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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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    Project Cars will contain many, many cars and if we are counting correctly, there will be 74 total at launch. The standard edition contains 65 total, and when factoring the free car as well as the Modified and Limited Edition cars packs, you can add an additional nine cars to the mix. Comb through the […]

  • Competitive matchmaking support is coming to Team Fortress 2

    Team Fortress 2 will soon feature support for competitive matchmaking, which Valve says is a “high priority” project for it at the moment. According to a report from TeamFortress.tv, which visited Valve headquarters recently, Valve is looking into the possibility of 6v6 or 9v9 matches 9v9, a possible quick play option and it is also […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch fixes garage, Job crashes – full notes here

    Rockstar has pushed out a 353 MB patch for GTA 5 on PC The patch fixes a number of annoying bugs related to vehicles and garages, some deathmatch issues and purchase errors. It should also fix various freezing and crashing bugs, as well as a little issue with Steam. Time will tell if the patch […]

  • Fire Emblem If will come in White Kingdom and Black Kingdom versions with amiibo support

    We’ve finally got some juicy details on the next Fire Emblem game, but the most interesting aspect is that there will be two versions of the game. According to Siliconera, who translated an interview between Intelligent Systems and 4Gamer, there will a White Kingdom and a Black Kingdom version that offer different aspects of the […]

  • Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess heads west with “Golden Toilet” pre-order bonus

    Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess will debut on western PlayStation 4 systems this summer, Koei Tecmo has announced. It is also coming to PS3 and Vita. The game was produced by Keisuke Kikuchi of Fatal Frame fame and takes up where Deception 4: Blood Ties left off allowing players to relive Laegrinna’s pursuit to free […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario demo, Paper Mario, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo of Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, Paper Mario on Virtual Console, and amiibo Tap. The full update is below. eShop update amiibo Tap – free – Wii U Star Wars Pinball DLC – Wii U Paper Mario – Wii U […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC port handed off to Nixxes

    The PC port of the new Deus Ex has been handed over to Netherlands based studio, Nixxes software. After the initial reveal trailer at the beginning of April, we’ve only had a few morsels in the way of additional news. The most intriguing tidbit to date has got to be the fact that you’ll be […]

  • First-ever PC Gaming Show to take place at E3 2015 in June

    PC gaming will finally have its very own E3 press conference this year, thanks to PC Gamer and AMD. The PC Gaming Show will take place on June 16 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles and it will be livestreamed on Twitch. PC Gamer said speakers at the presentation will include representatives from Blizzard, […]

  • Majora’s Mask light available now on Club Nintendo for 6000 stars

    Club Nintendo shuts up shop on September 30 and members are being encouraged to spend accumulated stars before then. And what better to spend them on, than this adorable Majora’s Mask light? If you’re a member based in Europe you can nab it for 6000 stars. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, it’ll only […]

  • Unity support announced for HoloLens, will work with Windows universal apps

    Microsoft is partnering with game engine developers Unity in order to make HoloLens compatible with apps and games which use the cross-platform engine. The partnership was announced yesterday during its Build Developer Conference. Universal apps for Windows 10 systems will also be available on Xbox One later this year, suggesting possible HoloLens functionality with the […]

  • Splatoon Nintendo Direct airs Thursday, May 7

    A Nintendo Direct focused on Splatoon, the Wii U multiplayer title, on May 7. It will kick off at 7am PDT/10am EDT/3pm UK and it can be watched via the Nintendo Direct website. You can also have a look at the game through Nintendo’s Twitch channel. The last game-specific presentation took place last week and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: clean up the streets as a member of the San Andreas PD with this new mod

    Remember the awesome mods for GTA 4 and San Andreas that let you run amok online as a member of the po-po? Well, dust off your taser and load up your gun, because it’s coming to GTA 5. The new mod for GTA 5 is currently in alpha and can be downloaded at palmbeachgames.com. You […]

  • Indie shoot ‘em up Project Root comes to Xbox One, PS4 and PSVita

    Project Root is a self-proclaimed rejig of the shoot ‘em up genre that was released on PC last year, and it’s finally coming to consoles. Combining free-roaming elements with the usual business of shooting things, Project Root was released this week for Xbox One, PS4 and the PSVita.

