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Microsoft reflects on the Xbox One 'always-online' furor
Microsoft reflects on the Xbox One 'always-online' furor
September 5, 2013 | By Mike Rose

September 5, 2013 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    45 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



"Was I surprised that people had a reaction to it? No. We knew it was going to be a controversial decision. Was I surprised how negative the reaction was going to be? Yes."
- Albert Penello, Microsoft's director of product planning, looks back at the Xbox One's original "always online" plan, and how consumer reaction led to the now infamous "180" decision.

The Xbox One was originally going to require the user be constantly connected to the internet to use the console. However, after a massive vocal backlash online, Microsoft reversed its decision to move the Xbox One more in line with how the Xbox 360 currently works.

Talking to Rev3Games, Penello admitted that the company probably attempted to introduce always-on functionality to a games console a little too early, and that with time, it will become accepted.

"If I had to go back... and redo one thing, that would be the one thing," he says. "I think with time, people have understood what we were trying to do, and I'm sure you've seen it with the fans. They've been saying 'God, I wish some of this stuff would come back.'"

"I think the problem was that people got in their minds that what we were trying to do was somehow evil or anti-customer," he continued, "when in fact we were looking at what Steam does, we were looking at what iOS is doing, we were looking where the customers were going and saying 'I think we can actually give you a better all-digital experience.'"

Always-online is going to happen at some point soon, notes Penello, whether it's this generation or next.

"Discs are going to go away," he says. "They've gone away in just about every other medium. I think if anything, we thought it was gonna happen sooner than the customer thought it was going to happen. We took a hard stance on it, and I think some customers were like, 'Yeah I'm in!', and other customers were like 'Whoa whoa whoa, what about my situation.'"

After the backlash, Microsoft realized that it needed to change its strategy. "The customers have spoken," Penello notes. "We were surprised at how vocal it was, and we were surprised at the reaction and assumptions that people had about what we were trying to do."

"So we did the famous '180', and we said you know what? We've got to listen to the customers. I hope at some point in the future, some of those cool features - the family sharing, the household sharing stuff, the games are always with you - we want to bring that stuff back. But hey, we had to stop the program, we put a pause on that, we started again, and we went back to the model that the customers asked for."


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Comments


G Irish
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I'd be interested in hearing if there were people sounding the alarm internally before they released their plan to the public. It seems to me that it should have been no surprise that a lot of people would be angry about the always-on requirement and blocking used games. They thought the features they were giving the customer in exchange would make up for it, but I don't think it took a psychic to foresee that many gamers would not be happy with the trade off.

The other thing I wonder is, what did they plan to do about users overseas or in locations with poor internet service? I heard some muttering about a plan to allow deployed military personnel to play somehow, but I never heard any details. Did they flat out forget about that use-case?

Lars Doucet
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"when in fact we were looking at what Steam does, we were looking at what iOS is doing"

Still completely disingenuous. Steam at least has offline mode (as non-ideal as it is) and iOS doesn't keep you from playing your games when you don't have WiFi or can't get a signal. A strong persistent connection was never the problem, it was the over-reaching attempts at controlling every little thing the user does.

Bryan Powell
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"A strong persistent connection was never the problem"

It shouldn't have been. But that was exactly the problem for a lot of people I talked to. They were outraged. Kept saying it was a slap in the face to armed forces. How absurd. And wasn't it just a once-a-day check in to be able to play games?

"it was the over-reaching attempts at controlling every little thing the user does."

That statement is possibly unfairly vague and reaching in itself, no?

The fundamental flaw in people's (and I'm talking about waves of people I've listened to, not you personally, Lars, as your response was much more measured and reasonable) ideologies concerning these issues is the concept that a gaming console is an inalienable right of human beings, like food or shelter. How dare they require internet? It's not just a business decision, it's inhumane! In fact, they should include an HDTV for people without TVs, and a giant solar-powered battery for people without electricity.

