Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb announced on his blog that "Self Publishing is coming to Xbox One." In the blog post, Hryb stated that he had "a great chat" on the matter with Xbox Live VP Marc Whitten, who had this to say about it:
"Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August."
That's great news for gamers as well as developers, though we can't help but notice that, once again, Microsoft announced a new/changed feature that mirrors something the Sony PS4 already had. Self-publishing on the PS4 had already been announced long before Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One would allow its owners to do the same thing. It would be easy to dismiss this as a coincidence were it not for the fact that this wouldn't be the first time Microsoft made a change to the Xbox One that mirrors a policy first adopted by Sony and the PlayStation 4.
Let's revisit the used games and DRM issue. Microsoft initially announces that the Xbox One will carry restrictions on used games as well as daily Internet check-ins. Sony announces at E3 2013 that the PS4 won't have any used game restrictions or DRM. What happens? By now you know the story: Microsoft announces a stunning reversal, making a complete 180-degree turn by announcing that the Xbox One won't place restrictions on used games or feature DRM, while also eliminating three key features of the console.
Then there's Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, who says Microsoft is "working with channel partners to lessen the gap" between the PS4 price ($399) and the Xbox One's current rate ($499). Whether this happens or not remains to be seen. If it does, what happens to the people who already shelled out $499 for an Xbox One?
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So we have to ask, is Microsoft just following Sony's lead? Is their policy to pull a "Me too!" whenever the PS4 does something right that consumers seem to love? It's getting increasingly difficult to think otherwise.
What do you think of Microsoft's announcement that the Xbox One will allow for game development and self-publishing? Do you like the move? Why or why not? Do you think Microsoft is just following Sony's lead? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below.