When Will Gamers Say Enough Is Enough?

When Will Gamers Say Enough Is Enough?

I’ve seen some very similar responses to today’s Xbox One news, whether it be the mandatory 24-hour “check-in” or the restrictions on game lending. It’s a defensive sort of reply, brought up by somebody who doesn’t see the news as downright terrible.

“But they’re still letting us trade games!”

“We can still play games if we login once a day!”

All without a hint of irony.

It makes me so sad I can barely bring myself to talk about it.

Is this what the last decade of video gaming has conditioned us to becoming? A market that simply trudges from one restriction to the next, shuffling our way along a road that ends with video game publishers getting the absolute maximum amount of money from us for the absolute minimum of effort?

It’s hard looking back over the years and seeing anything but.

Sure, we’ve always had some form of restriction with our games systems. Region locks have been with us since almost the dawn of time. But the rate at which things have escalated in the “online” era put things like plastic tabs on an N64 in the shade.

And yes, there are benefits to gaming’s modern infrastructure. Instant downloads, fire sales, convenience, connectivity. But those benefits have also come with some hefty conditions.

It would have been absurd if your SNES cartridges only worked in your SNES. Or if Street Fighter II couldn’t be played at an arcade if Capcom’s phone lines weren’t working. Or if Metroid’s “true” ending had only been available as part of a $US5 expansion.

“I just want to buy a video game and play it, whenever and however I want.”

Yet those are the kinds of situations we find ourselves in today. Beginning with the launch of Steam and the first DLC for video games, and going on through online delivery services and online passes, we’ve gradually found ourselves gamers in a market that treats every sale as a rental, every purchase a privilege.

When did the consumer lose so much power? When did the market, the force that should be dictating how these companies behave by refusing to put up with anti-consumer measures and shaping policies with our wallets, roll over and say “have your way with me”?

The answer is we did it 10 years ago. And five. And yesterday. And today. We love video games so much, this wonderful pastime, hobby and artform, that whenever a company that makes money off them places a load on our backs, we endure it, because we’re willing to put up with it to get to the games we want to play.

As they drop each load, one by one, we barely protest, because each small weight on its own seems worth it. It’s only when you look back, and see how much you’re now carrying just to purchase and play a video game in 2013, that you realise, wow, that’s kind of messed up.

I’ve often wondered whether we would ever actually break from the strain, and people would begin to say – en masse and with true intent – that enough was enough. I honestly never thought I would, I thought our tolerance would just continue to strengthen in order to carry the load, but the backlash surrounding the things like SimCity’s launch and now Xbox One’s policies has surprised me.

Maybe we are reaching a tipping point. The space where people draw the line and say, OK, I’ve put up with a lot of crap, but this is too much. I just want to buy a video game and play it, whenever and however I want. These roadblocks you keep putting in front of me aren’t worth it, and no matter how good your games look, I’m not willing to put up with all these restrictions just to play them.

I hope so. We got to this point in time, with people conditioned to accept that publishers are doing us a favour by letting us buy their games, because many gamers forgot a very simple rule about being a consumer: if you don’t like something, don’t buy it.

It’s been a tough stance to stick to in our case, though, because we’re not talking about hand soap or instant coffee here. We’re talking about video games, some of the best entertainment on the planet. Saying no to games is hard.

Yet video game publishers and platform holders aren’t politicians. They don’t respond to public perception, or complaints on forums, or angry messages on Twitter. They respond, as I’ve said before, to sales.

As such, it’ll be interesting to see whether the rising anger over Microsoft’s stance with the Xbox One – and against EA’s SimCity disaster – really does start to impact companies at the register. If so, it’d be a first, albeit a very important one for the market.

And if it doesn’t? Well, keep lugging that load. You’re getting awfully good at it.


  • Yet video game publishers and platform holders aren’t politicians. They don’t respond to public perception, or complaints on forums, or angry messages on Twitter. They respond, as I’ve said before, to sales.

    That’s kind of what I am doing right now – I’m protesting with my wallet. I am in it for the gaming so I’m investing in retro consoles because I know they are from a period when it was about the games and not about publisher’s being a law unto themselves.

    Heck, I half feel we are on the verge of another 1983 crash. The factors are there. There is a lot of product that is much of the same thing (bland shooters and one CoD or MW after another) and consumers are feeling alienated (this time from their privacy being violated instead of a over blown market).

    And the other half of me? I wishing it would happen so that publishers would get the long over due wakeup call they deserve.

