Friday, 19 April 2013

Always Online Consoles?

According to popular rumour, the next gen Xbox console will require the user to be permanently connected to the internet in order to use it. This means that even if you are playing an "offline" game, you will still need to be connected to the internet at all times in order to use it. Shitty deal in my opinion. I'll keep this short because the pros and cons seem obvious. Pros? Next to none. It only benefits the companies, and pisses off the consumer. Cons? Well, some people that own Xboxes don't have a steady internet connection, or maybe have no internet connection available to them at all.

IGN's article on this seemed to be in favour of the always online idea, and implied that us gamers whine too much about stuff without enough evidence to back it up. I would like to ask the question of "what do we, as the consumers, get out of this, assuming these always online rumours are true?" to the writer at IGN that made that article. IGN does have a rather checkered reputation among the gaming community. Many people believe that they take bribes from companies to write good reviews about a game or something related, which honestly wouldn't surprise me. That would explain why IGN's reviews on the Call of Duty series are always almost 10/10 for every game in that series that Activision pumps out. But enough ripping on potentially-biased reviewers. Regardless, IGN fails to take into account that not everyone has constant access to the internet, 24/7. To make consoles be always online in order to be used would be a huge inconvenience to some people.

Former Microsoft employee and internet douchebag Adam Orth kicked a hornet's nest when he decided to insult some people on Twitter in regards to the "always online" topic. You've probably already heard about it. In case you haven't, let me give you the short and sweet version: someone objected on Twitter to the "always online" idea, bringing up the point that not everyone has steady internet in all parts of the world. Adam's response was to proceed to make fun of smaller towns with less access to stable internet connection. Maybe he was trying to be funny, but he came off as a prick. As a result, he no longer works for  Microsoft. Whether it was his own decision or he was fired remains a mystery, Microsoft wisely refusing to comment on such a personal matter. I guess the real spokespeople at Microsoft know when to keep their mouths shut (take notes on these guys, Mr. Orth. You could learn a thing or two). Microsoft apologized for their former employee's behaviour, but also noted that they will neither confirm nor deny the rumours of an "always online" next gen console at this time. I expect all we need to know regarding the subject to be revealed at this year's rapidly approaching E3 conference. We have only to wait.

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