So for two days and three nights, I watched E3 with the rest of the head staff here at Geeks of the Round. Being a casual gamer, I didn’t have a lot to say about what I saw there. However, I am a bit of a stickler for accuracy. So when I saw Microsoft announce that the X-Box One would have backwards compatibility, it stuck in my brain, though I didn’t know why at the time.
But now that I have thought about it, I realize that Microsoft is lying to us!
You see.. They are claiming that the X-Box One will be able to play all of your games that you currently own, regardless of the generation of X-Box it was made for. All they need is permission from the developer to include it, and all you need is the disk. The problem is, that’s not entirely true. You see, you also need an internet connection and hard drive space, because you aren’t playing the game from the disk. You are downloading it.
That’s right, Microsoft’s version of “backwards compatibility” is the already existing industry standard of digital downloads. They use the disc as DRM so you don’t have to pay for that specific title, this is true. But you still have to download and install the entire game, just like it were My Life as a King for the original Wii. After you sell or trade that disc? You might as well delete the game off your hard drive, because its unplayable without it (at least until you pay for the license separately).
Now what that means for the rest of us. First of all, Sony and Nintendo already have this in one form or another. With the Nintendo products, its just a straight up download that you pay for. With Sony, its either a purchase OR a rental through PlayStation Now, depending on the game. PlayStation Now has not been doing all that great though, as when it first premiered the prices were outrageous. This has scared gamers, possibly never to return. If Sony is smart, and I know they are.. They WILL steal this idea of Microsoft’s, then adapt it for PlayStation Now. Instead of downloading and installing the games, you just stream it using your disc as DRM, same as with the X-Box One. A benefit to that is that you aren’t using up already precious hard drive space. (Elder Scrolls Online, for example, takes up 13% of my stock hard drive.) Though while you could play these Playstation classics on your console, it would not transfer to your Playstation Vita and Sony Xperia phones like Playstation Now games do normally as there is no disk. Still, this could potentially get gamers to give PlayStation Now a second look now that the prices are more reasonable and they offer a subscription service. Only time will truly tell.
So what do you think? Do you think Sony will adopt this idea for its own? Does this “backwards compatibility” make the X-Box One a true competitor? Let us know down below!