    • I agree 100% with you, Luke! I myself have the self control to say enough is enough, I did so quite a long time ago and began importing the vast majority of my games. I began buying PSN cards for different regions to avoid even digital price gouging. Thankfully I am primarily a PS3 gamer and thus all but one game is region free. I gave up on the local industry a long time ago. I also own a Wii and 360, however I haven’t even touched the Wii in so long I almost forget I own one. As for the 360, even though some games are region locked I just import from the UK. The price gouging and region locks aren’t the only reason I import 90% of the time though. It’s also due to the yearly game bans before the implementation of an R rating, micro transaction, on disc DLC etc. During the PS2 era I used “Swap Magic” to play imports. During the PS1 era I had my console chipped to play imports too.

      Simply refuse to be ripped off and treated with such sheer disrespect by the industry. I most definitely WILL NOT be buying an Xbone. The amount of invasive DRM they think they can get away with is disgusting. If it turns out the PS4 will be utilising anything remotely similar, I will be going back to PC gaming. I forgot to mention I had a brief stint with PC gaming in 2007. If consumers actually suck up the Xbones BS, it will be very sad indeed. I can see a very grim future for consoles or hopefully, a market crash to give publishers and manufacturers like MS a major reality check.

    • Yep. Vote with your $$$.

      I’m too old and I’ve been following gaming too long to get outraged about stuff anymore.

      I loved simcity 4. Didn’t buy the new sim city because I didn’t like the direction they headed. That’s all I can do. I don’t have the energy to write msgs in all caps anymore. I think I lost that energy when Star Wars 2 came out. There’s no point in ranting about stuff I can’t control.

      I also loved Plants Vs Zombies. I won’t be picking up the sequel at this rate either. Microtransactions are turning into a cancer on the ipad.

      • See I’d get PvZ play it and just not buy anything for it, just as I do for any FTP game because well, it’s free. The interesting takeout to this also is that because I didn’t pay for it, I also don’t care enough to want to complete it.

        The number of shutdowns on Facebook games lately tells me that FTP is a fickle and fast moving target, currently all the casuals seem to be into Candy Crush, a month from now something else will come along and the whales will move on to the next fad!

    • I actually want another video game crash. Yeah, if it does happen it will be a couple of shitty years while everything sorts itself out again (which is what retro consoles are for (^_^)) but in the long run it would be great for the industry, letting it start over again.
      Also, definitely speak with your wallet, I will be doing that for the coming generation also (and a couple of things for this generation too :D)

      • I think the FTP market will crash, if you look at Zynga it’s already part-way there but I want EA to suffer for what they’ve proliferated in this arena, trouble is they’re so diversified that even a stupid decision of E.T. level proportions is unlikely to sink them.

  • Amen to that! Could you imagine if the entire gaming community just refused to buy the Xbone in simple protest to this garbage? That would be amazing. Remember people, we give them our money. THEY should be working for US!

    • This really needs to happen…it’s the only chance we have to effect change. If the xbone dies abysmally they will have to realise why and either up change or get out of the biz (creating an opportunity for someone else…and they are others who will gladly fill the void, look at the recent Kickstarter games devices)

      I certainly won’t get a xbone and I’ve had sometimes multiples of every console since ps1.

  • There’s currently a large reddit thread in /r/gaming which has just advised everyone whom is unhappy to contact Microsoft, remove their Xbox Live auto renewal and remove their payment details.

    All of a sudden you now cannot remove your payment card
    The call centre has closed early

    Laughable! I just removed mine online, but I can’t remove my CC details. Funny that.

    • I swear, I’ve removed my Xbox LIVE auto renewal twice, and my machine still says I’m registered for another auto payment next month. Even recieved an e-mail confirming it.

      • contact your bank to stop the direct debit. Not ideal, but the best way to halt payments you don’t want to make

        • Be careful doing that. I did that and my account got banned until I coughed up the money.

          • I think it’s personally ALWAYS been fantastic how when you removed a credit card from your Xbox Live account Microsoft blacklisted it lol. They’ve done it to two of mine when I rang up and had them removed from my XBL account, as when I rang and had my XBL gold stopped (I tried twice on the website, it kept billing me), they warned me it would be blacklisted and no longer accepted for ANY MS products.

            MS… throwing tantrums since 2005.

    • This is why I use points and buy membership codes thru 3rd party suppliers, M$ are inscrutable when it comes to credit cards. Valve has the right idea, you can opt to have it forget your details after a purchase, meaning I know my kid isn’t going to suddenly be able to purchase games or TF2 hats while I’m not looking!

  • “if you don’t like something, don’t buy it” I have done this with everything, even games. Any games I do not like or agree with the conditions etc I will not buy, and I will not be buying the Xbox One.

