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Always-on Xbox is a bad idea, say UK retail bosses

Saturday, 6 April 2013 20:15 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

A few UK retailers have added their two cents into the “always on” debate, a function rumored to be integrated into the next-Xbox partially in order to block pre-owned games from playing.

Speaking with MCV, Dixons Retail’s Christopher Rogers said while the chain doesn’t sell pre-owned games, the possibility of an always on console is bad idea in the UK as the broadband infrastructure isn’t up to par in all areas of the country. “Surely last month’s teething troubles with SimCity are a warning for this,” he stated.

Don McCabe of CHIPS added that while a console always connected to the Internet would be a positive thing, due to automatic updates and along with reduced load times and piracy, blocking second-hand titles and forcing consumers to pay more is a bad idea. McCabe also brought up the broadband connection in the UK as well.

“Block second-hand and force a constant connection and the market will shrink rapidly,” he said, “but Microsoft will still make a profit. As for the rest of us [at retail], tough titty.”

Games Centre’s managing director Robert Lindsay, feels it would be a critical mistake on Microsoft’s part to do this, as it would allow Sony the upper hand.

“If Microsoft incorporates the tech to lock out pre-owned games and Sony doesn’t then there is going to be only one winner in the next generation of consoles – and it won’t be Microsoft,” he said. “The publishers are completely out of touch with their consumers if they don’t understand how important pre-owned is in helping them fund new releases.

“Retail is struggling. This will create an even quicker decline. I remain optimistic that the rumours will remain just that, and Microsoft and Sony will make the right decision for the industry.”

Steven Doyle, manager of Games Dojo agrees that such a move would “kill the Xbox,” and make Sony the ultimate winner of the console wars.

“Customers have been unhappy with rumours about blocking pre-owned games and publishers using online codes,” he said. “If the Xbox 720 is locking out pre-owned games, we wouldn’t be happy about that at all and it certainly wouldn’t help us. Not all of our customers are online and not everyone is on the internet so that could damage it.

“In the UK, our internet infrastucture is way behind the rest of the world and if a game cuts out, that will upset people.”

Excite Games, which makes most of its profit from the sale of used titles, feels such a move would be “detrimental” to both retail and the consumer.

“We don’t make that much on new games, as the supermarkets have devalued new titles. We make most of our money through pre-owned,” said the firm’s Paul Whitfield. I put a post on our Facebook page a while back about this and most of the feedback from consumers said that if that’s the case, they wouldn’t buy the next Xbox.”

Finally, Chris Muckell, who is managing director of Xpress Games, agreed stating that if the store can no longer sell second-hand Xbox titles, a consumer migration will turn in Sony’s favor.

“Assuming everything we’ve read is true – that this could be a big failure from Microsoft if they exclusively adapt that route of distribution and online activation,” he said. “Pre-owned games fuel the entire new market.

“Microsoft needs retail.”

Microsoft is rumored to be unveiling its next console in May, with further rumors pointing to a holiday release in order to go neck-and-neck with PS4.

Thanks, woe.

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26 Comments

  1. theevilaires

    Dammit Stephany you nailed it on the head with that pic ;)

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Lengendaryboss

    Nice picture. Although i doubt MS with go through with it knowing all the Backlash this has caused and the massive repercussions it can lead to, but then again Sony’s arrogance caused the PS3 a powerful but very difficult platform to develop for (in the past) and pricey to purchase. I wonder what MS’s arrogance will do to Xbox720?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. monkeygourmet

    I second that motion!

    Good pic! :)

    Looks like a BNP 360

    *Edit

    Just realised what that sounded like… :/

    Please seperate the Good Pic :) and BNP comment lol O_o

    #3 2 years ago
  4. SlayerGT

    There anyone that’s feels always on would be a GOOD idea? Not, doesn’t care. A GOOD idea. What benefit could it bring to games? What new next Gen feature could be implemented by having such a service? I only ask cause I can’t think of any.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DuckNation

    “tough titty” haha that’s great

    Also got to love those ISP out there that still have a CAP on their internet

    #5 2 years ago
  6. brotherhoodofthewolf

    they would say that though wouldn’t they.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. zinc

    @4, It prevents you buying 2nd hand games, which devalues your gaming experience. You may think it doesn’t, but it does. MS told me so.

