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Game Over: Mistakes in Gaming – Xbox One DRM

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For the inaugural edition of Game Over, I’m going to start with a recent mistake, perpetrated by the likes of Microsoft.

Now what’s the best part about buying a new or used copy of a video game? Well, you can do with it what you want, whether it’s trading it in, selling it online, or letting a multitude of friends borrow it. You own it, and can do whatever the hell you please with it. At E3 2013, I guess somebody forgot to mention that to Mircosoft.

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The big unveiling of the horribly named Xbox One brought the even more abominable news that Microsoft was going to “shake up” the future of the gaming world. All games would be tied to your Xbox Live account, with the disc essentially only used for installation purposes. With that, the purchase of a new disc based game would mean the game would be licensed to you, but you wouldn’t own the license, thus not being able to resell the game without permission of the publisher. Games could be resold at “participating retailers”, but the publishers could charge a fee for the reselling of their game. In addition to that, if you wanted to lend a copy of your game for your buddy to borrow, you’d have to transfer the license to your friend, giving them your game that you could not receive back, virtually eliminating the ability to loan or rent games. And the cherry on top of the poop sundae is that in order to play your games, you’d have to connect your Xbox One to the Internet once every 24 hours, an improbability to a fraction of gamers out there. Even writing this article, it’s hard to believe Mircosoft had the guts and gall to trap gamers in DRM prison. Needless to say, their wacky ideals were met with astounding negativity. In fact, Sony’s subsequent press conference for the PS4, reminiscent of their infamous “$299” declaration in 1995, assured gamers that their system would not operate under those conditions, and would remain the way things had always been, instantly winning over the hearts of the gaming community.

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The backlash over Microsoft’s barbaric policies was so vitriol, that mere days after their announcement, they declared that they would reverse said policies and go back to how things worked with the Xbox 360, and ever other previous console known to mankind. Gamers around the world rejoiced, but the negative stigma put the Xbox One in a hole that three years later they have yet to dig out of. The PS4 has sold around 55 million units to the Xbox One’s poultry 28 million units, nearly a 2 to 1 clip. There’s no doubt that Mircosoft’s failed DRM policies were one of the  main attributor to those feeble sales numbers. Hopefully, Mircosoft learned a valuable lesson, don’t try to hold gamer’s rights hostage, because at the end of the day, with the power of their money, they ultimately decide whether your system succeeds or fails.

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