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>It's incredible how the Xbox team thought, "Look at that money over there. Let's take it!" What's next, Wal-Mart charging Ralph Lauren every time a customer comes in wearing a Polo shirt (because why should other clothing companies get free advertising in their store)?

Could you explain this analogy because it makes zero sense to me.

>The other issue? For the author to be completely honest, every "benefit" mentioned in the article should have "for a fee" added to the end of it. It's not very fun or innovative to get nickeled and dimed every step of the way. The fact that the public received 3 different messages about digital sharing costs (the three being no cost, a small fee, and the full price of the game) didn't help matters, either.

Could you link to the three different sharing cost messages?

>Compare that with Xbox One, where games are likely to be in the 10-20GB range and $60.00 (formerly with fees for sharing and resale). If you consider sharing to be going over to a friend's house, entering your password, then waiting 3.5 hours for a download to finish to be in some way innovative or interesting, then you are clearly not the target market for this device. Gamers want instant gratification, not waiting around for downloads and jumping through hoops.

I would imagine they would allow you to play parts of the game without needing to install the whole game, similar to Steam.

>The DRM-laden, no-money-left-behind nature of Xbox One in the context of tech in 2013 (a jungle of price fixing, nickeling/diming, credit card storing, and "convenient" subscription modeling) is precisely the status quo that consumers are finally revolting against.

How is it different than Steam, other than speculating that Microsoft would never aggressively discount games as much as Steam does now (even though it took them several years for their store to be well-liked by gamers)?




> How is it different than Steam, other than the point than speculating that Microsoft would never aggressively discount games as much as Steam does now

They don't allow developers to self-publish, and Valve is privately owned by a benevolent dictator who won't be prone to public investor pressure for short term quarterly profits. People trust Valve to do the right thing.

Microsoft on the other hand has a history of just shutting down their DRM servers without making it right for the customers who bought into their DRM'd products.

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> Microsoft on the other hand has a history of just shutting down their DRM servers without making it right for the customers who bought into their DRM'd products.

Source? Microsoft is incredibly well known for supporting products int he long term. They only shut down Xbox Live for the original Xbox in 2010. And Windows XP is still infamously supported.

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MSN Music http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2008/04/drm-su...

"The news will likely upset a number of Microsoft's customers, who bought music from MSN Music before the company launched the Zune Marketplace and decided to ditch the old store. Microsoft's decision to turn off the MSN Music authorization servers serves as a painful reminder that DRM ultimately severely limits your rights. Companies that control various DRM schemes, as well as the content providers themselves, can yank your ability to play the content which you lawfully purchased (and now, videos) at any moment—no matter what your expectation was when you bought it. Some Major League Baseball fans learned this the hard way last fall."

I wouldn't trust anything from Microsoft where in order for it to keep working, it would have to phone home to MS DRM servers. MS will eventually shut down those DRM servers without giving their customers a solution to use their DRM'd products post-shutdown.

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They turned off the MSN Music DRM Servers! People that bought there lost the ability to transfer their music away from their device.

I sometimes play games that are many decades old, and as anyone that collects games knows, consoles tend to live shorter than physical game copies.

So what am I going to do with a Xbox One in 20 years after the DRM Server were turned off?

Hope that the console never fails so I don't lose my complete collection? (If the failure rate for the last two Xbox generations is any indicator, chances are slim)

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> I sometimes play games that are many decades old

Thats one thing steam is actually pretty good for, its got lots of older games (some from the early 80s!) that generally just work on pretty much any modern PC.

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By Steam you mean GoG, they don't even have DRM on them, but they update the Windows installers so they work. Though I have to criticize their lack of the Linux ports of the old titles =\

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Are you going to pay for the developer to do that? It's just lucky that Steam is supporting Linux at all nowadays.

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I'd definitely buy another copy of Neverwinter Nights if it ever got the Linux version on GoG.

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That is true, but I also pay much less for a Steam game on average, than I would pay for a Xbox One game (usually 69.99€ in Europe, which is ~90$), which also reflects that I buy a (possibly short lived) license.

Also, it's probably much easier to backup and play your Steam games on a PC, even if Steam wont be there forever, than it would be with such a locked up system like the Xbox One.

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When what's being created is a timeless piece of art, 10 years is not long-lived support. People still play NES games, and I want to be able to play my current gen games 30 years from now.

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And I'm sure there's some sort of long term solution that would disable the 24 hour check (which obviously doesn't need to happen anymore) when the authentication servers were to be decommissioned.

This isn't Microsoft's first rodeo.

