Home Editorial The post-DRM Xbox One vs Playstation 4 debate

If you weren’t aware, yesterday was a pretty important day. Out of seemingly nowhere, Microsoft completely backtracked on its digital rights management plan for the Xbox One. The console’s much-hated system for used/borrowed games is now gone, though with it goes improvements like disc-free game installation and family game sharing.

In light of this rather dramatic turn of events, I’ve put together a video comparing the now oh-so-closely aligned next-generation consoles. It’s 99% free from bias and, if I do say so myself, it’s a bit of a hoot. Watch, learn, discuss, and enjoy.


An important note on the matter of trust

The most common objection I’ve received to this video is the question, “Wait a minute WiNGSPAN, how can you trust Microsoft? What if they simply reverse their decisions again, and go back to the original Xbox One plan?”

Of course I don’t trust Microsoft. I don’t trust any faceless global megacorporation. Companies like Microsoft, Sony, Google, Facebook, Apple, Monsanto… they exist primarily to deliver ever-increasing profits to their shareholders. That’s it. So telling me “Microsoft is just doing this for the money” is basically a joke. You’re kidding yourself if you ever thought otherwise, or that Sony isn’t also “doing it for the money.” It just so happens that Sony’s plan to take your money is more appetizing to you than Microsoft’s original plan.

Worse yet, you will never know Sony’s original DRM plan because they didn’t have to reveal it. Whether due to wisdom or lucky planning, Sony was able to play its hand second, only revealing its game-friendly DRM scheme after Microsoft lost the public’s favor. Before E3, it’s possible the PS4 had the exact same used-game ban the Xbox One had… but you’ll never know now, much to the relief of Sony.

That doesn’t prove Sony’s evil. And neither does all this bitching about Xbox’s recantation prove anything. As far as I’m concerned, the only company that has proved it didn’t try to fuck consumers is Nintendo.

Nintendo is the console company that has always put games first, sometimes to their own detriment. They put games over allowing the Nintendo Wii to play normal DVDs. They put games over convoluted media schemes, resulting in more awkward Netflix integration on the Wii. They put games so far ahead of DRM that companies like EA don’t want to work with them.

So if you really truly want to give your money to a company you know won’t screw you over, follow your conscience. Buy a Wii U and wait this console war out.


17 replies to this post
  1. Well, Wii U it is. Not because of hardware, games, DRM, oder company evilness.
    No, because Nintendo is the only company willing to admit that (forgive me for saying this) the Dollar isn’t worth shit. The Wii U is the only console which doesn’t want me to pay 30% more for it because I don’t use their currency. Not to mention it actually exists and won’t eat my babies if I don’t let it facescan the entire family once a day.

    Too bad that it still sucks, though. If consoles were people playing card games, the Xbox “We’ll Revoke Every Thing But” One and the PS4 are currently facing off in the Magic Pro Tour as one plays the douchiest of Aggro decks (fun fact: Aggro doesn’t exist in tournaments, not more than a Tarmy involves. It’s all stuffed with LB, counters, and other cards that shouldn’t exist) and the other plays merciless control. So far, they’re on turn 40, and the Aggro dude is reaching to tap his first land, only to retract his hand again by a twitch of the eyebrow from PS4.

    In that analogy, anything Nintendo produces is the judge’s eight year old kid sitting in the side room playing Yu Gi Oh. With himself.

    I think that speaks for itself. Sure Nintendo makes fun games every now and again, when they decide it’s allowed to let the tiniest bit of innovation dribble in again, but ultimately, I don’t think that holding your hands a body width apart and caressing some buttons with too many useless gimmicks doesn’t classify as gaming. I’m not sure it classifies as anything, aside from maybe a clever turnaround joke that I’m not going to make here.

    I enjoyed Twilight Princess, probably even so that I’d consider it the best Zelda game of all time, and yes I did play some of them, even if they were older than I. At least the characters looked like fucking humans and not like whatever the SS is trying to make us believe has evolved to sentience. At the same time, Twilight Princess was probably the hardcorest* of gaming that the Wii is ever going to see, and it was already slightly buckling under the weight of having to use the console’s gimmicks.

    Maybe next generation. Hell, maybe Nintendo will release another console until the others come out, so that the Wii U can stand up in the sales rush by being at least less shit than what Nintendo made after it. Maybe it’ll have some social and media support that people actually want, i.e. that extends beyond their own personal clubhouse where you can only get in if its owner likes you and you bring cookies every week. Maybe its controller will be a pair of white, gelatinous boobs. Given that the design philosophy for innovation seems to be “Let Nintendo invent it, then rip it off if it works” I’m certainly looking forward to a world where that’s the standard controller.

    Oh right, the actual point. It’s nice to see Microsoft display at least some reason, but you know what would also have been nice? Since you’re so afraid of giving people comfortable features without eating their soul in exchange, why not ship it with installation and make the used game fee 0$? Ditch the always-on, but protect your rights. (Can’t believe I’m saying that to a publisher.) When a game installs, sync it to teh internets as that dude’s game. When he goes offline, set it onto a timer, maybe two weeks or something like that, after which the game will lock and say, “Yo dawg, we herd you don’t liek online, but we think you might be a thief, so call back home for a minute so that we can know nobody else has registered that CD for themselves, ya?”

    Depending on the interval, which should be as long as possible, it’d mostly prevent piracy on its own. Before you argue against me, make it so that the same disc can only be registered once every few days. Sure you could still pass it around, but it’d be really inconvenient and as soon as you go online, if you don’t have a registered version of the game for each of you, you can’t play it. Simple as that.

    What I’m saying is that in their rush to protect themselves against thieves that exist only in their minds, they will essentially rerelease the Xbox 360.

    I think we can all agree that’s a bad thing. Stay on PC, we’re done here.

  2. Going with Wii-U for an exclusive, actually.

    Super Smash Bros is the only thing I can stand playing these days. Just hoping Sakurai doesn’t screw this one up.

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