How Sony Twisted The Knife At E3


Since Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One gamers have been angry. For starters the conference had a heavy focus on television and sports games. The only good impression left was by the mo-cap dog.

Okay so we didn’t see many games but E3 wasn’t far away so it was understandable. They also seemed to be focusing on improving what they already had rather than inventing another new gadget for no reason.

However it was after Microsoft’s big show that the bad news started to roll in. We now know that the console will require you to “check-in” online once every 24 hours otherwise you will be locked out of your game.

xboxtumblrThere are also huge restrictions on used and lent games. In order to trade-in a game you will have to go to a Microsoft approved shop and will be giving up your ability to play that game.

This was Microsoft’s way of trying to get some money back from the used game market. As of now developers and publishers receive nothing on the sale of a used game. Of course that’s how it’s always been and how things generally work in the world. If I give you a chair and you sell it, I won’t be expecting a portion of that second sale.

The argument boils down to whether you believe a game is a product you’re buying or a service you’re renting. The video game industry is tricky and while some people could understand Microsoft’s motives, many gamers weren’t all that pleased about it.

The worst restriction however comes when you wish to lend a game to a friend. For starters a single game can only be lent to 10 different people, all of whom need to be on your friend list (and to have been there for a minimum of 30 days).

Then comes the really scary stuff. The Kinect will be always on (unless you change the settings yourself) and automatically has permission to send information to wherever Microsoft wants it to go. It can detect how many people are in the room, who’s watching the television and can even detect heartbeats (no, really).

If you purchase a pay-per-view service the Kinect will be keeping a close eye on you to make sure you’re not inviting the whole street over to watch with you. An extra pair of eyes will come at a price.

The worst thing about this is that families could still go pick up one of these consoles at Christmas time and be totally unaware of these invasions of privacy.

The gaming world waited patiently to see what Sony would do in answer to this. If you managed to stay up long enough to watch Sony’s E3 presentation then you’ll already know that it was glorious.

There was no demonstration of the PlayStation Move. There was a short talk about movies but Sony does have its own studios to begin with. They ran through the games, showing some nice exclusives such as Order 1884, Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3.

We also got to see what the console would look like. And yes, it was a black box. However it was only as Sony started to wrap things up that things got good.


Every sentence was a jab at Microsoft as more and more good news flooded in. There would be no restriction on used games. They would be leaving the tried and tested system alone. The crowd went crazy. It was the biggest cheer of the night.

There will be no need to be connected to the Internet except for the usual online services. And the price? £349. £80 cheaper than the Xbox One.

That was it. Gamers everywhere were practically willing to throw money at Sony to get this thing. It’s the first real excitement I’ve seen surrounding the new consoles.

E3 isn’t quite over yet, though it’s difficult to see how Microsoft will come back from that rough blow.

Having said that, if Microsoft has the right line-up of exclusive titles there will still be people willing to part with their cash to play them. If you told me that the only way to play Watch Dogs and the next Assassin’s Creed was to buy an Xbox One, I’d buy one. I’d do it begrudgingly, but I’d still do it.

So what are your thoughts? Has Sony won it? Do the Xbox One restrictions bother you? Tell us in the comments below.

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