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“Deal with it”: fear of an always-online future

Thursday, 11 April 2013 08:29 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft creative director Adam Orth told the world to “deal with it” last week, in relation to rumours that Xbox 720 will require a constant internet connection. Dave Cook recaps the messy saga.

This is the tweet that saw angry gamers sharpening their axes and calling for the head of Microsoft’s Adam Orth last week. Not only was it a callous way to address the company’s paying customers, but it smacked of a blinkered take on reality.

But was Orth actually talking about Xbox 720? I’m not so sure.

While Microsoft’s PR arm was quick to paper over Orth’s savage riposte and assure the press that the tweets were not reflective of the company’s roadmap, for many the next-gen race was over before it had begun.

The following days gave birth to Orth-related memes, widespread proclamations of Sony as the next-gen champ and this video of a YouTube comedian destroying his Xbox with a hatchet.

Now, according to fresh reports, Orth has left Microsoft following abuse and finger pointing. The rumour has been met with both dismay and jubilation; at the end of the day a man may now be out of a job over something rather silly.

Some of us laughed throughout the saga, others got incredibly upset, but now that the red mist’s lifted we can look at the big picture with renewed focus. Personally, the worst aspect of Orth’s reply was the way he could be viewed by the paying public, and given that Microsoft has a lot to prove in response to Sony’s PS4 reveal – simply by being second out of the gate – the timing couldn’t have been worse.

But let’s assume for a second that yes, Xbox 720 does need an always-on internet connection to run. There were better ways to phrase it. As someone who knows full well the folly of Twitter outbursts, I understand that sometimes things seem less harsh in the heat of the moment. I can even see why the first tweet could have been made in a moment of knee-jerk foolishness.

But then this happened:

He kept going in a debate with BioWare designer Manveer Heir. What you’re looking at here is the point of no return for many gamers. I’d argue that we know nothing about Xbox 720 for certain, so we shouldn’t be hasty to assume it does require an online connection, but I absolutely understand why gamers are now wary.

As with any form of DRM, a lot of people view the notion of always-online consoles as something that penalises everyone – including legitimate customers – with distrust. I understand the need for anti-discriminatory blanket policies in other walks of life, but when it comes to gaming people just don’t like to be treated the same as criminals.

Then, of course, you have the connotations of EA’s SimCity launch fiasco. This is the most prevalent piece of recent evidence against the case for always-online consoles, and it shows what can happen if companies are unprepared.

Most nights I can’t get through a session of Black Ops 2 without lag or server migration because some bad loser decided to quit out of a match. I’m on a 10Mb line that I pay monthly, so I can understand why having to pay for an Xbox Live subscription, and a new Xbox 720 console, only to have it drop out constantly makes for a poor proposition.

Recently, sources close to Microsoft gave two very different accounts of the company’s new hardware. One person said that Xbox 720 does indeed require an always-online connection, with leeway of three minutes offline should your connection fail. The other said that the console can run offline without issue. Who do we believe?


Imagine the SimCity debacle, but with the potential to cripple every game on a single format. This is the future, apparently.

These mixed messages are clearly a problem from both a PR, technical and consumer angle. For one, we’re not at the stage where the global population can log-on without issue and enjoy consistently fast, always-dependable connections. It’s just not possible at the moment: should these paying customers suffer because Adam Orth and his executive buddies said so?

No, of course not, but then this is when I start to get a little wary of the outrage among gamers. Orth didn’t say – at any point – that Xbox 720 would require an always online connection. He may have just been speaking generally. I get why people reached this conclusion, but my gut tells me that Microsoft isn’t that stupid.

Let me clarify that: Microsoft’s top brass can’t be this stupid if they want the company’s console arm to exist in ten years time. Veteran tech blogger Paul Thurrott said this week that people are making claims about Xbox 720 based on literally nothing. He’s absolutely correct. We don’t know anything until Microsoft actually reveals the bloody thing.

But then I start to remember that we’ve heard some pretty damning testimony to the contrary, about just how out-of-touch Microsoft has become in recent years. Earlier this week we saw ex-Microsoft designer Daniel Cook talk about how brazenly the company views its competitors, and how little understanding it has of the modern gamer.

Then we have bean-spiller Joachim Kempin, who has written a damning book about his time at Microsoft. It paints Steve Ballmer as a man dreadfully out of touch with the currently market, and at one point he said that the company’s future may depend on Ballmer’s resignation.


