Microsoft are trying to change old habits.
There has been much written about the new Xbox One and the new ‘features’ that seem to stifle sharing. This tweet/infographic covers a lot of it.
The problem as I see it is trying to change habits.
Back when I first started gaming, playing hours and hours of Lemmings on an Amiga 600, game sharing was easy. Games came on a floppy disk and if I wanted to lend one to a friend, I’d hand him the disk and he could play (We’ll ignore the piracy issues of yesteryear) and vice versa.
It was really that simple.
Nothing much changed in the various gaming systems that we know and love since then. Through the classic Nintendo, Gameboy, Gamegear, N64, Playstation I, II & III and the two incarnations of the Xbox.
People are used to spending money on the game but then being able to sell or lend that as they wish. Habits have been formed over 20+ years.
But I bet most people reading this have paid money for a game that they can’t sell on, they can’t give away, they can’t share and probably in a lot of cases requires an internet connection to play. What platform is that? iOS.
The AppStore was a totally new habit for a lot of people. Buying software online. It was quick, simple and easy. There was no habit to break or change and it succeeded.
I know price is key with these purchases. But many people buy games on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live that have exactly the same limitations as the AppStore and they cost a lot more than the 99c apps and yet nobody complains about this.
It’s no wonder Sony were smiling on stage when they announced they have no plans to stop sharing and their console will be $100 cheaper. I think this console war could be over before it’s even begun.