Microsoft – We listen, honest!

Now with added hugs and friendliness?


Chalk one up for the humble consumer?

On Wednesday night, Microsoft admitted that they might have made a mistake with their proposed DRM strategy for the forthcoming Xbox One console and pulled off quite the reversal in policy.

Going forth, Xbox One games will not be locked to your profile, the trade-in market will be supported and the system will be region-free.


Would this have anything to do with the post-E3 2013 conversation in the gamer sphere being entirely dominated by Sony, the PS4 and a seemingly never-ending avalanche of negative Microsoft stories?  Seriously, it was getting to the point where I was expecting some NeoGaf sleuth to dig into a trademark filing database and find out that the Xbox One had hidden functionality allowing it to drown family pets and scatter your morning cereal with unmentionable things.

You have to hand it to Microsoft for listening to their audience – or having smart PR people working there who have been face-palming for the last week as Don Mattrick, Phil Harrison and co repeatedly opened mouth and inserted both feet with each public appearance and interview they made.

Does this change anything for MS, then?  I can well imagine that the people who were so utterly aggrieved by the DRM suite of Xbox One might well have found this announcement more to their taste but my own opinion is pretty much the same.

I never had a problem with the ‘always-on’ console check as my cable internet connection rarely craps out, I can count on one hand the amount of times in the last gen that I traded in a game and the cloud functions for distributed processing actually seem vaguely progressive.  It’s the other stuff which bothers me.

An extra $100 for a mandatory Kinect peripheral that literally cannot work with the layout of my living room and which I can’t use.  That infuriating Xbox Live ecosystem which is continually in your face, pimping micro-transaction product at you and charging you a yearly fee for the privilege.  Television services and functions heavily trailered in press conferences and online which won’t be available outside North America.  An endless diet of bro-shooters and EA Sports franchises: None of that stuff has changed in the last 24 hours.

So, good news for many gamers but not an update which changes anything for me.




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