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Xbox One online check-in takes kilobytes, not megabytes, Spencer says

Thursday, 13th June 2013 08:22 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One’s daily check-ins will take a matter of kilobytes, not megabytes according to Microsoft Studios’ corporate vice president Phil Spencer. The exec has re-iterated that phone tethering is a viable option for those with shaky internet, and he has stated again that if you don’t have online access, then Xbox 360 is the console for you.

Speaking with GameInformer, Spencer said of online check-ins, “It’s kilobytes, not megabytes. You can also set your console to always have the latest bits in a standby state.” Later, Spencer was concrete, “If you have no ability to connect to the Internet, the Xbox One is not the console for you.”

Spencer’s Xbox 360 line follows yesterday’s statement from Microsoft’s Don Mattrick, who said that if you aren’t online then the company has a product for you. It’s called the Xbox 360.

Since then the internet has reacted negatively towards Mattrick’s seemingly bullish attitude on the matter, something Spencer was happy to address in his interview, “I know Don. He’s been in his industry for decades.

“He started as a game developer with his own studio. For it somehow to get twisted that Don doesn’t care about gaming, as someone who knows the man, I know that is not him. He does care about the gamers.”

Are online check-ins really a big concern, or are we all just imagining negative outcomes, as Mattrick suggested yesterday? Let us know below.

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40 Comments

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  1. Aullah

    At this point… who cares?

    #1 10 months ago
  2. mistermogul

    Yes we are imagining “negative outcomes” because this is a negative situation.

    “He does care about the gamers.” He obviously doesn’t care about gamers enough…

    “It’s kilobytes, not megabytes” The file size is not the concern here. It’s the fact that the file has to be checked every day…

    I hate the way these execs try and pass the problem to seem like something else. Stop treating us like idiots MS.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. sithsylar

    Damage control in 3.2..1….. GOOOOOOO

    #3 10 months ago
  4. Kabby

    Balls to your daily check ins.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. Djoenz

    Its not a big concern tbh, however every retailer should inform customers beforehand. Microsoft must explicitly put a informative text on the package.

    The One must be Online. Stay connected.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. Beta

    “If you have no ability to connect to the Internet, the Xbox One is not the console for you”

    Still strikes me as a stupid thing to say. In a way this is basically saying “Go buy a PS4″ :P

    In any case, instead of trying to justify the online check why not just scrap it? Nobody likes it, and Sony is launching without it. Makes it look like MS doesn’t trust their customers.

    #6 10 months ago
  7. sithsylar

    @6 The hardest thing for any company is saying they were wrong and yeah i doubt that will happen…

    #7 10 months ago
  8. Beta

    @7 It probably won’t no.

    #8 10 months ago
  9. CyberMarco

    Yeah Spencer, I’ll get a PS4 instead.

    #DealWithIt

    #9 10 months ago
  10. GoingPostal13

    I doesn’t matter if it’s only a single bit. The fact I have to seek Microsoft’s permission every 24 hours to play the games I (will not) purchase is the issue.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. monkees19

    “If you have no ability to connect to the Internet, the Xbox One is not the console for you.”

    Translation: We’re moving forward without you AND I hope you like watching trailers for games you’ll never be able to play.

    Enjoy last place Microsoft. You may be going the way of Sega on this one.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    And yet not a single answer so far explains *why* its necessary to do it in the first place.

    #12 10 months ago
  13. coloredlense

    To answer the articles question: Yes it is a big deal when you are being asked to fork over $500 for what would have been primarily used as a Game Machine, not an entertainment center streaming media SAT TV/Cablebox. I have those already, don’t need to pay $500 for what would essentially be a BluRay player if Xbox Live goes out as it has done in the very recent past, or servers fail, or my shaky internet is unable to send packets to whatever server they are using (whereever that may be).

    I’m not going to pay M$ $500 just to have a bluray player. I have a blurray player, it cost $99. I wanted an upgraded game system, not a 360. Microsoft made the decision (easy). They said we have a device for people who’s internet is shaky. It’s called the PS4.

    And just to note, many military and service families will likely take the PS4 route because places they are stationed, even “first world places” can’t guarantee 24/7 connection to the internet.