    @irvyne, this is something every one should do. no one, not a single person should buy it.
    I do not care (that much) for not trading games, or the kinect stuff. Its the always online (as M$ would say.. oh but its only once every 24 hours) even for offline games that did it for me, I should not have to ‘check-in’ once every *insert any amount of time here* to play a game the is offline.

    In my last job I moved around a lot, so only ever had access to the internet on my phone, not enough to play online.. but I had my 360 with me and could play any time I wanted.. that is how it should be.. Sorry M$ but you lost this customer!!

    • I should not have to ‘check-in’ once every *insert any amount of time here* to play a game the is offline.

      I’ll never understand why people think it’s okay to treat consumers like fucking criminals.

      If I buy a newspaper, do I have News Corp. follow me around saying “you can only read our paper at x time of the day”, waving EULAs in my face that give my consent to give them every bit of personal information and credit card info? Do I have film and music companies do this when I buy a DVD or CD? No. So why it is OK for Microsoft and EA to do this for video games?

  • Because gamers are in an unique market where they aren’t shopping for the best or what serves their needs, they’re shopping for everything.

    Phil Spencer has already come out saying that it doesn’t matter what they do, the gamers will buy anyway.

  • GAMERS are all saying enough is enough.

    Non-gamers and fratboys just keep throwing their parents money at a company they can’t remember the name of.

  • I’m going to protest by buying a PS3 and mining the back catalog over the next nine months, wait until the dust has cleared and buy the console that looks likely to fuck me off the least.

    • I bought all of the last gen consoles and will be buying none of the new ones, and not just because of the restrictions. Consoles have become little more than feeding troughs for big publishers to pile their “ticks-all-the-marketing-boxes” shovelware swill for the mass-market to stuff their snouts in. It’s PC full time for me. Steam isn’t without some of the issues outlined in the article, but given the intrinsic nature of online distribution and the low prices, this is a non-issue for me. Also, I’m not locked into Steam. There are other options. PC is an open platform. As far as distribution options go, it’s survival of the fittest – the consumer holds the power. And that is exactly as it should be.

  • I’ve seen it on here before but I’m afraid ‘we’ (hardcore gamers) aren’t the market for the new consoles. My brothers and my cousin buy whatever looks good, at full retail. Their Steam library is littered with barely or entirely unplayed games. I think as long as they don’t have crap launch titles, both new consoles will probably do just fine.

  • the Xbone is getting treated by me the same way ubisofts always online with installation limit bs is. avoid like the plague, still haven’t played assasins creed 2 and up, or farcry 3.

  • I haven’t used my 360 in a year. Why?
    1- my dashboard is now a billboard.
    2 – PS+. For the price of gold I get games thrown at me.
    3 – my friends have migrated to ps3.
    4 – Steam and GOG sales.
    The BS involved in getting rid of gold auto- renewal was both offensive and has put me off any future microsoft online shenanigans.

    • I buy so many fewer games now due to ps+. It just gives me so many good titles that I still don’t have enough time to play. So my purchasing now is limited to AAA titles that I salivate for. This has to be good for promoting quality too.

      • This^ I don’t have time for them all either. My HDD is full. I haven’t finished Okami and they throw Ico, SoC and demon souls at me. I have started putting games into my cart and not downloaded them just so I can access them when I have time. Maybe it will take a huge XBL shutdown (like PSN) for M$ to pull its head out of its arse.

        • I’ve been dong this for a while…I add everything new to the cart each month and purchase…then download and play when/if I can. I also love the exposure I get to games I otherwise would not have played. ‘Thomas was alone’ is a great little game.

    • I’m kind of the same. I’ve hardly used mine in a while I’m too busy with work but:
      1. Yes, the interface is a joke and I even miss the blades now because of it.
      2 & 3. I still have my PS3 out but it is mostly for multimedia purposes.
      4. Steam I am moving away from with the rise of GOG.com

      To play it safe, I have my PayPal account set on my 360.

      It’s kind of ironic that I hardly use mine now, because I oft went to it as in this generation of all games being multi-platformers, the 360 faired better than the PS3 (most likely because porting to the PS3 was just done in a lazy manner).

      What is sadder is current generation had a lot of promise when it started. Sure both the PS3 and 360 suffered from the flood of poor PC ports but as time went on some exclusives emerged and each console had its own justification. Like PS3 had the Uncharted and Folklore games (don’t start with the Killzone and MGS ‘games’, fanpeople; they are movies not games!), and the 360 had games by Sakaguchi’s Mistwalker and the first Mass Effect.