Dane MacMahon
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Art preservation and access is important though. I feel sad about the fact the games going forward are likely to be more and more temporary services.

Adam Bishop
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@Bryan

If you cut back on the hyperbole, it's easy to see that the situation was actually more like this:

Microsoft decided to release a product that limited some functionality that people enjoy making use of. Those people announced that they disliked that decision and that as consumers they were not interested in supporting it.

Steve Badley
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@ Bryan Powell

Uh ... no - on many fronts. In the real world where a line that someone drew on a map determines who gets broadband fiber and who gets an ISP that limits streaming video bandwidth has a ton to do with always on. Shame on the people who live on the right side of that line for condescending the people who just happen to live on the wrong side of that line.

And oh yeah ... the Microsofts of the world will play big brother every chance they get, disguising the inevitibility of "always-online" as DLC convenience. Horseshit. Anyone who's been inside the ropes knows they are so full of themselves that they can't smell what they're shoveling down consumers' throats. The "syndicate" (i.e. Steam, Origin, GFWLive, etc ...) has no right to my personal information past what it takes to make the initial purchase plus provide standard content updates. They have my Xbox's address for that ... they don't need mine. Were someone to walk through my front door demanding my personal information in exchange for utility usage, I'd call the cops. If they persisted I'd put a bullet in their forehead.

I just want to pay and play, to hell with MARCOM/demographics efforts. Want a demographic? I've been video gaming since Atari first released the 2600 console in 1977 ... as a college sophomore. Lab computers were analog & calibrated with synchros. Software came in punch cards. I've watched "electronic gaming" take on a life of its own across 5 decades to the extent that Hollywood now makes movies based on video games instead of the other way around.

If you are in fact saying that "always-online" is just how it is and my choices are to either live with it or quit, then I'll find a new hobby. I really feel sorry for those who choosing similarly would necessitate them finding a new life.

Wake up people. Wake the hell up.

Alexander Symington
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The analogy between always-online and electricity use is extremely weak. Electricity is actually physically required for the device to function, and the purchaser may use any standard power source to operate the console, rather than than being tied to proprietary servers which may be subject to failures or discontinuation.

I don't think I've seen anyone subscribe to an ideology which asserts that consumers should be indefinitely entitled to any limited resource a console genuinely needs in order to function. I agree that that that would be unreasonable. The typical view of people that objected to always-online seems rather to be that a product should not be subject to entirely artificial, logically superfluous service 'requirements', which sounds pretty reasonable to me. And the logic underlying that perspective isn't going to change in the future.

Robert Casey
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I don't think customers see a gaming console as an inalienable right. They simply will refuse to support a product that appears to be taking their rights away. MS has to guide perceptions that people buy a durable game product that won't be cut off from them because their DSL is down, or is no longer available because MS decided they won't support it. Also, if a product is non-transferrable, the price point needs to fit with market acceptability for being able to not lend or sell to someone else.

Robert Crouch
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Nobody was realistically upset with the fact that the system had to be online to provide online services.

People were upset because the always-online requirement was primarily a confusing DRM scheme, and because of many other issues in the past where those schemes have failed the consumers, such as when Ubisoft's DRM servers went down.

If it were "Gain additional features when you are online" then people would be happy to have those features. But it was "Lose access to expected features when you are not online", and people are less tolerant of that. Any game designer knows that players are more likely to resist losing something that they have than get something new.

And in the case of the XBox's requirements, what you lost was the whole ability to play your games if you were offline for even a brief period.

When I lose my internet connection through steam, I don't have an issue playing my games. If I want to take my laptop with me for a prolonged period without Internet, I can put it in offline mode. On the xbox they were threatening to turn off your game if it didn't check in frequently enough. It was never the same.

Adam Bishop
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"Any game designer knows that players are more likely to resist losing something that they have than get something new."

Not just game designers and players; there's a large body of psychology research demonstrating that this effect is true of people in general in all sorts of situations.

