Microsoft Creative Director Defends Always-Online, Insults Customers, Murders Logic...All In One Day!

from the the-dark-side-is-strong-in-this-one dept

Remember that whole SimCity thing, where the always online requirement of the game turned into launch failures, massive backlash, and caused EA/Maxis to lie like it was their job? Yeah, good times. It was almost as if the whole debacle was some kind of how-not-to-do-video-games piece of performance art. Well, the good news is that everyone in the video game industry has learned their lesson, realizing that they need to treat their customers with respect and understand that their demands fuel sales, which means not including requirements they don't want. Yup, they all get it now. We won.

laughs
Hint: If all of you aren't laughing like this by now, your sarcasm detector needs tuning
Image source: CC BY-SA 2.0

Just kidding! You see, amid heavy speculation that the next Xbox from Microsoft will require some form of always-online component, Microsoft's Creative Director Adam Orth decided now was the time to head to Twitter for what appears to be an "insulting customers and forgetting logic" incantation that I can only imagine is intended to Bloody Mary his career. Let me first stress two things: the rumors about the Xbox are not confirmed, and Orth does not make mention of the Xbox specifically. Instead, Orth tweeted:

"Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an "always on" console. Every device is "always on". That's the world we live in. #dealwithit"
Except that isn't true, of course. My iPad isn't always online. Neither is my phone. Or, hell, my damned computer. In fact, come to think of it, this side of a couple of poorly thought-out pieces of gaming software, I don't know that I own a single device that is required to always be online. And what about potential customers that might not have access to reliable internet connections? Or might not have connections at all? Well, according to Orth:
"Those people should definitely get with the times and get the internet. It's awesome."
It's hard to imagine a more out of touch dismissal of a reasonable question. There are people who, for a variety of reasons, don't have reliable connections. Broadband penetration in the United States is pretty wide, but in terms of speed and reliability we're well behind the rest of the industrialized world, 15th out of 30 in penetration and 26th globally in terms of speed. And that doesn't even take into account less common circumstances, such as those serving abroad that might not have access to the internet for a host of reasons. You're simply telling them to "get with the times?"

But if you thought that was bad, Orth then goes completely off the logic rails in what he thinks is a rebuttal to shoddy internet connections.
"Sometimes the electricity goes out. I will not purchase a vacuum cleaner. The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will not buy a mobile phone."
This is where I get really, really pissed off. If you want an always online system and if you want to dismiss part of a potential customer base in the process, go ahead. I don't think it's smart, but it's your business, do what you want. But when you start filling my eyes with bullshit like the above, you've gone too far. See, the thing is that a vacuum cleaner isn't a device that could run without electricity but was designed to not work unless it had it. Always electrified isn't a choice for vacuum cleaners. And with spotty mobile coverage, guess what, sir? If I couldn't use the damned phone due to crappy coverage, you're damned right I wouldn't spend the money on the phone. Who would? But even so, the very nature of the phone requires coverage. It isn't a manufacturer choice, it's the nature of the device. Game consoles, most software, and a host of other technology products, on the other hand, opt in to always-online. Pretending those analogies are the same is a further insult to your consumers, who you must think are too stupid to know better.

So, to recap simply, we don't know if the new Xbox will have an always-online requirement, but we do know that Microsoft has a real problem at the head of one of its departments. Perhaps someone should explain to Adam Orth that insulting customers isn't the best way to do business. Personally, I'd like to see that explanation written on the back of his termination papers.



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    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    An always online console or games is something I have zero interest in and anyone who implements this requirement will not be getting my money.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

      Re:

      To play online games with Xbox 360, you have to pay for membership to Xbox Live.
      To play online games with PS3, you subscribe to PlayStation Network which is free.

       

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        Re: Re:

        Or PS Network Premium, which isn't free but gives you free games every so often, among other perks. Now that's how you do business.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Yep,

        I had a PS3.
        I bought an Xbox for Halo 3.

        Guess what? After my free month of live I stopped playing Xbox, now my mate has it. I have bought a shit load of PS3 games since then and 0 Xbox games. Great business decision from Microsoft.

