New comics Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2014-05-14 04:27:33
Microsoft crying uncle less than a year from launch is kind of a big deal. They're now repeatedly spouting the phrase "listening to customer feedback" which is code for "the PS4 sold 7 million units to our 5 million please love us again". Those are terrific numbers regardless (and Sony has a penchant for reporting units shipped as opposed to actually sold through at retail), but Microsoft buckled to anxiety. My guess is that Titanfall, while selling like hotcakes, still didn't move a sufficient number of consoles to close the unit deficit and they decided to take drastic action.
Well good. This is what comes of healthy competition. You don't want to pay an extra $100 for Kinect? Done! No more of this "Xbox One is Kinect and Kinect is Xbox One" talk. That might've held water if the thing worked the way it was supposed to. They even went a step further, and removed that asinine Xbox Live Gold pay wall to use subscription services like Netflix and HBO GO.
I thought Microsoft was angling for a contract based subsidization program (akin to phones and tablets), what with their cable friendly HDMI-in port. I suppose that could still happen, but for now, it's good to see competition derived market correction.
There are some losers, however. The Kinect-free SKU will hamper Harmonix. And trolls will have one less tool in their arsenal. Oh yeah, and those PS4 sales numbers weren't enough to put Sony's games division in the black, much less their overall company. It's pretty ugly; I somehow flubbed the figure I gave to Vargas for today's script. It's actually a BILLION DOLLARS worse. Sony is in some serious trouble...