Kyle McBain
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True, but we are talking about games. I guess a more substantive response would be... What conclusions do you think we can draw from this?

Stefan Park
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Very good response. I totally agree with you. My main complaint (and I was very vocal) was the obvious attempt to disguise the DRM as a "feature". The carrot dangling with the family share (and if you read the fine print, it wasn't as people though.. share your library wityh 10 people FOREVER) just was not enough. Yes, I liked their idea of digital distribution, but from past experience with MS, they overcharge for all their digital purchases (most of the time I can buy it BRAND NEW RETAIL for cheaper). We will get their eventually, but I think we need baby steps.

Leszek Szczepanski
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Always online will not happen, ever (at least in the form X1 was supposed to work). Anybody trying to implement something like that will fail miserably. Something even Microsoft realized.

People were not angry about having to be online buy or download games. People were angry about the requirement of being always online to play games. Something neither Steam nor iOS nor Google Play require.

Most importantly of all, there was no real justification for that. Which Microsoft proved themselves by backing out of everything.

Dane MacMahon
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As I understood it the reason or justification was digital trading and resale. The console had to check your library every 24 hours to make sure you owned what you were playing and that license hasn't been activated elsewhere. I would assume if Stean ever offers resale they would have to implement a simimilar check.

It's not worth the trade-off to me, but to some it probably is.

Kyle Redd
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Steam's mechanism to support such a feature is already in place: you can't install any game, whether through downloading or restoring a backup, unless you are online. Valve knows all your installed Steam games belong to you because they verify ownership at the time you install them.

Microsoft could use the exact same check and no one would complain. The 24-hour check in is completely unnecessary and their assertion that digital game sharing cannot exist without it is a lie.

Dane MacMahon
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No, because if you have an offline mode like Steam does you could install a game, go offline, then sell your license but play the game indefinitely until you go online again. Microsoft was clearly trying to prevent abuse of this sort with the 24 hour check.

Kyle Redd
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How could you possibly sell your license when offline? By telephone? The only way a Steam user could transfer a license for one of their Steam games is when they are online.

The Xbox One could work exactly the same way, because the game sharing program would be for your digitally-purchased games only. Disc-based games are not a part of it. And there is no reason that both systems couldn't co-exist with each other - physical games that you can physically loan or sell to someone else, and digital games that you can digitally loan or sell to someone else. There is no conflict whatsoever between these two systems.

Jason Alexander
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Their original plan was to have disc games effectively be digital games (like Steamworks Retail games), but also have the ability to resell them. That would've been how you could "sell" your license when offline. If I took that disc to Gamestop and got credit for it, in order to maintain only one active license, it would need to deactivate the previous one...hence the 24hr online check.

If they didn't care about resale of discs (which were still "digital" games), they wouldn't have needed the 24hr check. Or if they treat discs the same as previous consoles (which of course, is what they are doing now), they don't need the 24hr check. Basically, they tried to kinda support the Gamestop trade-in audience and the "digital is the future!" audience, and create this complex hybrid of the two, but ended up kinda pissing off everybody, heh.

So in the future, all the resale/sharing/license transfer stuff will probably come to digital downloads, but won't work on disc games. As you say, since it's purely through downloads now, no 24hr check is needed. That does mean that if someone wants the benefits of (downloading your games from the cloud, instant switching without discs, etc.), they are now required to buy from Xbox Live, where as before, they could buy from any competing retailer and get those same benefits (but of course, also the digital download drawbacks).

