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Always online consoles: Yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Console Gaming' started by Rhys, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Rhys

    Rhys Co-Webmaster

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    At this point, it's all but officially confirmed that the next Xbox - Nextbox, Xbox 720, whatever - will require a near-constant Internet connection in order to play games and do most things. I don't remember the source, but one thing I read was that after three minutes or so of being disconnected from the Internet, the game/app will close, and a message will pop up saying that the connection to Xbox Live has been lost, and from there, you can troubleshoot the issue, etc.

    So, how do you feel about this? Does the always online implementation make you cringe, or will it not affect you? Will it cause you to at least skip out on the next Xbox at first, or will you still buy it as soon as possible so long as it's got good games and features to justify it?

    Personally, it irks me a lot. Nowadays, most anyone who purchases a new gaming console is most likely going to be able to connect it to the Internet, that much is correct I think. But that's the thing: most likely. I can still think of a lot of people who may have issues doing this: people who live in the literal middle of nowhere, college students who live on campus and may have trouble connecting anything online (I can vouch for this particular group myself), and so on. Even if everyone had a good Internet connection though, eventually, the next Xbox's online servers are going to be shut down. It's inevitable, similar to the first iteration of Xbox Live being shut down in 2010. What happens then to the library of games you've collected over the years? Unless Microsoft releases a sysem update beforehand that somehow gets rid of the always online requirement, they'll be rendered useless and unplayable.
     
  2. Cherrim

    Cherrim Resident KH Fangirl

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    Definitely skipping out on it. I mean, I was planning to anyway because I haven't enjoyed my 360 at all in later years and absolutely hate Microsoft's approach to gaming now, but always online? Not everyone is so fortunate to live in a big city to have access to broadband. Not everyone has a connection with enough bandwidth to enable their console to be online all the time. And maybe I'd like to be able to take the console out to the cottage or something so I can still play games in the evening on vacation. (Not that I have a cottage but this isn't unheard of.)

    I mean, yeah, I guess the majority of Xbox owners probably do have access to a connection like that. It won't affect a lot of people. But the way they've handled this and the fact that it does still affect a significant amount of customers, whether they make up a majority or not is frustrating. Until they can apologize for the whole fiasco with that PR guy or engineer or whoever he was AND assure me that my money won't be a waste the moment my internet goes down, they aren't getting any of my business.

    Why even have the always-online though? I didn't think 360s had that big a problem with piracy and I've only ever seen always-online used as DRM.
     
  3. TRIFORCE89

    TRIFORCE89 Sage

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    Keeping this short and saying... basically everything Cherrim said.
     
  4. TheMajesticWolf

    TheMajesticWolf Level 2

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    Without going into much detail about being an "always online" feature, it's just a stupid move from Microsoft. That's probably why SimCity isn't selling all that well. Nobody wants to play games if it always has to be online. Xbox's move on this is certainly stupid! I know it's harsh but I can't really support Xbox and their ideals for having an "always online" system. It makes it look bad.
     
  5. Geoff

    Geoff Administrator
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    My internet isn't the greatest, and there are lots of areas who have even worse internet than I do. I think it's an absolutely asinine business decision to disenfranchise those in rural areas, on college campuses, etc. who can't have an always-online console.

    SimCity is a great example of why always-online shouldn't happen. The launch was a disaster, and people couldn't even play the game they'd just spent $60 on because EA couldn't keep the servers up. And iirc, the game is still missing features now, even though most of the server issues have been settled.

    I also am not a fan of digital distribution and would much rather own a physical copy. I don't want to worry about losing my access to a game I bought because the company folds, the service gets shut down, or the game gets pulled randomly from the store. I think Steam has safeguards against that, which is a good thing, and I'm more open to digital distribution on PCs because of it.
     
  6. DocGoblin

    DocGoblin dutty techs

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    I've never once turned off my modem when gaming and through that my 360, PS3 and Wii are always online anyway. I know this rumour's been discredited anyway but even if it was true it honestly wouldn't irk me on a personal level.
     
  7. Geoff

    Geoff Administrator
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    But what happens if you're having internet issues? A few weeks ago my internet would barely hold a connection and it took a full week to get it fixed. I wouldn't have been able to play anything for that week if the consoles had an always-online requirement.
     

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