Why I Want to Defend Next-Gen Xbox, Always Online Will Not End the World

I get why you'd be upset, but seriously think about this.

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.'

Platforms Tags durangonext genxbox
Published Apr. 9th 2013
  • David_8393
    Think about this for a minute: People in places like SOUTH AMERICA, Eastern Europe and some rural areas of the US also play video games, now let that sink in for a minute so that you can understand what is utterly wrong with the always online policy of the Xbox one.

    You think the Xbox one will be able to keep up by only selling in the US and Europe? Take into account that there are even a lot of people from those areas that will just switch to the PS4 just becauseo f the AO policy and what you get is an almost complete loss of the Markets in South American and places of the world with no reliable internet and also a considerable market loss in the US and european markets. This translates to less money which in turns translate to a possible HUGE failure of the Xbox One.

    I've been buying the Xbox since it came out, I have barely touched the Xbox live service because of the suckish internet in my country and some other reasons that are too long to explain, but the fact is that I have the Xbox 360 and I enjoy the Single player games and even split screen games, I don't need or want AO to be on my console to get the most of what a Gaming console should be: Playing games.

    Unfortunately MS dissapointed me, and it was a huge dissapointment. I'm not going to buy the Xbox one, Halo 5 was the only thing I was hyped about and when I saw the stupid robe thing they did with the teaser just to make MC look "Kewl" to the CoD-kids audience I was reassured that I WILL not buy the thing.

    SW:Battlefront 3? Will be on the PS4 (Apparently), BF4? PS4 also, Destiny? Yeup, PS4. Last of us? Isn't that a PS4 only game? Hell, even WAR THUNDER will be on the PS4 (and not on the Xbox one), not to mention the possibility that Warhammer 40k eternal crusade will also be available on the PS4. So with all these amazing games comming for the PS4, no DRM, 100$ cheaper and no "CoD-kids" as a target audience, I ask Why should I get the Xbox one?

    Also: Check the rage induced by the failure of the servers on the EA side when the new Sim City came out. Read some posts about the issues with Diablo 3. And analize what happens when you force something unwanted or that will exclude a part of your consumer base (Silent hunter 5 comes to mind and how Ubisoft had to make it available to play offline).
  • E_1487
    If we're against this we're against capitalism?

    Capitalism goes hand in hand with the free market, and consumers are a fundamental part of that. The whole point of competition in capitalism is so that competing forces creates the optimal balancing point in order to progress.

    Microsoft overstepped its bounds and took a step too far in supporting developers/publishers and taking from consumers. Like you I'd love to see more digital distribution and cloud-based services. DRM is not a part of that. They are not one and the same.

    24-hour check-ins are trivial, but also unnecessary. What is even the point of something like that? It helps assure publishers that games aren't being pirated or whatever, at the expense of inconvenience to consumers. Restrictions on used game sales? Directly puts money in the pockets of publishers and takes from consumers. The same is true of basically everything they've done. None of their decisions benefit consumers whatsoever.

    True, making money is what they're all about. The problem? They're not going to make much money if they don't cater to consumers. That's what capitalism's all about. They compete, they please US, and we reward them by purchasing their product.

    If they're not satisfied with $x return, they should offer more to get $y. Offering less in order to get their return back to $y isn't a good business plan.
  • Juna Zell
    My Internet cut out on me while I was trying to post a comment here. And my provider is one of the biggest companies in the UK. This is why always online is a problem. The service providers are simply too unreliable.

    I don't mind having to be connected to play multiplayer, because obviously there's no other choice. But why should my single player experience be reliant upon my Internet connection? That is unacceptable to me.
  • EdibleKnife
    Honestly, I'm not angry but this is an arrogantly risky move if it turns out true. Out of all the utilities I have in my apartment, the internet/cable is the one I can rely on the least. It's not due to where I live. Any issues almost squarely lie with my provider having outages in certain areas of the city. So now with an AO-console, whenever I sit down I have to depend on my provider and MS's servers for every single game I plan to play.

    The worst case I can see for this is one that can effect not only the consumer but developers. Developer X releases a highly publicized single player experience on the same day, let alone the same week the MS servers are down. Should Developer X risk another Nextbox release of a single player title?
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    I don't play my 360 because I play online. I play it for the single player experience that I can get on it. I've not been able to connect my 360 to the internet for years, due to not being able to shell out $100 for a wireless adapter and not living in a place where I can connect using a hardline without running a 150 foot cord across two entire floors to get to the actual outlet.

    Part of the joy of a console over, for example, Steam is that a console still works if your ISP has an outage. A console doesn't care if your area has bandwidth limits. A console doesn't care if the company behind it doesn't put enough support into the infrastructure as happened with both SimCity and Diablo 3, both from companies with MORE than enough money and knowledge to have been able to handle the load.

    The problem isn't that always-online is unreasonable as a business model, it's that it is a very major departure from previous console generations and, from the capitalistic standpoint, places the next Microsoft console in direct competition with services like Steam and Origin as much as with PS4 and Wii-U.

    Unless they are going to stop selling game discs entirely, shifting to an always-online format does not make sense to me. I do not pay for an Xbox Live subscription, but I still enjoy my console immensely and have bought several hundred dollars of games that I've not regretted since losing that connectability. That's several hundred dollars I literally can't spend on the next console.

    Many people will not even notice the difference, but Microsoft itself has noted that the number of 360 users who are not actively connected to Live is a substantial number. Most of those people will be lost revenue.

    That is a big deal, not just because of the lost money, but because it is Microsoft pointedly telling people that their inability to be online constantly, no matter the reason, does not matter to them. There are dozens of companies I can go to if I want to be told my situation doesn't matter, I don't need to spend hundreds on a console for it.

    I sincerely hope you enjoy the nextbox whether it is always-online or not. If it is, however, I will be completely incapable of using or enjoying it. That is worth being upset about.

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