Print 166 comment(s) - last by Argon18.. on Jun 21 at 11:49 AM

  (Source: Fox)
Microsoft makes it clear that its new console has no home with folks with unreliable connections

Gamers are in an uproar about Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) new "always-on" digital rights management (DRM) scheme, which requires the console "phone home" via your internet connection on a daily basis.  

Many gamers were outraged.  What if local construction or service provider difficulties knocked out your connection for a couple weeks?  What if you lived in a region like Alaska or the Rockies that had power, but had slow (or no) internet?  What if you were a service person serving overseas?  Microsoft's requirement was unprecedented and rubbed many gamers the wrong way.

Microsoft Xbox (Interactive Entertainment division) President Don Mattrick says he's sorry for gamers who don't have the internet and hence are not entitled to an Xbox One.

He's asked by GameTrailer's Geoff Keighley about the controversial DRM strategy.  Mr. Mattrick comments:

Some of the advantages that you get, of having, a box that is designed to use an online state, so, that, uh, to me is the future-proof choice, and I think people, could've arguably gone the other way if we didn't do it and fortunately we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity, it's called Xbox 360.

[I]f you have zero [or unreliable] access to the internet, that is an offline device, I mean, seriously, when I read the blogs, and thought about who's really the most impacted, there was a person who said 'hey, I'm on a nuclear sub,' and I don't even know what it means to be on a nuclear sub but I've gotta imagine it's not easy to get an internet connection.

But lest you think he's unsympathetic he comments, "Hey, I can empathize, if I was on a nuclear sub, I'd be disappointed."

It seems the Microsoft Xbox comments sound remarkably similar to those of former Xbox Creative Director Adam Orth, who was fired for debating with gamers about their ability to play offline.  In light of Microsoft's willingness to put forth a relatively flagrant face on the issue, it's somewhat baffling why Mr. Orth was fired for following the party line.

Xbox One
Faulty internet == No Xbox One for you!

But for better or worse Microsoft's policy for anyone who doesn't have 100 percent reliable, speedy internet is this: don't buy an Xbox One.

Microsoft says you should buy an Xbox 360 instead.  Of course, you could always buy a nice gaming PC, a Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) PlayStation 4 ($100 cheaper than an Xbox One), or Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974) tablet-equipped Wii U console ($150 cheaper than an Xbox One).

Source: GameTrailers on YouTube

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By drumsticks on 6/12/2013 10:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
The Xbox will do fine. Whether that's a good thing or not is a different story. Most people wont pay attention to online rights, DRM, and the like. And some families will find real use out of the other features of the Xbox one.

That said, the PS4 looks to easily be the better machine for pure gamers. I'd much rather (if I get one this time around) get a ps4 or even a Wii U then the XB1. The big name games for Nintendo are coming out soon, which will hopefully give Nintendo a nice boost.

By xti on 6/12/2013 10:24:27 AM , Rating: 2
agreed, majority is not going to care about DRM, used games, being online, etc...

techies will get all riled up but it is not a huge %

By zlandar on 6/12/2013 10:34:32 AM , Rating: 1
We'll see.

Gamestop would be bankrupt if not for the used game market. It's the item that generates the biggest gross profit margin. Then there is Amazon and Ebay with tons of used video game trade-in or sales.

Point is alot of people resell their games and can recoup 25-75% of what they initially paid for it.

Do you think the "majority" are just going to quietly give up on that money?

MS should have used the Steam model where DRM is not presented as a bitch slap to the consumer.

By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 10:42:01 AM , Rating: 2
Gamestop? does any adult really go there?
I can find everything gamestop sells for cheaper somewhere else.

By chripuck on 6/12/2013 11:49:51 AM , Rating: 5
No, but I'd wager that college kids and younger spend far more per person on a game than working adults do. I simply don't have time like I did when I was 22 to play games.

By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 12:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the working adult would spend far more on a game than a college kid. I don't have time to hunt for bargains. It's quicker and easier to just use Amazon Prime and have it at my door in 2 days. It's also cheaper most of the time.

By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 1:23:20 PM , Rating: 4
I make time. It's fun saving (and therefore amassing) my own money.

Mom wanted a laptop. Got her a Nexus 10 instead. For $300. Saved $100, technically more like $300, plus saved headaches over virus removals (lmao). She loves it, too.

Ditched my $90/mo. AT&T and got the AT&T-tower-based Straight Talk for $45. On my $600 phone that I paid $280 for.

Got sick of my Xbox, AMD offered me $100 worth of games (and this is using my $30 Max Rule, not MSRP) to buy a $220 GPU, put it in my HTPC. $120 Gen 7.5 console, AAA titles for $30 by waiting for Steam sales.

I highly doubt I would stop looking for the best value even if I was rich.

By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 2:19:37 PM , Rating: 1
My enemy is time. I can occasionally browse and piss off DTers for a minute but I work all day and then spend my evenings in school. Full time job + 18 credit semesters leaves me nothing but sleep deprivation 5 days of the week. Saving money is the least of my concerns.

