games will get more expensive with time, as production costs go up. But, it won't be a constant rise, just as it isn't now. It will hit a mark, rest, then after a few years, go up again, or go down, then go back up. That has to do more with rising production costs than anything else. And, if in fact developers get some of their money back from the used game market (which they see not a single cent from that today), it may carry productions cost down a bit, logically.
"Everyone used to hate Steam, but everyone loves it now. Xbox One could have been the same." - His strongest argument is here, but it can go either way. The cool thing about it is, Xbox One won't be an "exclusive place to get games." The same thing with Steam, is the same thing that will happen with the XB1, or even the PS4 if it decided to adopt a more digital-centric gaming experience; they still have to compete with other retailers. Games won't just disappear from brick-and-mortar stores, or click-and-mortar stores like Amazon. Even though it may be more convenient to download digital copies, when it comes to bandwidth and time in downloading these large games, sometimes it's easier to head down to Best Buy and pick up a copy, or simply for nostalgic reasons; to hold the booklet in your hands again. The Once every 24-hours check was a few Kilobytes in size, according to Harrison. Tethering the XB1 to your phone and using your phone as a hotspot will quickly get the job done, if for some reason your internet at home wasn't cutting it for you. That's a small amount of data, and most people with even 1Mbps of broadband speed can do this. The recommended requirement from Microsoft was 1.5Mbps. Downloading these games on the other hand, is another matter altogether. Everyone simply won't be downloading 25GB games online all willy nilly, especially when they share their broadband with users in the entire home. And, to drive incentive for people to go the digital route, prices just might be lower.
"Sharing games with your 10-person family plan would have been so much better than the total lack of digital sharing we have now." - It is indeed better than what we have now, and it may still be implemented somewhere down the road, who knows. But, it definitely wasn't a time-limited demo, as confirmed by Whitten. Aaron Greenberg said it "Was just as we described." , and they didn't put any special terms or limitations in their description of it. Who knows, it could have been the real deal. Guess we may never know.
"The 24-hour online check-in was a necessary evil because it allows games to run entirely off the hard disk and be shared digitally." - I'll post his entire rebuttal to this argument: [I]"It's hard to unpick this one without knowing the specifics of how it all worked, but it's worth noting that making installation obligatory was Microsoft's decision in the first place, and if we are going back to the way things work on Xbox 360 then perhaps it won't be necessary.
As with many of the Xbox One's positions on DRM, the 24-hour check-in was convenient for Microsoft's business objectives, but it clearly wasn't that important to games. The ease with which these elements have been scrapped, and the very small number of things Microsoft has had to sacrifice in order to hit its November date with a full software line-up, just goes to show just how unnecessary it all was."[/I]
Is Tom a journalist? I ask, because he has no clue what he's talking about. If he is a journalist, he's a terrible one. The 24-hour online check-in, again, was to validate your ownership of a game. If you installed the game from disc, and gave the disc to another person, they could have done the same, and so on. This would have amounted to very little game sales. There has to be a way to check the discs code number, or whatever, to make sure it's not installed on more than 1 system, to prevent piracy. If you installed the game to HDD/Cloud, and you gave the disc away, when the system checked nightly to see if you still own it, and it comes up registered to another user at a later date from the original install, it will remove access to gameplay for you, and give the rights to play the game to the person you gave the disc to. Some people have a problem with this, because they think when they buy a physical disc, it's theirs to do whatever they want with it. That's not the case, you buy the rights to play the game, not burn it, or pirate it. When you sell the disc, or trade the disc, you automatically relinquish your rights to play the game, not so? It's the same thing with the XB1. Tom says that, because Microsoft can scrap this so quickly, that proves it wasn't as necessary as they claimed. WOW! It was VERY necessary for games in order to prevent piracy. If it wasn't in place, the XB1 would very soon have no gaming at all, as sales would suffer incredibly, due to the ease of copying games, or rights to play games. and it can be scrapped easily, because it's a software code of instructions. It's no longer needed now, because your disc has to be in the drive to play the game. The disc will act as the DRM/24 hour check-in...the DRM policy we use presently. The reason Microsoft made it mandatory to install full games to the HDD/Cloud and play without the disc, is to enhance the User Experience of the Xbox One, holistically. They wanted everyone to have the same experience. Features such as playing from any XB1, or instant game switching/task switching require a way of gaming where the disc didn't have to be inserted into the tray to confirm you owned the rights to play that game. Although users can still experience some of these things, a lot of those features are gone with the current, disc-based DRM feature. Task-switching remains, but game-switching is gone. You can switch from a task like browsing to playing the game you currently have in your Blu-Ray Drive, but you can't switch between games on the fly. I don't think Tom fully understood the point of the Once-every-24hrs check-in, and why it's crucial in supporting the current disc-based model AND the digital-centric model, and also, how it affects all of the other features around this digital model. If he did, he wouldn't have responded with some of the things he said.
I won't get into his other last two rebuttals; they're lesser arguments. I covered the heavy stuff.
His article should have been called "Some Of The Most Stupid Arguments In Favour Of Xbox One DRM"
I would love to write an article called "The Most Intelligent Arguments In Favour Of Xbox One DRM" and have Tom give it a go, and try and rebut it. But, it would be filled with most of what I posted here.
Edited by sdrawkcab at 06:30:00 22-06-2013
The most popular arguments in favour of Xbox One DRM - What It Should Have Been!
sdrawkcab 1 posts
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If you've made Tom cry!
MrTomFTW Moderator 42,396 posts
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I'm not crying, but I am fairly upset at yet another thread on this subject...