      This was short lived though. Soon after the exclusive term got dropped and all games became multiplatformers most likely so publisher do not lose anyone listed in their market research. Years ago, games used have each version developered for a specific platform, now it seems games are only developed to a code engine and/or API and no-one considers the differences between hardware platforms (each console type and PC configuration is technically its own platform due to hardware differences). This is a bit let down because without considering the hardware, optimisations cannot be put in place to ensure the experience is the same on all platforms or each version tooled to take advantage of the hardware it is running on.

      After the near abandonment of making exclusive titles (they are so rare now), publishers started this nonsense where parts of the game came on disk but had to be unlocked using a one time code or a fee if you bought it second hand. Then came attempts to attach PC oriented DRM-servers to consoles (worst offender, EA and trying to tie console games to Origin).

      Now we have this new form of DRM boxes that do nothing more but invade one’s privacy. Granted, consoles have been DRM boxes for some time but at least they did not log when you went to the toilet and how often.

      Despite my bad comments about the Android operating system, I still see the Ouya as the only viable option other than going retro in the new console generation and can’t wait for mine to ship later this month. The Ouya’s advantages in short:
      * It’s cheap: $100 US
      * You are allowed to customise it: their Web site even encourages users to open the box and see inside.
      * The console can also act as a developer kit: just down the ODK from the Web site and wait for the console to be released.

      While there are issues with the controller lag (from what I’ve read) and the lack of hardware (it only has a 1.7 GHz processor and 1 GB of DDR3 RAM), the fact is it open offers the opportunity for independents to find ways to improve the hardware and even provide flexible and high performance game engines for the console.

      I said it before and I say it again, we have been on the verge of a 1983 repeat and I am certain that if Microsoft and Sony hold to their current stance it will happen again.

    • Cannot disagree with this at all in any way shape or form. We started playing our PS3 recently as we got Injustice and MK on it and I realised that over the last few years, the ps3 no longer lags behind the 360 in terms of ports etc. Infact in some cases (read, pretty much most) it seems to match or excel past it now. I guess my games will come from steam or the ps3 now.

      • Agreed. I always bought 360 over PS3. This changed about 18 months ago. Haven’t played the latest Halo but I just don’t care anymore. My wiiU has seen more action than 360 which says a lot.

    • See this is very level headed reasoning AND so to the point that I don’t know why everyone just does not adopt the same attitude themselves.

    • I use mine for that a lot too (I have kids, so it’s good for putting on GT or Youtube while feeding the baby without having to be in front of a TV) but I wonder whether the growth in that kind of activity is informing M$’ focus with the new box.

  • The biggest thing that Microsoft didn’t count on is that the internet is a bigger thing than it was back when the 360 came out. It’s now easier for us gamers to come together and vent are frustrations and to tell them what we think. Microsoft have lost me with the X1. There is nothing they can do to make me change my mind.

  • IMHO… video games is every markets wet dream if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s the current “old generations” target of the day (like music and books..)

    It’s the only market where the consumer has been *conditioned* to take really bad consumer restrictions and take it in the chin and “deal w/ it” because “it helps the industry/devs”

    Years of having been the target and the underdog has been a good thing and a bad thing for us as consumers as a whole. While we are very defensive of our chosen medium it also means we seem to be very forgiving of any limitations brought upon us as long as it keeps the medium running. The insidious part is the fact that these limitations have been creeping up to the point that as the article says we have all been desensitised. You want a limitation to the consumer? Just say we “need” it for either performance or “a way to support the devs/pubs”.

    Most people will say your being alarmist! It’s just games! The intresting fact is… it’s already happened. People are loosing their consumer rights and their saying “deal w/ it”, “it’s already happening anyway…”. And we take it in the chin… “support” the industry… and then take the next lot of “upgrades”.

  • The problem is that this isn’t just a problem with the upcoming console, but also for Steam. Think of all the people who are defending Steam saying “Hey, at least we get cheap games, stable service and fast, convenient downloads!”. That is those who are happy with the restrictions given to them. I not saying that people currently using Steam are stupid or anything, it’s more that I can’t carry the load anymore, but they can, and I’m sad about that. (That I can’t continue to enjoy good games, not feel sorry for those who keep on going)

    • But I think steam is a different beast principally because of price. If MS had all these conditions with the xbone but games were goings to be $50 day 1, $30 3 weeks later and part of a bundle for $10 in 6 months time I’m sure people would care a lot less too. We are willing to make sacrifices based on value (which is why we tolerate ads in free television etc but go nuts when they end up on pay tv too)

      Of course some lines can’t be crossed and the kinect patent on checking ow many viewers you have is a major privacy intrusion.