Damn you rumour mill, can’t you see that you’re giving the captain a headache. Knock it off!

Finally we’ve seen a string of UK retailers voice concern over the possibility that Xbox 720 will require an always-on internet connection. The big fear is that consumers won’t enjoy being strong-armed into something that is – in the eyes of many – a pointless requirement.

One look through VG247′s ‘Microsoft’ tag feed throws up a long line of conflicting messages, anonymous sources and second-hand accounts. There’s nothing tangible in there that explicitly states what form the Xbox 720 will take, or if it requires an online connection to run.

Only Microsoft can untangle these crossed wires when it announces the console – either on April 26 or May 21 depending on which rumour you believe. With so much bile being spat over Orth’s comments and current rumours, the scope for ill-informed conclusions widens. Conversely, the longer Microsoft waits to reveal its successor, the deeper the spiked pit becomes.

Always-online consoles are not a good idea – not now, not ever – so the onus is now on Microsoft’s upper echelons to make sure that it doesn’t stymie itself by doing something very silly indeed.

Now is the time for clarity on the matter. Just announce it, Microsoft.

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59 Comments

  1. Yoshi

    Well the guy got fired now so what does it matter :/ I hope everyone is happy by taking it all over the top to make it into a massive thing.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DGOJG

    Great piece Dave. Regardless of the rumours being true or false, Microsoft has taken a serious hit in terms of it’s next gen image. The fact that the “always online” et al rumours have been following them for this long will already have planted a negative and hesitant thought process for consumers new and old. I’m mighty interested in seeing what their offical trance is come May.
    However we all know, much like what happened in the early days of PS3, fans will buy a new PSNextBox regardless…unless it still has “Wii” in its name.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. KrazyKraut

    “Most nights I can’t get through a session of Black Ops 2 without lag or server migration because some bad loser decided to quit out of a match. I’m on a 10Mb line that I pay monthly, so I can understand why having to pay for an Xbox Live subscription, and a new Xbox 720 console, only to have it drop out constantly makes for a poor proposition.” I dont understand this part…? Why you understand, that you have to pay? TIA mate

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @3 I have to pay for my internet line, my Xbox 720, my Xbox Live Gold subscription, then if the first part fails the other two won’t work. That’s my point. It’s wrong.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    In defense I want to say that Diablo III issue was solved in 3 days, while Simcity is not to this day.

    I’m saying that this stuff depends on the devs, servers and management. Maybe Microsoft is ready to move everything Online and in my opinion they are ready.

    but here is another thing. Remember PsP Go? No one said about it. But Sony was the first that tried to have a small handheld device that was digital only. That thing worked (it was not perfect obviously) but no one wanted one because it is too early for digital only devices. Same goes to “always Online feature”

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Samoan Spider

    I know you’re right, but all I would suggest is taking into account how fickle consumers are. Like waving a chocolate bar under a screaming child’s nose, the moment they put on a show with their typical flare, all will be forgiven and the outpouring of love will resume.
    I have an always on internet connection at 120mbps so I for one am not fussed by this in principle but I do know a fair few people who would be distressed by this requirement if it were true.
    I say in principle because I absolutely hate this incessant march towards always online and persistent socially integrated single player games. It just isn’t justifiable and I hope MS are not putting their weight behind it because if they do, it will still sell, and it will set a trend.
    As for the infrastructure, I remember MS bought a its own worldwide network company back in the day to support Xbox live, hence why it is for the most part quick and stable so as Erth says, they are ready.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. friendlydave

    Nice article. Adam Orth sounds like a prat, I could see how the first could of been a mistake. but those second batch of tweets are terrible.
    It will be interesting to see what Microsoft have planned! Are they still having that event? or will we be waiting till E3?

    “I’m on a 10Mb line that I pay monthly, so I can understand why having to pay for an Xbox Live subscription, and a new Xbox 720 console, only to have it drop out constantly makes for a poor proposition.”

    I was only able to upgrade to fibre optic in 2012 because it was unavailable where I live and my connection is still 5mb at best. Few miles down the road and they are on Dial-up/broadband still. And I do not live in an isolated area at all(in-between 2 major cities and about 1 hour drive away from London), we just have crappy phone-lines//connections that need to be replaced because they can’t be upgraded. UK = worst internet going!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. monkeygourmet

    Nice article Dave, here is some info from I’ve copied off someone (who I think copied it from VGLeaks).

    Again could be rubbish but could explain the ‘always on’ stuff for Durango.

    (sorry it’s a fairly long post).

