Hey everyone, how was your Spring Break? I went to New Orleans but the most noteworthy thing about my trip is that I didn’t see any of the spots from the level in THUG 2. Anyway, while I was gone Microsoft apparently itself in more hot water Bill Gates in a jacuzzi. Because people like to get worked up, there have been a ton of rumors surrounding Microsoft’s next home console. This is usually just a bunch of meaningless speculation, but it seems like one of these rumors has gotten a bit more substance. It looks like the next Xbox console will require a constant internet connection to play even single-player games. And just like cursed frogurt with potassium benzoate in the toppings, that’s bad.
I’m pretty confused here, folks. Microsoft is one of the world’s leading software companies. Yet this decision seems like it was made by an out of touch congressman who is amazed by fax machines. I know it may seem weird–we are living in an age where refrigerators literally use Twitter–but there are still huge chunks of the population that are still chugging along with outdated dial-up internet. That’s if they actually have internet in the first place. I could spend a lot of time talking about it, but Mr. John ‘Master-Dick-Blaster’ Cheese has written a very good article about this on Cracked.com. To make it short, be it for geographical, financial or technological reasons, some people just can’t get it. But as everyone born before the year 2002, being unable to torrent 80GB of Disney porn does not impede on your interest in gaming. Do you know what gamers do when they can’t get internet? They drive their horse carriages to Ye Olde Funcoland and buy a game that is either single-player or that they can play with friends locally. If you require that the console be connected to the internet constantly, you’re alienating millions of customers. And you know who else is in boat? Every single Xbox owner who does not subscribe to Xbox Live.
But let’s just say that Microsoft doesn’t give a multicolored crap about these people. I mean what are they gonna do, buy a Playstation? Do they not understand that in the past that this strategy just plain doesn’t work? Just look at the launches of Diablo III and SimCity. It was hard to find someone talking about whether the games were good or bad. Everything you heard was about how people couldn’t even play the game they bought because of the unnecessary always online DRM. When TOM from Toonami calls you out on your BS, you better damn well listen. We just don’t have the infrastructure in place to support this. When so many people are connected online at once, the servers usually just can’t handle it. Let me remind you that all the chaos was from two separate games from two different publishers. What happens when a publisher needs to support multiple games on multiple platforms simultaneously? And if they keep making games (which they will), then they’ll have to shut down the servers for old games. And once that happens your $60 game just became totally unplayable. How’s that for the future of gaming?
Hopefully whoever makes this decision isn’t a total idiot. Microsoft has barely given a gentle whisper about their new console, so they still have all the time in the world to take this back. But if they don’t, congratulations on winning the Eighth Generation console war, Sony.