Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: Future vs (no) DRM?

Now we’ve taken a glimpse at both Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles, which is faring best amongst gamers? Are they actually forward-thinking?

Rumours surrounding the Xbox One suggested used games would be prevented from being played on other people’s consoles once loaded, helping publishers to gain more sales.

This was halfway to the disappointing truth. Whilst games can be traded, here are the clauses:

  • Each game can only be gifted once
  • Xbox One games can only be traded with someone who’s been on your friends list for at least 30 days
  • Whilst gifting is allowed, friends will not be able to borrow your discs
  • The Xbox must connect to the internet at least once every 24 hours

These sound – quite frankly – very drastic measures which are clearly playing into publishers’ hands. You have to ask however, is more at play here than meets the eye?

At its core, the Xbox also has a Windows 8 layer; this is a PC in the guise of a console. We’ve already seen powerful app functionality for multitasking between apps, TV, and games.

Earlier this week I’d written an article on how I believe Microsoft’s vision for the Xbox is as a “home hub” and part of the “Internet of Things.” Requiring a connection every 24 hours could be a way of preparing the consumer for this future; or it could simply be a lack of care for gamers.

Sony grasped this opportunity to really put its console in the spotlight and at least appear as the “white knight” of the consoles, the saviour of games.

Let’s go through a little transcript of Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, at yesterday’s E3 presentation:

“PlayStation 4 won't impose any new restrictions on used games.”

"When a gamer buys a PS4 disc, they have the rights to that copy of the game."

"It won't stop working if you haven't authenticated within 24 hours."

Ouch, Microsoft. Bet you guys are feeling sore after that beat down? Another strike directly followed Tretton’s speech by an exclusive reveal of “Destiny” from Bungie; previous makers of the Xbox-exclusive, Halo series.

Feeling sorry for Microsoft yet? Nope? Okay, one final punch. The Xbox is priced at $499 (£429) whilst the PlayStation undercuts at $399 (£349) yep, nearly £100 cheaper to be less locked-down.

Currently on Amazon the PS4 is sitting at the top of the bestsellers list, with the Xbox at the third spot, guess what’s second? 96/100 Metacritic scoring PlayStation exclusive title “The Last of Us”.

What do you think of Microsoft’s DRM policy on the Xbox One? Are we overhyping a necessary future? Is the PlayStation 4 really the answer or just utilising this situation for marketing?

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