    Microsoft is working hard in its new strategy for the next years. The company wants to expand its Xbox brand with two new Xbox. One would be next-gen, the other one would be a new redesign for Xbox 360. Take in mind the Wii Mini, MS would like to offer something similar to Nintendo. This cheap model would be focused as a set top box product, although you will be able to load games too, but the games should be load directly from the HDD. This Xbox wouldn’t have disc drive.

    We have received new information about the latest Xbox Roadmap. Our source unveils new details for Durango, Xbox mini and the Microsoft strategy; moreover we don’t forget Kinect 2.0.

    Xbox Mini

    The “Xbox Mini” is not a 360 add-on, it is a stand alone product that contains Xbox 360 functions for gaming, and alone it is meant to compete with Apple TV. Since it is likely it will not have a disc drive, it is being designed with “always online” in mind, and with internet being required for Live functions. Xbox 360 Games can be played on it by purchasing Games on Demand on Xbox Live (for new purchases) or if already purchased, simply download it. This also applies to music and movies. To further clarify, the Durango will also have these (TV) functions, just with next-genration gaming hardware instead of Xbox 360 at a higher price.

    When used with Durango, it offers connectivity with it for backwards compatibility with both disc based and On Demand games, and it’s no more different than what Sony will be doing with Gaikai for playing PS3 games on PS4, only with Xbox it will be done locally and not through the cloud. You can control the Xbox Mini under a single interface and not have to worry about switching between devices in a single display input.

    These connectivity functions cannot work with existing Xbox 360 units due to the difference in external interface. The Xbox Mini was designed for this along side Durango.

    Microsoft expands its Xbox brand

    Getting to the point there are going to be two console as part of the redesigned “Xbox Line” of products. A repackaged and reoriented Xbox 360 unit and the new “Durango” gaming console, both designed to compete with more than Sony in gaming, but against Apple as well.

    When the Durango (game machine) launches, it will not support backwards compatibility for 360 games out of the box. Instead, this functionality will come from the other unit that will be networked with the Durango to provide this (not unlike the DVD add-on for the original Xbox).

    The purpose of the smaller Xbox unit is to compete with Apple TV, but also provides XBLA and 360 game support which will give it an edge over Apple TV. The rumors of “always online required” comes from the smaller Xbox unit which may not have a disc drive and like Apple TV it would require a network connection and internet to provide any real functionality. It may be possible they will design both consoles to be stackable.

    Durango itself will also always be online like any other device (correct with rumors), but it will not be a requirement to play local content and it will not prevent playing used games. Putting in an Xbox 360 disc into Durango will prompt the user to attach the supporting device that is sold separately. By separating the two devices and their functions it will ensure price competitiveness for both pieces of hardware. Microsoft’s delay in announcing these products from April goes more inline with not having a physical set of devices to show (among specification updates), which should be ready by May or June when this information is officially released.

    The price goal of the smaller Xbox is $149 or lower and it is likely to not have a disc drive and would require a network connection. Durango will be priced competitively according to PS4′s price.

    This may explain how B/C could work. Main problem being if true:

    It’s starting to sound like the Mega Drive / Mega CD / 32X add-on situation, which got a bit messy really.

    Mind you, I wanted mind ‘always on’, If I could play all my old Xbox 360 games locally rather than streamed over the ‘cloud’.

    In still very dubious how Sony will achieve this with any kind of cosistant quality…

    #8 2 years ago
  9. The_Red

    An excellent and rather balanced article. Most people / journalists on the net have been saying either of these extremes:
    1- “Are you happy internet? You destroyed a man’s life for nothing. You should be ashamed!”
    2- “720′s Always-online is bad. Orth was dumb and now MS is destroyed. They are dumb…”

    I’m honestly torn. MS execs can’t be THAT stupid indeed, yet their arrogance can NOT be denied. This is the one thing which could ruin 720, with or without Always-online. As for Orth, I think it was the timing (Conflicting rumors + SimCity debacle) plus attitude of his first post that sealed the deal.

    Like it or not, vocal majority or minority arguments aside, this whole debacle has damaged 720′s image even before a proper name reveal. It’s a shame that Orth lost his job but I don’t think after his rude message, sensitive remarks and horribly bad luck / timing, it was the only possible outcome for this story. Orth IS a victim but MS and the internet are NOT the culprits. This is simply a bad time.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 “Orth IS a victim but MS and the internet are NOT the culprits. This is simply a bad time.”