         

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        Kody, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:57pm

        Re: Re:

        You only get internet access with PS Network, anyone that actually wants a good experience uses the subscription on both consoles. They are the same price. Stop trying to make it out like $60 a year is truly a deciding matter in buying a console.

         

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          Watchit (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Never bought Premium PS Network, and everything worked fine. It's not like they gave you "better internet" for having a premium account, instead they gave you other perks.

           

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      vegetaman (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 6:52pm

      Re:

      As a person who writes software, the idea that people want to be "connected" all the time bothers me. I know that I love to 'disconnect', as it were, and play games by myself and such. My internet does not have even 98% uptime; unlike my television and computer.

       

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        vegetaman (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 6:54pm

        Re: Re:

        Meant 99.8% but totally pulled a number less than 100% out of my bum to make a point. But yeah, shame on people who think that just because everything CAN be made to be "always online" they don't step back and think SHOULD it be made that way? And in my personal (and professional, actually) opinion, that answer is no.

         

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          Anders Nielsen (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, it's the same as saying that all people is driving, so we shouldn't bother with sidewalks. Just because you have new way to do things, doesn't mean you have to remove the old ones. Or else we have to remove all staircases and replace them with escalators.
          You add options, you don't replace them if it means you remove other valid options.

           

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Well, there go MY plans to buy an Xbox.

    Oh wait, I didn't have any. Damn! Now I'll have to make plans to buy an Xbox so I can boycott them.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:29am

      Re:

      I'm the other way around. In dollars, I'd estimate I've made an investment of at least $3-4000 in my 360 over its lifetime - minimum - in peripherals, Live, games, etc. I will NOT buy a console that requires online connectivity to play games that have no business being online. So, if Microsoft do this, they're saying "pay that $4000 to our competitors next gen". Genius.

       

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      anonymouse, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:37am

      Re:

      Well i was going to get one for my kids, they always want the latest games console and games, and i for one will not get one if there is an always on requirement, so that is one lost sale, Microsoft might just have saved me a bit of money from the savings i have put aside for the new xbox.

       

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    Travis, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    The death of consoles

    With the incredible arrogance shown by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, I just don't think I'll be buying any future consoles. My PC offers me plenty of flexibility, and if it's not flexible enough I can MAKE it flexible enough.

    You can't say the same thing without modding your consoles, and if I'm going to go through all that effort, why buy one then? The PC already out performs them every time. The ONLY reason I can to buying a console is a few proprietary games.

    But if the price of my freedom, and my dollar's vote is a damn game, then I've really sold out like a cheap whore.

     

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      crade (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

      Re: The death of consoles

      Just get the good consoles from back before everyone went off the deep end with "ideas are property" stuff. And get them quick before it's illegal to buy them.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

      Re: The death of consoles

      You should just get an OUYAaaaahahahaha sorry I couldn't even keep a straight face typing that.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

        Re: Re: The death of consoles

        Why not? Sub-Wii pricing, and a fun set of games to launch with.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: The death of consoles

          ....I thought about letting your optimism live a long, free life, because I hate destroying something as beautiful as naivete. But alas! I cannot in good conscience let anyone think that an OUYA is a good way to spend $99.

          1- Every aspect of the hardware is bad. The chipset is outdated, the case was designed before anything else and has a ton of problems (like a huge airflow deadzone right under the much-lauded Tegra 3), the controller feels cheap and has serious issues with both the faceplates and the analog sticks.
          2- The "fun set of games" it's launching with is almost entirely speculation at this point. Uhrman kept throwing around that 481 developers were working on OUYA games based off of absolutely absurd assumptions. There are not that many people working on OUYA games.
          3- The store interface is an absolute piece of crap right now, to the point that if you accidentally set a deprecated flag in your code the price of your app shows up in the store as red text against a red background...and the bug then persists on every store title you view after that, including correctly coded ones, until you reset the system. And there's a lot of rumors that there's no forced notification to the user when your credit card is charged, meaning it's possible to have a malicious app just drain accounts willy-nilly.
          4- Oh, on the note of credit cards - a lot of OUYA developers were actually charged for purchases made during testing of their apps despite flagging them as test transactions. Team OUYA is STILL working on sorting out refunds for that. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
          5- The OUYA firmware/launcher that they've built on top of Android is very buggy. This is the one thing on this list that it's okay to be optimistic about - if there's one problem with the project that could CONCEIVABLY be fixed before the June retail launch, it's the firmware.
          6- The OUYA developers kit software is atrociously bad - it's essentially just the storefront, and everything else is stock Android. Last I checked, it didn't even include the official button icons for the UI, you had to download those from the website in a separate zip file.

