console wars redux

An update on the Xbox One, they’ve apparently gotten their heads screwed back on tight, and got rid of a lot of their DRM stuff. Pretty much every point I made in the original console wars post has been rescinded. Well, everything except the nonsense about the kinect, which alone makes me prefer the PlayStation.

So, with this new Xbox 180 does it change my opinions about the new Xbox? Not really. The fact of the matter is that this move is too little, too late. While it is nice to see that they are listening to the backlash from fans and the media, I still read a little bit of a slap in the face from Microsoft. Originally they were going to give some nice features as well, such as being able to share your Xbox live account with family members. That is really nice, and for a family with more than one gamer in it, that can save some money. However, their not going to do that anymore, at least that’s what it looks like. When I read their update (link at the bottom of the post) what I hear is “Well, we were going to give you all these nice features to try and make up for our attempt to screw you over with DRM, but since you don’t like the DRM we’re going to take all of those away now because you don’t deserve them.”

Honestly, I’ve had about enough of Microsoft. First they go and make Windows 8 (which they are still trying so desperately to force everyone onto tablets), and now this whole mess with the Xbox.

You can read the whole Xbox One update here.

console wars (aka: why, if I were to buy a console, it would be a PS4)

I am, primarily, a PC gamer. Growing up as a kid we were never allowed to have video games in the house. The closest I ever got to owning a console when I was a kid was when I bought myself a Game Boy Advanced (remember that thing? That feels like forever ago) with my own money that I saved for a few months. It wasn’t until I was in college that my parents bought a Wii (note: after I moved out) which they bought mostly because of Wii sports, which they of course got bored of within a week or two. So, growing up most of the gaming my brother and I did were Star Wars: Rebellion, Age of Empires, and Duke Nukem I & II.

Fast forward to about a year and a half ago. I needed a new laptop for school, but at the same time I wanted something powerful enough to play games on. Well, at the time I couldn’t afford a gaming laptop, so I got one that could fulfill all of my school and programming needs and decided I would build myself a gaming PC once I could afford one, which ended up being last summer, and I did see that it was good.

Ok, now back to the topic. Basically what it comes down to is I am primarily a PC gamer, however, having a console has it’s advantages. I’ve been thinking of getting myself a console for a little while now, and of course with the recent announcements of the PS4 and the Xbox One I figured I would put my thoughts out there. For the sake of this discussion I am going to ignore the WiiU, mostly because it came out a while ago and I’m also thinking about getting one for two main reasons: I already own some Wii games and I really want to play the new Smash Brothers.

So, onward to the two new consoles that were just announced, and to why I won’t be buying an Xbox

Always on DRM

If you have read much of anything on my blog you probably know I am pretty anti-DRM, and this is probably my biggest issue with the Xbox One. For those who don’t know, what this means is that in order to play the Xbox One you are required to have an internet connection. Once every 24 hours your machine has to check in to Microsoft’s servers to make sure that nothing funny is going on.

There are a few problems with this system. For one thing, not everyone has internet. Even among those who do have internet, not everyone wants their console connected to it. Now, granted, an internet connection i s required, but not everyone cares.

But that’s not even the biggest problem with always on DRM. The biggest problem is this: We can’t trust Microsoft (or the publisher as the case may be for certain games) to always keep their servers running. What happens when my console tries to check in, and your server isn’t working? It means I can’t play my games until you solve your issues. It’s stupid. Steam uses a similar check-in system, but Steam at least has an offline mode.

The PS4 does not have a system like this in place, though the way that DRM is used for individual games is up to the individual publishers, so there is still a possibility for this sort of system with 3rd party PS4 games, but it is not system-wide.

Used Games.

This one is not really a big issue for me, as it’s been years since there has even been such a thing as used games for PC, so I’m just going to brush over this one. However, this might be a big issue for some people.

Kinect

I hate motion gaming. Hands down. I think that motion gaming alone almost ruined a whole generation of games. I mean, come on, is there really any proof necessary beyond Star Wars Kinect to prove that the kinect is nothing more than a gimmick with nowhere to go that does nothing but ruin perfectly good franchises?

The Xbox One will not run without the kinect. Granted, it comes with one, but the fact is I don’t want one, and the added kinect built into it just raises the price.

The tl;dr

If I buy a console, which again, is not for sure as I’m more focused on repairing my gaming PC at the moment, it will be a PS4 over the Xbox One. Hands down, no question about it.