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Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4, Round 1: Terms and Conditions

Why don't we look at BOTH Terms and Conditions, then lets talk.

It is happening people--the moment is upon us. The next decade of gaming hardware has arrived, and we're so stoked, so elated with joy, let's squeeze every drop of news from this glorious occasion. Lets discuss "Terms and Conditions" (that's said in an announcer's voice).

I'm gonna need coffee for this

Terms and Conditions, for most humans, is that weird box with all those words that you do the clicky thing on, so you can get on with what you just bought. Who reads these things anyways? Well someone did, and I caught the news story over at Gamespot. Sony's Terms and Conditions explicitly says:

"Any information collected in this way, for example, your UGM [User-Generated Media], the content of your voice and text communications, video of your gameplay, the time and location of your activities, and your name, your PSN Online ID, and IP address, may be used by us or our affiliated companies to enforce these Terms and the SEN Terms of Service, to comply with the law, to protect our rights and those of our licensors and users, and to protect the personal safety of our employees and users..."

And another change to the legal document was to make very clear, you DO NOT own the product, rather just the right to play and sell until Sony or a third-party says otherwise:

"4.1. All Software is licensed, not sold, which means you acquire rights to use the Software, as described in these Terms, but you do not acquire ownership of the Software.  If you do not comply with these Terms, we can terminate your Software Licence which means you will no longer have the right to use the Software."

Now, for some reason, the internet of all places seemed to take this information the wrong way. But when Shuhei Yoshida responded on Twitter, he assured us that you can buy and resell games as you always have. He gave no further details than that.  So does that mean PlayStation plans on changing this in the future? Isn't this what got Microsoft in hot water when they came out and spoke of similar terms?

What about the other guys?

When talking about Microsoft, they released their "big brother" news (polygon.com) around the time Edward Snowden was all over the press. Citizens became concerned about their privacy. The Kinect 2.0 had an "always on" microphone and camera. Initially the supposed "spy camera" was mandatory to have plugged in and on 24/7. That quickly changed along with most of the Xbox One's key features.

What I don't understand is why all the sudden T&C's are a hot topic.  These laws and rules have been the same for countless years. A slight variation to them, considering all the digital content amassing on our flash drives, can we really be that surprised?  These issues bring up another topic entirely, one we won't address here today, about digital rights and consumers.

Round 1 results: Draw

In my opinion, the two companies are just gathering information to make our experiences better. I believe these people are smart enough to realize our privacy is important, and they want to maintain some level of trust. Despite what they're gathering information for, one clause I've seen over and over throughout my life is this one. I feel it sums up my opinion and thoughts on the subject. We can become fanatic over this or just take with a grain of salt (I choose the grain of salt). So I leave you with my favorite part of any Terms and Conditions.

"...reserves the right to change the terms, conditions, and notices..."

 

Follow @Coatedpolecat to find out the results of Round 2.

Published Nov. 13th 2013

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