      • Steam games can also be played offline =P

        Again the difference here is that the positives on Steam more than out weights the negatives. Add to the fact PC is an *open* system/market you have a plethora of alternatives outside of Steam such as GOG and whatnot..

        A console is a *closed* system/market. You get what you get on your console only. And you get all the “restrictions” from PC that you would never associate w/ a console w/ practically nil return for the consumer or value.

        • Then there is the point people don’t make that PC games allow fan made patches, mods etc that extend the life of the game, revitalise it without having to buy a HD release again it keeps it working for hardware generations to come.

          Ie DOSbox or Steam Workshop. PC really is the platform for enthusiasts.

    • Steam offers to forget your credit card details, M$ doesn’t, that’s a big tick in Steam’s favour.

  • Unfortunately, voting with our wallets does nothing. Why? Because sales is sales is sales. There’s good sales and there’s bad sales and companies do what they can to affect them. I’ve never seen consumers ever create a change by what they chose or chose not to buy.

    If the Xbox One doesn’t sell well then Microsoft will make the appropriate changes or use the appropriate strategies, and only if they’re sure that’s what will fix it. I doubt that they’ll fix this issue because a good bit of “they’ll get used to it” and the latest Halo will fix anything.

    • I’ve never seen consumers ever create a change by what they chose or chose not to buy

      You’ve got to be kidding right?

      • Ask nestle if consumers have ever made a change? I can think of 3 of theirs off the top of my head (formula in Africa, palm oil, milo recipe)

        • Yep, the formula issue led to a boycott in the late 70s and a senate inquiry in America which led to Nestle being fined *majorly* over it.

      • The difference is that fast food doesn’t really require any research beyond going in once, paying very little money and then realising, “This stinks, I shall never eat here again.”

        How many ordinary consumers do you think are aware of these restrictions? Hell I’m still not sure what the story is with used games and I read Kotaku everyday! A family is going to buy the Xbox One for the kids for $7-800, and the first time they’ll know any of this crap Microsoft is pulling will be when they go away for a week and want to bring the console with them only to find out it need an internet connection every 24 hours. Or when they want to trade in game for the latest blockbuster only to be told, “Sorry, the publisher of this game has said they don’t want to do trade-ins and we’re not part of Microsoft’s trade-in program anyway”

        • The difference is that fast food doesn’t really require any research beyond going in once, paying very little money and then realising, “This stinks, I shall never eat here again.”

          I would disagree with that. Fastfood does require some research. For instance, the ‘healthfood’ at mcdonalds? You only find out things like, their lettuce is washed in sugarwater if you research it, making their ‘salads’ unhealthy, their reasoning is the sugar keeps the salad leaves greener and stops them rotting over longer time periods. There’s research to be done on EVERYTHING if you WANT to research it. How many parents do you think will actually research the Xboxone before they buy it for their kids? Not many, not many at all. All they will know is the latest COD is coming out for it and their kids want it.

      • Having read that article, I think having an entire culture that pretty much agreed to out the grand total of 6 McDonalds made it not very hard. It was also apparent that the boycott got a lot more coverage than the people here who may or may not buy an Xbox.

        It also depends on what is considered a successful boycott. I’ve got the feeling that the Xbox would just die out from lack of sales, than actually change the problems it has.

    • It happened with Cadbury a year or so back. They changed their chocolate recipe, their customers were outraged and stopped buying it. I think it was about 6 to 12 months or so before they changed it back again. And also, I think, restored the blocks to their previous, larger size.

    • Really? The company makes ALL of it’s decisions on it’s sales.

      If people stop buying the machine, they will pay attention.

      But my money’s on MS reading the public’s mood and dropping the online requirements. I could be wrong, but they’re not stupid.

      • My point is that they will not be paying attention to the real problem. Their solution to people not buying it is to offer more things they think we want rather than fixing the problems. This is doubly so for the games on offer: if there are games people want then it will still sell to them.

        • I don’t know how you can be so sure what direction they’ll take. But who cares if douche-bros buy the system (they will).

          At least YOU won’t have the system that you don’t want, in your house. Win=win

          • Well obviously I can’t tell the future. I’m basing this off of the actions of so many companies in the last decade. I’ve seen so many strange decisions by companies that were clearly based on internal marketing metrics. Decisions that were against the very consumers who said they would not buy their products until the problems were fixed.

      • Tinfoil hat or not, there are many conspiracy theories that New Coke was a marketing ploy, or even that Coke Classic was actually still the New Coke formula.

  • I’d like to think that sales will suck and Microsoft will go “fiddle de dee we should probably undo all these limitations we put on people” but I think as soon as they release a killer app then they’ll get the sales they want and carry on.

