The lights are on
The Game Informer reader polls that appear on the front page are often very revealing about our readership. For instance, I would like the 50 percent of you who never played Mega Man 2 to stop what you're doing and go take care of that. I'll wait.
Now that you're back (how long did it take you to figure out that you need to use the Bubble Lead?), I want to draw your attention to our most recent inquiry. We asked if you would purchase an "always-on" console (as Microsoft is rumored to be considering for the next Xbox). Out of the 900 respondents (as of publication), approximately 81 percent indicated that they would not be willing to purchase gaming hardware that requires an internet connection at all times. Of course, this is just an infinitesimal sliver of the global user base, but the trend is worth noting.
The numerical sentiment is backed up by some choice comments culled from a recent story we ran about the rumor (and the fallout over Microsoft Studios' creative director Adam Orth's impolitic statements on the matter).
"If this is true, I'll say goodbye to the next Xbox."
- Yukie Mayuzumi
"There's no way this is a good idea. ISPs go down, internet connections lost, NAT issues persist, some folks want to play in their SUVs or while traveling on vacation, and still others don't want to shell out $60 each month for internet. There's just no way. Nope."
"Seriously did the industry learn NOTHING from Diablo 3 and Sim City? Always online gaming is a TERRIBLE idea."
"If this is true, I see the xbox only doing well in the US. They severely underestimate the importance of offline gaming, especially in so many other countries."
The concern isn't unanimous, though. Many people aren't willing to believe Microsoft would make such a risky decision.
"I don't think Microsoft is in the business of not making money. They will want to saturate the market with the new Xbox consoles. It won't happen if they follow this rumor, especially if their competitors aren't going to. Also, too many variables to consider to actually believe this type of model will be successful. Homes with no/bad Internet connection, negative attitudes towards always online, no used games, competitors having a more favorable model, don't have as many first party IP's as Nintendo & Sony to help carry it, etc."
"I could always be wrong, but I actually have a good feeling that they won't require constant internet connection. That's a very risky move, and I don't think Microsoft would be irrational enough to implement that. They would lose too many sales over something stupid and insignificant. It makes no business sense, let alone gaming sense."
- Michael Hentemann
"I'm not going to believe in "require always-on internet" till last moment when Microsoft will say it from stage. It's too risky move, and very hostile to the consumer I think."
Whether Microsoft will, in fact, require an active internet connection to use their next generation console won't be known for certain until the company is ready to share. Based on rumors surfacing from tech blogger Paul Thurrott and affirmed to be accurate by The Verge's sources, Microsoft will be providing details on May 21, 2013. Even if the May 21 speculation doesn't prove to be true, this is a scant three weeks before E3. The gap is much tighter than originally intended, if previous rumors about a late April showing had any credence.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
I'll put it that way :
If there is the "Always On" feature I WON'T BUY THE 720 !!!
I'll play Killzone instead of Halo...
I know for me and my roommate there would be no way for us I have an always on console because with rent, food, gas and utilities all piled up out Internet isn't the best. Using 2 Xboxes on our Internet causes issues sometimes. An always on console would only be worse.
My friends and myself are all considering going PS4 just to not worry about paying $60 a year just to play online. We will see what MS says at their conference next month but I'm hoping this rumor is wrong.
I'll withhold my pitchfork until the actual official announcement is made. I really hope these rumors are unfounded. I've never owned an Xbox, I've always been a playstation guy... But it'd just be bad for the industry as a whole if the new xbox is always online...
I hope Microsoft understand this isn't South Korea where everywhere has internet and fast speeds, a lot of America still is depended on satellite internet and such that just won't work for always on. It's just a simple face the US does not have good internet infrastructure.
"Overwhelming disapproval" Gee, I wonder why
Well my husband is a major Xbox fanboy (one of the major arguments we have actually is over Sony and Microsoft) and after I told him about these rumors he made it very clear to me that he will never buy an Xbox that requires you to be online at all times. My husband is in the military and when he used his Xbox the most was when he was deployed stuck on a naval ship with no high speed internet connection at his disposal. If Microsoft did this they would be cutting off a lot of their customers. Sega consoles died because of lesser mistakes than this so Microsoft would be committing suicide if they go through with this.
If the rumors are true, and although I've been a 9 year XBL member going back to original xbox, and that I stood in line to buy a 360 when it came out, the new xbox will be "ALWAYS OFF" in my living room because I won't buy one. I hope it's not true b/c I own both 360 and PS3 but I prefer to play multiplatform games on xbox and only buy certain PS exclusives like Uncharted, God of War, etc. and the upcoming Last of Us.
What makes me scared is the fact they won't just come out and say "no that's not true." Instead we get "this person isn't affiliated with Microsoft. Watch us announce the 720 soon"
I mean Microsoft is already limiting a large amount of owners from playing online without the Gold, but they'd be limiting even more with this.
I hope they don't make it always-on, or we will be left with only a big gaming console. Besides Nintendo of course, but they specialise in other things, not big games (apart from their big ones). I love Nintendo but I also want to play AC, shooters, etc.
So, that said. Always-on Xbox means no Xbox.
I like the use of the grouchy old critics.
It's a terrible idea. Really terrible and anti-consumer.
I'm just gonna sit back and wait.
It's kind of exciting but also I believe it's the wrong move for MS.
Honestly, Why does this make sense to some people? DRM has been nothing short of disastrous, as if EA's botched simcity launch didn't teach us anything, and now they want to force gamers to be online all the time or get no playtime? Even PC, haven of pirating scum, doesnt do that. Steam allows offline play, or you can just install the disc, but now a console wants to do it? Sporadic issues and not even working in week one seem to be in this consoles future, unless nobody decides to buy it. Which would actually be pretty ironic.