By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 2:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
School. Ouch.

By ven1ger on 6/13/2013 4:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. If you have kids, you go with your kids to purchase the games for them...and if you're like me, I like to browse looking at the used games. I still try to look for interesting used games for the kids Wii, PS2, PS3, DS.

By xti on 6/12/13, Rating: 0
By Motoman on 6/12/2013 11:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see how the console makers can really get away from physical disks.

What is Target going to sell if they went to streaming downloads for games? If MS went to all digital downloads, and Sony didn't (or vice-versa), guess which console is going to be seen in stores and which one isn't.

Each gamer buys, at most, one console. And I don't think the margin is that high. Retailers make their money off the games...take that away, and the retailers are no longer interested in selling your product at all.

By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 1:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
What is Target going to sell if they went to streaming downloads for games?
Internet service, lol. Points cards. Extended service plans. Controllers and headsets. Charging stations and batteries. HDMI cables. AVRs.

By Motoman on 6/12/2013 1:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
Which is nothing compared to selling games. lol.

By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 1:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
Actually selling Internet crushes selling games, but it's harder. Most of the other stuff I listed has higher margins than games.

By Rukkian on 6/12/2013 3:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
While it may not be as much, it would be pretty easy to just sell a key code in a box at a store like Target for those that dont want to pay over the internet. For Microsoft, it is in their best interest to get a cut of every game, which I am not sure they do with the current model.

By Motoman on 6/12/2013 4:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
That makes no sense at all. Why go to Target in the first place if you're just going to have to do the exact same thing at home as if you never went to Target?

And if you just have to download your games online regardless, why both to go to the store even for a new controller? F%ck that...I'll just order one from Amazon.

Cutting out physical media cuts the whole thing out of retail. The whole retail equation for consoles rotates around the attach rate of games.

By karimtemple on 6/13/2013 8:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
Why go to Target in the first place
If you're paying with cash or debit.
The whole retail equation for consoles rotates around the attach rate of games.
The whole equation equation for consoles revolves around the attach rate of games, lmao. But yeah I get what you're saying. Understand though, attaching other things is better than games, just harder. And in the end, it's just a box. If this attachment goes away, if all attachments go away, there's still reason to sell the box if the manufacturer puts any margin on it at all (in the case of consoles, probably through rebates or something as opposed to lower up-front cost).

By ven1ger on 6/13/2013 4:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think many stores already do this. Even Gamestop, in the PC section, many games are DLC and not physical disks anymore. I've never purchased DLC games except via Steam, and I refuse to do that for any games I purchase for my kids. If the game sucks on physical media, the DLC is not going to change that, but at least we're able to recoup some of the money if we trade in, or sell it as used, or give it to a friend to try so they can see how bad it is.

By wasteoid on 6/12/2013 10:40:44 AM , Rating: 2
the friends i know who pre-ordered the xbox one would have pre-ordered it regardless of the drm, online-only, or even if it required blood-sample authentication. they buy because it has the latest madden football game, they have other friends who will be playing the latest madden football game, and they don't want to lose their xbox gamer points.

By kattanna on 6/12/13, Rating: 0
By Brandon Hill on 6/12/2013 10:43:52 AM , Rating: 4
are you sure? While I'm not a console gamer, im a PC gamer, the fact that the console by default can utilize "cloud" based resources for processing could be one heck of a boost.

How quickly we forget about SimCity ;)

By kattanna on 6/12/13, Rating: -1
By Motoman on 6/12/2013 11:53:10 AM , Rating: 5
Except that basic physics dictates that it can't work.

The "cloud" BS is nothing but an excuse to enforce the internet connection so they can easily prohibit you from buying, trading, or sharing used games.

Watching people like you try to rationalize it makes me sick.

By kattanna on 6/12/13, Rating: -1
By tamalero on 6/16/2013 9:31:44 PM , Rating: 1
Being and expert in earth and rocks do not make you an expert in consoles or internet.

just like being a Pilot doesnt make you a perfect chef.

By Etsp on 6/12/2013 1:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like Microsoft is making no excuses for the always on requirement. They have basically said "The system will require an internet connection. Deal with it." As such, I think you're completely wrong about the motivations for the cloud processing, and the potential benefits.

That said, even though I have a reliable internet connection, I will not be buying an Xbox 1. It looked like a great system, with unique features I would really enjoy, but the always on requirement is something I cannot support in any way.

I would have been dealt with it if they had provided a workaround, like the requirement of having the disc physically in the system as an alternative to checking in online.

Microsoft decided that the publisher's wants are more important than the end user's, and that is something I cannot abide.

Looks like I will be skipping this decade in console gaming.

By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 1:08:49 PM , Rating: 1
rofl, Even though the XBO is the only console that has that? Odd.

By Etsp on 6/12/2013 1:31:44 PM , Rating: 3
I refuse to buy Sony products because of other anti-consumer actions they have taken in the past, especially with the PS3.

I refuse to buy Nintendo products because they make absolutely no effort to make sure their components aren't made in part by slave labor.