    I’ll be staying well away though, and if the PS4 pulls the same tricks then I will not buy that either.

    If this is the future of gaming and entertainment then I might be sticking to the old stuff and indies, or just finding a new hobby that doesn’t mess me around when all I want to do is enjoy it.

  • Tell you how to fight anti-consumer measures: pirate the damn games. It may not be pretty but until publishers get the message I really don’t care.

  • Microsoft doesn’t care if you don’t buy it. They’re not shocked the backlash either. You can’t tell me they didn’t think people were gonna cause a stink about being online once a day, of course they would have expected this, they would even have planned on it. Somewhere in MS a bunch of number crunchers have said “ok, we have X amount of millions of 360s that are constantly connected, we can afford to lose the rest, they can keep their 360 so we’ll keep releasing games for that console too”. I’m betting they fully expect a lot of people to stick with the 360.

    The future is always online, we all know that. But we’re not ready just yet, the Internet isn’t as wide spread just yet, maybe we’ll be there in 5 years, maybe 10, either way it’s a risk MS is willing to take. Sometimes technology companies take that risk, sometimes they try and quicken the arrival of new technological trends/eras. We saw this with the 360 pushing HD gaming before HD TVs were affordable for the average person and we saw this with Sony pushing 3D gaming. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. There’s nothing immoral or evil about it, it’s just business and technology. There’s no point getting righteously indignant about it, you haven’t been wronged or violated. Video games are a luxury item and I would advise as the article says “if you don’t like it, don’t buy it”, but there’s no need to tantrum about it. If you feel passionate enough about it, Internet-pants-shitting is the least effective method of getting a company’s attention.

    • That’s a good point shadow, with xbox live they can see who is playing what and where, and can easily correlate that with game sales figures, and then work out who is ‘costing’ them money (traders/renters/borrrowers) and who is ‘making’ them money (dlc sales I’d say, I doubt many renters or loaners buy dlc, if you buy or install included codes you’re a new buying customer). The stats from there are easy to derive.

      • And they can afford to say “if we allow up to 10 people access a shared library from any console we’re still better off sales wise”. It’s cold hard numbers and technology. I’ll be getting an Xbox One because it’ll save me money in the long run because I often buy multiple copies of games for both our consoles. Plus I have two kids and a mountain of discs, getting rid of those will be great. On top of that I don’t care about trading games and I’m always online. There’s no real restrictions for me as a consumer with the Xbox One, only benefits, therefore I am the demographic. I’ve got a friend without Internet however, so I wouldn’t expect them to buy it.

        • How does it save you money when you currently buy multiple copies of games for your consoles? Does the family access allow me and my wife to play a single copy on two machines simultaneously? (We play borderlands 2 together, the ps3 does for downloaded content but obviously not for disc based)

          • The Xbox 360 allows multiple copies of a game to be played through downloadable games but not for disc. Of the Xbone requires me to buy a game twice I’m no worse off than I am now.

        • My understanding is that this “family” sharing doesn’t allow the game to be played on 2 consoles at the same time, though? So if you don’t need to do that then couldn’t you get by with 1 physical copy of the game? If you want to play on 2 consoles at once then you’ll still need to buy 2 copies, won’t you?

      • Which is the entire point of always online DRM. A few lost sales to piracy and used games isn’t enough for them to worry about. It’s all about the amount of ridiculously valuable metrics they can derive from everything. Worth more than anything to their marketing and advertising clients.

  • I understand your concerns, and if you want to boycott the new Xbox console, you should. If you disagree with what they’re selling, by all means, don’t buy it and send a message.

    It’s just… this whole “I’m fighting for FREEDOM!” aspect that confuses me. You’re acting like your standing up to some horrible oppressor of freedom, who is evil and taking away your basic rights! Come on. That’s ridiculous. They’re video game console manufacturers. They’re not the Supreme Court taking away your right to free speech. They’re not denying you voting rights. They’re not collecting your phone records (unlike a certain organ of the American Government).

    First of all, ALL video game publishers and console manufacturers are private companies, making luxury goods. Your console? That’s a luxury. It’s not water. It’s not food. It’s not air. It’s not basic sanitation. It’s not education. It’s a luxury. It’s a consumer product available to the richest 5% of the planet’s population. Hardly a “necessity”.

    When it comes to essentials, I’m socialist/borderline communist. I think all essentials should be free or as cheap as possible. I think people have a right to essentials for living and for working.

    But when it comes to luxury items? I’m as goddamn capitalistic as possible. You DON’T have a right to an Xbox. You don’t. No one does. The Xbox One wasn’t made with your money. And unless you work at Microsoft, you didn’t make it. You have every right to not buy it, but where does this “You have to make it the way I want you to!” come from? THEY make it, THEY have the right to make it how THEY want. YOU have the right to not buy it and tell them to stuff off. That’s YOUR right, but its your ONLY right.