Michael Pianta
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As one of the people who criticized them (I even made a youtube video and everything), let me just say that I understood what they were trying to do, with regards to emulating Steam and iOS, but that goal, at least for me, makes no sense for a console. The ability to buy and sell physical media is THE selling point for a console now. When I buy a console I am deliberately buying into that ecosystem. Why would I spend $500 on a device that duplicates the functionality of Steam? And furthermore, Steam and iOS ARE anti-consumer, compared to what we used to have. You have no real ownership over those 'goods' that you've purchased. Furthermore, they're infinitely reproducible, which begs the question why do they have any value at all? Which leads you right to the observation that they sort of don't. I mean so much is free on iOS I've never payed for anything. And on Steam I've never purchased anything except when it was heavily discounted. I don't think I'm the only one, either. In fact, I think that's pretty much the normative behavior. Perhaps if Microsoft had announced that games on Xbox One were going to be discounted 70%, there would have been a little more to talk about, but as it was it was an expensive device that was a worse option than the other expensive devices in basically every way.

Dane MacMahon
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You've always paid for the development of the game, not the box. Saying something that can be copied infinitely has no value is a very limited way to look at art and creation in a digital age.

Michael Pianta
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Well, first of all, to be clear, I'm talking only about monetary value, rather than artistic or cultural value. As far as monetary value goes the unit production cost is definitely relevant. Conventionally price is an interaction between supply and demand. If you lower the price you may increase demand, but only up to a point. And you cannot lower the price indefinitely because your production cost creates a floor. But what if there is no floor? Then you all you have is research and development costs, which could be spread out over a very large number of consumers AND over a very long period of time, and this type of development cost is essentially a sunk cost. This puts enormous downward pressure on the price, the idea being to make it up with volume. If you could know in advance exactly where the maximum demand was, you could set your ideal price point, but since that not point is not easily identified the pressure is to keep lowering price. You can undercut your competition endlessly. It is a race to the very bottom, the lowest threshold of profitability.

This is what everyone will do, I think (they already are) and consumers will expect and demand it. Intuitively consumers understand they are not getting the same deal they used to get. You buy a CD and you are getting a physical good that is nominally worth something. Theoretically speaking you made an even trade, my $10 for your CD, and now you can trade it to somebody else if you'd like. Overtime the value of this good will change - it will probably go down, but it might go up if it becomes rare - and at any point in time you can cash out and liquidate your asset for whatever the market deems it worth. Because of this, high mark ups are acceptable because you are benefitting from them too, in a way. They are inflating the resale value just as much as the initial cost. In a sense you are not just buying a CD, you are investing in an asset. But absent this liquidity, when every single purchase is a one time deal with no ability to recover even a tiny portion of your expense - well then you are incentivized to never pay a penny over the absolute lowest price.

It's not just speculation either - we know that these things will happen because it's already happened once before when mechanical reproduction was invented. For example, books used to be really rare and expensive, then the printing press came along and now paperbacks are just a few dollars. Similarly, any painter (I'm trained as a painter) with even modest ability used to be guaranteed a living if they could paint a good portrait. But the camera was invented and this much cheaper mechanical reproduction basically obliterated the portrait market. Today only very rich people buy portraits and only very very good painters can support themselves in this way. Of course there were many other effects of photography upon painting, but much of that had more to do with that specific art form and is not a good analogy for this discussion.

The point is, just as mechanical reproduction caused formerly expensive good to lose their value digital reproduction will cause already relatively cheap, mechanically reproduced goods to lose EVEN MORE of their value. It is inevitable. The only question is, how low will it go? To which I think the answer is very very low, but time will tell.

It will all work out to be the same if the difference is made up in volume. So ultimately, the losers in the digital business will be people who are making works of limited, niche appeal. They will reach their maximum demand sooner and will not be able to keep lowering their price, and so they will seem overpriced relative to the market. There will naturally be fewer of these works made as a result. I think you're already seeing this happen too.

warren blyth
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i think digital business will support more works of limited niche appeal - thus making those people the winners. Because their weird works will be exposed to the whole world, which will help them find a devoted audience. the huge budgeted must-appeal-to-all-to-make-back-production-costs people will be the losers. because they won't be able to support their giant budgets. I think we're in for a future where we have to shrug off the loss of 100 million budgeted blockbusters.