    +100

    @All thanks for reading. I wanted to be fully balanced on the matter, I hope it rubbed off that way.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. heroes159

    I don’t think MS will do this always online thing. But there’s a chance that it could happen. Microsoft doesn’t care about most people. Look how GFWL is. Im not saying is GFWL is bad. But its not available for lots of countries. You cant buy a GFWL game through steam or Origin if GFWL not available to your country. This why I’m saying Microsoft doesn’t care. same thing can happen to Xbox. They wont give a damn about people don’t have proper internet access.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. zinc

    Orth is a victim of his own stupidity. The way I heard it, he’d read a article in Kotaku that riled him up & *inspired* his little outburst.

    Orth & Dennis Dyack should have a drink together & recount their war stories of arguing with the internet masses & how it helped their careers.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Ekona

    You know what bothers me the most? It’s the fact that my own internet connection is fibre so more than quick enough, the uptime over 10 years (not all with fibre) has been over 99%, and in all honesty an always-on console wouldn’t effect me in the slightest.

    As such, I’m struggling to find any sympathy for people who are so against this. That’s what bothers me the most: My own moral standpoint on this. It’s not a flaw that I’m comfortable admitting.

    I can still understand why folks are getting upset, but I’m having troubling empathising with them. Could that be the case for quite a few people, Adam Orth included? This is new territory for gamers and technology as a whole, and perhaps it’s that uneasiness that’s really stirring the pot of morality here.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. dizzygear

    Cant the always on DRM not something that is only present on 720 devkits to prevent leaks (like that devkit showing up on ebay)? And not something that will be in the final product?

    I highly doubt MS would want to risk the time and money spend on R&D to blow up in their face with something as universally loathed as always online DRM.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. silkvg247

    Wouldn’t it be amusing if there actually isn’t a new console in the works and they’re just dropping out of the race? ;)

    #15 2 years ago
  16. The_Red

    @13
    You do realize that even with 100 percent perfect net and 30mb speed, SimCity (A game with always-online DRM) was still unplayable? The Always-online has two sides. The client side (gamers) of which more than 40 percent don’t have access to reliable net like you and the publisher side (EA) which has to have many servers for all the connections.

    Now imagine if the first side (gamers) finally reached a point where EVERYONE on the planet has the perfect net you have. It may take 10 to 20 years or even more. Do you think EA will run the servers for that time? No, they will be shut down and now even YOU can’t play the game you paid 60 bucks for because after 10 years, there are no servers for your always-online game to connect to.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. SameeR_Fisher

    “10Mb line” well I will be damned, I have 1/10 your speed, yes 1MB, forget about PC Online, it doesn’t work, but it is good enough for my PS3.

    Anyway great read Dave, I didn’t want him fired, not at all, even though his opinions were BS and maybe insulting, he didn’t deserve to lose his job, MS was a bit hasty here, thought understandable with all the shit 720 is taking.

    I think the real problem here is MS, really the absence of any sort of official solid information regarding the next Xbox, the amount of rumours coming out every 3 days, MS is damaging their console, maybe they are doing something great and are not ready to reveal it yet, but they should at least announce something, I think if they have Always On they wouldn’t say anything, cause if they commented without showing the console it will doom them, so they are probably waiting to reveal everything about the xbox at once, the tech, the kinect, the games, and boom the always on.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. monkeygourmet

    @16

    People like this don’t; ‘Lose their jobs’, in the same way a single parent loses their job and has nothing to support their family on.

    He will have ‘stepped down’ (potentially with a payment package), and if his skills were really that good, should not find it hard to find employement.

    I don’t feel like he is a ‘victim’ here, not in the slightest…

    #18 2 years ago
  19. SameeR_Fisher

    @17: I know where you are coming from, don’t get me wrong I didn’t like his comments at all.

    but losing a job is always a bad thing, it is not easy to find a job nowadays I think, but yeah he will probably find one soon enough.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. G1GAHURTZ

    @13:

    I’m almost permanently online, too, and tbh, this is what I call a 1st world problem.

    People feeling a sense of entitlement to have a company’s product tailor made for their specific needs, or someone must get a bloody nose.

    Whatever happened to the understanding that not every luxury can be afforded? You don’t find people that live in a warm climate, but love skiing, raging against the weather at every available opportunity.

    We certainly have seen a lot of brat-like behaviour from people over something that hasn’t even been confirmed, by any stretch of the imagination, and isn’t even a logical possibility.