  • You can now bet on eSports online, starting with League of Legends

    If you’re getting bored with sticking a pony on the races, you can expand your gambling horizons at Unikrn where you can watch esports streams and get a little action on the side. The new platform was set up by Rahul Sood – previously the general manager of Microsoft Ventures. At the moment, customers are […]

  • Has Watch Dogs 2 been leaked?

    Ubisoft employee, Julien Risse, may have inadvertently confirmed Watch Dogs 2, thanks to his online CV over at LinkedIn. Videogamer.com spotted the slip up, in which Risse lists Watch Dogs, the DLC Bad Blood, and Watch Dogs 2 on his profile. Creative Director Jonathan Morin has already talked about his ideas for improvements for the […]

  • GTA 5′s Trevor makes his Jackass debut, complete with leopard-print knickers

    YouTuber Abstract Mode has shared his vision of what Trevor Philips’ life might have been like, had he not been completely batshit crazy. Watch Trevor get mauled, run over, and hit by a train, before taking a majestic swan-dive into someone else’s pool at the climax. Thanks, Kotaku.

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 season pass will cost you £35

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 isn’t released until November 6, but you can already hand over your cash for the Season Pass. The Season Pass is available for pre-purchase on Steam for £34.99, and will cover four DLC packs – although the details we have on the content are limited to ‘exciting’ at this […]

  • GTA Online’s cheating assholes are no match for this player’s vengeance

    Think you’re smart for using invisibility and infinite ammo glitches? You need to be taught a lesson, sucker. You can have all the hacks you want but if your GTA Online game is weak, you’ll still get your ass handed to you. As this fool discovered when attempting to hassle another player. There’s a fair […]

  • PS4 sales help Sony’s games division swing to profit

    Sony’s PlayStation business has made an operating profit of 48.1 billion yen ($404m / £261.5m) in the past 12 months. That’s thanks to stellar sales of the PlayStation 4 and PS Plus, even as sales of the PS3 have stalled and the company wrote off costs for the PSTV and PS Vita. The profit puts […]

  • New patch for Dirt Rally gives co-driver’s attitude a tune-up

    Dirt Rally gets a new patch three days after release on Steam. On Monday, we reported that the newest Dirt game has popped up on Steam’s Early Access and is available to pick up for £24.99, as well as giving you an eyeful of tasty screenshots. The patch – released yesterday – fixes some issues […]

  • New The Witcher 3 screenshots show combat, exploration and general carousing

    New screenshots released on the official facebook page for The Witcher 3 show Geralt annihilating a winged beast, out and about in the world exploring, and living the life of Reily amidst a bustling feast. We were already treated to some glorious screenshots a few days ago, but these new ones are in-game and give […]

  • Destiny: 14 things you might have missed during House of Wolves intel drops

    Destiny: House of Wolves does a great deal more than just slap some new content on the existing game structure. House of Wolves changes Destiny in a lot of interesting and very welcome ways. Bungie showed off many of these changes in its livestream, and let both me and Arekkz come and have a look […]

  • Scratch that cyberpunk itch with Technobabylon on May 21 – new trailer

    Technobabylon more like Wrecked-yo-babbling with my smooth flow about how good Wadjet Eye games are. I don’t know y’all, it’s clock off time and everything feels like a reach. Wadjet Eye makes pretty good adventure games – award winning, in fact. The latest project to spring forth from the benevolent, sheltering hand of the label […]

  • Skullgirls 2nd Encore brings exclusive new features to PS4, Vita in northern summer