When i think of how digital distribution has changed the sales of entertainment - I always go back to the example of Nine Inch Nails giving away their experimental Ghosts album away for free, and then it goes on to be the best selling album on Amazon that year. charging nothing doesn't mean the end of sales.

Instead of paying to "own" a physical good, people are now willing to pay a small amount for the benefits: no hassle delivery, and to avoid feeling like a thief. (a lot of people are giving charity to artists they like, and pledging to kickstarters they believe in, but I think both of those avenues are going to dry up a bit. at least become less popular than they are now, once the new-ness wears off). I could probably copyright-infringe anything online, and feel like a thieving pirate - but i'd rather just pay a buck to feel like good consumer, and not have to waste time searching through tons of torrents and comments.

p.s. I don't feel that I own goods for my console. disagree that buying discs is what defines the console space. I bought Army of Two a week before they announced they'd be shutting down the multiplayer servers for it. I never unwrapped it, so now it seems like a mistake. Plus, I just moved into a new house, and Rock Band 3 wouldn't let me play any of the hundreds of songs I've downloaded. Don't know if it needs an internet connection to confirm ownership (again?). but. it all strikes me as a frustrating reminder that I should just play all my games on PC.
Unless the console can offer a dedicated hardware experiment that isn't available on PC. (kinect, wiiU gamepad, vita's back touch pad, etc.)

Dane MacMahon
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I think lack of resale and lack of physical product does hurt value for some customers, however Steam and iTunes have proven fans will pay full price for the experience even if it is digital. Then you can utilize the low overhead of digital to make a lot more money off the tail from consumers who see less value through sales.

I realize the phone market is seemingly contrary evidence, but that is a very large and "mainstream" market sold to a different kind of consumer.

Kaitlyn Kaid
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@Michael Pianta

I think one thing you are kind of glossing over is that when you buy a physical game, the value of the actual media is pathetically low (tenths of a penny) compared to the $60 cost you pay for development. Removing the media costs is not going to radically reduce the overall price point.

I question the applicability of your photography to painting analogy as well. It wasn't so much that photos were made cheaply, it was that photos could be taken by anyone. The skills required to even be a moderately skilled painter were beyond the vast majority of people, however nearly anyone can press a button and be a moderately skilled photographer. It is the ease of use more so than the method of production that hurt the painting industry.

Game development however does not have that ease of creation. So long as people need specific skills to make a game (programming, design, art) that the laymen can't do, those skills will need to be compensated for. "Cost of production" includes the costs of paying for specialized labor. Until some form of tech comes around that makes creating a new game from scratch as easy as taking a photo, the price of games will never "race to the bottom"

Dane MacMahon
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Okay, ignoring his completely false statement that other mediums already got rid of discs is really hard. DVD and Bluray sales are still very high, heck even CD sales are to some extent. Walmart has a lot more movies and music discs on store shelves than they do video games. If anything games are leading the purely digital charge with exclusives offered only online on Steam, PSN and XBLA.

Anyway, that aside... This honestly all comes down to different consumers wanting different things. You can go always online and justify that with social features and digital resale and whatever else, but a large portion of your customer base won't care much about the features and will care a lot about the requirement. Eventuallly they'll likely write-off a percentage of gamers as unimportant and make the change, but I think it's way too early for that, as the response to their announcement showed.

I've learned the past decade that media moves on and targets new markets and you just have to live with it. Most modern games aren't made for me, and that's okay. However if you move too quickly to the market across the street you risk losing your base and not gaining enough new ground to compensate. It's too early to completely emulate iOS on a console and not lose significant market share.

Ron Dippold
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You guys (MS) should probably just shut up and stop defending this. There was no consumer benefit to 'check in every 24 hours or your console dies.' As it is, games can still mandate always online /if they actually need it/ or use it if it's available for extra goodies. Most don't!