    IYAM, the continuation of messes like this is the fault of the games media, with it’s obsession for information and more readers. They lie in wait on any tiny piece of info in order to turn it into some traffic generating exclusive.

    Scouring CV’s, LinkedIn profiles, patent applications, hanging off every misspoken word of every staff member in some way associated with a game.

    You end up with all of these nonsense rumours and half truths that frequently cost people their jobs, and having their careers derailed.

    MS has said nothing, and the second they are bullied into giving out any legit info because the press demanded it, is the instant that you can kiss professionally designed and manufactured products from them goodbye. That’s the time when their products would be designed by a committee of spoilt, over privileged, pretentious kids that have not much better to do than troll message boards.

    So basically…

    Point 1. If you can’t use a product, you’re not wanted as a customer. Shut up and spend your money elsewhere.

    Point 2. Don’t rage over the headlines of traffic addict journalism. Half of what they print is sensationalist, troll baiting nonsense. Wait for official statements, then react.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. monkeygourmet

    @18

    Yeah, I just didn’t really care for people blaming the ‘bad people or nerds on the interwebs’, for him departing…

    He was using a SOCIAL media tool to make snarky comments mocking the very customers of his company…

    What was the best he expected?! lol

    #21 2 years ago
  22. DrDamn

    @17
    Agree. He also ended up losing his job because of a mistake / error of judgement on his part. People really need to get a grip on social media and what they put on there. He really should have known a lot better.

    @16
    Much as we’d all like some more info I think MS are doing exactly the right thing, whether there is truth to the rumours or not. They have a plan for revealing info and they should stick to it. It’s not like there isn’t much time, their is plenty. They need to be cool and calm not reactionary. Bigger picture is that whether they confirm or deny this now or later there isn’t much of a difference in impact long term. People may make decisions based on the actual outcome but not on when they found out.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. rbevanx

    I don’t feel sorry for the guy losing his job, slating people outside of SF and Seattle with the whole “Deal with it” was just plain out of order on a work account.
    Employees who talk to customers in that way in any medium is unacceptable.

    Sounds like to me he was given his job as well and not earning it like others.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. SameeR_Fisher

    @20: no no no, we are not to be blamed at all, that is pretty stupid, he was totally aware what he was posting, I mean everything is connected according to his own words.

    The internet is not at fault here.

    @21: I see where you are coming from, well I hope by the time MS reveal it they would have something not anti-consumer and would pleas the gamers.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. monkeygourmet

    @23

    Exactly, it wasn’t just one post either…

    He kept digging himself deeper and deeper, I might make an App that activates before you post on Twitter or Facebook.

    It could come up and say:

    Are you Drunk?
    Are you really sure you want to post this?
    Will this post jeopardise your job?

    etc… etc…

    It could be called: ‘Hush your mouth’…

    :D

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Tweetytunes

    I was not bothered by the whole thing until this week. I am currently switching internet providers and without internet for a week. But me and the flatmate was having a good old beat em up night playing street fighter, mortal kombat and soul calibur. Its at this point i loaded up capcom vs marvel 2 qhich i bought of the network about 2 years ago. When loaded it went into demo mode restricting us to 6 players and only one fight boot to menu. I thought there must be a problem with the download and loaded up soul calibur again another one downloaded from network – again demo mode. I went though alot of the games I downloaded to find the same thing on all of them, including single player games like shank and limbo.

    Now MS. I have a gold xbox live account now for 4 years, I have a 320 xbox360 and I have bought items of your network. WHY THE HELL CANT I PLAY MY GAMES. It not your fault my internet is off right now, i understand that but if i had known without the internet I cant play these games i would not have bought them. My flatmate has limbo on a 3 game disk that came out months after and that works.

    Now these are xbox live games – if this was a game i went to a shop and bought for £40 i would be returning the game and the xbox. This really was an eye opener

    #26 2 years ago
  27. MidlifeAxe

    Regarding Orth, it was his fault. Even if it was meant to be a joke, he should of been aware that there are people out there that would take it seriously, and the majority did. And he then he proceeded to say things such as “Why would I live there?”. He was digging himself a hole from the start.

    Regarding the always-online argument, people can say “I have this awesome fiber optic connection”. That’s great for you! I, personally, have a 60meg fiber optic connection that rarely goes down, however, the rest of the world’s infrastructure is not yet up to par to support always-online and that is the problem people are having here.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. SameeR_Fisher

    @24: that is a great app for people working for big companies, go for it, you will gain a fortune. :D :D

    #28 2 years ago
  29. MidlifeAxe

    @24 Specifically, sell it to Microsoft ;)

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Mike W

    Very good read Dave, with that being said the power of twitter and facebook is sickening. I hate the fact that now everyone has a soapbox and they make sure that their voice is heard regardless on how big or small the situation is.

