Is Microsoft Saying Fuck-You to Multi Gamer Households?

According to Edge Microsoft’s next X-Box console is going to require an always on connection to play games and games may be linked to a gamer tag to stop people reselling their games.

I don’t really care about the resell market, I’ve got games that I’ve had for over 20 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever sold a game. I’ve bought second hand games before, but I guess I’ll live without that.

Sure I’ll be a little annoyed that I can’t get classic titles that are out of print any more, I recently got my other half K.O.T.O.R. 1 and 2 for the X-Box and she loved them.

But what will make me think twice about getting an X-Box 720 if they do this is that I live in a two gamer household, with two X-Box 360s and I don’t buy games just for me to play, I buy them so I can play them as well as my other half. I already find it really irritating that we have to decide who gets to activate the DLC code for a game when we buy one, this happened when I decided to give Mass Effect 2 a shot 3 years after my girlfriend completed it: I couldn’t use the online features because she’d used the code on her gamer account.

But if I can’t play the game at all… Screw you Microsoft I’m not even going to buy your console.

Sony have a way around this, they have a parent account and all other user accounts are sub accounts of that account, so I guess if you activate a game for the parent account it would remain active for the sub accounts.

Microsoft don’t, as far as I can tell, do this. They have a family version of X-Box Live Gold which allows you to pay for 4 accounts to be gold for less money, but they don’t have a system of attributing accounts to a household.

To be fair to Microsoft previously they didn’t let you log the same account onto two different consoles without importing it over which would stop it working on the old console, so they recognise the people might own more than one X-Box, but do they recognise that more than one person might “Own” a game?

I’m not averse to buying two copies of a game to play multi-player, I own two copies of Halo 3 and Borderlands 2, both so that we could play multi-player over 2 consoles, but I really object to buying a game twice so that both myself and the person I live with can play a single player game.

A Valve Console: My Thoughts

Needs

There has been a rumour buzzing round the internet for some time that Valve were going to release a console, a couple of days ago the rumours picked up again, I think it would be a great idea. Unlike many people I don’t have a gaming PC, there are lots of games that I’d love to play but can’t because all the PCs I have are either gathering dust in my “Study” (Read as the room I put all the crap I find around the house whenever I tidy it) or are in bits in the garage. I’ve got laptops coming out the wazoo (I think there are 4-5 working laptops floating around the house) but none of them have the oomph to play games, also lets be honest laptop keyboards and trackpads are crap for gaming.

Also I currently have a 19″ monitor attached to my aforementioned dust gathering PC (There were two but Avarinne borrowed one to use at work), which is a fraction of the size of my 50″ plasma or my 37″ LCD, sure the resolution is a little higher but I’m not that fussed about that. If I were to buy a gaming PC I’d have to also buy a big ass monitor which annoys me as I already have a big ass TV.

So I welcome a system that brings PC gaming into my living room, especially if it is subsidised by Valve. Valve have also intoned that they wouldn’t be against third parties having publishing platforms on their box, in fact the main reason they are thinking about this is because they don’t like the vendor lock in that Microsoft and Sony have on their respective consoles.

The one issue I’d have is that I’ve yet to see a keyboard/mouse combination that works in the living room, and not all games work with a controller, I’m sure this is something they can get around .

I’d pay for a machine I could play Valve and GOG games on alone, I’d pay a little more if it came shaped like a companion cube, but you can keep your hats…

Image Ctrl-Alt-Delete: “Needs

Microsoft Buys Skype For 8.5 Bn Hmmm…

I can see where this is going… Or at least I hope so.

I very much doubt that this is why MS bought Skype they are probably looking for a way to combat Apple’s FaceTime by getting a service that has a huge installed user base. But still given the direction that MS seems to be taking the X-Box it’s a logical move. Rather than taking Sony’s strategy of making it a media centre from the get go, they have slowly added media features like Twitter, Facebook, Last FM, Sky Player etc. Skype is the next logical step.

Arguably they didn’t need to buy Skype to do so, I just hope that Skype doesn’t cease to be a multi-platform  tool as I use it quite a lot on my phone to call my parents because the Skype integration for Android is pretty good.

Via The Gruniad