Chris Oates
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You are factually wrong. There are plenty of benefits that would have been available with the X1's original policies, and the always on connection made those possible. Things like Family sharing, digital resales, no need for discs post install, etc. Yes, you can conceive of a hodge-podge of schemes to allow some of those features without an approximation of "always connected" but the constant connection was an elegant and minimally intrusive way to enable a lot of new features. You may personally not care for them or think that they are worth the few hundred k per day of data being sent, but to claim that there was no benefit is patently false.

Paul Shirley
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...and if I choose not to use any of those benefits why do I still need to pay the penalty?

...if I choose the option to resell my digital copy, why would I need to checkin with MS more often than when I activate, then deactivate and transfer the copy?

...if I choose to share my game using some vaporware scheme no-one at MS seems able to explain, why would I need to checkin before deciding to use it or carry on after I stop?

The truth is every single vaporware suggestion they made could be done with voluntary, user controllable checkin. There never was any justification for enforced checkin for everyone, however they actually use the service.

Ron Dippold
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Yes, I was thinking of all the other ways it could be done. I really don't see how having the console artificially refuse to function if your internet is down is 'elegant and minimally intrusive'.

More fundamentally, I disbelieve that 24 hour checkin was required to allow these features yet allow for offline play. That was just their design. As they've admitted since, the features are /still/ possible if they care to implement them. The easiest way is just to allow the extra features if you're connected, don't when you're not. You need the disk then (or digital DL). At that point most people would be online most of the time, and people who can't be don't need to be. Everyone's happy. Maybe even the ad people.

heath willmann
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The whole always online reminded me of the cable tv pitch when it came along, no ads ever you pay to watch content ad free. Look how that ended up. If they had been able to move to always online, I can see a future where you buy a console then have to pay for gold membership for basic services through them in the future.
Regardless of reasons I am still happy that enough consumers were vocal enough to stop this for however long.
I will also be moving to sony again after two generations because while they changed the timing they haven't really changed.

Joshua Pickard
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It's just basic psychology that people will resist being told they "have" to do something. That goes double if there is a penalty for non-compliance. Sure, there are benefits to being always online. But there was a real penalty for non-compliance, intentional or not. Specifically, it is the penalty applied for an unintentional non-compliant situation that bothered people the most. It makes the consumer feel helpless and unfairly penalized for something that wasn't their fault. THAT is why there was a backlash.

You can't convince me it wasn't all about big brother MS watching over your shoulder. We're all guilty until proven innocent at least once every 24 hours in their eyes.

Dane MacMahon
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While those concerns are there and valid it was also, for a lot of people, a simple evaluation of the trade-off. Weight how much you care about the always online features versus how much you care about offline access and game preservation.

For me it was an easy choice.

Chris Oates
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I disagree with your statement that " for a lot of people, a simple evaluation of the trade-off" -- every single post and news article on the topic was not a rational evaluation of the trade-offs, but a largely dishonest rant about feared drawbacks that would not materialize, and no mention of the benefits. An honest evaluation would have been a refreshing change from what was broadcast across all media.

Dane MacMahon
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I'm not disagreeing, and it was especially odd to see since the media embraced Steam. I remember shouting to the rooftops about Steam's drawbacks and was told I was a loon who needed to shut up by just about everyone.

Still, for me personally choosing offline DRM free games over features like Microsoft talked about is a rational choice I believe in, mostly for preservation reasons.

Joshua Pickard
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The benefits are not what are in dispute. It is specifically the penalties of non-compliance that are being disputed as necessary. (Can't play anything!) Why are there penalties at all? An honest assessment of that from Microsoft is what would be refreshing.

warren blyth
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MS would be smart to announce a new always online OPTION.

like: reward people for volunteering to be always online.
if you want to be online 24/7, and can demonstrate it for at least 100 days (perfect attendance!) then you'll be allowed to take advantage of elite special features like: family sharing, resales, and no disc installs.

Maybe invent a new tier of XBLA beyond gold for this always online crowd. call it: "ether"? "plasma"? "silver lining" and "gold lining" enhancements for the silver and gold tiers?

