Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of GamerXChange]
People will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. That is a quote from Wizards First Rule, which is from the Sword Of Truth books which happen to be among my all time favorites. When it comes to rumors concerning new consoles, it seems people are very quick to believe anything and most of the time it’s because they are afraid it might be true. Now I don’t usually get the chance to mix my geeky things together, but I thought it a perfectly fitting quote considering all the hoopla over simple rumors.
We’ve heard the rumors that Microsoft and even Sony will block used games, now we have nothing to confirm anything like that, and we know that Nintendo has allowed the Wii U to play used games, so in theory it wouldn’t make much sense for Sony and Microsoft to block used games. It is no doubt a troubling report when I heard the news rear its ugly head yet again about Microsoft’s next console, but I don’t jump at every rumor or report because we haven’t even heard for sure that Microsoft will even release a console this year, we all highly suspect it, but once again we have nothing to confirm.
There are several reasons not to buy into the rumors we’ve heard today, the main reason why I think it’d be improbable for Microsoft to block used games from being played is because they have Xbox Live, which earns them over a billion dollars on a yearly basis, Microsoft has never even employed the use of Online Passes for their first party games, and while Microsoft is undoubtedly greedy and they want to make money, I have a hard time believing they would alienate their fan base and alienate themselves from specialty stores like Gamestop by cutting them out of the process. Logically the first step would be to force people to buy an Online Pass to play exclusive titles, I don’t see Microsoft skipping that step and jumping right into the most extreme solution. The backlash from the gaming community would be severe and we’d probably see a ton of hacking attempts and things like that from Anonymous, I don’t believe that it’d be worth it to Microsoft at this time.
The fact that Microsoft and Sony obviously aren’t going to talk to each other about what their next consoles are going to do, means that neither Microsoft nor Sony will be the first to gamble on such a thing. Microsoft has done a masterful job at reaching great brand recognition, especially in the largest gaming market which is North America, they wont throw away market share, especially since as I stated earlier, Xbox Live subscription fees more than make up for what they lose in used game sales, if worse came to worse I’d suspect they could always slightly raise Xbox Live Gold to $65 a year and implement Online Passes for their exclusives, that would be option one and two respectively, so I don’t think they’ll jump all the way to option one hundred.
The other rumor is that Microsoft’s next console will always be online, which once again would totally alienate a large portion of Microsoft’s install base and fan base. Think about the numbers before you jump to a conclusion, there are almost 80 million Xbox 360 consoles in the world right now, a little over 40 million of those are connected to Xbox Live, that means that almost half of all Xbox 360 consoles aren’t connected, not everyone has internet and not everyone with internet will have their console/s hooked into the internet. Does anyone out there really believe a company like Microsoft would willingly commit gaming suicide by implementing these tactics? No matter if you love or hate Microsoft you can’t say they aren’t a smart company, they obviously built themselves up and are now one of the biggest companies in the world, you don’t get that way by taking risks when you already have market share.
The other thing that I don’t believe people are taking into consideration is the fact that sometimes people will use wild rumors in order to flush out truth. An example of this would be for me to pull out a rumor and say “The next Xbox wont be released until 2015”. That rumor would be sort of like reverse psychology, I’m saying one thing because I want Microsoft to come out and confirm the truth, which is exactly what I was after in the first place. People often start rumors like these in the hopes that the company will come out and confirm or deny them, but since Microsoft is well known to never comment on rumors or speculation, they just continue to run rampant and people foolishly believe them.
My advice would be not to panic, let us all wait and see what the next generation consoles will offer before we all flip out and decide because of rumors that we wont buy them. No sense in getting worked up, ticked off or ignorant over something as baseless as rumors. Microsoft, the ball is squarely in your court.