Let’s all just take a moment and enjoy this, how about it?
What started as a rumor reported by Giant Bomb has now been confirmed by several articles, the most prominent coming from IGN: Microsoft has decided to rethink the always online / game pass code / no used games / rivers of blood / dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria protocols for their upcoming console. They did, however, still have this cryptic piece of info regarding when you first hook your console up:
“After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again,” Microsoft wrote. “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. Playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.”
…what the ^#*@ does that mean? Will people with absolutely NO internet connection still be able to play? Does the list of “launch countries” still hold weight for people who want to import a console? Still, it is nice that they finally backed down from their previous stance on the subject, which was essentially to give all detractors both middle fingers while doing the heli-cockter. As an added bonus, this will apparently not change the plan to have Xbox One games available for day-one download as well as retail purchase.
To acknowledge just how off-base and out-of-touch these ideas were, I give you Microsoft’s Don Mattrick:
“Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One. You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.”
“These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold.”
“We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.”
The Nerds are certainly glad to hear this news, and it has genuinely changed how some of us are going to approach this holiday launch season. Of course, I have to imagine the general atmosphere around Microsoft offices is a little something like this today:
*Cue X-Files Theme*
Right now, I feel a slight sense of euphoria. I feel like “We did it! We stuck it to the man!” …but what if that’s exactly what they WANT us to feel? It would explain just how lost and unprofessional their entire E3 presence seemed. They let a rep openly dismiss the idea that alienating active military personnel was a bad thing, for heaven’s sake. This way, they get to instantly switch from the Big Bad Dickheads to the guys who “appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity.” Also, last time I checked, something as integral to the system operation (according to them, at least) wouldn’t seem quite so easy to just scrap five months before launch. I’m a tin-foil-hat believer on this one; how about you?