          Don't get me wrong here - it's a really cool idea, and it would have been really cool to see it succeed. In fact, I'm pretty impressed that they managed to make an actual product at all. But the problem is that Uhrman and co. have zero industry experience, and it really shows.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The death of consoles

            They worried about making it look pretty instead of what was under the hood. If they had cared about that, they would have realized having a $100 console was unrealistic unless you wanted crap hardware. I mean 8GB of internal storage? Seriously? My Xbox (the original one released 12 years ago) had that much and it didn't even store the games on the console. And unlike the original Xbox, last I heard there was still no way to expand storage on the Ouya. Perhaps you could hack the thing and use the crappy single USB 2.0 port.

             

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            akp (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The death of consoles

            If I buy one, it won't be for the games. I'm waiting to see if it makes a better "media center" than Xbox (won't pay for Gold), AppleTV (have to jailbreak to really stream from our giant hard drives) or any of the other options short of buying a full computer.

            I'm keeping an eye on it, and on the possible SteamBox.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The death of consoles

            you forgot the 1 year console life before buying or trying to upgrade for an unknown price or 99 again

             

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              anonymouse, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The death of consoles

              All of these people that are so experienced on a console that has not been released yet, which will probably have updates from day one to fix bugs, similar to every other Games console ever developed.

              And the problems can be resolved with little more than a tweak here and there. Yes the first device is not going to sell well as they have already advised that the next release will be updated to the best hardware available at the time, also games development on the Android platform is exploding and more and more people are buying these cheap as chips games, anyone saying otherwise does not know what they are talking about..and might be a shill for other consoles. If this device really takes off it could eat very very hard into the marketshare(only if it is a reliable and functional system though)

              When they iron out the problems and people get their hands on a real product and not a development product then i will listen to people commenting, but knowing that the development devices always have problems i think the above comments will be going into the bin where they belong.

               

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      Kody, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:53pm

      Re: The death of consoles

      You know games like Bioshock Infinity, COD, BF3, AC, and all games currently made and being released for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 run on less than 1GB of ram? Show me a PC as flexible as that. PS4 and the new Xbox will both be $600 or less, no computer will match its specs for the price, regardless of upgradability for the next year at least. Stop making invalid arguments like "PCs are better" without knowing what you're talking about.

       

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        Dirkmaster (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:28pm

        Re: Re: The death of consoles

        Are u freaking kidding me? Go home, boy. You are the same idiot who thought that Xbox 360 would kill the PC. Now, 4 years later, you can buy a Xbox360 equivalent PC for under $100. And then upgrade it, instead of throwing it away. What starts out great turns into dross in the products' lifespan. But without upgrade ability, you are throwing away money.

        You probably buy a new Iphone every two years too. Yeah, those "no-upgrade just buy a new one" items are a real swell value.

         

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      Random, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

      Re: The death of consoles

      Where is the arrogance in Nintendo? I'm not saying they are faultless, but compared to what Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo is the opposite of arrogance. Even Sony hasn't been as arrogant as this guy though. The only incredible arrogance shown was by him.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:32am

        Re: Re: The death of consoles

        "Nintendo is the opposite of arrogance"

        They're not arrogant in the same ways, but they sure as hell are arrogant. From the length of time it took for them to accept that adults actually use their systems to their woeful ignorance of the demand for online play, their arrogance shines bright.

         

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      vegetaman (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 6:56pm

      Re: The death of consoles

      I haven't bought a game console since N64. I just have a PC, and all I do these days is buy games for $5 off amazon or from steam sales (only if they're pretty much DRM free and not made by a handful of companies I can't stand, like EA) that are a few years old. I've got plenty to keep me busy without needing a new console of any type. Especially since I don't want something that needs another internet connection.

