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.
The other night I went to play a game of NHL 13 online. I booted it up, got to the online menu and boom... Cannot co next to EA servers is the message I got. After a few more attempts I gave up. I then turned on my Wii U and instead played Lego City with my son and I passing the gamepad back and forth for about 4 and a half hours. No net connection required. I will vehemently deny a purchase of any game system adopting such a technique. Simple as that.
Microsoft already has a pretty steep uphill battle trying to convince me to buy the next Xbox after the rather impressive showing Sony had with the PS4 unveiling. However if the next Xbox does end up requiring an always on internet connecting, I don't care how many cool perks and features they try to include, I'm getting a PS4 and never looking back.
I have a xbox 360 and enjoy playing it, but I will not purchase an always on console. I only have internet on my phone. Hopefully this is just turns out to be just a bad rumor.
I liked the Francis Rages video on the always on Xbox. Anyway, I probably will not get a new Xbox until a few years after its release.
Ironically as soon as that Mega Man 2 poll went up, I said "Screw it," and immediately went and downloaded it on VCR and beat it (found out about Bubble Lead from a strategy guide, just to save myself time).
My current Xbox is pretty much always on anyway, so it won't affect me much, having an always-on console. That said, I still strongly disapprove of the idea.
Xbox will be pretty much dead for me. Paying for Live Gold to use features that are free on my tv,stereo,phone and refrigerator already had me thinking of going back to Sony. I just hope Sony has a huddle with Bethseda to get things straight since that is the only company i really care about anymore.
I'm surprised to see my comment featured on here. Anyways, like I said, if all these rumors are true then I won't be buying the next Xbox. I don't want to be locked out of a game when the internet connection or servers dies.
I been a xbox fan since the first xbox and never got a playstation. if the new xbox is a "always on" piece of junk. I'll go out and get ps4, and the only xbox i'll play is my 360 (its a old one, not even slim and still plays old xbox games) if microsoft does this, they're bigger idiots then i thought.
The one reason I can see them doing this, is that this is probably the direction the industry is heading. Always-on means no pirating, no modding, and there are probably things that benefit the consumer too. I imagine many publishers (EA comes to mind) would highly support this as well. If Microsoft does this for the Xbox 360 2 people will buy (many say they won't or that they hate it, but they'll still buy it) and it will just make it easier for the rest of the industry to adopt this model. If a console has always on, would it be surprising if more games started doing it, so even if you have a PS4, the games may still require to be online even if the console doesn't. It's a terrible idea of what the gaming industry might come to, but I have a feeling in a few years this kind of practice will be all to common.
I still don't believe these rumors. I don't think Microsoft can be that stubborn. But the thing with these rumors is, they come from somewhere right? Where there's smoke, there's fire.
If it's always on then you are always getting bombarded by advertisements. Microsoft sees the dollar signs.
I can't have a good connection and that means I would never buy the next Xbox if this rumor is true.