United States Navy serviceman Jay Johnson, who in the last last two and a half years has been deployed or detached for a total of 18 months, has written a rather emphatic plea to publishers who wish to employ some form of online authentication program into its games through Xbox One. He also expresses disappointment in Microsoft's new console, calling its 24-hour "check in" process the "greatest sin" it could have "committed against all service members."
His post on Gamaustra doesn't mince words, stating Microsoft has " single-handedly alienated" the militaries of the entire world.
"The single greatest sin Microsoft has committed against all service members [is] their surprising decision to require the Xbox One to receive a message from the “mother ship” every 24 hours," wrote Johnson. "The reason that I am so infuriated about it is that I, and my brothers and sisters in arms, will not ever be able to play Xbox One when deployed or on detachment.
"No longer will the sounds of Master Chief saving the human race echo through the hallowed halls of the USS Abraham Lincoln, or any other USS Ship, when we have a few hours respite. No longer will you see Marcus and Dom sawing through the Locust Horde at the bases in Afghanistan after the Marines have returned from patrol and want to escape their reality for a bit.
"Those days are now firmly behind us. Microsoft has single-handedly alienated the entire military, and not just the U.S. military, the militaries of the entire world."
Johnson said that despite his preference for previous generations of Microsoft systems, he will "not be buying an Xbox One at launch."
"In fact, the Xbox One might as well be called the Halo-Box, because I simply will not purchase it until the next Halo game drops," he wrote. "With developers focusing, more and more, on the multi-platform model, how much will I really be missing out on? None of the exclusives from either Sony or Microsoft excited me, except for the Halo tease. Simply put, outside of Halo and Forza, Sony has better exclusives.
"With developers like Quantic Dream, Naughty Dog, and titles like The Last Guardian looming on the horizon, all exclusive to PS4, I feel like I will be in much better hands with Sony. So, how much will I really be missing out on? While I think Forza is superior (so far) to Gran Turismo, the GT series is still very good, and I can play it when embarked on the ship. While I am a diehard Halo fan, the wait for the next iteration and my eventual purchase of my Halo-Box will give me ample opportunity to explore the Killzone series. Everything else, from Assassin’s Creed to Call of Duty, I can experience on the PS4, offline and tucked away in my little room on the ship, and without the concern of the programming complications that faced developers with the PS3."
Johnson said that while the the military represent "less than one percent of the nation’s populace," he feels the alienation of service members by Microsoft will have "more of an impact than they realize."
"Although the PS4 will not have an online requirement to run, developers will still be able to make games that require persistent online authentication. Do not do this to us," he wrote. "Don’t alienate us with online requirements for games. It will cost you money and respect.
"This is a lesson that Microsoft is, tragically, about to learn."
Xbox One is out in November and PS4 is slated for a release sometime before Christmas.