    But as ‘monkeyg’ pointed out there’s new rumors now about the new Xbox that just surfaced, that debunks the whole ‘always-on’ to play single player games rumor.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. monkeygourmet

    @27

    lol Im now using this page as my ‘make shift’ copyright! ;)

    #31 2 years ago
  32. monkeygourmet

    @28

    ‘Don’t be a Twat, Think before you Tweet’

    :D

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Samoan Spider

    @31 This :)

    People should know better by now

    #33 2 years ago
  34. MidlifeAxe

    @31

    Sold! Where do I sign?

    #34 2 years ago
  35. polygem

    great article. would like to comment as well but no time atm.
    ok ciao ba!
    stay DEAD OR ONLINE!

    #35 2 years ago
  36. roadkill

    @3 By playing Cod it means you’re asking for it so.. Deal with it!

    @5 Wth are you on about? Those issues lasted for more than just 3 days.

    @6 Having (or not having) a constant internet connection is not the only problem. The problem is freedom. No decent human will ever accept to play a single player game while always connected to the internet.

    @7 +1

    #36 2 years ago
  37. SplatteredHouse

    @19:”Whatever happened to the understanding that not every luxury can be afforded?”

    People spending increasingly large amounts of money developing and releasing video games, need ever larger audiences to sell them to. Broad appeal focus and all that, for which Nintendo can be partly thanked.

    “should these paying customers suffer because Adam Orth and his executive buddies said so?”

    One of the most annoying things about a Microsoft Media Box, that can also play games, is the comparitively poor experience such a thing (the media offering) presents, outside of the US. Headline: ‘Microsoft signs broadcast/stream/package selection deal with network’ Article: US only. That’s not based on games, it’s based on TV region and distribution deals. Microsoft has NO basis in television, or movies, they just throw money at those that do.

    Sony, on the other hand has all kinds of media association. They can draw on their own studios, and networks, as well as partners at whom they throw money! Their social media focus/promotion to consumers is superior. They never once filled my XMB with crap, and in fact, actually interpreted the content I might be interested in, with a good deal of accuracy, more often than not while bringing relevent games content to the fore.

    The point I’m making here, being, that if Microsoft are looking to offer an always-connected entertainment box under the Xbox brand, the US-centric corporation’s service record also becomes a focus of attention. Those media association, and the bounds that mark and manipulate them are very unlikely to alter because a new games machine appeared.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. G1GAHURTZ

    ^ I don’t understand your point.

    I’m simply saying that if MS wants to release a product specifically for people with internet access, and you can’t afford internet access, or your local area doesn’t provide internet access, then don’t get upset. Don’t act like a spoilt brat who demands that the world revolves around him.

    Gaming is a luxury that human beings could certainly exist without, quite happily.

    Don’t get upset because someone doesn’t want to sell you their expensive, luxury product.

    Spend your money elsewhere.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. zinc

    @37, So your saying it’s ok for Microsoft to rub the fact I can’t always be online in my face? IN MY FACE!!

    How very dare you sir!

    :-P

    Though piss-taking aside, I can perfectly understand guys who’ve supported the Xbox all these years, feeling cheated now that their alleged new product isn’t to their liking.

    Obviously they have the choice to move on, but still, it’s gonna chafe.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. monkeygourmet

    @37

    Yeah, it’s slightly different dude.

    People new to MS consoles, fair enough, but for long standing console owners who have investedin the brand, it’s a bit of a kick in the nads.

    You have recently given up gaming out of choice, perhaps your view is slighlty skewed because of this?

    Some people, it’s a hobby they enjoy, and they may not want to change over to Sony / Nintendo just because MS are changing tactics.

    Your arguement can dismiss virtually all ‘creature comforts’ from people, and make them look like whiney, entitled idiots with ‘first world problems’. It is effective in that sense, but it’s very ‘black and white’.

    Sometimes, people are without certain things due to circumstance, rather than money. For example, they may be able to afford internet, but the place they live has bad infrastructure… Asking them to move purely to play a console from a brand they have supported and enjoyied is kind of a big ‘ask’…

    Of course they can spend there money elsewhere, but a lot of customers build up loyality to a brand. Switching because you want to is fine, but being forced isn’t as good for the customer.