    Don’t like it? Don’t buy it by all means! That’s what luxury consumerism is all about – if you don’t like something, don’t buy it! But this sense of outrage and bitterness and this talk of have your “rights” taken away is ridiculous. You know, there are a lot more things you could be worried about. To our American friends, your NSA is spying on you right now, collecting data about your phone calls and internet searches without a warrant! You should probably spend your time being angry about that, you know, since it actually matters. Us Australians, we’re facing massive energy bills and the ACCC doesn’t seem to be doing its job in regulating the energy market and ensuring fair competition. But no, you’re right, this debate about whether or not we can trade in our electronic fun program discs is probably more important.

    • So one shouldn’t exert their single right to encourage others not to buy a bad product? Come off it that’s the only way we can exert pressure on bad private companies (or make our government legislate against them…I’d actually prefer that…..we have a FTA so take your region locking and f$&k off. It’s a global society now)

      There’s also a certain amount of ‘you didn’t build that’ with private enterprise. To pretend they did it all on their own is ludicrous, so I disagree in that regard, private companies do owe society something…. Making them do business in a fair and just manner for the benefit of themselves and the society shouldn’t be too much to ask.

      (Also at least in NSW your energy bills still haven’t caught up to past energy value. People just complain because its risen sharply in a short time and forget it went nowhere for so long. They also would hate a black out on Boxing Day watching the cricket with their beer fridge next to them and the air con on full bore….but we forget quality when we complain about network costs as well. My families bill is generally $5 a day…. A few minutes of my working time….you wouldn’t exchange a few minutes of your time for electricity for the whole day? Power is still very cheap in the value it provides).

      • How is that a single right? How exactly is the product ‘bad’? Isn’t ‘bad’ defined by the individual? I consider people who give their opinions and incite bullshit to be ‘bad’ people but not everyone does.

        • The single right the poster above stated? Bad can be in the eyes of the individual or society or?? Did you see the examples people gave of companies having ‘bad’ products above?

          And didn’t you then come on a site where people give opinions…. To give yours.
          I’m sorry I just don’t understand your comment.

          *edit: autocorrect is not my friend 🙁

    • private companies have a lot of influence over government, especially hollywood, big business, banks etc, money=power. They influence policy which effects us all. Don’t forget electricity in australia is owned by private companies now. Maybe one day our water will be owned by ms and then what.. maybe some of their business practices will come into play.
      I like your post, It makes me feel better a bit, I think it’s pretty optimistic, I wont buy xbone for a lot of reasons, but that’s not what upsets me, I worry abut the future and about the things you mentioned, air, water, quality of life. I fear this is a way to get the ball rolling and for consumers to get used to being abused and policed.
      Consoles are affordable to everyone also, or 90% of the western world so I don’t think they’re a luxury item, anyway that’s not important at all.
      I can’t see anything positive coming of this, another company will be watching and say “Hey look what MS did look at the possibilities, look at the control, look at the revenue… look what the consumer can put up with.. let’s implement that” It’ll happen for sure, and before you know it, it’ll be in all aspects of life.

    • For someone who isn’t worried about it you sure seem to have spent some time and effort writing a massive rant about it.

  • Tyranny will not come over one night, it will happen in small, incremental steps and will come wrapped in your nations video game console.

  • I can’t speak for everyone but I’ve had enough and I wont be buying into it.
    MS telling me how long I can know someone before lending them a game, checking how many people in my house,”letting” my family play games “for free” in my home.. thank you very much how f’n gracious, where does it end… soon I wont be able to offer another dude a tim tam without needing permission from the biscuit company, no one will own a home and we’ll have to pay per visitor and we’ll have cameras in every room so it can see and charge us for every time we take a dump, every time we sit on the couch.
    fuck that.. it’s gotta end now. You can all lay down and take that crooked corporate d**k but I’m gonna go out kicking and screaming, it’s not about xbone, it’s about our futures.

    • Firstly, why in gods name are you offering people tim tams?!?!?! YOU NEVER GIVE AWAY YOUR TIM TAMS! Secondly, don’t the majority of people not own their home??

  • I’m really curious to see the sales numbers when this thing is released.