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Samoan Spider

    @12 This is the confusing thing for me to. Why have it? If the issue is who is asserting ownership rights over the installation of media on their device, then surely the person with the disc trumps all and needn’t bother going online. Disc checking has been about for a decade and a half so what’s wrong with that solution?

    #14 10 months ago
  15. orren

    @Microsoft:

    You want to use MY hardware.
    You want to use MY internet connection.
    You get something out of it.
    I get nothing out of it.

    That’s called a lease. OK, let’s talk terms. I charge $5 everytime you use my stuff to do your thing. Fair?

    #15 10 months ago
  16. viralshag

    @6, I still don’t really see why that’s such a big deal. If I had no access to the internet there’s a lot of things I wouldn’t buy such as my smartphone, iPad and I probably wouldn’t have invested in my PC as much but I did because of Steam.

    At this point I think trying to fight the always on-line world is pointless as we’re part of the way there and that’s because so many people choose to be constantly connected.

    While I agree it’s stupid to brick a console for not connecting every day, at the same time I don’t see what’s wrong with MS going down the always connected route and if that doesn’t fall in with what you want as a gamer, like you have all said – buy a PS4.

    #16 10 months ago
  17. coloredlense

    @12 @14 – It’s possible they are concerned with people cracking and modding their box. I don’t know this for certain obviously, but it’s the only reason I can see them doing it.

    Ironically, this issue is that got Adam Orth in trouble just a while back, and this dolt is displaying the same cavalier attitude towards this draconian measure. That is, dismissing ~119 million customers in the US and even more potential customers abroad that do not have or cannot have internet access always on or not at all. This on the heals of the release of information by that Snowden guy, with MS and other tech giants implicated. Combined with the always on (because it does update itself while it’s not in use), and the requisite Kinnect. Yeah, they’re doing Sony’s PR/Marketing for them.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. coloredlense

    @16 The problem is, not everywhere in the world is Online (just check Treyarch’s map).

    And lots of people still go to those dark places as a course of business for much longer then 24 hours.

    Hell even some first world countries have issues remaining connected to overloaded systems. Sure it doesn’t matter if you live in NY, LA, Seattle. Very little there might affect your access. But other places, even middle America, may not share that same fortune. It’s a stupid business move, nothing they’re possibly legitimately doing (if its only kilobytes) couldn’t be done when you choose to connect to XBoxLive, rather than forcing you to remain connected.

    #18 10 months ago
  19. dizzygear

    At this point MS should just quit embarrassing themselves and stop talking. They should quietly rethink this whole online authentication bullshit before launching the xbone.

    On the other hand this is MS. They rather punch themselves in the balls over and over than admit they made a mistake.

    #19 10 months ago
  20. viralshag

    @18, Yeah I get that but what I’m saying is that at launch, maybe this just isn’t the console for everyone. And I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

    The only reason right now to get an X1 at launch is either the exclusive/launch titles or to carry on with your Live profile. If neither of those appeal to you, then the choice is obviously PS4.

    Yes it seems stupid to limit your customer base but I think in the long run it’s not going to be that detrimental to MS. I have a feeling next-gen will go just like this gen except Sony will lead on sales thanks to the better price but eventually it will even out.

    #20 10 months ago
  21. TheBlackHole

    @12

    I suspect it has something to do with the fact that once you load your disc onto the xbox you don’t need it anymore, meaning that unless the xbox writes back onto the disc to say that it has been ‘used’, someone else could theoretically install it in exactly the same way.

    Online checks would need to be done to ensure that didn’t happen.

    That’s all guess work on my part though.

    #21 10 months ago
  22. coloredlense

    @20 Well, you may be right (about it not being determinetal to MS). In which case it’s a huge step in the wrong direction for consumer thinking (IMO). However, we have seen this before (Windows 8, ME), and they have ended up spending lots of money for little profit.

    In this case, they have guaranteed themselves to lose customers to the PS4 experience. Simply because those customers absolutely will not take the chance of buying this to be sent somewhere that it becomes only an expensive bluray system. I say that from experience. And for MS to say, “Well you’ll just have to stay with the Xbox 360.” is really unrealistic expectation on Microsoft’s part, and just plain stupid when Sony is there to offer a completely new gaming experience at a lower price, and doesn’t reqire that I connect to play single player games.