       

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      The Real Michael, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 5:03am

      Re: The death of consoles

      Smart thinking.

      If you mod your X360, Microsoft will ban you for life, yet you can do whatever you want with your PC.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    If you buy ANYTHING from Microsoft

    then you get what you deserve.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

    I'd love to see how MS justifies always-on with their current Xbox LIVE Gold moneystream. Does anyone honestly think they're going to give that cash cow up so easily?

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:59pm

      Re:

      My one and only experience with the XBox was buying a used one at a garage sale with the intention of using it as a Netflix box. Then I discovered you had to have a Gold membership to use Netflix on it -- which costs more per month than the Netflix service itself.

      I resold the thing at our garage sale and resolved to make sure I never purchase an XBox for any reason. If they're that moneygrubbing, then I have an active need to avoid them.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Instead, you should have bought an original xbox (the big black behemoths), modchipped it, slapped a larger (spare PATA) HD into it, and installed XBMC4XBOX.

        Coupled with a network connection, and a NAS full of ripped DVDs, this is out how roll. Whole setup can be done for about $60 - assuming you find the xbox for $10, and already have the HD lying around. The modchip is the expensive part, and they're getting harder to find :/

        Now, admittedly, the video quality (mine is connective via component video running at 720p) is a bit meh, and while it can play a DVD rip and most low-resolution divx with ease, it chokes on higher res videos and higher compression h264.

        However, the bonus is you can rip all the xbox games directly to the built-in HD, and install a large number of emulators too - making it a pretty flexible "oldschool" game system.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 4:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I didn't (and don't) care about HD, so an even easier solution would be to just repurpose an obsolete PC to do the job.

          I got the xbox because we'd been using a Wii for this purpose with excellent results and I just assumed that it would be just as easy with a different supported console. I simply gave Microsoft too much credit.

           

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          kitsune361, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 9:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you're feeling brave and have a copy of a game that has an exploitable bug (like the first James Bond game from the XBox) you can wire it up to flash the on-board firmware w/ mod chip firmware.

          After getting bored with Halo, I caught myself not really playing games on the thing so I made it my old set-top media player was an old XBox I did this too years ago.

          Downside of it though: 720p is about the BEST you can get out of an original XBox. Thing is pretty much a doorstop these days.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    You mad bro?

    He was trolling his friend.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      The trolling was with his insults towards specific regions, which this article rightfully left out. He was quite serious with the rest of his comments.

       

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    crade (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Jeese, guys he's only the creative director. I'm impressed enough he can use twitter.

     

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    Gee, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:08pm

    Yep, I'm sure that kid down the street will have tons of success in convincing his parents to move off their successful farm, into a metro area because some asshole at micro$hit told him he has to move just to get internet in order to play video games from now on.

     

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    feda (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:16pm

    My vacuum doesn't require an internet connection.
    My computer doesn't require an internet connection.
    My fridge doesn't require an internet connection.
    My washing machine doesn't require an internet connection.
    My lawn mower doesn't require an internet connection.
    My boiler doesn't require an internet connection.
    My toilet doesn't require an internet connection.
    My hair drier doesn't require an internet connection.
    My bathtub doesn't require an internet connection.
    My car doesn't require an internet connection.
    My keyboard doesn't require an internet connection.
    My doorbell doesn't require an internet connection.
    My TV doesn't require an internet connection.
    My phone doesn't require an internet connection.
    And neither should my console.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

      Re:

      Well, I can fit most of those in my internet connection, to be fair.

       

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      Applesauce, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

      Re: feda said...

      "My vacuum doesn't require an internet connection.
      ...
      My toilet doesn't require an internet connection.
      ...
      My bathtub doesn't require an internet connection.
      My car doesn't require an internet connection.
      ...
      My doorbell doesn't require an internet connection.
      My TV doesn't require an internet connection.
      My phone doesn't require an internet connection.
      And neither should my console."

      -- Not YET...

