When Microsoft announced their initial DRM plans, including new rules covering used games and an always on internet connection, the gaming community re-acted very badly. To be perfectly honest perhaps that is an under-statement, there was an uproar, gamers, geeks, parents and for some reason even some games developers were disappointed to hear the DRM news. Nobody wanted to buy the new Xbox One! Don't get me wrong there was support out there for Microsoft's decisions, some felt it would improve the quality of output from studios because of extra funding, some saw this as the Ebay or Steam of the console gaming world but most just saw the opportunity to take a dig at the development teams, and this includes Sony, who rather suprisingly brought not a single new DRM plan to the table. Perhaps Sony thought if they held out studios would have no choice but to implement something themselves, in a similar fashion to how EA treat second hand copies of Fifa for example. Whichever side of the argument you supported there was no doubt this drama affected UK sales of the new Xbox One console as it trailed behind in one of the best indicators of commercial intend and success, the Amazon best selling products listing.
Since E3 however the Xbox One team has had a change of heart, either that or the PR department wouldn't leave them alone, and so the rules have no vanished, condemned to memory! This means you are now free to enjoy second hand and borrowed games as you wish! And what an amazing difference a day makes, once the DRM requirements were lifted the Xbox One skyrocketed up from the pathetically low position to the prized Amazon UK top spot, with pre-orders at one point outselling the PS4 in what can only be described as one of the greatest sales turn around in history, the console is currently back down to 11th, however the chart is updated often so this does naturally fluctuate.
That's not the only thing that has changed either, the Xbox One will now come with a headset, and to be honest rightly so at that price! With a launch price of £429 the console needs to be bundled with additional extras to help justify the increased cost. The PlayStation 4 will always win on price and so Microsoft need to make sure they bundle the console correctly. Currently Microsoft are justifying the price based on their more expensive to produce Kinect system, which is understandable, however even this has incurred a few set backs, for example PC support has now been dropped for the Kinect and some people are a little worried that the addition of Kinect as a base feature of the system provides another piece of vital hardware which could potentially fail within the system.
Here at Buy Xbox One UK we support the changes to the system, and the addition of extra bundled accessories and we look forward to hearing more from Microsoft about what these changes will mean to play-ability of the new console. To check the latest price and stock levels for the Xbox One at Amazon UK please use this link.
Before we reach the final part of our E3 summary I just wanted to show you the Xbox One box art which was also unveiled recently by Microsoft. They always say you should never judge a book by it’s cover, but right now we’re willing to judge them on anything we can get our hands on!
I think the box looks simple and elegant, the matt black finish reminds me a little of the original IPod packaging, which I feel adds a touch of class to the shelf appearance of the console. Compare this with how the second generation Xbox 360 console was packaged, the new generation version is far more sleek, and generally much less glossy and I think may be aimed a little more at the older gamer, and when I say the older gamer I guess what I mean really is anyone over the age of 25.
Graphically Microsoft have opted to use an effect known well to many Photoshop users, basically they have removed all colour with the exception of their iconic controller buttons, interestingly this includes using a white logo on black background rather than their green. It isn’t like Microsoft to mess with their logos too much but I like the change.
The highlight colour effect draws the eye, and whilst I appreciate this makes little or no difference to the end user’s choice about which console to purchase it might make the console more attractive in store displays.
Aside for the design Microsoft have predictably decided to show off their controller and console on the box art, no shockers there, personally I love the design of the console, but again not sure it will appeal to the younger console user but who knows again maybe this doesn’t matter too much. It feels a bit like all the consoles of this generation will feel more mature and grown up, this could be an attempt to keep hold of the existing console generation who are now maturing. You can see signs of this in the way they revealed the console before E3, focusing more on an all-round media device which ironically annoyed hard-core gamers rather than encouraging their interest.
Overall the console and box art is a little simpler an more sleek than I personally expected, there is no clutter amongst the artwork and the console itself wouldn’t look out of place alongside any PVR or Tivo box. Hopefully this will encourage sales amongst older gamers who need something that will fit in with their wife (or husbands) tastes.