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.