Microsoft’s next-gen contender the Xbox One was revealed just a week ago, but since then it has faced a barrage of outrage from the gaming community regarding the console’s digital rights management policies.
There may be light at the end of the tunnel as Xbox’s own Larry Hryb claims that Microsoft is listening, and paying attention to the negative feedback.
“We are fully aware of what is going on,” Major Nelson writes in a comment on his blog. “I am working on a few things to address it. I can’t say much more right now. But we ARE listening.”
Hryb’s reply was in response to a user who pointed out that “the whole world is watching Twitter explode” and directly linked to a NeoGAF campaign against DRM that has gained momentum in the gaming community, giving games around the world a voice in the matter.
Microsoft’s statements have been misleading and foggy regarding key issues such as required internet connection and the details regarding purchases and ownership of games. Social media networks and news sites alike have been reporting countless articles centered on the Xbox One’s capabilities, and Microsoft’s misdirection on the hot issues.
An official FAQ section on the console’s website offers unclear answers, such as the response to the daunting always-online requirement: “[The Xbox One] does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet.”
Microsoft’s Phil Harrison also stated to Kotaku that the online requirement “may be as often as once per day”, yet Microsoft reps soon jumped in and said that Harrison’s timeframe was a “potential scenario” and remains unofficial.
Regardless, Harrison’s statement ran its course through news outlets and served to reinforce the console’s general disfavor among the gaming community.
It is interesting to see the anti-DRM movement on NeoGAF have a somewhat positive effect, but it remains to be seen how much an effect the campaign has until we hear more from Microsoft. The company would assuredly want to improve its faltering image within its main constituency, and to do that it will most likely have to address these key issues in a clear and concise manner–or risk the Xbox One falling deeper into disdain among hardcore gamers.
The DRM policies of the next-gen era have in part sullied the grandeur associated with a new era of console gaming, but Microsoft still has a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of the gaming community during E3.
Let’s hope that the gaming giant takes this opportunity and delivers the console that we’ve been waiting nearly a decade for.