Xbox One Reversal “Impressive,” Says Will Wright

Sim City creator Will Wright found Microsoft’s DRM policy reversal “very impressive.” In an interview with CNN, Wright shared his thoughts on Xbox One‘s approach to customers.

“Gaming has had a long history of piracy, but you can’t use DRM at the expense of the customers,” he said. “To see a company like Microsoft actually sit back, listen, and understand the fans and respond to them is impressive. For a company that size to be that responsive is great. These companies are the ones that obviously keep us in business and allow us to make games.”

Wright also said that players vocalizing their concern to better things for the majority is “really valuable,” although he knows it isn’t always the case online. “That part I think is great because that’s something that I’ve always believed in,” said Wright, “getting the players very involved not just after the game ships, but even before and try to listen to them.”

Not only is this good for companies, but fan involvement to this degree makes the users more than just a customer. Wright continued, “I tend to think of the fan base, especially the hardcore fan base, as co-developers. These people with a passion for your project are going to go out and sell your game to other people and pull other people in. The more they feel like they have some ownership over the process and they’re not just kind of customers, the better.”

Generally, Wright is on the consumer’s side, relating to the ability to own something you’ve purchased, and wanting to play it whenever and wherever you please. He understands the fan backlash toward Xbox One, he said, and likes Microsoft’s willingness to change to accommodate its audience.



Microsoft will cut Xbox One price, but only if it falls behind the PS4 in sales

Microsoft is prepared to lower the price of the Xbox One, but only if it falls behind in the race with the PS4.

That’s the opinion of Wedbush analyst Michael Patcher.

However, he doubts that it will be necessary, especially since the u-turn on its DRM policies for the Xbox One.

Speaking to investors, he said that he believes Microsoft could still emerge out on top of the next generation, despite the false start.

“Microsoft intends to offer a more robust hardware bundle than Sony will offer, and Microsoft is convinced that consumers will ultimately appreciate the value proposition presented by Kinect,” Pachter told investors.

“Microsoft has not done a particularly good job of communicating the value proposition to consumers, but today’s announcement will remove an impediment to the company’s ability to get its message across.

“We are confident that with six months of focused messaging, Microsoft can fully level the playing field with Sony, and we expect the Xbox One to sell as many units as the PS4.

However, should he be wrong and Microsoft fails to sell as well, if not better than the PS4, he fully expects the company will lower the price of the Xbox One.

“If we are wrong, we think that Microsoft is prepared to lower price next year.”


Xbox 180: Microsoft Fully Reverses Xbox One’s DRM Policies

Xbox One will not require regular online check-ins or place restrictions on game-lending “as a result of feedback from the Xbox community,” Microsoft announced today.

The announcement is a complete reversal of the company’s previously announced DRM policy for games on the Xbox One.

“After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One,” Xbox executive Don Mattrick wrote in a blog post, “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.” Mattrick added that Xbox One would be region-free; any Xbox One disc would function in any Xbox One console.

Additionally, Mattrick wrote, players will be able to “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.”

This will come at a small cost — despite previous announcements, Xbox One will require that discs remain in the tray in order to play games, and players will be unable to share downloaded games. In other words, it’ll work exactly like the Xbox 360 — for better and for worse.

Before today’s announcement, things were looking bad for Microsoft. Scores of memes mocking the Xbox One were made. Public consumer polls put the PlayStation 4 ahead of the Xbox One by a wide margin. The Navy Times called the Xbox “a sin against all service members,” arguing that the console’s restrictive online policies were “a ‘showstopper’ for any service members who rely on their Xbox for off-duty diversions downrange, in the field, or at sea.”

The company had also planned a complicated license-transfer scheme that would allow Xbox One users to trade in games at approved retailers, but which would prevent them from simply allowing a friend to borrow the disc, also putting the kibosh on game rentals.

Capitalizing on online anger about Microsoft’s policies, Sony took E3 by storm with their announcement that the PlayStation 4 would use no similar DRM scheme. Sony even went so far as to publicly mock Microsoft’s complicated policies via its YouTube channel.

PS4 Boss: Big Game Companies Are More Conservative

PS4 boss Shuhei Yoshida says the PlayStation‘s renewed focus on independent developers is a reaction to the industry’s widespread conservatism

Shuhei Yoshida, PS4 games boss and star of Sony‘s Xbox-teasing ‘sharing’ YouTube viral, says the PlayStation’s renewed focus on independent developers is a reaction to the industry’s widespread conservatism.

“We see big companies being more conservative, not providing fresh and exciting enough content any more,” Yoshida-san, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, told T3,
“It’s the small guys coming up with amazing stuff and pushing the industry forward. Last year was really the year of the indies, with Journey and The Walking Dead sweeping the awards. We wanted to make the PS4 platform easier for them to self-publish.”

Xbox One will not support self-publishing at launch and requires all developers to partner with a publisher to get a game to market. This has provoked anger among many self-financing game creators, with Oddworld Inhabitants boss Lorne Lanning declaring them “out of touch with their audience” to Eurogamer.

“It’s important to us that independent developers get monetised and recognised,” Yoshida-san continued to T3. “Many of them are not students but veterans who used to work in large studios and want to make something for themselves. It’s a big focus for us.”

The man in charge of game development at PlayStation has become something of an internet star, not just with the cheeky pot shot at Microsoft’s new DRM plans – released as soon as the PS4’s £349 price was announced – but also on Twitter.

Yoshida-san (@yosp) regularly engages with gamers and took to the social network after the PS4 keynote to further explain his firm’s policies and tech specifications. Yet the internet’s ire has not ignored even the much-liked president entirely.

“Oh yes, that’s happened a couple of times, too,” he told T3. “Sometimes people are really harsh. Many use Twitter with anonymous names, creating accounts to attack people. If you look like an enemy to those people, they attack, so it’s best not to engage. I learnt some lessons there.”