    Some people, believe it or not actually want to buy products and use them.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. G1GAHURTZ

    @38,89:

    Support the Xbox!??

    Invest in the brand!???

    This is the problem with consumerism. People get too attached to a logo, thinking that it somehow represents them as individuals.

    I can totally see what you’re saying, but people need to be more pragmatic.

    These are multi-billion dollar corporations, who are very good at making you think that ‘investing in their brand’ somehow makes you a better human being.

    Well, sorry, but no… And it really is black and white;

    We don’t need them. They need us.

    The sooner people realise this and stop being duped by the capitalist machine, the better.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. OlderGamer

    Ultimatly that is exactly what will happen. People will move on. Former XB suporters will not suport the new system. I doubt it will be a massive wave of exodus. However I do think it will have an impact. And THAT is what a lot of people are debating.

    MS can do what they want. It is their system. But to expect people to not make noise? That is both unrealistic and just plan silly. I also don’t like the first world problem bit either. Like MG said you could apply the entire principle to most things beyond basic food and shelter.

    But it is what it is. If it effects people, then people will have an opinion. If they don’t like it, then people will express those opinions. This is a consumer electronics device. Like you said G1GA a luxury. But I think in alot of cases companies forget who needs who. If they piss all over their supporters/users they risk losing them and shrinking their markets.

    That is why we keep hearing that MS can’t be that stupid to do always on. Does anyone ask: what if they are?

    #42 2 years ago
  43. zinc

    ^ Thank you GIGA Marx.

    :-)

    #43 2 years ago
  44. monkeygourmet

    @40

    I know exactly what your saying, but personnal investment is often linked to real world cash when it comes to this hobby… More so everyday.

    After owning a system for a few years, you can build up quite a collection of software / features that make switching complicated or annoying.

    Im not saying it’s not possible, but sometimes people just want to opt for convienience and ease of use.

    There are also perks like iMessage on iPhone for example, my girlfriend and I can txt for free / facetime as we both have iPhones, my purchases transfer to my iPad too, generally for free…

    If you build up a lot of media history with a particular brand, it can sometimes be hard to ‘start again’

    It’s not like films / games are that transferable, you generally have to pick one company and stick with them unless you have a fair amount of disposable income. Hence why we see so many fanboys rabidly defending their choosen system.

    Im not disagreeing with you, merely playing ‘devils advocado’! ;)

    #44 2 years ago
  45. SlayerGT

    @OG Personally I think they are. I think they look at their numbers. See Live activity, subscriptions..they feel that even if they take a hit it’ll be sustainable. They probably assume everyone that has invested in 360 is gonna want 720. They’ll try their hardest. Carring over as much as possible being achievements, xbla games, friends lists. And the point for all of it is not DRM. Its two fold I think.

    Firstly its to shut your games down if you refuse to pay your bill on your cheaper, more accepting of the masses priced, 720 contract.

    Secondly its to monitor, what you watch, who is watching, for how long. I think kenect is going to become a data collection service for MS to sell to other companies that want to know “how often you look away from the screen”. Ok so maybe the second one there is a bit doomsayish :) but if the rumors are true what’s to stop them from doing such things??

    #45 2 years ago
  46. tmac2011

    i dont want always on im in a slow area and not by my choice, its so stupid to even waNt it and its just to stop piracy wahhhhh microsoft wahhhhh im loosing a couple thousand wahhhHHHH

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Henry

    “Xbox 720 does need an always-on internet connection to run.”

    vg247 confirmed the rumor!!! Damn you MS!!!

    #47 2 years ago
  48. Cobra951

    @25: The problem you’re having tells me you’re not playing on the same console where you downloaded the games. The XBL DRM works this way: Games are dongled 2 ways–(1) by your unique console ID, and (2) by your account. Either one of those alone is enough to allow you to play the games fully. You can be offline on the downloading console, or you can be logged into your account on any console. If both dongles fail, games fail to work, or go into demo mode.

    In order to fix that in the future, you need to transfer your licenses to the console you’re going to be using. (You can only do this a few times per year, so don’t think you can go back and forth between 2 of them every week, or something.) Just google “Xbox 360 license transfer”. You’ll find exactly what you need to do.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. THayman

    isn’t the 360 “Always On”??
    when ever I log in it connected to LIVE that is “On”
    I see ad for games and music.
    I don’t need to log back in to check out the market place.

