For a while there, it seemed like the next-generation console war was over before it even began. Sony had already won gamers over with its gamer and developer-minded console, and then Microsoft scored an own-goal by saddling its next-generation console with consumer-unfriendly DRM. And then that changed.
In one of the most amazing corporate about-turns seen in any industry, Microsoft dropped all of it. The online authentication, the 24-hour checks, the restriction on used and loaned games. All of it. Already, it’s had a significant impact. Die-hard Xbox fans who had sworn fealty to Sony have once again pledged allegiance to Redmond. Internationally, pre-orders for the Xbox One have skyrocketed, and analysts have predicted that the Xbox One will match PlayStation 4 sales figures when both systems are released later this year.
Of course, the situation is a little different in South Africa. while Sony’s machine is set for local release this year, Microsoft’s Xbox one isn’t. We don;t know when it’ll be coming, but it’ll be in 2014; so there’s still the chance that those eager to jump in to next-gen will go for the PlayStation 4. There’s also the issue of price, and the Xbox One is still $100 more, thanks to the bundled Kinect.
Still, the tide has changed, and momentum is swinging in Microsoft’s favour right now. But is it enough? Has the policy change brought Microsoft back in to the game, or is it all a little too late?
What say you, fine folk? Are you once again stuck with the first world problem of having to decide which console to get, or are your minds already made up?
Last Updated: June 21, 2013