In the fallout of mass gamer outrage over the last several weeks, Microsoft (MSFT) has reversed two controversial Xbox One gaming restrictions, according to a Microsoft press release. Gamers will now be allowed to transfer games between consoles and will no longer need to connect to the Internet every 24 hours to play games.
Originally, the Xbox One required users to connect to the Internet at least once every 24 hours to play any game – online or offline. It also placed many restrictions on the transfer of used games between consoles, even between friends or consoles within the same household. With the Xbox One set to release this winter and gamers threatening to switch to Sony’s (SNE) PS4, Microsoft has thrown these plans out the window.
Microsoft’s decision comes after E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), when gamers applauded Sony’s non-restrictive PS4 gaming policies and favorable price tag. The PS4 will cost $399 while the Xbox One will cost $499 on release.
Although Microsoft’s Xbox 360 outsold Sony’s PS3 over the last decade, Microsoft could be a little nervous that the Xbox One will finish second to the PS4 in market share, which is why they acted so responsively to consumer backlash. There’s no indication that Microsoft could lower the Xbox One’s price in 2013, but without a price reduction it certainly risks coming in second to Sony.
With the Xbox One and PS4 now on board for full-scale used game transfer policies, GameStop (GME) is the big winner of the day. The new policies will not only keep them in business for as long as the two systems are in circulation, but could also reinvigorate their business altogether.
In response to the news, GameStop shares surged 6.56 percent to $41.06, a multi-year high. Meanwhile Microsoft shares were off 2.25 percent to $33.81 and Sony shares traded down 0.34 percent to $20.42.