It’s looking more and more like the next Xbox video game console will force users to be online all of the time. With such rumors swirling, Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth recently took to Twitter to address the issue.
In his tweet, Orth — who has previously contributed to God of War 3, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and EA’s Medal of Honor series — said this: “sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always on’ console. Every device now is ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit”.
Ouch. This seems to all but confirm that Microsoft is planning to release a next-generation console that will block players from gaming unless they can establish a reliable Internet connection.
It’s a highly controversial idea. The advantage is that Microsoft can limit piracy, hacking, and roll out security and features updates easier and faster.
The disadvantage: lose your Internet connection, lose your game. It also remains unclear what kind of Internet connection will be required in order to effectively play multiplayer or single-player games on the Xbox 720 (or whatever Microsoft decides to call the console).
So far, the “always on” model has not been beneficial for gamers. In the past year, two huge titles, Diablo III and SimCity, have used this formula and both have experienced huge technical problems.
That’s why some experts have voiced their disapproval of the idea. Upon learning of Orth’s tweet, BioWare gameplay designer Manveer Heir took to Twitter to say this: “Did you learn nothing from Diablo III or SimCity? You know some people’s Internet goes out right? Deal with it is a sh***y reason.”
I’d have to agree with that sentiment.
This could be a deal-breaker for many gamers, particularly as Sony has indicated that the PlayStation 4 will not require gamers to be online to play single-player games.