The PS4 isn’t the better console; it’s the only choice left.
In a press release today, Microsoft clarified some of the more controversial rumors surrounding its upcoming Xbox One game console. The announcement confirmed limitations to offline gameplay, sharing games, and the fact that it won’t be able to use rented games at launch.
Some of these limitations are deal-breakers for certain gamers. They won’t buy the Xbox One because they don’t like the direction it’s going in, or they won’t be able to use it like they can use another console.
One might think the story ends there, with gamers unhappy with the Xbox One console flocking to Sony, but something much more grave is going on here. The gamers unhappy with the Xbox One won’t go to Sony because Sony have a better console… gamers will go to Sony because it’s their only option.
The game console industry isn’t exactly the most competitive market in the world. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are the only companies in this market. Nintendo said a long time ago that they’re not competing directly with Sony or Microsoft and the Japanese company has pretty much stuck to that so far. This effectively gives Sony and Microsoft a duopoly on the game console market for core gamers.
If one of those two remaining suppliers starts making a bad console, it forces a lot of people to either go with the other supplier or just drop out of the marketplace entirely. And there’s also the fear that if Microsoft is in any way successful with these restrictions and ends up selling plenty of consoles and games in spite of their policies, then Sony might follow suit. Soon, we will all be in a situation where nobody can opt out of these restrictions because they’re present on every game console available by every supplier.
That’s why I’m upset with the Xbox One. It’s not about limiting my ability to play Xbox games, it’s about taking away my choices in what is supposed to be a free marketplace.