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Yeah, even if they did, how are you going to use your games once your Xbox One is defective and you can't transfer your games to another console, because the DRM servers were turned off?

Edit: I don't accept a solution where I just have to hope that they will do something that enables me to play my games once the authentication servers have been decomissioned.

If I buy something, I want to know upfront what they will do, and it has to be guaranteed, not just a PR statement.

It has to be part of the TOS and I should be able to hold them accountable if they do not deliver.

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I guess you're not going to use any company then, because nobody I know has that in their TOS. Promising that upfront is just a bad business decision.

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I can buy a PS3/PS4 or WiiU game that can be played without any online connection or authentication on any number of consoles. (In case one fails and I need a replacement console)

And how is it a bad business decision to ensure that a customer can use his collection even if all auth/DRM servers are decomissioned?

This is the "bad business decision" that was made for every single big mainstream console since the invention of video games, and it seems obvious to me that the customer demands this, and MS understood it.

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My Kin studio and Zune say otherwise.

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IIRC Zune still works, since Xbox Music is a rebranded Zune Marketplace. Even if it doesn't, it's a device, it doesn't need internet.

The Kin is partly Verizon's fault, really.

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> just shutting down their DRM servers without making it right for the customers who bought into their DRM'd products

This can happen to provider, and is one of the reasons why I stay away from Steam games.

Many times within the last couple years, I've been ready to purchase a game, then walked away when I saw Steam is required.

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"How is it different than Steam, other than speculating that Microsoft would never aggressively discount games as much as Steam does now (even though it took them several years for their store to be well-liked by gamers)?"

The main difference is that Steam is an OPTION, not the ONLY WAY.

I can get most of the games on Steam off the shelf, either used or new, as a physical copy, or from another digital source (even indie games have most of the time the option of buying a digital copy from their site).

It's a forced comparison: there are ALREADY services, both for xbox and PS3 that do exactly what Steam does, that is to say, provide games as a digital downloads, as an alternative to pysical copies. Steam makes it very convenient to use their service, but it's not something that is forced on you.

What Microsoft was planning was removing any choice. If they come up with a similar service that is convenient and with actual benefits respect to the normal way of doing things, people will start using it by themselves, without it being forced on them.

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Is STEAM an option?

Only if I do not wan to buy certain games. Two games I bought in a big box store REQUIRE a Steam account to play. Perhaps you have heard of the Civilization series?

More than once when Steam had a problem or I had one with my provider I could not play certain games off line. I don't like Steam, I do not like the idea I have to have their permission to play a game I paid fifty bucks for and have the physical media for. If I had known it would not let me play without an internet connection I would never have bought it. When the label stated "Requires an Internet connection" I figured it was for multiplayer only.

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"Is STEAM an option?"

It is.

If certain games require it, then it is something forced by those games, not by the service itself.

Just as those "off the shelf" games that are account tied, as Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2, it does not imply that all physical games are account tied.

An exception does not a rule make, while in the case of Microsoft that would have been "the rule".

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> If certain games require it, then it is something forced by those games, not by the service itself.

So you don't buy games that require XBox One?

You had a choice before. Now that choice has been removed.

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That choice was removed because the company felt that too many people would do exactly that.

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> How is it different than Steam...?

The short answer is that the digital aspect of the two is similar, if not the same: digital games are sold once and can be used anywhere the user can log in to the account. That seems to be the same both before and after Xbox's 180.

The biggest difference is in the analog aspect of Xbox One. Steam doesn't have a physical sales component - it was created specifically to avoid that scenario. Xbox does though, but because it forces analog sales into a digital construct (via forced installs of games - not a bad thing necessarily, just a design decision they made) it forces the analog component to function by the same rules as the digital sales component.

Going all digital was always a choice with clear positives and negatives. You could avoid the negatives (one being no resale, for example) by sticking with physical discs for certain games. It was always a decision. However with that design decision to force the analog into the digital construct, Xbox one wanted to remove that choice.

With Xbox One's prior rules, physical copies of games could only be sold once. That's it. Then it would require an additional secondary sale to Microsoft to function. And the primary sale could only happen to select retailers. That's breaking what's understood and expected from that optional analog construct due to design decisions, without providing any additional value to the consumer.

Yes, forced installs allows mimicry of the all-digital experience and adds a certain amount of convenience, but doesn't allow any advantages beyond the all-digital experience. Certainly not enough to make up for the lack of choice in forcing consumers into a suboptimal construct.

