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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Perhaps I Was A Bit Too Hasty... Microsoft Reflection

You may or may not have read one of my previous posts saying how I would not buy the new Xbox One. After some thought and watching some videos I've come to a conclusion: Microsoft, you rushed the future. So, I've been getting into PC a lot more since last Christmas. I've found everything to be superior to consoles. "Oh, he must be a PC fanboy now" is not the correct response. You see, PC has a lot more benefits. Just to name two: Steam and Humble Bundle. You probably already know what Steam is but for those who the concept of technology has escaped you, Steam is a program in which I throw money at the screen and it gives me awesome games. All joking aside, I pay for games with this program, which are then tied to my account forever. That means a game I bought ten years ago is still available to me (pending nothing happened via lawsuits etc) at any time I have a working internet connection. I'll get back to Steam later. For now there's Humble Bundle. 'Pay what you want for awesome games, for charity' is the tag line they use. And... it's true. Right now I have about 3 bucks in my bank account. Not much I can do with that, I can't even take it out of the bank from an ATM. What I can do is pay a dollar for a bunch of games which alternate every so often. Right now two sales are going on, one with Telltale Games and another on it's own. From here, I can distribute how much I want to go to the developers, to charity and a small tip to the company who lets me know when these games are up on the site as well as lets me purchase them. I'll come back to HB as well.
Now PC has almost completely abolished used games already, and it's for the better. Because now we have things like Steam and Humble Bundle, which make so much sense. Steam essentially makes it so I 1) know every single thing I've purchased with a click of a button, 2) makes it easy for me to purchase new games, old games and even redownload anything I've purchased again, and 3) gives me sales everyday for games, whether significantly marked down or just slightly. With HB, I can get some cool games for pennies on the dollar and it goes to something I actually care about. So here's my question... why don't consoles have this? Admittedly, HB would be a bit difficult. Though they could simply do codes that tie to your account, but that's beside the point. I was rather peeved when I bought two games on LIVE a while ago and they simply disappeared. I never got any reason why, no notification as to why they were taken off or warning me they were taken off, not even a refund. In fact, I have no idea what I've bought on LIVE period. Why isn't there a simple list I can easily access and see what I've bought and redownload should I please?
Why does Steam work so well? Well it cuts out the middle man. All I need is an internet connection, a PC and that's it. Money of course for the majority of the games, but semantics. See, what you're really buying when you buy a game is first the retailer, the commercials, then the shipping costs and then finally the developer. Square Enix, a company who has made some fantastic games in the past and currently, is not doing so well. It is a shame we don't live in a future where quality is praised and rewarded.
Microsoft, you introduced something that is already here. You just did it in a very bad way. I'm not mad that your charging me for used games, I'm just a little disappointed you thought we needed this now. We do need this now, but you did it in an unappealing way. We really need to reflect on why this feels like we've been betrayed, because we haven't been. Perhaps it wasn't the smartest idea, but it was a step in the right direction. I look forward to the day when I literally have everything I need in gaming at my fingertips. Where its user and customer friendly, and where I can have more of a friendship with these companies rather than a competition. We need to see eye to eye more often. Make things that benefit both parties.

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