Microsoft should have been stronger in its argument for the Xbox One’s former digital features, Codemasters founder David Darling has stated.
In fact, Darling goes as far as to argue that Microsoft insistence on tying Xbox One to physical media may hand Apple and Google the chance to ‘win’ the living room games battle.
"I don’t think Microsoft sold it in the right way – they weren’t strong enough,” Darling told Games Industry. I don’t think they should have had a physical drive on Xbox One – it’s like having a dead body handcuffed to you. It’s dragging along this dead body and it’s going to slow them down. They’ve let the market pull them back but I think that was a mistake.
The price of console games has to drop otherwise they will not be competitive with Apple and Google. The industry will definitely move in that direction, and I think it will move very quickly. There’s no point in distributing physical media when the internet exists.
"They’ve given Apple and Google a chance to get into the living room – they’ll come along with new machines and take over the market."
Darling added that he’s aware a potential loss of physical games media would result in closures and job losses but argues that such losses are unavoidable in an increasingly digital world.
"Unfortunately, you’re talking about people’s livelihoods and careers," he added. "At Codemasters we had salespeople and warehouse people, and their jobs depended on boxed games – if you don’t have physical stock then they don’t have a job.
The shift towards digital is going to mean people losing their jobs and changing careers, but at some stage we have to say we don’t need these people anymore. Those who resist are like the Luddites from the 1800s – we have a loom which does all of this stuff automatically so we don’t need workers doing it by hand.”