    Xbox 360 is always on. no one complained about that, so why complain about it now??

    as with ppl saying it needs to be online to play games.
    1) where does it say that, its all rumors so wait till MS tells us.
    2) Many games already require to be online to play, it has been a growing trend this last 7 years with PC gaming.

    Wait and see what happens, then do all the trolling/flaming when its true.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. G1GAHURTZ

    @OG:

    If you went to McDonald’s, but they refused to serve you what you wanted, what would you do?

    Slam your hand on he counter and demand to served whatever you choose, or go somewhere else to eat?

    If you went into a Mercedes garage, but they refused to sell you a car, what would you do?

    Jump up and down and go into a rage, or give your hard earned money to Audi, or BMW, or even Cadillac?

    I’m not saying that people should just carry on as normal without at least having some sort of feeling of disappointment, but acting like MS is stealing something from us by making the product of their own choosing is terribly irrational.

    That’s why I say that it’s a 1st world problem.

    There are orphaned kids, in war-torn counties around the world, who are ducking bullets and don’t know where their next meal is coming from, but some gamers spend their time being furious, because they might not be able to play a game for an hour or two if their internet connection goes down.

    @mg:

    Sure, I think we agree on most things, it’s just the overreaction of many forumites, particularly when it comes to Orth, that I think is OTT.

    #50 2 years ago
  51. Samoan Spider

    @Ghz Entirely in agreement with you there.

    #51 2 years ago
  52. freedoms_stain

    @48, there’s a difference between being capable of maintaining an internet connection and requiring it.

    If your xbox360 is “always on” that is your choice, it doesn’t stop working if your internet connection goes down.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. OlderGamer

    I get what your saying Ghz. Gaming as a whole is pretty weak sauce(to barrow from my kids). However, just because there is almost always a deeper more meaningful issue, doesn’t mean that an topic such as gaming can’t have its own worthy issues to talk about.

    For me it is a hobby. For Pat, this site is his job. For Mr. Orth, the industry is also his job. These things don’t change because of other issues.

    Fundamentaly, however, I agree with what you are saying.

    #53 2 years ago
  54. larzarus

    That’s exactly the kind of arrogant attitude, that made people hate Microsoft in the first place.

    #54 2 years ago
  55. noherczeg

    @5 In the US!

    We had constant connection issues in Europe even on the third week…

    #55 2 years ago
  56. Cobra951

    @48: That is false. I can pull the ethernet cable out of the back of my Xbox, and all my local content will still work just fine. All of my games work without Microsoft’s online permission. The fear is that the future MS console will be much more restrictive. That’s what the firestorm is about.

    #56 2 years ago
  57. OlderGamer

    It has to do with the liscencing and having it synced between your profile and the hardware you are currently using, Cobra. I have the same problem, alot of my games revert to demos if I am offline. I know you used to be able to go to MS online and have those liscences transfered so that wouldn’t happen. You prolly still can.

    #57 2 years ago
  58. Joe_Gamer

    I can’t believe people still think Orth shouldn’t have been canned or that he’s some kind of “victim”. I knew from the moment I read his tweets, before I read one word about the PR shitstorm, that he would be fired. A M$ employee(of some kind?), in a public venue, “breaking” NDA’s, breaching the sacred employer/worker drone contract that I’m sure he put his John Hancock to. Even if everything he said was total BS he absolutely gave the appearance of breaking NDA’s, gave the appearance that he was in the know, and that his information was accurate, in the process bringing a crap tom of bad PR down upon his employer. In the ultra high pressure/high stakes pre-launch window EVERYONE is wound extra tight, a fact that I doubt he was ignorant of. Bad time for foolishness indeed.

    #58 2 years ago
  59. salarta

    @58: Getting fired over an opinion you hold when you have no authority whatsoever over whether or not that opinion actually gets implemented is justice? Listen, he may have said it poorly, but at the end of the day it was an opinion with no power over the end result. It’s possibly ruining a person’s life entirely based on personal opinion. It’s akin to calling for the firing of the guy in charge of building the next XBox system for him saying Halo sucks and needs to be turned into a puzzle game. It doesn’t matter how much he believes that, he’s not the one making the games or deciding what games should be made.

    Also, I think there’s a lot of details to this many continue to not know about because they’re not shocking enough to get coverage. I learned elsewhere that Manveer later tweeted to point out that the more “extreme” comments by Orth were playful trolling that’s normal between the two of them when they talk to each other.

    #59 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]