Every year at E3 we have the so-called “winners” and “losers”. It’s usually a distinction of who you’re a fan of and your personal taste in games, but this year was very different wasn’t it. Sure we still had a “winner” and a “loser”, but in the wake of Microsoft’s awful announcement of the Xbox One and the pokes at those policies made by Sony at their press conference, the two opposing companies have been elevated from ‘winner’ and ‘loser’, to something resembling ‘hero’ and ‘villain’.
I admit that Sony’s game sharing video got me thinking in a similar way. I mean we had Microsoft coming out and making it sound like we would lose a large amount of control over our games, making it sound more like a service we’d signing up for rather than a product we’d have control over like we always have.That may not have been the point of Xbox One, but it sure sounded like it (and listing restrictions like they were features didn’t help). Then we had Sony saying that we could enjoy our games the way we always have.
The difference was pretty stark. Sony had not only won, but was the hero of E3.
What I’m wondering is this: what does this all mean?
Does it mean anything? In getting Microsoft to step back from their DRM policies, have we succeeded in keeping games defined as a product and personal property or have we prevented some sort of step forward for games? Online check-ins and DRM aside, some of the features Microsoft was planning sounded fairly interesting.
As an older gamer, I have a hard time imagining games as something other than a product. Something you pay for once and can use at your discretion. But as digital download becomes more accessible, the future of gaming could very well lie in the realm of the Cloud and dedicated internet just as the Xbox One would (and still may) have supported.
What do you think? Where does the future of gaming lie? Do Sony and Microsoft deserve their respective hero and villain status?