       

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      JarHead, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

      Re:

      Leave it to M$, all of those, and even our asses will require MS.Net(tm) inet connection. "Get on with the time, bro," as everyone at M$ are saying right now.

       

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    Anonymous Cowherd, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

    I don't even remember when my current Xbox was last online. I only connect it when there's some game-breaking bug that really needs a patch or if there is some free stuff I can download for a game.

    I have never bought a game that required an internet connection, always-on or otherwise, and I never will. I have no intention of ever buying a console that requires one either. And I have absolutely zero interest in any excuses Microsoft, EA or anyone has for creating them.

     

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    Not Applicable, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    Adam Orth is an anagram of TWAT

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    Even the best quality internet connection is not foolproof. Any technical problem, and you get locked out of using your legally purchased stuff. And nobody will care.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:36pm

      Re:

      Remote area, lots of snow, power out, internet down, diesel genny running, log fire roaring, time for a game ... oh dear time for a good book.

       

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      JarHead, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

      Re:

      Of course M$ will care. Their future DRM will require ALWAYS ON inet connection, and the licenses are tied to the connection, meaning anytime you lost connection, you also lost all your licenses. What a great live we'll be in, all sponsored by the great benevolent people at M$

      /tinfoilhat

       

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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    Your proposal is acceptable

    "Sometimes the electricity goes out. I will not purchase a vacuum cleaner"

    You're right, I'd buy a generator if I wanted to vacuum while the power was out.

    So you'll be giving me my own local 'game server' so I can play on those times when my connection is down right?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

      Re: Your proposal is acceptable

      Heck, I own a battery powered vacuum cleaner (it's based on a Dust Buster), so it works when the electricity is out. Imagine if it refused to run when the electricity was out and the manufacturer insulted me when I pointed out how stupid that is!

       

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        Niall (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 4:42am

        Re: Re: Your proposal is acceptable

        I have a non-electricity-powered vacuum cleaner. It's called a broom, dustpan and brush. Great for when someone's asleep...

         

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:34am

      Re: Your proposal is acceptable

      If you have power outages regularly, you can even buy vacuums that run on batteries for emergencies. His arrogance is only matched by his ignorance. Sadly, that seems to be Microsoft's direction with most of their products recently.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    i still think that Gates was/is a 2 faced,lying, deceitful, money grabbing arse hole who took the piss out of people but this guy takes the biscuit! what an absolute c**t he is! i really hope that things like what he said here makes peoples minds up for them and they leave the next xbox where it should stay, in a box in the shop!! it's this sort of attitude that has done more harm than good to the entertainment industries and carrying on in the same vein wont improve things one iota!

     

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    QuietgyInTheCorner (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    Vacuums and electricity

    In fact, the vacuum I use for work does not need to be plugged in to use it - it runs on rechargable batterys! Why? because electrical supply is spotty or unavailble in the places I work (construction sites). At home, if the power goes off, I can't see to vacuum anyway, so who cares if the vacuum doesn't work?
    I know many people that live in areas with spotty cell phone coverage, and they have cell phones anyway. Why? because their cell phones work everywhere ELSE. For home, they use landlines.
    So, MS's arguements fail .. because there ARE alternitives. For "always online DRM", this aren't any (legal) alternitives, making it an "apples and oranges" comparison.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    The next Xbox supposedly has always on DRM
    The next PlayStation supposedly can disable used games.
    EA has shown that you can get people to pay twice if you put always on DRM into your PC games and break the servers on release day.

    Anyone else hoping for another video game crash?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:50pm

      Re:

      The next PlayStation supposedly can disable used games.
      Didn't Sony come out and say that wasn't true?

       

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        PRMan, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

        Re: Re:

        They said it wasn't true while also confirming that it was possible.

        They also said that they would never remove Linux from the PS3...

         

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      PRMan, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      Wii U's starting to look pretty good. It's only problem so far is not enough games, and that can be solved pretty easily...

       

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:36am

      Re:

      OUYA, Steam box, GOG, Humble Bundle, all the games being funded through Kickstarter...

      Let's hope that if a crash comes, it only affects the morons in charge of the incumbent corporations, because the future elsewhere still looks bright.

