Microsoft Backs Down on DRM; Will It Change Minds?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Microsoft Backs Down on DRM; Will It Change Minds?

Something very exciting only recently happened when Microsoft--who likely saw the torches and pitchforks on the mob which reached back from Redmond clear as far as Kansas--who pulled back on the DRM reins and put out the word that many of what was previously thought banned would be, in fact, allowed. This was reacted to across the Web with various levels of relief and outright cynicism, but the question of the day was, would it change anyone's minds?

Given that on the Web--at least several parts of same--public opinion was running against the Xbox One at about the level that's best described as "a wedding where everyone in the room hates the groom except the bride," it's a reasonable point that Microsoft would want to make some changes lest it lost the entire console war by having virtually no one show up to buy an Xbox One. So Microsoft pulled a 180, removing the once-a-day login requirement to play games and replacing it with a once-in-the-console's-lifetime requirement. The idea of used games was opened back up as well, and everyone at Gamefly probably breathed a near-simultaneous sigh of relief at the thought that an entire console's worth of games would be no longer unavailable for rent, matched only by the relief from GameStop. Even the region restrictions would be pulled, allowing gamers in, say, Australia to pick up United States games.

There were, as some projected, losers in such a decision, with publishers no longer able to get in on the action from the used gaming market, though this loss is really nothing new as publishers weren't getting in on the used market much as it was. Some in turn claim that every used game sold is a new game that won't be sold, but then, the chances of that person buying a new game were rather slim to begin with.

Given that the pre-order launch edition of the PlayStation 4 already sold out at Amazon, it's a safe bet that Sony likely won't prove a loser in the gaming stakes. But the question is, how many gamers will change their minds and go from Sony back to Microsoft? Microsoft has some very exciting games in the pipeline, like "Dead Rising 3"--which certainly got me--as well as "The Elder Scrolls Online," which seems as though it won't be as PS4-exclusive as early reports had suggested, and that's certainly going to get some attention.

In fact, it's starting to look like Sony's only real draw left is its price tag, which at $100 under Microsoft's may well be worthwhile to plenty of gamers. The fact that Amazon is out of PS4 launch day preorders (at least those without an extra game) says something about the posture of many gamers. There's still quite a bit of ground to cover between the launch of the new hardware and right now, though, so just about anything could come up between there and there to cover things. Keeping an eye on this particular development, though, should be very much worthwhile, especially for gamers considering which system will occupy their time in the coming years.
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