Why I Want to Defend Next-Gen Xbox, Always Online Will Not End the World
I really am excited to see features coming out with the next gen Xbox. The Illumiroom is the first thing that pops out at me. It looks like the coolest thing yet for any console. The fact that cable television might finally be rivaled by a gaming console brings me great joy.
But Then There's the Always Online
and the internets are freaking out.
The reason I want to defend the Xbox mostly is because... Did no one see this coming? Everything everywhere is going always online, because that's the next step for... everything! I assume most of us here are primarily PC users, we got use to this, oh I don't know, Ten years ago?
There are only two good reasons I can think of that always online sucks. Yes, only two.
- Demolishing the used game market. Sorry GameStop... If you get impacted as hard as predicted it pains me dearly to see you go. You've got some difficult decisions to make to keep yourself afloat if this happens. (One of my best friends works at GameStop, he loves his job and I would hate to see him lose it. But things change and there is nothing you can do to stop it.)
- Mandatory subscription. Isn't it mandatory to pay the subscription for Xbox Live to play anything online already...?
- One slightly good argument is not being able to bring your Xbox with you on vacation. First off, vacation should be a get away, meaning getting away from your everyday life. Maybe you shouldn't bring your Xbox? Second if you really really need to bring it with you, ensure your place of stay has internet. I don't prefer to bring my console, but still bring my laptop and ensure internet access is an option, not difficult people.
- The last, but I feel not a good reason, is all the people out there without internet. I'm sorry but if you don't have internet, you are doing something seriously wrong. Maybe it's just people out in the middle of nowhere who can't get it, to you, I'm sorry but I guess gaming isn't in the cards for you.
Lets talk about the advantages of not needing a physical copy of a game. First off, a hard drive can read the required information off of itself insanely faster than off a disc through a disc reader. Second, am I the only one who has accidentally bumped my Xbox while it was reading a disc which then permanently damaged the disc? Meaning I HAD TO BUY ANOTHER. (Step one: Empty your wallet into a toilet. Step two: Flush)
If you buy a game online, you then own the rights to download that game to any device you want as many times as you want. Your game file got corrupted? Pssh, back up your save files and download it again. You want to play your game on your friend's device because you didn't feel like lugging your console around? Great! Download it.
Remember CDs being the biggest thing yet, then destroyed by DVDs, now rivaled by BluRay? Well guess what, the next big medium is an internet connection and a hard drive. No physical medium involved. WHY IS THIS A BAD THING?
Businesses Usually Jump on Things That Make Money
How could console developers possibly not do this at some point? Remember Netflix, remember how it completely destroyed movie rentals? Didn't see anyone freaking out then. Isn't the OUYA the same kind of deal too? It's basically Steam in a console, right? The used PC game market completely disappeared something like ten years ago, yet PC gaming is still a large portion of the market and honestly one of the cheapest options.
Subscriptions = Money
In regards to the subscription cost, you all pay for Xbox live right? You gave them even more reason to continue with it--in fact require it. Please keep in mind World of Warcraft has made over 10 billion dollars... Yes, 10 BILLION. Solely because of the subscription being $15 a month. Why can't Microsoft jump on that?
I, being a citizen of the United States, love me some Capitalism. This, my friends, is Capitalism. A company remains a company because it makes money... If it doesn't make money then it cannot continue being a company. This brings to mind EA. Yes, they have some pretty evil methods of doing this, but again its Capitalism and they make money because that's what companies do. They make money.
I really hate to be on the side of Microsoft but seriously people just put yourself in the shoes of someone who works for Microsoft in regards to the Xbox. We are talking about the company started by Bill Gates. Bill Gates is worth an amazingly high number. 67 Billion dollars. Imagine for a moment working for the second richest person in the world... You have to follow that. Seriously, think about that.
If video games didn't make money, there would be no video games. If you desire to continue playing video games for the coming decades you're going to have to accept the fact that they have to make money.
Yes, going always online might be a detrimental move right now, but it is a necessary move to continue the gaming market.
My reasoning for defending Microsoft is simply Capitalism. The people in charge over at Microsoft obviously sat down for a meeting one day and said 'we aren't making the return we need off of the Xbox. What can we do to make it profitable again?' If you are against this, you are against Capitalism.
I'm ready to hear all the shit you can throw at me. That's why I'm posting this, because I want to hear why you are so mad. Most arguments can be easily put down by, 'well, sorry, but we need to make money to bring you this product.'Originally Published Apr. 9th 2013