       

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    Trevor (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:31pm

    Welp

    Looks like Microsoft just sold another PS4. Sony should really send them a fruit basket as thanks.


    I have a 360. It'll be the last and inly Microsoft console I ever buy.

    Oh, and my two kids who are too young to play consoles (they're 2) will grow up as PS fans, and be taught to avoid MS products wherever possible.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

      Re: Welp

      I would much rather go with the OUYA, on account of it doesn't require an always-on connection. PS4 will require always-on, as well.

       

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      The Real Michael, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 5:13am

      Re: Welp

      I would advise cautious optimism with regards to the PS4. Their president said that while Sony themselves wouldn't disable used software (so they claim), it was possible for third-parties to do so.

      From where I'm standing, the next-gen is looking bleak.

       

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      anonymouse, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:56am

      Re: Welp

      Same here, i always wanted an xbox but could not justify it until i had my two sons, i am sure the first 2 and 3 year olds with an xbox console :) But being my first console and seeing as the kids have just as much fun now, 6 and 7, with their tablets , which i paid £35 each for, i don't think they will miss the newest xbox. They actually spend more time on their tablets than the xbox now.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:36pm

    The new Xbox probably does have an online always requirement. It makes no sense for this guy to defend always online tooth and nail otherwise.

     

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    Some Guy, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:40pm

    I spent about 20 years as a developer evangelizing Microsoft technology. I stuck with them through some of their abominations like Win95 and Vista. I pushed IE when everyone else was going to FireFox and Chrome. I defended them when everyone else hated them.

    But lately, I think their bad reputation is well deserved. They started going downhill right around the time that Gates left. Now they're just another large, asshole corporation no longer "eating their own dog food" like they used to.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      That's kinda funny, because Microsoft became a lot less evil in many ways after Gates left. They're still a company that behaves terribly, though.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:41am

        Re: Re:

        Not after Gates left, but during the time they realised that Linux, Apple, Sony, et al were real competition and that apart from their XBox, Office and OS divisions they were losing money everywhere. Give them back a monopoly position tomorrow and they'll be back to their old ways in a second.

         

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          Internet Zen Master (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 1:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Honestly, I honestly believe the reason Microsoft was losing money everywhere except their original bread & butter (OS and Office) and Xbox divisions was because of the guys in marketing/distribution didn't know their head from their ass.

          Best example of this is Zune, which had the potential to be a viable competitor to the iDevices if it had been distributed worldwide instead of just a purely US-focused distribution model, and had a much more aggressive marketing campaign than what it had (it was going up against the trendy, well-entrenched iDevices).

          Case in point, I misplaced my USB connection cord for my 16GB Touch Zune HD one time and couldn't find a replacement cable at the local electronics store, even in the bundle packages. What did they readily have available? Connection cables for the FUCKING iDevices in every fucking store I visited.

          I swear, someone should find the guy who thought that having the Zune as a US-exclusive product for the first two years it was on the market was a good idea and kick him in the balls (among other things) for not understanding the concept of the international marketplace.[/rant]

          Although Paul, think about what your saying for a moment. If you give any company a monopoly position (or near-monopoly position in the case of Apple), and the chances of them abusing that position is extremely high.

           

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        PaulT (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:41am

        Re: Re:

        Not after Gates left, but during the time they realised that Linux, Apple, Sony, et al were real competition and that apart from their XBox, Office and OS divisions they were losing money everywhere. Give them back a monopoly position tomorrow and they'll be back to their old ways in a second.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    IMO the always on rumor isnt the most eggregious one floating around. Its the mandatory working Kinect being connected for the console to even function.

    So add always online internet + mandatory camera connected to the device at all times + microsofts patent to charge per user/viewer licensing fees for all content and you can say good bye to privacy in the only place left in the world where we even have a reasonable expectation of it, not to mention being nickle and dimed for every person sitting in a room during any media performance.