By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 3:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
So the vast majority of products in the US is out of the question for you.

By Etsp on 6/12/2013 3:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
Most companies make at least some effort to avoid using conflict materials, with policies and inspections and contract stipulations and things of that nature. Nintendo has made absolutely zero effort to do so. None.

By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 3:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
You mean like Apple enforces strict rules to make sure their slave labor don't burn alive?
Or the vast majority of clothing companies making sure their slave labor only work 12 hrs instead of 16 in the sweatshop of China, Vietnam, Bengladesh, India, etc...

By Etsp on 6/12/2013 4:57:17 PM , Rating: 1
I am referring to people being taken from their homes at gun-point, dragged to mines, and forced to dig materials out of the earth by local warlords to fund their armies. Nintendo does nothing to ensure that these materials aren't in their products.

People volunteer to work at Foxxcon by the thousands. Apple has taken steps to help prevent abuse and exploitation of the employees. They haven't gone nearly far enough, but they have taken steps.

Nintendo has not done a single thing.

By BRB29 on 6/17/2013 9:09:29 AM , Rating: 1

Nintendo use 3rd party contracts to build their consoles just like most electronics companies. They're no saint. It's all about money in the end.

By tamalero on 6/16/2013 9:29:37 PM , Rating: 1
except it has happened with EVERY GOODDAMN PUBLISHER that tried to do it.

Diablo III? Thats Activision-Blizzard.. they made the same problem.
how about Other ubisoft games like Driver? SAME PROBLEM TOO.

By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 10:54:30 AM , Rating: 3
I'm deeply amused at people getting tricked by this cloud compute thing. It's truly hilarious. Sad, but hilarious.

If you want to know how computers work, all you have to do is ask.

By Digimonkey on 6/12/2013 3:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
Tell us how you think it works, or doesn't work.

By karimtemple on 6/13/2013 9:11:46 AM , Rating: 2
This is actually pretty straightforward:

First of all, the Internet is slow in both throughput and latency, so the computing that can be done over the Internet is computing that can be done well before it's needed and is a small amount of data. This doesn't amount to much, to be honest. And everything that is on the list (AI, physics, and lighting are the things you'll hear all the time) should have an asterisk beside it, because there are different kinds of each of those things and different ways to do each of those kinds -- going distributed massively reduces the types and methods you have to choose from.

Then there's the inconsistency of Internet service connections, and I'm not even talking about outages. There's prime time traffic issues, router hiccups (yours and theirs), you name it. A service like this (lol, graphics as a service, lawd) would have to be designed to output-balance itself so that what you're seeing isn't constantly going up-and-down and in-and-out, which means for several reasons that even in full effect, the effect will necessarily be subtle and therefore have nothing to do with the actual rateable quality of the art, design, or gameplay.

Finally, we're not talking about a part inside the Xbox One. The main argument for MS is that the PS4's hardware advantage doesn't matter because XBO is legion, except Sony will always be able to buy some servers (they already have servers) and offer the same service. Distributed computing can be done by any computer that has a network interface. This is a feature the 360 could've had. Anyway, if developers show deep interest in it Sony will comply. But honestly it's difficult to imagine that whatever price MS is putting on this is going to go over as a strong value proposition.

By BrgMx5 on 6/12/2013 10:51:41 AM , Rating: 1
the PS4 looks to easily be the better machine for pure gamers

It's a bit more powerful, hardware wise, but as seen before, the developers will tune their games to the least powerful system to save development costs, and games will look virtually identical in both consoles.

By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 10:57:45 AM , Rating: 3
I don't understand why everyone believes this myth.

If you want to know how a developer targets a development platform, ask a developer. Or Google it. Seriously. Jesus.

By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 11:08:38 AM , Rating: 1
Since hardware architecture is pretty much identical, optimizing for one console means the same for both. It also mean one console will probably pump out more fps than the other.

By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 11:13:28 AM , Rating: 3
There's a difference between architecture and configuration. Optimizing for one wouldn't be optimizing for both at all. BUT, it does mean the optimization process going from one platform to the other will be far simpler than before.

By polishvendetta on 6/12/13, Rating: 0
By nikon133 on 6/12/2013 4:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
And yet, multiplatform games almost always look best on PC. From pumped up graphics to additional features (like 64 vs 24 players in BF3).

By Argon18 on 6/12/2013 3:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Consumer ignorance is nothing new. It's up to those in the know (us) to spread the word that Xbox One is a crippled piece of crap. Spread the word far and wide, get it on all the pop culture and vid game sites, and then Joe Consumer might get the hint.

Voting with your dollars is the only way to sway corporate opinion. Don't just shrug your shoulders and say 'meh'.

By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 3:18:17 PM , Rating: 1
Or sue when they are doing anything illegal like what real people do.

By Argon18 on 6/21/2013 11:49:28 AM , Rating: 2
Look at that, the strategy worked. Get the word out, vote with your dollars, and you *can* sway Goliath's opinion.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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