This November will see the releases of the highly anticipated PlayStation 4 and Xbox One videogame consoles.
In the months leading up to this event there has been a rollercoaster of public outcry over Xbox One policies, which gave the PlayStation 4 an early edge in the race to be the leader of the new generation of videogame consoles.
At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, known more commonly as E3, Microsoft and Sony began their campaign’s to sell their new consoles to the gaming world. It was at this conference that Microsoft announced that the Xbox One, the successor to the Xbox 360, would not play second-hand videogames. Or in other words, the Xbox One would not be able to play games previously owned by another individual.
For years there has been an increasing divide among videogame developers and videogame fans over the issue of selling and buying used videogames. Videogame developers argue that the growing practice of buying used games is causing the prices of videogame development to go up.
“You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing,” said Cliff “CliffyB” Bleszinski, an iconic developer in the videogame industry. “The numbers do not work people.”
Videogame developers do not make any money off of second-hand videogame purchases. Videogame enthusiasts argue that other entertainment industries get along fine with sales of previously owned material and disagree with videogame developers that the practice of selling used games should be done away with.
More than just the issue of not playing used games, the Xbox One was also confirmed to require an Internet connection to function, this further divided gaming enthusiast’s views towards Microsoft’s new console.
Sony capitalized on this controversial Xbox One policy by announcing used-game support for the PlayStation 4. To gamers it appeared that the PlayStation 4 was designed for them, while the Xbox One was aiming to please videogame developers over consumers.
Following weeks of overwhelming support for the PlayStation 4 compared to the disappointment surrounding the Xbox One, Microsoft announced a policy reversal that would allow the Xbox One to play used games and negated other Xbox One policies that were causing backlash from the gaming community. Sony responded back by pointing out that their PlayStation 4 console didn’t need any major policy reversals, that it was a console with a clear and successful focus.
“While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires.” said Andrew House, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc
The impact of Microsoft’s Xbox One policy reversals remains to be seen. Public favor in the gaming world still seems to swing more towards the PlayStation 4 but it won’t be till after the holiday season that we will be better able to judge which of these two videogame consoles is resonating best with the gaming community. The PlayStation 4 launches in the United States on Nov. 15 for $399, and the Xbox One on Nov. 22 for $499.