    I could deal with an always online console if it didn't also come with the ever watching eye of Big Brother. Not that I would ever consider buy a Microsoft product again anyway.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

    Argument about electricity

    I would like to point out that just like a vacuum cleaner, the console will not work if the power is out. In both cases, you are placing your trust in the power company providing reliable service. It seems like the same amount of risk to me.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:25pm

      Re: Argument about electricity

      The difference is you can use a generator or solar power to create your own electricity, people can't create their own ISP connection to microsofts servers.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:26pm

      Re: Argument about electricity

      The difference is you can use a generator or solar power to create your own electricity, people can't create their own ISP connection to microsofts servers.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:40am

        Re: Re: Argument about electricity

        Yeah you could do that. Or use a unit containing a battery. Now imagine that the vacuum cleaner with a battery also required you to have stable power through the plug. That would make absolutely no sense.
        This is the way I see most "always online" services.
        I do hope that people will get fed up with it at some point and stop buying this crap, but I don't expect it to happen.

         

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        Niall (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 4:45am

        Re: Re: Argument about electricity

        Unless you have a mobile phone with hotspot ability and a wireless router hooked up to the console. Gonna bit a bit laggy though ;)

         

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    JarHead, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    A win-win solution for MS

    Hmm, having always on connection for xbox might be a win-win solution for MS. The majority of people who hate the req passionately will have 2 choices, either jump ship to other consoles, or using other services like Steam, which is PC based. With other console vendors are likely to screw up customers just the same, then those people again have 2 choices: do without, or go to services like Steam, i.e. PC based. Now, with the slow alt OS (i.e. linux) adoptions by game vendors, people then left with Windows as gaming platform. See where I'm going with this?

    That is, if we're all law abiding computer illiterate citizen...

     

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    CN, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Only one?

    Microsoft has a real problem at the head of one of its departments.

    Ummm... only one?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 4:17pm

    Sony and Nintendo must be loving all the free advertising from Microsoft.

     

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    Zem, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:19pm

    This is what happens when a manufacturer turns into a service provider slowly over time. Their internal corporate culture falls behind the change and struggles to catch up.

    When your selling a product you call the shots, but when your selling a service, the customer calls the shots.

    Why? Because the product takes its profit in 1 hit, the original sale. A service relies on some form of subscription. If the customer leaves too early your profit is reduced or even vanishes.

     

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    Atkray (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:35pm

    Always on connection

    The only company that has any legitimate right to claim people need an always on connection is Google. And that is only for the Kansas city area.

    Unless you are providing me with a free fiber connection don't tell me I need always on.

     

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    Adam (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 6:29pm

    He should research before he speaks.

    You would think that somebody that would look at their own numbers before trying to piss of a group of customers.

    The most recent numbers I could find show that Microsoft has moved over 66 million Xbox 360 consoles and that there are over 40 million Xbox Live users. That means that over one third of their customers don't want or use the online features of the console.

    Now I know that Microsoft has crazy amounts of cash, but I am guessing even they don't want to lose over one third of their customer base. And those numbers don't even count the people like myself that do have a Live subscription but are concerned about always online requirements to use something I have purchased.

    Source of numbers are from 2012 so they are a little old: http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/01/10/ces-microsoft-reveals-xbox-360-sales-to-date

     

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    Brett, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 11:15pm

    When will MS learn..

    Once again MS is testing our endurance. I'm not sure if they believe that the playing field is the same as it was five years ago but is isn't. Poor top leadership and stalling on great ideas have cut their dominant position to shreds. Sure they own the desktop, but they have been out thought and out maneuvered.

    If they try to force potential buyers with an always on console, especially with the growing backlash against this form of policing, people will look elsewhere. It amazes me the course that they keep taking, from Apple envy to inaction in so many areas.

    Job's was right, a technology company needs to be driven by a tech savvy CEO, not a bean counter who's focus is on numbers.

     

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    Brett, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 11:15pm

    When will MS learn..

    Once again MS is testing our endurance. I'm not sure if they believe that the playing field is the same as it was five years ago but is isn't. Poor top leadership and stalling on great ideas have cut their dominant position to shreds. Sure they own the desktop, but they have been out thought and out maneuvered.

