During Microsoft’s unveiling of the XBox One at E3 it I started to think that Microsoft seem to be trying to push towards a more digitally based software as a service distribution model. I can see their point of view – and there are lots of advantages especially when you consider the possibility of outsourcing low latency calculations to run in the cloud. Things like AI, or some physics (say – deciding in a building you’ve been bombarding with mortar is going to fall) could be processed online. It certainly seems like a bright future long term. The gaming community revolted, focussing on the obvious disadvantages of not having a physical copy of your games. Although not technically SaaS (as I understand it the games are download and run locally) offering free downloads of games could be a way to show all the gamers who were outraged that they would not be able to share or sell their games on that this model might be workable. I suspect this is also why they’ve been giving away two free games per month to Xbox Live Gold members.

The great thing is that Microsoft listened! They sweetened my preordered deal by offering bundled downloadable games and I was happy. With my new Xbox One I get a free downloadable copy of Fifa 14. Thanks Microsoft! Free is my favourite price – I’ll give it a shot even though I’m a minority in the UK and I don’t really like “soccer”. I was a bit disappointed  in rumours have it that in the US they will get to play proper football with Madden 25, which I will almost certainly be buying – why couldn’t I have that for free? Next they find some more Xbox One stock but these ones come with downloadable Forza 5. What!?! If I can’t have Madden 25 I really would prefer Forza 5 over Fifa 14 please!

If you want to choose your DLC tweet #XBoxOneChoice

If you want to choose your DLC tweet #XBoxOneChoice

I acknowledge that on some levels this seems stupid and I do feel a bit like a spoilt little brat looking a gift Fifa 14 in the mouth, and that is fair a comment. There was no bundled game when I preordered, but now there is, and some people’s free gift will be better than my free gift. That’s just not FAIR! Wah! The thing that really gets my goat about this is this is DLC we’re talking about! There should be no logistics in distributing physical copies of games. There would be some software work to do in turning one download code into a choice, but I don’t imagine that would be a huge deal. Why aren’t Microsoft saying “Hey – pick whichever game you prefer and we’ll square it with EA or Microsoft Studios or whoever at our end” – for me being able to choose the game that I want to download would better represent the Service part of Software as a Service!

I’m sure that I’m not the only person with this problem, so I’ve tagged the tweet that accompanies this message with hashtag #XBoxOneChoice. If you agree that you’d like a choice then retweet and see if we can get #XBoxOneChoice to trending topic status.

Microsoft has shown that they listen to the feedback that we’re giving them but I certainly don’t have enough followers on my extremely modest blog following to make a difference, so if you want this to happen and Microsoft to have the opportunity to make a good deal a load better then make sure that you get the message out and retweet, reblog, facebook and whatever other social media you can. If you follow any influential people, games websites or places better positioned to get the message out, then tweet at them and include them in the tweet too! According to a quick google search only need around 1000 users and 2000 tweets to start a trend!

Remember tweet #XBoxOneChoice