After months of rumors and speculation, Microsoft finally unveiled their next-generation console yesterday. The Xbox One was introduced to the world in an hour-long presentation, and while we know what to expect in the entertainment space — TV, sports, etc. — people interested in playing games on the new Xbox were left wanting.
Microsoft preemptively laid out their plan to leave the bulk of the games for E3 in about two weeks, so some of that heat was unwarranted. Questions and concerns were raised after the reveal event nonetheless, so if they want to get things back on track, these are the things that they’ll have to answer to in June.
What’s Really Up With Used & Borrowed Games?
With some highly confused and roundabout messaging on May 21st, Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox One would indeed require an internet connection with daily checks. While that was mostly cleared up, the issue of secondhand games — used or borrowed — remains murky.
Major Nelson tried to make the situation less opaque by stating on his blog that Microsoft “designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail.” Meanwhile, other “specific scenarios” remain under wraps. The fact that they’ve divided secondhand games into “scenarios” is baffling to say the least.
Games will also undergo mandatory installs onto the One’s HDD, with the game being tied to your Xbox Live account. Speculation is running rampant as to what kinds of fees players would have to pay to play a game on a different account — upwards of $40-60 — so Microsoft would do well to have this mess sorted by the end of their E3 conference.
Be Better to the Indies
Sony has made it easier than ever for independent developers to get their games on their platforms. They talked it up during the PS4 reveal, and they’ve even waived the licensing fee to get games onto their PlayStation Mobile platform. Even Nintendo has made significant strides to get indie games on both the Wii U and 3DS eShops.
Meanwhile, Microsoft confirmed that they’re sticking to their overbearing guns when it comes to getting games published on Xbox One. All games will require a publishing partner to see the light of day on the new platform, just like on 360; self-publishing won’t be an option.
Unlike the hardware built into the One, this is pure backwards policy. By making it harder for smaller developers to get their games on Xbox One, Microsoft is not only limiting the amount of software to hit the console, they’re also leaving money on the table for Sony, Nintendo, and Valve to take as they please. The silver lining here is that this policy can be changed whenever Microsoft feels, which is hopefully sooner rather than later.
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