    Connecting is a problem when you spend a year (or longer) in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq. Or good portions of Africa. People that do this, usually have few entertainment options available in these locations. If they are smart, and a good many of them are, they’re not going to choose limit themselves by buying into Xbox One. It makes no sense, and it makes no business sense not to consider this group of people. It’s a Redmond Bubble, and I really hope it bursts.

    #22 10 months ago
  23. viralshag

    @22, With regards to the “no internet buy 360″ that’s understandable. You can’t really expect them to say “no internet buy PS4″ although that is what will happen if someone wants a next-gen console.

    Also with the connection in difficult countries, it’s true that pretty much bricks the console but that doesn’t seem to be the aim of the One. It very much looks like the console that’s meant to be primarily kept in the living room, always connected.

    I just think next gen they’re aiming their machines at different crowds. To me at least the PS4 seems like the standard gamers console, if I travelled or was more bothered abut offline play it’s an easy choice. The X1 is what it is, supposedly the always-connected media hub for the living room. For me that’s perfect as I don’t travel much and the console will never leave my house and I will never aim to be offline.

    #23 10 months ago
  24. dizzygear

    @23 “The X1 is what it is, supposedly the always-connected media hub for the living room”

    The problem with that is that it tries to compete with the likes of Apple TV to name an example. Which is A: much smaller. B: much cheaper.

    The only difference is that the xbone happens to play games as well. The question is do people who want a multi media hub care enough about games to justify the price and do people who want a game machine care enough about multi media to put up with the xbone’s quirks and price?

    #24 10 months ago
  25. The_Red

    Wow, now they’re defending the always-online / criminal authentication process by resorting to kilobytes vs megabytes? What’s next? You’re gonna talk about benefits of cloud packet sizes?

    #25 10 months ago
  26. viralshag

    @24, I think that’s the real question to be honest. Not so much if they have an actual problem with these practices but if they’re worth it for the price.

    To me the media stuff is standard, I wouldn’t really expect anything less from either console. I have no doubt the initial sales for the X1 will rely on brand loyalty over being the “better choice” or value for money.

    #26 10 months ago
  27. Telepathic.Geometry

    If you want an Xbox One but have no internet connection…

    PS4 is the console for you (not the 360).

    PS4 will be $100 cheaper,
    PS4 will not require internet,
    PS4 will be more powerful (by all accounts),
    PS4 will play most of the same games (and the ones it won’t won’t be playable on 360 anyway),
    PS4 will also play some exclusive games that neither the Xbone nor the 360 will play,
    PS4 will allow resale, game rental and loaning of games to friends just like the 360,
    PS4 will have a swappable hard-disk drive,
    PS4 will have region free games .

    So why the fuck would you downgrade to a 360 when you could just move laterally to PS4?

    #27 10 months ago
  28. viralshag

    @27, Because it’s £150 cheaper? :P

    #28 10 months ago
  29. manamana

    I think that many gamers simply don’t care about always on. It’s more about the DRM that gets in the way. Most CoD gamers will probably buy the XB1 due to Titanfall. And they are connected 24h anyway.

    #29 10 months ago
  30. ogima

    I’m a huge Xbox player and I use it mostly offline. I am really reconsidering switching to the PS4 now – the machine needs to check-in with MS once a day? Seriously, what is up with that? So if our internet goes down for a few days we can’t use our XBOX One for gaming? This is just plain ridiculous!!!

    #30 10 months ago
  31. Dunno

    @16
    Yeah I’m always connected. Totally don’t care about any of that: DRM, 24 hour check and so on. However I won’t allow the company I’ve paid $ 500 to to fuck up my plans if something happens to my connection, their services or something else. I wanna game today (when I want to) and go out with friends tomorrow.

    MS made so simple for me. PS4

    #31 10 months ago
  32. ps3fanboy

    “if you don’t have online access, then Xbox360 is the console for you”

    i think they should change the xbox360 with the ps4 instead… take that micro$haft, LOL!

    #32 10 months ago
  33. stretch215

    This makes my decision a little easier. This literally means it would take less than a minute on 3g, nevermind lte. I charge my phone through my 360 half the time anyway.

