DRM, in its form as copy-protection for computer games is completely backwards, and accelerating rapidly in that direction.
So, a little while ago I had my first experience with a Games For Windows Live game, that being Red Faction: Guerrilla which I’d gotten as a part of a bundle.
About three hours into that process, I realized that Games For Windows Live (GFWL) is a blight on the face of PC gaming.
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Even the best Windows-based computer rigs can get bogged down, when you want to get the most performance out of them, whether you want that performance for Second Life or for general gaming.
In your average Windows system, your RAM and your CPU cycles get nickle-and-dimed away by all sorts of background tasks and services, few or none of which you actually need at the time you want your system performing at its best.
You thought it was US$299? Well, that’s what they’re selling it for in the USA, yes. In Australia, the new PS3 is US$430. The original model sold for around US$800.
And you wonder why we don’t buy a whole lot of current-gen consoles.
So, you know, I read a bit. The web, blogs, news, that sort of thing. I don’t have a fifth gen gaming console, like the Wii, or Xbox-360, or PS3. Those things are way beyond my means, but you see a lot of news about them, bluster, sabre-rattling and failure rates.
It’s pretty much axiomatic that after the launch of a new gizmo you’ll get a lot of news pieces on the web about failures of this device or that. Too fragile, screen scratches too easily, unit sets fire to the cat, blows up grannies, and so on. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s actually any problem.
Dean Takahashi has a Q&A posted with Xbox hardware guy Todd Holmdahl. Go read it.
Now, this is how you don’t deal with a unit-failure issue like this (real or imagined). Reading Holmdahl’s responses, the reasonable reader can reasonably infer that there’s a huge failure problem. Maybe there isn’t, but Holmdahl makes it seem like there is one. He’s practically screaming it in your face, so much so that it looks like a really, really big one.
How do you reasonably infer that? Imagine that you were in Holmdahl’s position, and there was no problem at all. How would you answer the questions, in that case?
Now compare them with Holmdahl’s answers – or perhaps I should say answer (singular) since he’s really holding the line on this. See the difference? That difference is a disaster. Either from an actual unit-failures perspective, or from a PR perspective.
Whether there’s a problem or not, he’s just made a whole lot of people certain there is.