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Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Microsoft's sudden reversal on used game and Internet connection policies a smart move, but Sony still has them beat

Microsoft angered a lot of people with its controversial Xbox One policies restricting used games and always needing an Internet connection to play them. A LOT of people. And when Sony announced at E3 they were doing a complete opposite of that (putting Microsoft into the burn ward, no less), the troubles for Xbox One continued.

So it comes to no surprise that Microsoft decided to ease back on those restrictions, recently announcing changes to the Xbox One console. An internet connection will not be required to play offline games, and there will be no limitations to using and sharing games.

It's a win for the consumer (and GameStop). They're our games and we should do whatever we want with them. It's kind of sad that news like this is a relief, but that's the video game industry for you.

Still, Sony still has the Xbox One beat with the PS4, because in the end, price will matter. Sony's aggressive $399 price point for their new console beats out the $499 price tag on the Xbox One (mainly because Microsoft is still requiring the new Kinect for every console ... for now). $500 is a lot of money to throw down on a console, and that's without any games. Plus, the PS4 is more powerful at a cheaper price, and they seem to be focusing more on games and developers, like the big indie portion during their E3 conference.

Both consoles will likely release around the same time, so it'll be interesting to see who comes out the winner this holiday season. Sony has the more positive press now, so I expect them to pull ahead this year, putting Microsoft in a slight panic mode to start 2014. Plus, you can't forget about Nintendo and the Wii U, which is finally looking like games are coming out for it.

Let a new round of consoles wars begin. Enjoy the ride.

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