Welcome to HFGames, a new weekly segment on HFS975.com focusing on the world of video games. The video game industry is ever growing, and it deserves more coverage in the Baltimore area and beyond.
Anyway, it has been a wild ride for the video game industry the last two weeks. E3 has come and gone with Sony coming out the clear winner with their consumer friendly policies for the Playstation 4. The results were immediate. Pre-orders were strong for both consoles, but all signs pointed to an early advantage for PS4. Also, Amazon polled 40,000 people on their Facebook page, and the results were pretty lopsided with 95% of voters preferring the PS4. Amazon had to end the poll early.
Faced with unprecedented criticism, Microsoft removed their restrictive used game policy. Gamers are now allowed to loan disc based games to friends as many times as they want. Microsoft also removed the requirement for the console to “check in” once every twenty four hours on the internet to verify you are playing a legitimate copy. An Xbox One-eighty if you will, even though that joke is as old as Dickey-Johnson-Wang jokes for the Toronto Blue Jays along with jokes on Kim and Kanye’s baby (sigh) North West.
Opinion has now shifted on the Xbox One. People are legitimately excited for this thing. Amazon broke records in pre-orders selling 2500 consoles per minute at one point. Who says game consoles are dead?
Microsoft’s about face on used games did come with a price. They removed their 10 member family share plan where up to 10 people who you deem as “family” can access your digital game library. In other words, you could share your downloaded titles, something that is currently impossible on PS3 and Xbox 360. I am a huge proponent of digital game sharing. If digital distribution is to ever become the norm, buying something digitally should carry more advantages than buying a disc at a store. People want to “own” a game. The backlash against Microsoft is proof of that.
Steam could already be implementing a digital share plan. Apple and Amazon have patents on a digital secondhand market. It would be nice to see Microsoft and Sony implement a similar system, but as of right now, the excitement for the next generation of gaming is at an all time high. The question now is, which one will you get?
HFGames is a weekly blog focused on the world of video games. Follow the author, Ray Atkinson, on twitter. @FilthyRay