Kujel s
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Xbox Live Platinum ;)

Alexander Symington
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This is exactly the kind of suggestion that would have enabled MS to implement their original vision for the Xbox One service without any of the PR nightmare and backtracking of recent months. Don't artificially force people to use an always-online service; give them reasons to want to join it.

You should give that CEO opening a shot :)

Salim Muhammad
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Excellent idea.

Nathaniel Smith
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Psst, Microsoft. I think it's best for you not to reflect on how out of touch you were with your base. Just talk about how you think Xbox One is going to provide better/different games, services, and features from its competition moving forward.

Jonathan Adams
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Aside from things like privacy concerns, an always-online requirement is a problem for simple infrastructure reasons. As gamers, we already have to deal with power outages (though we can at least use generators and batteries in many cases). Always-online services, however, are subject to internet outages or unavailability as well, and I find these are usually the times when I most want to turn on a console. Some people still have to deal with monthly limits to their bandwidth, and an always-on system will be a potential drain on that. If you increase the number of requirements a system has, you just increase the number of ways that system can fail and become unavailable.

Masaru Wada
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More than anything I just hate the tone of Albert Penello. To me it sounded like, "Wow, I didn't realize people would be so taken back by this new and incredible technology. I guess we were just ahead of our time! We're just too cutting edge, an the consumer couldn't handle it! So cutting edge that they get scared. So we decided to be nice and not do the whole always-online thing. Too bad, because really it's a good thing that we're doing FOR the consumer, for their own good! Don't they realize we are their benefactors? In the end though, we ARE right about it. This WILL be proven down the line. And besides, it's something others are already doing! We didn't deserve this backlash, but we'll yield anyway. We're just that nice."

wes bogdan
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Had ms been consumer friendly checking in while a dash update happens,full digital game dlds or even during dlc purchases I could have lived with that but so sorry you're moving,going on vacation where the internet may be an added cost,throtled or simply slow and worthless for gaming but those games you legally bought will stop working 24 hrs after we can't check in almost criminal.

As for always on connected games like warhawk,mag and socom confrontation were online only on ps3 but if real single player games die and multiplayer becomes intertwined into story based games then we'd need online as only past gen systems would have ai npc's where the new standard would be all human all the time.

Benifits of always on would be no need for $499 or even $399 boxes your next box would be roku sized with all games streamed no dl n install just turn on the gamepad and it's all there to play but everyone would needgigabit internet everywhere and for a lot less than corrupt cable company's offer a lot less speed as of now.

Always on has merit but we're not there yet and might not be for quite some time...

Jean-Marc Wellers
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You can be pretty sure that during Post-launch, let's say I give it two or 3 years tops, they will try to reintroduce what they wanted here.
They will poll, ask around, see how players like the console and all, ask who is connected etc etc etc to see if they can implement it ^^

Mario Kummer
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They did not understand it when the uproar happened and the don't understand it now. How can Microsoft say they planed to do "always-on" because they want to be a service like Steam or iOS when both of this services don't requires always on?
And it was for sure not the always on part alone, it was the whole package, together with an always on Kinect and so on. Everyone could easily imagine the console asking for more money when another person joins the room.
It was just to much greed. Somewhere is a line and they crossed it. Can I go to a friends pc, load all my steam games, go offline and he can play them forever? Yes. Can I load my ipod with 32GB of my games and give it to my brother while I still play them on my iPhone? Yes. Both methods are possible and are more or less inconvenient. And I assume almost no one uses this form of "abuse". The issue is to unimportant to "prevent" it, it results in a too bad user experience. People who pay for content are already used to getting a worse experience then pirates, but sometimes too much is too much and thats what happend after XboxOne announcement.
And one thing that bugged me all the time is when they tried to argue that something has "technical reasons" although its just a stupid decision and everyone can think of a possible solution.


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