JEFF’S MUSINGS: Thank Sony for the New Xbox One

Friday, June 21st, 2013

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The following musings are those of the writer, do not reflect oprainfall as a whole, and are meant as a means to open a dialog.

PlayStation 4 reveal

Hail to the King, baby.

Ladies and gentlemen, the war is over!

In case you missed it, I’ll explain: Microsoft has announced that the controversial used game and always-online policies they had initially laid out for the Xbox One will no longer be implemented. They have reversed course and will now implement the same policies they had with the Xbox 360. In short, after shooting themselves in the foot after the reveal—and then have Sony grab the gun and shoot them some more at E3 2013—they have decided to put the gun away.

And while I’d like to think they listened when I had my future conversation with an Xbox One, we all know that we should thank Sony for this—or rather, we should thank the people watching the Sony conference for this.

Jack Tretton

Sony was the catalyst for this change. When SCEA President Jack Tretton came out on stage near the end of Sony’s E3 conference and started attacking the Xbox One, Don Mattrick (president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business) must have been beside himself. Tretton was getting standing ovation after standing ovation as he bullet-pointed that the faults of the Xbox One would not be coming to the PlayStation 4. And I can all but guarantee that the Sony chant ringing through the LA Memorial Sports Arena was ringing in Mattrick’s nightmares.

Then, there was the proverbial nail in the coffin of Xbox One as Andrew House, Group CEO of SCE, announced that the PS4 would be priced at $399 USD, $100 less than the Xbox One at launch. Let me make sure this is clear: a higher-powered, less restrictive console was priced less than the mess that Microsoft wrought.

Also, this. This was funny.

It was an absolute dismantling of Microsoft’s new console. They didn’t just kill it that night—they killed it, had everyone pose for pictures with it, gutted it, cooked it for dinner, mounted the cover on the wall, and then threatened to do the same thing to Nintendo (and I totally understand now why they didn’t do a press conference this year).

And then, there was the ripple effect from the conference. After Sony was done, all major publications were declaring that Sony had beaten Microsoft. Jack Tretton even did a ceremonial mic drop after an interview with Geoff Keighley during GameTrailers’ coverage of E3. You can’t buy better press coverage than that.

And then, the fans came out in support of the PS4. Best Buys across North America had their allotment of PS4s sold out within the first two days of E3, while only a few Xbox Ones had been accounted for. In polls across the web, the PS4 was beating the Xbox One by a ratio of 18 to 1. It was clear that gamers were sending a message.

Amazon Video Games poll—PS4 vs. Xbox One

One of the last known screencaps taken before Amazon took down their poll.

So, with all the happenings, writings, and messages during E3, it completely made sense that Microsoft would go back on their DRM and used games policies. This isn’t the first time they’ve done that with a product, either—a similar situation happened when Microsoft launched Office 2013.

I honestly feel sorry for Don Mattrick. It seems like he’s trying to have his Andy Dufresne moment (see The Shawshank Redemption). However, instead of coming out clean after crawling through 500 yards of crap, he’s still covered in crap. And it doesn’t help when one of your employees is abrasive with an interviewer. Granted, Larry Hryb (a.k.a. Major Nelson) is more of a figurehead than an executive, and “Angry Joe” Vargas was asking questions more suited for Mattrick, but things like this are uncalled for:

Angry Joe & Major Nelson 1 Angry Joe & Major Nelson 2
Angry Joe & Major Nelson 3 Angry Joe & Major Nelson 4
Full credit to Joe for staying composed. I’m not sure if I would’ve.

Regardless of what you think of Mattrick, Nelson, or anyone else at Microsoft, the important thing is this: the Xbox One will no longer have its controversial measures.

And we can thank Sony and their fans for that.

About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.

  • Goken

    Nintendo is king.

    • Shulknameholderthing

      Nintendo is love Nintendo is life

    • SONY

      Hail SONY!

    • Charlotte Buckingham

      “And as King, I choose to continue being the only company to region-lock my consoles, and will not allow any of my people to utilise ethernet ports properly! In addition, any of my handheld consoles playing locally will drop out, even if they are sitting right next to each other!”

      I love Nintendo software. Hardware… Not so much.

  • smacd

    Microsoft will still have a long road ahead in rebuilding trust.

    But this is only a half-step. They may have removed the draconian DRM in the machine and the region-lock, but they still have the one piece the NSA is drooling all over- Kinects mandatory with every machine. I didn’t used to have a problem with that part of it, but in a case of bad timing, the PRISM scandal hit at the same time as E3.

    I don’t think pulling a 180 like they did will help as much as they hope. Of course it was the only move they could make, but they’ve alienated a lot of consumers. On the other hand, gamers have short memories. Its not like Sony hasn’t had its share of colossal screw ups too. Or Nintendo for that matter.

    • smacd

      and by “removed the draconian DRM”, I mean “disabled with a firmware patch, which could potentially be reversed by another firmware patch at any point in the future because it is part of the infrastructure already”.

    • angel2010

      Exact reason I refuse to get one. I just have this “Funny” feeling that when microsoft makes a big enough profit on the Xbone, they are going to revert to their old policies. Plus, the ONLY exclusive microsoft has that I’m excited about is the new Halo game. Everything else like Assasians Creed, and Kingdom Hearts 3 is going to be multi platform, and Sony has way better exclusives anyway, PLUS indie games everywhere. So needless to say, the PS4 will be king, with the WiiU as queen, and the Xbone will forever be known as the jester.

    • Red

      Sorry Dead rising 3 blows all of Sony’s exclusives away.

    • Sorry! The Last of Us blows away every xbox exclusives and that’s just on PS3…

    • Levi Elwood Myers

      Yeah, I’m not buying into it. They were so ready to screw over consumers before Sony dropped the mic. This is not okay in my book and their “listening to the fans.” thing is crap, they just realized that they goofed and Sony was going to destroy them. They want money, not to make it up to consumers. I’m not supporting them this time around, not at all. Not going to call out anyone else who is mind you, but I think that what they are doing is just plain pathetic and they don’t deserve anything for what they tried to pull. Sony and Nintendo all the way this time…(and of course the pc master race).

  • Nicholas Perry

    Hey Microsoft didn’t HAVE to do anything. They could’ve stood their ground. But they didn’t.


    • vitalemrecords

      Sure, they had to do something – otherwise they would have lost millions and millions of dollars.

  • Vallen

    Haha, go Sony, gtfo Microsoft

  • Roberto Ruiz Contreras

    It actually still ships with the original always online OS and you have to Update the system to make the offline play possible.

  • brianc6234

    Don’t waste your money on an Xbone. It’s garbage. Even with this crap removed it still has weak RAM that will kill it compared to the PS4. And then there’s the whole spying on you thing. That Kinect crap is horrible. And you have to have it attached to use the Xbone. Just say no to spying.

    • sifu

      So buying both Xbox one and ps4 on launch . Fuck the haters , its all about the games!!!!!!!!!

    • True that! Don’t forget about the “Power of the cloud” bullshit. Some people say it’s a futuristic idea but IT NEEDS TO CONNECT ONLINE TO WORK! But… if you don’t connect to the internet, will the game be half as good as it was supposed to be? Can anyone answer this?

      Playstation 4
      Xbox…. zzz…1

    • Charlotte Buckingham

      I actually like that Kinect comes with every console; developers might actually use it. What they need to do is make an option to turn it off when you’ve got the console on; if you’re just watching DVDs or even playing a game that doesn’t require it, why does it need to be on? Seriously, Microsoft, why?