Oh dear Microsoft, what have you done? Did you really just change your entire product approach because the internet told you to? I can’t imagine when you came up with the 24 hour requirement or the mandatory disc installs that anyone genuinely thought they would be loved by one and all. They were always going to be controversial. Did you not focus test them? I guess MS just assumed that Playstation would follow a similar path and spread out gamers anger, but instead Sony pulled the old switcharoo and actually went so far to call out the fact they didn’t have these restrictions. That was very effective at turning the widespread opinion, the gamers ‘mindshare’ if you will, towards the PS4. Early polls suggested an uphill struggle for the Xbone to gain market traction, but I expected MS to go on the offensive and trumpet the upsides, like being able to play your games on any Xbox and share digital releases with family and friends. These are things the PS4 couldn’t offer. I never thought for a second that MS would pull a 180 and remove these requirements.
I wasn’t a huge fan of these policies, but as someone who doesn’t trade in games and has a high speed broadband connection they were inconveniences, not deal breakers. In fact the only requirement I’m not fond of still remains, that being the Kinect having to be connected at all times. I guess I’m just surprised that Microsoft would give them up so easily. The problem now is that MS has endured all of the fallout of these decisions without actually realising any of the benefits these advances would bring. The internet has been known to overreact on occasion, why not wait until the initial fury dies down and then assess? Clearly they believed that by then it would be too late, that PS4 would have already gotten too big a lead. However if they think simply removing these requirements will make gamers forget they ever existed, I’m afraid they may be in for a surprise.
Some are hailing it as a triumph for consumer rights, but personally I see it more of a failing of a companies conviction to an ideal. To lack the confidence to stand behind what you believed in so early in the race is not a promising sign.