Some weeks ago, I posted a little about the Xbox One with my admitted bias towards Sony and PlayStation. Since then, E3 has happened along with a flurry of public backlash against the policies Microsoft wanted to impose, namely a required 24-hour check-in online and how used disc-based games would be handled.
During that time, there was a campaign started at the NeoGAF forums to make voices heard with regards to the whole matter in convincing Sony not to follow in Microsoft’s footsteps. Some action was done towards Microsoft as well, but after E3, their minds did not appear swayed. This was not all just NeoGAF though much of what they did focused on Twitter trending and contacting gaming media about the movement. Some voiced out against people wanting their voices heard – either it was a wasted effort or one could be sure that Sony would do the same. The opposite happened. Sony had quite the presentation at E3 explaining how they were not doing what Microsoft was doing. It led to tremendous applause and general buzz online. They made a simple video of how to share PS4 games showing two of their executives exchanging the disc by hand, and it went viral with millions of views.
Today, Microsoft announced a backpedal on the very policies gamers were so vocally against: the 24-hour check in will be gone, and you can buy/sell/trade disc-based games the same way you can on the Xbox 360 (and PS3/PS4 for that matter). In other words, the efforts were not wasted. Sony did not assuredly follow due to publisher pressure or anything of the sort.
Some things can be learned from the whole process: Complaining can work when done right – customer feedback is valued (truth be told, the company I work for, unrelated to all this video game stuff, is all about that in fact). Working together for a cause, however simple, can work. Sometimes people will indeed see through the BS presented. My favorite is probably that telling people to do nothing because nothing can be done when something can be done makes you wrong and appear foolish.
My main complaint on the console still rings true, the always-on Kinect, but it’s not like I was going to buy one anytime in the near future (or probably ever if this remains true). I actually found the course of events very amusing, but it’s good to see results from a worthy effort on the matter.