    I think it’s more interesting that woe, who has been called out as a bit of a fanboy, posted this less than flattering report concerning MS.

    Cheque bounce, did it mate?

    *joke* :-P

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SlayerGT

    I got one! No hacking online in mp games??

    #8 2 years ago
  9. KAP

    @2
    If they decided to have always online feature there is no changing it now dude. Something like that has to be hard-coded, so all the complaining in the world won’t change anything. People will still buy 720..

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dark

    MS won’t do this unless they are 100% sure that others publishers will do it.

    and there is already a rumor about Watch Dogs and ACIV to require online connection.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Wen3

    Everybody buy a ps4

    #11 2 years ago
  12. The_Red

    #Dealwithit
    Wait, too soon?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Lengendaryboss

    @9 True. If MS do have balls to announce that feature then it will kill the Xbox720 and if people still buy this knowing all this info, I just don’t know what to think.
    @11 Sir, yes sir :D

    #13 2 years ago
  14. CPC_RedDawn

    I think I speak for everyone when I say “well duuuurrr!!”

    #14 2 years ago
  15. roadkill

    Lol! it does NOT matter! The bots will still buy it. They have the IQ of a bird. Wait! that’s a little bit too high. Of an ant? Nope? Hmm..

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Djoenz

    Tough titty xD

    #16 2 years ago
  17. tmac2011

    its the most stupid thing i ever heard, most people dont have fast enough internet. who ever thought of having it on all the time must be fire immeaditly

    #17 2 years ago
  18. zachintyre

    I agree, always on is going to hurt their business. They just keep saying suck it up. That is rude and consumers don’t want to be treated that way. Every time a company listens to the consumers things go well. When they don’t things just end up failing. Have fun losing to Sony, Microsoft because I will be buying a PS4.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Maguire82

    Nothing has been confirmed yet so why all the panic? By the end of the month we should know more, Sony have Patented NFC tags in dics, but there not blocking used games. And I think you will find it publishers would benefit more from non used games just as much as the console manufactures so they could be pushing for this as well. Also most P.C. Games cant be sold second hand and you fined they are cheaper than console games. I would gladly have my games locked to my system if they were cheaper.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Lengendaryboss

    @19
    Well look at it this way. If MS see no one reacting to this news what do you think they are going to do? All this controversy is going to get them to reconsider their stance (if true)

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DGOJG

    “No shit” say the consumers.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. KineticCalvaria

    This gen has been mostly 360 for me and I had planned to get the successor, but I can honestly say that if this always online business is true then I’ll be sticking to pc and getting a playstation 4.

    I don’t want a console I can’t use just because my router or connection decides it wants to play up, even if it doesn’t happen very often.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    “What benefit could it bring to games? What new next Gen feature could be implemented by having such a service?”

    WiiU won’t be in last place after all?

    PC
    PS4
    WiiU
    XBnxt

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Fin

    “Retail complains about concept that could impact them financially”

    But yer, this really doesn’t seem like the best idea. I don’t mind blocking of used games, but if the always online doesn’t work 100% day 1 out of the box, they’re fucked.
    Depends how it’s handled too – if it pauses the game if it loses connection, that’s okish, but if the consumer loses any progress, they’re fucked.
    But generally, if they go with always-online, they’re fucked.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. KenanB97

    I understand the hate for such a feature, but look at it this way.
    Updates.
    Say you’re at school/work and an update for a game comes out. Would you rather it make you come back home and you initialise the download or to your ow convenience it happen without any user interruption?
    However for those not lucky enough to have unlimited data this could be a massive problem.
    Final point, who knows this could be an On/Off feature?

    #25 2 years ago
  26. G1GAHURTZ

    Unlimited data shouldn’t be necessary, because the point of having it always connected would be for simple authentication checks. These would probably be around a few kbs of data every time you bring up a loading screen or something similar.

    #26 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]