Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Microsoft Xbox navigates the revolving door of public opinion

Peter Smith | July 1, 2013
Recently Microsoft seems intent on giving with one hand while taking away with the other.

It seems like Microsoft can't catch a break with gamers these days, every time we hear some good news it's quickly followed by bad. We got past (more or less) the Xbox One used game/Internet requirement debacle finally, but now there's more give and take.

Let's start with the good news. According to Eurogamer, Microsoft has dropped the policy of charging developers big money in order to patch a game (Eurogamer cites "multiple development sources" without mentioning names). Prior to this policy change we've heard (from developers like Tim Schafer and Phil Fish) that Microsoft would charge up to $40,000 to roll out a patch, (other sources say $10,000) and in some cases a developer just can't afford to patch a game. Microsoft has confirmed that it changed the policy back in April (according to Polygon) but I guess Microsoft didn't bother to tell all its partners. Let's hope the new policy extends to the Xbox One when it is launched.

So hooray for Microsoft!

The headset scandal
But then we heard some bad news. At E3 we learned that the Xbox One won't come with a headset, but Microsoft has now also confirmed that your existing Xbox 360 headset, driving wheel, fighting stick or {insert your favorite accessory here} won't work on the Xbox One. In some cases (high-end Turtle Beach headsets have been mentioned) the manufacturer may release an adapter which will presumably be cheaper than buying a new headset but for the most part you're going to have to purchase new peripherals to use with your Xbox One. [Update: Microsoft now says it is also working on an adapter for Xbox 360-compatible headsets.]

This is not completely unexpected, but if you're a third-party accessory maker what might be unexpected is learning that the license you have for producing Xbox peripherals doesn't extend to the Xbox One product line. You'll have to apply for (and pay for) a new license if you want to support the Xbox One. GigaOm has more details on this situation.

So boo to Microsoft!

Mixed news for developers
But then we heard some cool news! At the Build Conference, Microsoft announced a new collaboration with Unity across all its platforms. Why is this cool? Unity is a really popular (and affordable) game development system. Unity already has partnerships with Sony and Nintendo and Unity runs on PCs and mobile as well. Adding Microsoft to the mix kind of makes Unity a universal gaming engine, which means small developers can easily (well, these things are relative I guess) port their titles across platforms.

So hooray for Microsoft!!

 

1  2  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.