    Skullgirls, the little indie fighter that could, is getting another crack at it. Skullgirls 2nd Encore is the second re-release of the one-time troubled 2D versus fighter from lab Zero Games. Having survived the shut down of its developer and collapse of its publishing contrast, Skullgirls re-emerged as Skullgirls: Encore, adding in a ton of […]

  • Danganronpa series generates “impressive” sales for Vita exclusive

    Danganronpa is selling quite nicely, thank you, says NIS America. Danganronpa is a series of murder mystery visual novel puzzlers in a similar vein to games like 999. Two of these have been released for Vita in the west – Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair. Speaking to MCV, NIS America CEO and president Takuro […]

  • I have no idea what is going on in J-Stars Victory VS+ but I kind of like it

    In this J-Stars Victory VS+ trailer, we see – uhh. Well. We certainly see some things. Look y’all, I was a massive weaboo in high school, but that was back in the dark ages when we had to take out Manga Entertainment VHS tapes from dingy little specialist rental joints that were literally underground, and […]

  • Please just watch this terrific trailer for Toren

    Toren is the kind of game I dream about when I drift off to sleep at night. This indie puzzle adventure strikes a spark in my little soul in the same way as Ico and Tequila Works’ Rime do. Mysterious, almost ethereal fantasy setting – check. Chance to actually walk around in that setting – […]

  • Play classic MS-DOS games on your own tweets

    In today’s episode of “what will they think of next”, someone’s figured out how to post playable versions of classic games in tweets. For some time now, Twitter has allowed you to embed various forms of media in tweets, most noticeably YouTube videos, simply by pasting a URL into the compose field. Turns out this […]

  • VR: Unreal Engine to add HTC Vive support

    The biggest digital PC game distributor and the most popular game development engine have both backed VR. It’s going to happen. An upcoming Unreal Engine 4 update will expand the development suite’s support to the HTC Vive, Valve’s VR headset. In this glorious new future where work on one of the most important engines in […]

  • WWE 2K15 PC supports modding

    WWE 2K15 may be the series’ PC debut, but it’s already getting into the spirit of the platform. WWE 2K15 does indeed support mods on PC, 2K’s Marcus Stephenson has confirmed. @ElementGamesTV you can. Now buy. — Marcus Stephenson (@stephensonmc) April 28, 2015 As Destructoid points out, this opens the door to all sorts of […]

  • Overkill’s The Walking Dead coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2016

    Overkill’s The Walking Dead is one step closer to your grasping little paws. Overkill’s The Walking Dead will be published by 505 Games, Overkill parent Starbreeze has announced. 505 also published Payday 2, Overkill’s previous title, so the two companies have established a working relationship. In a press release, the publisher said the co-op title […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 pre-orders net Advanced Warfare DLC

    Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for later, enjoy bonus Advanced Warfare content now. Blacks Ops 3 is being supported by a rather cunning pre-order incentive even more likely to get you to lay your cash down sooner than you might otherwise. Gamespot reports a Black Ops 3 pre-order will receive a couple of […]

  • Steam Game Ban system lets developers determine who to block

    Steam users can now be blocked from individual games by their developers. Steam has always supported multiplayer bans for disruptive users, but a newly-implemented system allows developers to ban users from individual games using their own anti-cheat systems. Game Bans are enforced by Valve, but are enacted at the developer’s request and discretion. This change […]

  • Far Cry 4 devs matching Red Cross donations up to $100K to aid Nepal earthquake victims

    Far Cry 4 developer Ubisoft Montreal will match any pledges made to The Red Cross up to $100,000 to aid Nepal after the 7.8 earthquake struck the area in and around Kathmandu in Nepal. According to Ubisoft: “Having spent the last few years working on Far Cry 4, a game heavily inspired by Nepal and […]

  • Tales of Zestiria retail listing notes September release date, PS4 version

    Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, and while it’s confirmed as a PlayStation 3 release, a Dutch retailer has it listed as coming to PS4 as well. Of course, listing it for PS4 could also be a typo, not that I would personally know about that sort of thing, really. However, according […]