A surging tide of negative consumer sentiment has resulted in a sea change at Microsoft, who today said it would drop many restrictions announced for the upcoming Xbox One gaming console.
Multiple tech sites are reporting Microsoft is “heeding gamer feedback” and changing how the eighth-generation console, due to be released before Christmas, operates.
Gamers flooded the internet with complaints after the tech giant announced the $500 machine required an internet connection to play games, wouldn’t play used games and even required the motion-detecting Kinect sensor to be connected.
Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment business, said in a blog post titled “Your Feedback Matters” that an internet connection will no longer be required to play games on the Xbox One after its initial setup, and users can share and play games like they have on the Xbox 360.
“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,” he wrote. “Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.”
Sony, whose PlayStation 4 is also due out near Christmas, had made a point of telling gamers that its game machine will be $100 cheaper, not require internet check-ins and will play used PS4 and PS3 games.
What does this mean?
- No more always online requirement
- The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
- All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
- An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
- All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
- No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
- Region locks have been dropped
Video game fans flooded Reddit with generally positive comments, but many were not in the forgiving mood.
One commenter, RetroHolo, summed it up well:
“I kind of expected this, but a lot further down the line. I guess the huge backlash was more than they could take and they couldn’t hold out for longer though. Will be interesting to see how this changes the playing field again, I’m fully expecting Sony to keep a huge advantage in the console war for some time. It’s going to take a lot more from Microsoft to regain the trust of the consumer.”
Still, he says he’s buying an Xbox One.
What about you?