  • Wow. This is why I read Kotaku. It’s so lovely this publication is reinventing itself as a legitimate news outlet!! Thanks so much for being honest- THAT brings my pageviews. Thanks for saying the BL00DY OBVIOUS. Because so many others DO NOT. And look where it’s gotten us. I guess the press thinks FOR gamers- if so, then you must be automatically making the gamer world a better place; because common sense and self respect have long been ignored here in favour of a fanatical devotion to certain publishers/console manufacturers/etc, and apperently outright addiction. It’s sick, now. That’s where we are. I hope it changes.

  • I’m sure it’ll be an unpopular view on a site like this, but there’s no such thing as ‘gamers’ as some singular mass. Gamers come in all sizes and tastes. Some gamers don’t like what the XB1 is, and some gamers do. What you call half-arsed excuses for the console or ‘conditioning’ is nothing more than some other gamers having different tastes to you. That doesn’t mean they’re brainwashed or conditioned or showing Stockholm syndrome or anything else.

    You ask why gamers don’t say ‘enough is enough’. The answer is simple: your problems aren’t everyone’s problems. The people that don’t want to buy the XB1 won’t buy it, and the people that do want to buy it will. What you lament as ‘gamers’ not uniting and universally rejecting an idea is basically just selfish: you want gamers to rally together to support your cause, not their cause. That’s not realistic, and it’s why you end up being disappointed.

    There was a time when gamers were all mostly similar, because the range of games was small and the people came from similar mindsets and walks of life. Those days are long gone, and feeling like there’s some singular common goal behind the entire modern gaming community is naive. You’ll never get the whole community agreeing on something, and you’ll never get a product designed to cater for the whole community any more. We, the gamers who were here from the start, aren’t special any more, we’re just one of millions.

    So if you don’t want to buy the XB1, don’t buy it. But don’t expect some mythical ‘gamer community’ to rally behind your decision, because that creature no longer exists.

    • Agreed… not all “gamers” are the same… but there is *one* thing that we all have in common (…. well besides the obvoious one =P) and that’s were also *consumers*

      As consumers it should be the *market* working for our money not *us* paying for the market. As the years have gone by we have had a majority of our consumer rights severely compromised in the excuse of “it supports the industry”. Which frankly is a load of bollocks…

      As consumers we are all fairly reasonable to change/restrictions as long as there is still a perceived greater value to the loss.. Steam on PC is the perfect example of getting “restrictions” right. Sure we loose some basic rights of fair sale but in exchange we get cheaper games that we can import to *any* PC we go to, a convenient server system for multiplayer and more importantly we still have the ability to play the games w/o *any* restrictions besides a one off activation..

      As it stands all these *restrictions* for the console brings *NOTHING* to increase the value of the experience for a majority of consumers. And honestly can anyone explain any *significant* gain a consumer receives from these measures? Not excuses of “it’s the future”/”PC already does it”/”etc.” What do we *gain* from loosing all these consumer rights?

      If MS can concretely point out actual *legitimate* value increase to the consumer experience then we have basis to be more “accepting” of these restrictions. Otherwise its just one from a very long list of anti-consumer practices that the industry as a whole have been lumping on us “gamers”

    • True, there is also a huge body of uninformed consumers, you know I found out yesterday that my younger brother (who basically evangelised the 360 to me) thought that a WiiU was just an add on controller for the current Wii – because that’s what his kids told him!! I was gobsmacked to find out that this misconception is actually out there in the wild.

      All we can do as informed consumers is inform the people in our circle of the pitfalls of buying one of these machines.

      • Definitely agree with people making informed decisions. I think it’s important to present information objectively and let other people decide for themselves if they want it. There’s people who have never touched Windows 8 and are still recycling second-hand complaints they heard from other people that were either untrue or exaggerated in the first place, so I think it’s important to keep others informed, but not to guide their decision.

  • I pointed out on Whirlpool how stupid the Xbox One’s mandatory 24-hour check-in thing and possible publisher-enforced always-on DRM (or “taking advantage of the cloud” in their words) is when most people can’t afford to dish out $100/month+ for a sufficient downloads quota, and thus will have their Xbox Ones bricked because if they get their speed throttled to 50kbps (as opposed to Microsoft’s recommended 1.5mbps), they’re absolutely fucked.

    The response I got from one person was bascially “Well it’s your fault for not being able to afford it. You are in the minority.”. That alone has made it perfectly clear who Microsoft’s audience is for this giant turd. If you are concerned about consumer rights, they do not want your business. If you want a console that just plays fucking games like it should, they do not want your business. If you don’t live in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, they do not want your business.

    Anyone who buys an Xbox One and tries to justify this assrape is what’s wrong with this industry.

    • Can you link the thread (I haven’t posted on Whirlpool in a while but I feel the need to go in there and rant!)

  • Quality article Luke. Please write more like this. Please also puncture the tyres on Patricias car.

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