A visit to the
Xbox Wire today revealed quite an interesting turn of events. If you've been following the news since the Microsoft E3 press briefing, you'll know that the new Xbox One caught a lot of slack for needing to be "always online" to check that you have a legitimate copy of the game you bought. Our editor-in-chief Scott Ertz went into detail after the press day of E3 as to why this was and why Sony was kind of doing the same thing. Well, it appears that enough people have complained to Microsoft, on the Internet, that they don't have Internet, and Microsoft has changed its mind on some of its policies that the Internet disagreed with.
Here are the highlights of the policy changes, from the update Xbox Wire today,
Update on June 19, 2013: As a result of feedback from the Xbox community, we have changed certain policies for Xbox One reflected in this blog.
You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.
So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:
•An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games - After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
•Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today - There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console - there will be no regional restrictions.
These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.
So, a lot of people are extremely happy with all of this, saying that "gamers won" and that the Internet was able to reject a limitation. But isn't this simply stifling the future and innovation? Microsoft said this announcement will change some previous scenarios for the Xbox One. Could this include some of the very innovative cloud-connected features we saw announced at E3 and at the media presentation? Are we yet again going down the path of preventing the inevitable future, albeit a bit longer, for the never-ending desire for immediate satisfaction and to save a few bucks (or not) at GameStop? It all boils down to making sure the developer who spends 18 hours a day working on your game, gets paid for the work he puts out. And until that happens, should we, as a gaming community, accept the fact that gaming studios lose revenue due to third party game retailers?
Obviously, a lot of questions are still unanswered, even after the policy announcement, and it would appear that I am one of the few that does not see that this news is all roses and daisies? There's a bunch of time left until the consoles get launched, and things can surely change in that time. That, and there's still a bunch to be announced from both Microsoft and Sony. Do you agree with my sentiment? Let me know in the comments below.
Since Nintendo didn't hold a big press conference this year like Microsoft and Sony, largely to them not having a console to release, what was Nintendo doing during E3 this year? Aside from holding several private events to talk about games (
Bayonetta!) and future roadmaps for the Wii U and 3DS, the company also chose to announce that they are taking on a new path in their gaming world.
During an analyst briefing, Nintendo said they are pushing forward with their first free-to-play game some time before March of 2014, their fiscal year. As of right now, we are unsure as to what platform, or even what game it will be. What we do know is Nintendo said that there will be a big focus on DLC, expansions and free-to-play titles moving forward, which they hope will improve digital sales on both the Wii U and 3DS.
What we also know is what franchises the F2P game
won't be for: Mario and Pokemon. Nintendo's CEO Satoru Iwata commented specifically on those two franchises, saying that they "already have good relationship in those brands" so they see no need in trying something uncertain in them that could potentially cause disaster.
David Gibson, an analyst who was in on the briefing, said,
Nintendo plans to boost digital sales with launches like new super luigi u but also the first free to play game. Nintendo free to play game will be released this fy but will not be Mario or Pokemon game as already have good relationship in those brands. FY is fiscal year ending march 2014. Nintendo analyst briefing comments earlier were from President Iwata and FTP game platform not clear but was said when talking about WiiU
This could either mean we'll see a brand new IP that is free to get started with, a resurrection of another, older franchise or even a successful brand that will take on the F2P beast. Either way, it's definitely new territory for Nintendo and could lead to future success if done the right way. At any rate, it's time to speculate. What game would you like to see free-to-play? Let us know in the comments below.