After a simple and condensed version of the week’s biggest stories? For a break down of the best (and worst) moments of the week in the world of tech, Trusted Reviews’ Winners and Losers has you covered.
In another universe, there’s probably a version of this week’s Winners and Losers that focuses solely on smartphones – it’s been a big few days after all with the Oppo Find X3 Pro and the OnePlus 9 Pro going head to head in a bid for everyone’s attention. In this reality however, we have our sister column Fast Charge to handle everything smartphones, so it’s a different take for Winners and Losers.
This week it’s a toss up between the absolute mic-drop super-flex that is Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, and the dire news that the entire password sharing industry that has allowed many folks to stay tuned into Netflix, could be coming to an end.
Now that the eighth generation of consoles is riding off into the sunset, it’s easier than ever to look back and state in definitive terms what went well and what didn’t. While the era set a new precedent for gaming excellence, it also has one irrefutable fact: Xbox completely missed the mark when it came to exclusives.
After a decent run of must-have games on the Xbox 360, the wind seemed to disappear from Microsoft’s sails as the Xbox One more or less handed dominance of the market back to Sony, which in turn hit gamers over the head with the likes of God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II. The tide could be ready to change however as Microsoft finally has its killer app: Bethesda.
Microsoft’s acquisition of gaming giant Bethesda completed this week, meaning that the company now has unfettered access to major franchises like Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Wolfenstein and Dishonoured. We’re still waiting to hear which of those series will become Xbox exclusives from here on out, but even just a handful would be enough to tip the scales massively in Microsoft’s favour throughout the new console war.
As a taste of things to come, a total of 20 Bethesda games joined the Game Pass library in celebration of the buyout. Game Pass already offered brilliant value for money, but now that there’s a chance that it could have the next Elder Scrolls game upon release makes it an absolute must-have subscription.
Loser: Netflix users
It’s long been an unwritten rule that the streaming service economy is built upon people sharing passwords. Whether it’s sharing your password with roommates, or parents sharing a subscription with their adult children, the practice is rife and has only become more prevalent as more streaming services hit the market. Well, get ready to put the champagne away – the party might be over.
Originally spotted by Streamable, there is now an alert doing the rounds on Netflix, letting people know that unless they live with the owner of the account they’re using, then they’ll have to set-up their own. Presence of the alert isn’t widespread yet, but it could signal that Netflix is finally clamping down on all the password sharing that’s been going on over the years.
As painful as it is to say goodbye to this brilliant era of sharing streaming access, the move does make sense given that Netflix’s competition is gaining serious ground. Disney Plus recently surpassed over 100 million subscribers, nearly half of Netflix’s total user base, but in a fraction of the time that it took Netflix to reach the same result.
There’s also the concern that if Netflix goes all in on having almost every viewer subscribe with their own account, then you can be sure that other streaming services will follow suit in search of that cash money. When that day comes, the binge will never be the same again.