Microsoft needs to up their game
With the PS4 recently announced, there has been a considerable amount of hype surrounding the next-gen console’s new features. Right now the PS4 is looking far better than what we know about the Xbox 720. Most of the information on Microsoft’s next-gen console haven’t exactly been confirmed. However, regardless whether it is fair to weigh both systems out at this time, Microsoft needs to deliver some good news if they want to keep up their number of prospective consumers.
There were claims that the PS4 might require constant internet connection in order to verify games as well as block used games from being played. This claim extended to the Xbox720 which caused some outrage. Games that require constant internet connection haven’t been very well received by the gaming community. Take a look at Diablo 3 with its community’s constant complaints about people losing their Nightmare playthroughs due to power outages. People need to be assured that possible inconveniences like internet or power outages shouldn’t cause them further inconvenience like not being able to continue a single-player game.
During the PS4 announcement yesterday, Sony President Shuhei Yoshida confirmed that Sony’s next-gen console will not require a constant internet connection in order to play games that are second-hand or brand new. This eased some of the gaming community’s fears of new systems taking away their consumer rights. The Xbox 720, on the other hand, is still attached to the internet always-on rumor and though they have replied to a direct question regarding the matter, they have neither denied or confirmed it.
“Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don’t have anything further to share at this time,” Microsoft told OXM earlier this month.
While most of the time it is safer for companies to be as vague as possible, in this case it caused one of their biggest retailers to lose confidence in their next-gen console. Due to this rumor, GameStop’s stock dropped by 6% to $25.20, the biggest drop in their stock in the last month.
“We know the desire to purchase a next-generation console would significantly diminished if new consoles were to prohibit pre-owned games, limit probability or not play new physical games,” GameStop spokesperson Matt Hodges told Bloomberg.
Both the PS4 and the Xbox 720 were estimated to cost around $400 or roughly around £300. The PS4 was previously assumed to cost £300. Today, GameStop revealed that they are expecting £400 as a retail price for the PS4.
There was a previous rumor that the PS4′s online features will require premium subscriptions like Xbox Live. However, this was not mentioned at all during the PS4 revealing last night but we can’t completely disregard it yet. Sony obviously had much more to say but, again, it’s safer to be vague most of the time.
The 40GB PS4′s launch price was £300 while the Xbox 360 was priced at £279. Despite the Xbox 360 being slightly cheaper than its competitor, it does not remove the fact that Xbox Live costs £40 a year. If you bought an Xbox 360 during its initial launch and if you constantly paid for Xbox Live until now, you would have spent an extra £320 plus games. I own a PS3 and was at one point an active online player but I’ve only ever spent money on titles I wanted to play, not on internet features.
A vague explanation is a better explanation than none. Right now, Sony is in the lead leaving Microsoft in their wake. If they want to compete with the PS4 then they need to either come clean or announce their console. Microsoft still hasn’t announced when they will be revealing the Xbox 720 but as of now, I’m sold to the PS4.