    If they try to force potential buyers with an always on console, especially with the growing backlash against this form of policing, people will look elsewhere. It amazes me the course that they keep taking, from Apple envy to inaction in so many areas.

    Job's was right, a technology company needs to be driven by a tech savvy CEO, not a bean counter who's focus is on numbers.

     

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    identicon
    Brett, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 11:15pm

    When will MS learn..

    Once again MS is testing our endurance. I'm not sure if they believe that the playing field is the same as it was five years ago but is isn't. Poor top leadership and stalling on great ideas have cut their dominant position to shreds. Sure they own the desktop, but they have been out thought and out maneuvered.

    If they try to force potential buyers with an always on console, especially with the growing backlash against this form of policing, people will look elsewhere. It amazes me the course that they keep taking, from Apple envy to inaction in so many areas.

    Job's was right, a technology company needs to be driven by a tech savvy CEO, not a bean counter who's focus is on numbers.

     

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    John Macross, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 11:51pm

    Arrogance

    Well i think i wont buy a console anymore.

    these guys can go to h*ll if this is the way they do business.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 1:43am

    It's interesting how the companies are putting so much trust in technology. In general.

    Consoles required to be always online? Implies that everyone's internet connection is perfect, when it might not be the case for a variety of reasons. And then they wonder why even PC games that have the "always online" requirement for no real reason get criticized.

    PC software that you can only install a certain number of times before having to buy a new license? Implies that you never have to reinstall your OS due to a crash or a virus, never have a hard drive failure, never delete programs by accident or have your kids mess up with your computer.

    They act like whichever stuff you use has perfect hardware, bug-less software and an ideal internet connection. Even with today's progress it still sounds like some kind of futuristic setting, IMO...

     

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    FreeCultureForFreePeople, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Broadband penetration in the United States is pretty wide, but in terms of speed and reliability we're well behind the rest of the industrialized world, 15th out of 30 in penetration and 26th globally in terms of speed.

    @Timothy,
    could you please provide a link to your source? I've been looking for information on this subject for some time now, but only came up with region-based statistics, not a chart where I could see average broadband speeds per country. This information would be most appreciated.

    Thanks in advance. Great article, by the way.

     

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    FreeCultureForFreePeople, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:12am

    Thank you for the dslreports link, AC. The table displayed there is exactly what I was looking for.

    I'm surprised to see Germany rank higher than the U.S. In my rather rural region, all I can get is something my ISP (T-Online) calls "DSL Light" and is basically ISDN speed x 2 = 128 kbit/s. And all for no more than 38 EUR (~49 USD) a month - marvellous... I could subscribe to our local cable company, which offers 100 MBit/s for 30 EUR (~39 USD), but their connections are about as "reliable" and ther customer service about as "excellent" as Time Warner Cable, so I guess I'll stick with what I got for the time being.

     

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    belgianguy, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:45am

    There should be a prize for such ignorant and insulting Tweets!

    How about: 'Upperclass Tweet of the Year'?

     

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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    The fact that he's even talking about it

    Raises the possibility that Microsoft is aware of the SimCity Charlie Foxtrot, or that they haven't fully reached a consensus on whether or not they should have an always-on requirement. [The naive gamer in me would love to believe that the loudest and more influential voices of dissent are coming out of 343i, but the cynic in me knows better].

    That said, the rumors that Microsoft are looking at the next-gen Xbox/Durango as more multi-media center than actual gaming console bugs the hell out of me, since it means that it'd be easier for them to justify having an always-online requirement to the general public.

    Of course, Microsoft never comments on speculation or rumors, so we still have no bloody idea what we're going to get, and will have to wait until the official release announcement.

    So, as the Zen Master says, "We'll see."

     

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    Ninja (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 5:14am

    It seems I'll be retiring from my console gaming habits. Good thing my old, offline consoles still work =)

     

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    tim leary, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

    >Microsoft's Creative Director

    Oxymoron?

    Its a good thing this genius wasnt around when we found out that the XBOX had a 50%+ failure rate.
    He'd have said "Hey, batting .440 is still pretty good in my book!".

    Its ok, he can always use his 'talents' to some other MS product. Windows Phone 8 anyone?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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