While Microsoft was trying to bask in the reflected glory of its Xbox One launch at last week’s E3 gaming expo, gamers worldwide were sharpening their pitchforks on the news that the company would be tightening the screws on how, where and when games could be played.
The time-honoured tradition of allowing internet-free offline gaming; even the ability to swap, share, trade-in or rent game discs would be no more, said the computing giant.
The gaming community has spent the last week responding with a collective ‘we’ll see about that’.
Today, Microsoft says it’s heard the complaints loud and clear and has decided to relent and keep the status-quo. You’ll be able to play any disc-based game without an internet connection after a first-time setup. Plus, you’ll be able to ‘trade-in, lend, sell, gift and rent discs’ as before.
A victory for commonsense? Maybe. More likely while Microsoft will want to be seen ‘being cool’ in front of gamers, having Sony standing quietly in the background with its shiny new PS4 was as a much more obvious threat to its gaming future.
Certainly, the fact Sony had already decided these abilities would be available in the PS4 catapulted it into the lead in the PR war and left Microsoft nowhere to go.
With Windows 8 struggling to create a positive buzz in the market, the last thing it needed was putting the games community off-side.
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