Alternative theory on who won
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 June 2013, 9:52 am
Interesting article in Time about XBone vs. PS4: The author speculates that while Sony's policies on disc based DRM might make them popular now, it could backfire in the long run. On a PS4 the disc with the game on is the principal mode of distribution, and all the advantages of being able to sell used games or play them at a friend's house only apply to discs. Thus people will gravitate towards buying PS4 games on discs.

On the XBone on the other hand, a disc is basically an inconvenience, a crutch for people with a slow internet connection, having all the disadvantages of a physical object without having the advantages of trading or transporting, as those are removed through the online account lock. Thus as long as you have a fast enough internet connection, you'd be better off to buy your XBone game online. Why bother with a disc if it doesn't offer any advantages?

The possible (but far from inevitable) consequence could be the XBone ending up with a much better online store than the PS4. And online DRM hasn't exactly hurt Steam on the PC. Thus if we believe in a future where most games are sold and downloaded online, and physical discs become an artifact of the past, the currently less popular Microsoft policies might actually be the cleverer thing to do.

Not saying that this is necessarily how it will play out, but as I haven't bought a game on a disc in a box for my PC for a long time, I can't discount that possibility. And the PlayStation Network for the PS3 has caused me more trouble than it was worth.
Tobold's Blog



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