The key here was subverting customer expectations and taking what used to be a choice and trying to A) force it into what MS preferred, and then B) trying to monetize that. It reeked of a money grab because it added no new value beyond what was already available via digital sales while removing established value for consumers.

tl;dr: It's different than Steam because Steam is one all-digital service while Xbox One tried to force all physical and digital sales into following the same ruleset as an all-digital marketplace.

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You keep saying "analog" when I suspect you mean "disc" or "physical copy"? You're talking about a discrete physical item (thus digital by definition) which has a game stored in digital format...

I fear that I sound like the language police, but really, your comment was already fairly complex before I had to puzzle over what you meant by "analog" and "all-digital" as if this device had a coaxial output to a CRT TV.

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How is it different than Steam, other than speculating that Microsoft would never aggressively discount games as much as Steam does now (even though it took them several years for their store to be well-liked by gamers)?

On Steam I can play my games while being offline, I can play my games on multiple computers (the games are bound to the account, not the computer), I have good prices, I can install and deinstall games as much as I want, the amount of choice is incredible and last but not least if I don't use my account for one year and log in again, all my games and savegames are there.

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On Steam I can play my games while being offline

xbox one check.

I can play my games on multiple computers

xbox one check, well multiple xbox ones.

I can install and deinstall games as much as I want

xbox one check.

I have good prices,the amount of choice is incredible,

Have you checked the prices on Amazon's digital downloads? Out side of steam's sells they are almost always better. On steam, prices don't fall like they normally do in the other retail channels. So post release period steam is almost always more expensive than other channels. Who knows about xbox one digital selection? It being a PC under the hood would have made it trivial to port everything on steam over(if porting is even necessary).

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> I would imagine they would allow you to play parts of the game without needing to install the whole game, similar to Steam.

afaik steam does not do this, is it a recent feature?

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I don't know of this feature either. Maybe it's a reference to demos?

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Some of Valve's games will download the engine/binaries first then the levels after in order so you can start to play the game while it is still downloading. I have personally experienced this.

Also: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14004...

>>Apparently some of Valve's singleplayer games let you do so.

> Yeah, some do such as Half-Life 1 where it'll prioritize downloading of the binaries first, then the levels.

> Granted it makes for long load times if you hit a level transition for a map that's still downloading.

> Granted, the list that support that 'feature' are slim.

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> I would imagine they would allow you to play parts of the game without needing to install the whole game, similar to Steam.

What games on steam do that? I've literally never seen that. Unless you mean like seperatation of single and multiplayer, but those are both still rather big.

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Half-Life 2 (or so i remember)

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Are you referring to the episode 1, episode 2 stuff? It's just a bunch of different games, that were released seperately.

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It's interesting, because in this whole thing I've noticed that there's a reason that I am ok with Steam on my PC when I'm not ok with digital downloads for a console.

Primarily, it's because of the kinds of games that are released and played on them. On PC, I have games that are inherently ALL about the online experience, games like TF2, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Counter Strike, ARMA, and many more. These games (from what I've seen) make up the biggest contingency of PC games, and they all "fit" within Steam and it's business model very well.

However, on console you have an entirely different type of game: the game as a story. These kinds of games make up the bulk of the console market, games like Uncharted (1, 2, and 3), the Bioshock series, the Mass Effect trilogy, the Far Cry series, the God of War games, etc. Even just the way you label them (series, trilogy, etc) shows the difference: these are static creations.

Ultimately, on a platform that most people use to consume STATIC pieces of content, why do we need to be chained to some other service? Why must I have an internet connection to enjoy a great single-player experience?

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That might be correct for you, but it's not really for most gamers.

Each year the annual COD release on consoles is huge on consoles (bigger than on PC). FIFA is similarly huge in Europe. Halo, one of the biggest console exclusives, is praised at least 50/50 for it's single/multiplayer content. Online gaming is a big part of console games, even if it isn't for you.

At the same time, most of the games you mentioned as single player experiences are available on PC. Plus many (I'd say most, even) PC-exclusive titles are heavily single-player focused.

Obviously, this doesn't affect your personal reasoning, but I don't think it's shared by many people.

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Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout, Just Cause 2, and Civilization are just a handful of mostly single player games I saw scrolling through my library that I and I would guess most gamers would prefer to play on PC even though they're also on consoles.

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The majority of the games that you listed for console are also available for PC (on Steam).

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> How is it different than Steam?

It isn't. DRM is DRM and it sucks. I mostly stay away from Steam. Multiple times, I've walked away from purchasing games when I saw they required Steam. I've never taken my current-gen consoles online.

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