    #33 10 months ago
  34. DuckOfDestiny

    I should fucking hope so.

    If it did take megabytes, I’d be worried about what they’re sending.

    #34 10 months ago
  35. DSB

    @29 I don’t see how they could not care. I don’t know anyone that’s online 24/7, 365 days a year. The same can be said for Xbox Live. Everything goes down sometime. It’s like the universal law of the internet.

    There’s definitely room for discussion as to how worried you should be, but what makes this an exceptionally boneheaded move in my opinion is that they’re trading very little gain for a lot of pain. And it’s purely by choice.

    Look at Steam. You have an online check passing once every 2 minutes or so. But the major difference is that I don’t lose my games when it fails, I just lose the online functionality.

    It’s logical, and it means that I obviously want to stay online to get that functionality. And so Valve gets what is virtually an always online platform, and I get the assurance that my service won’t be denied by circumstance.

    #35 10 months ago
  36. NeutralBlade

    I know it’s unfortunate for fans of Xbox game series, but there is really no bright side to any of this; you don’t own or control the large investment you’ll put into MS’ new console. The file transfer sizes will vary, and a lot of data can be transmitted within those kilobytes.

    They want to make you believe that due to the small data transfers, they’re really not doing much; so hey, it’s not that bad, right? I call bs on that.

    What future Xbone adopters should be more concerned about, is that MS continues to defend and support their DRM, rather than consider removing it; they invested in it, and they want to profit from it, so too bad fans. From everything I’ve read so far, they have no plans to do what’s best for the consumer at all.

    If some publishers decide not to block their games, (such as EA), they could easily add a cloud requirement; meaning the game will become always on, 24/7 like SimCity. Always-on functionality is already possible with the Xbone; it’s all built into the Azure system.

    All that talk about increasing the power of the Xbone with the cloud, will require a constant internet connection, and that is the major downside to it all. It would be ok if implemented only on the multiplayer side of things, but publishers will use it for DRM purposes; meaning that game can’t be played offline for any reason, not even the single player side.

    Early adopters really should get a PS4, and wait to see how this whole thing plays out with the Xbone. Giving MS money will just send the wrong message, telling them it’s ok to do what they’re doing. Oh well, I feel sorry for whoever buys into this, but hey, it’s their choice.

    #36 10 months ago
  37. vernboogie

    I have been a xbox live subscriber since xbox live existed.. I own both a xbox 360 and ps3 and I planned on buying both a xbox one and ps4 but I see I will have to cut my live account off and cut ties with ms. During hurricane sandy I lost internet and cable for a little over a week but I never lost power, my cell phone service was crappy too, so the only entertainment I had was my old dvd’s and video games, so basically if this happens again I will not be able to play my $500 xbox one I will have to un hook the console and re hook the 360? How the he’ll does that make sense. I can’t wait to see how ms tries to save itself once the fourth quarter numbers come in and everyone has ran to Sony.

    #37 10 months ago
  38. stretch215

    @36 Don’t waste your time trying to tell people what they “should” do with their money. People are going to buy what they want, regardless of how many passionate walls of text are written. Like me. I am most definitely buying an xbx1, maybe even at launch. Reading all these protests actually makes me want to buy it more.

    #38 10 months ago
  39. NeutralBlade

    @38 MS did enough damage to themselves already. I’m just one of many who voiced their opinion; and I’m entitled to it, thanks.

    #39 10 months ago
  40. Chief

    Great insight to everyone who posted. The fact of the matter here is from what that man just said was blatantly an ef you to everyone whoever believed in Microsoft and what we were led to believe that Microsoft had a nudge on Sony. This truly and utterly shatters anything good I have ever thought about the gaming system and Microsoft in general. The only upside is the cloud storage. Cloud storage tech is a clever way to make the games you play extremely amazing, but to be supervised on how you choose to use your video games. That’s like saying hey man here’s a slice of pizza but you can only nibble on it and be left with an entire piece of pizza staring you in the face not knowing if and when you’ll be able to nibble on it again if ever. Sadly to say I have to refer back to the old playstation controller. Won’t be entertaining the thought of purchasing an xbone. That ship has sailed.

    #40 10 months ago