View Poll Results: Was it the right call to reverse digital-first, always-on approach?

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  • Absolutely the right call to reverse course.

    0 0%
  • Definitely the wrong decision to reverse the decision.

    2 33.33%
  • I wish they would have found a middle ground on this instead of complete reversal.

    1 16.67%
  • I don't care either way...

    3 50.00%
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  1. #1
    MPV donhardeone's Avatar
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    A look back at Xbox One vision...

    The Xbox One has now been out for over two years, and it has been over two and a half years since the famous "reversal" of Microsoft's vision of a digital-first console. There was much debate at that time (even within these forums) on whether or not it was the right decision. Looking back now, what are your thoughts? Do you think it was the right call?

  2. #2
    Moderator DeadChaos's Avatar
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    Never owned a Xbox before but if it was not for subscription fees one would be standing next to my PS4 now. Definitely think it was the right call considering the retail vs digital prices. I buy as little digital content as possible and that also includes movies. Still prefer discs any day.



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  4. #3
    MPV donhardeone's Avatar
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    I openly admit that I was on the fence about most aspects of Microsoft's vision at the time. I liked the ideas in theory but couldn't see how it would be implemented successfully. I reference an article below from 2013 that is overall not a great article but has a few paragraphs that really hit the right notes for me...


    But the question that keeps coming back is whether this is indeed a victory against a greedy controlling mega-corp, or a step backwards for console gaming. No doubt looking at other digital media brands, from iTunes to Netflix, to the PC gaming service Steam, Microsoft envisaged a future where games would go entirely digital; where consumers would be free from paying $60 for a physical disc and then losing money on its depreciated resale. Buried within the corporate talk were some genuinely promising ideas: Xbox One owners would be able to share their digital games with up to 10 friends all over the world; they would be able to sign in to their games library on any Xbox One system; there was the potential for an online exchange service where players would be able to sell on digital game purchases – without having to head to a store with a bundle of game discs and hoping for an OK price. Has the internet really won?
    Source: http://www.theguardian.com/technolog...icrosoft-right


    For me, as someone who predominantly buys digital, I desperately wish I could share and/or resell my digital copies to friends. The funny thing to me is that people constantly moaned about an "always on" console, and now that it has been out for two years everybody seems to love that their XB1 is always on and updates their games while they are away. Another complaint was about subscription services, which I have to admit was somethign I was on the fence about at the time. Now though, seeing how much EA Access provides I think that I was just plain wrong. EA Access may be one of the best things to hit XBox One, and it is very much what Microsoft had envisioned.

    I guess in the end I look back now and see so much of the original vision implemented in small ways that have been really successful. As painful as it may have been to deal with DRM, I think the pros may have ultimately outweighed the cons. I wish we the gamers would have given it a chance, as I think it would have been a truly awesome step into the future.

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  6. #4
    MPV Retro's Avatar
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    I was hardcore against digital for a long time, but I've made the switch and currently go about 90% digital for games and movies. The only time I buy retail disc's are when there is a major sale and the price is significantly cheaper at retail. While I get that you can sell the retail copies if you wish and I always did, I also ended up buying them again at some point which made the sale/trade pretty pointless to begin with.

    Looking back, I kind of wish MS stuck to the original plan. I believe if they had the digital pricing at this point would be far cheaper and MS would be even more free to run some bigger sales.

    The biggest positive however was the promotion of Phil Spencer who has been the best thing to happen to them period.


    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

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  8. #5
    MPV Retro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donhardeone View Post

    I guess in the end I look back now and see so much of the original vision implemented in small ways that have been really successful. As painful as it may have been to deal with DRM, I think the pros may have ultimately outweighed the cons. I wish we the gamers would have given it a chance, as I think it would have been a truly awesome step into the future.
    The one thing that always baffled me was the complaints against always on and DRM. 360 & PS3 were technically "always online" too. Sure if you were not an online gamer you didn't need to be, but lets be honest, that is a very small percentage of the market today. It just seemed to be a complaint, because people were looking for something to complain about. Hell both systems are pretty much in need of being always online now anyway. Games like NBA 2K CAN'T be played offline in the traditional sense, while you can "technically" play parts of it, you don't get the full game. Just look at what happened Christmas 2014 with XBL down for 2 days and PSN down for a week. Go ahead and try to tell me both systems are not always online now.

    Even with the retail disc, you're covered in DRM. I'm OK with DRM, I believe in company's protecting their creative properties. Software has always been about owning a license for a product and not the product itself. Even with a retail disc on hand. The fact is, you are more protected with digital than you are with a disc. If I have a disc copy of a game and something happens to that disc, too bad so sad. The limited warranty on disc's only covers a defective product, not things like scratches as that is viewed as abusive. But with a digital copy, "corrupt file"? just delete and re-install. Done. Add in the way MS is trying to make backwards compatibility, you are even further protected as your games are attached to your MS account.


    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

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  10. #6
    MPV donhardeone's Avatar
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    The reason I think DRM as discussed in the original XB1 vision created concern, was that the individual game developers (at least how I remember it) would be responsible for how DRM was handled in their games...and most developers do have a pretty bad past when it comes to this. We all deal with DRM in games now, as well as music and movies. The world has moved to a much more digital-first delivery method as well: iTunes, Steam, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, et cetera...so the models are now built to be followed for success.

  11. #7
    MPV donhardeone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donhardeone View Post
    ...and most developers do have a pretty bad past when it comes to this.
    That being said, I remember Sony and others really butchering DRM for music early on...now we have thigns like iTunes with DRM that most never even think about. In some regards it's just a matter of time being allowed to adjust I suppose.

  12. #8
    MPV Retro's Avatar
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    If a publisher did something really over the top with DRM, they would get killed by the market. I think MS making it so each publisher was responsible for their own DRM was brilliant.


    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

  13. #9
    MPV HardlyCapable13's Avatar
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    I've said it before here countless times. I wish they would have stuck with their original plan.
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    This hobby we love called gaming has a huge proportion of scrotums playing it. - Major Stains

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