A little bit on consoles

Most of the policy-level stuff that customers experience on consoles is completely flexible, often in real time.

So things like “We need to connect every 24 hours” and the whole hooha around used games (or not) can be tweaked like mad.

Also, MS is bad at telling people what they actually do. (So is Sony, but the major difference is that they tend to lie more).

Sigh.

—-

Conversation at the gym with an ex-cow-orker who’s still in Xbox:

Me: “You need to poison half your marketing staff.”

Them: “Only half?”

There are people with clues there. It’s a shame they don’t get to apply sanity where it matters.

—-

Update: They caved. I’m honestly surprised. I can just imagine the blood on the walls during those particular meetings.

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7 Responses to A little bit on consoles

  1. Rob says:

    The thing that strikes me as odd is why Microsoft (as the hardware provider) would care about used games. All the talk seems to be about how MS is screwing over the consumer. That may be true, but the only people that look to gain from this is the publishers. I haven’t seen much talk about if either Microsoft or Sony were pressured by the publishers into adding the used game restriction.

    Maybe this is treading on tin-foil-hat material, but I don’t think it’s too far fetched a scenario in which the publishers offered MS and Sony exclusives and early releases in return for control over the used game market. Maybe MS folded to them and added the control over the used market in return for a better line up, meanwhile Sony feels their name is still enough to get a good install base to force the publishers hands.

    • Marcus says:

      You’re correct in that it’s primarily the publishers that gain here. I’m surprised you haven’t seen much talk about it, but the thing is that there are three big publishers that you probably know; EA, with Battlefield and EA Sports; Activision with Call of Duty; and Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed as well as interesting new IPs (at least by the looks of things) such as Watch Dogs and the Division. Behind the scenes, Microsoft does have to bend to the will of publishers as without EA, Ubisoft, or Activision, you don’t have a console, especially since most of the indie market is on PC.

      However, that’s not to say that Microsoft can’t leverage themselves since they are Microsoft, so much of the policies they fully released have lots of fun statements regarding used sales and trading that take it out of their hands, and instead put it into the publishers. Basically, Microsoft was like “Alright, you guys want us to try and mitigate used sales at launch, no problem, however, everything related to this is in your hands, not ours. Something bad happens and we’re pointing at your failings.” Business is fun.

      Also, judging from E3, it doesn’t seem like Microsoft received many new exclusives that they didn’t already have partnerships for in my opinion, with many of the big games going to both, so I’m curious to see what happens in the coming weeks since it’s going to take more than Halo, Forza, and Minecraft to save themselves from this PR nightmare.

  2. Sam says:

    That’s been my single biggest frustration about this whole thing: Sony has told lies, damn lies, and abject pit of despair lies prior to every major console release they’ve ever had.

    I’m not a ‘Team A” or “Team B” kind of guy; but the vitriol that’s being thrown around right now is a tad premature. Maybe wait until they’re out?

    Surely the connection stuff isn’t pushed so deep in the kernel it’s something they can’t change without a massive rewrite? or at least, they can reset the timer to 1x10369779th so it would never elapse?

  3. Kriss says:

    True,

    but the hooha is often needed to help that tweak happen…

  4. Console manufacturers get a cut of game sales so there is a direct financial incentive to encourage new over used sales. Not to downplay the importance of a healthy market, being #1 and monthly fees.

  5. James says:

    I think I’ll stick with my PC. I can’t sell my Steam games either and my PC talks to Microsoft probably more than once a day, but I don’t need to have the creepy Kinect camera staring at me and I’m not paying £40 for a game and then £40 a year to play it online with my friends.

    Plus I’m English with a Yorkshire accent so the stupid Kinect rubbish never understands me anyway.

    The need to have Kinect is the thing people should be wondering about. What’s in it for Microsoft? Why is a Kinect more important than having a second controller free with the console?

  6. MikeA says:

    You think Yorkshire accent vs Kinect is tough, try being Scots in
    a voice-controlled lift.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ

    And, BTW, yes console manufacturers have had various ways to “tax” sales of third-party games for years, so they do have “skin in the game” to defeat used-game sales.

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