5 Reasons Why An “Always On” Console Would Suck
As much as I’d like to make some sort of comparison to the matter at hand with, let’s say, a radiated shaving blade that’s been dipped in a military-grade sulfuric acid and used as a cheese grater on one’s unmentionables, I think it’s best to jump right into the current motif.
The CEO of Ubisoft stated the following when asked about always-on consoles: “Well, that’s a question you should put to Microsoft and Sony! I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices – I would suspect that the audience is ready.”
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I will state below why I think that an “always-on” console would be catastrophic. Let us dissect this diseased rat. (Not necessarily a semi-useful one as seen in Dishonored.)
5 – Fewer Customers
While some gamers are always online when playing you might hear some counter-arguments about that particular fact, but take note that, that is optional and your current game isn’t dependent on the stability of you connection. If your connection dies: Whoops! Continue playing or if it’s a multiplayer session; reconnect, find another match and continue shooting blokes in the knee and / or genitals.
Whereas your game is dependent on the connection, you will have trouble playing a single player game and get kicked out if there is some asshole stealing cables or if solar flares are deciding to be spiteful.
Getting to the fewer customers part will have me saying that some gamers do not play online at all. They don’t even have an online account to download games or play with friends. Their main drive is single player games and nothing else. If they have a console at home with no connection and bought the console for the sole purpose of just inserting a disc into the tray and being able to play immediately, why force your customers with that goal to be online and then end up chasing away potential sales?
They want more control over us gamers and to eviscerate second hand sales. Money hungry in this case = Fewer customers and less income. What?
4 – No Second Hand Sales
The possibility of having some sort of DRM on a console game.
It’s a thought both saddening and infuriating.
I’ll quote Jim Sterling again: “People pay for convenience.”
Why chase away people that want your gaming system for convenience. I bought my Xbox 360 to get away from always-on PC games and massive updates. It took me two games to realise that I’m not going to be able and continue with this. F.E.A.R. 2 had me installing Steam and a 1.6GB update (Which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had an uncapped line, but that wasn’t the case and still isn’t.) and when I heard about Assassin’s Creed II having an always-connected thingamajig, I burst into tears.
Having that convenience stripped from your gaming experience is just plain stupid. Sure, your console games have updates, but only when you are connected and want to play it online, but if you are not connected, there’s no issue. If they expect us to “register” a game and be online to let them verify the game we paid for, why would we want to support that and “prove” ourselves to them?
It’s a silly, cash-craving and downright lame-brained idea.
3 – Focus On Social Interaction
I’ve seen interviews and adverts about products that feature an online and social component and they make it out to be so glorious to be in constant interaction with other online folk. Don’t get me wrong, I like being online and talking / playing with friends, but I don’t want to be online the entire time. I think I’m safe when saying that many of us game for escapism. We WANT to be immersed and climb into the fictional world that is presented to us.
Scenario: I’m walking through the highly-detailed streets of Columbia, scouring for much needed supplies when I hear a familiar and distracting sound. Is it Songbird? Oh, wait! One of my online friends came online and all immersion went out the window. Once again, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see people come online, but that’s when I WANT to be online.
2 – Current Examples Clearly Show Us The Pitfalls
If we look at titles such as Diablo III and SimCity, we can already see that this idea of always being online is dangerous. Not just for sales, but for everyone involved. The online service isn’t working properly and we as gamers, looking for a distraction or just for the sake of escaping the thoughts of the crappy day behind our back, can’t play for shit. Your entertainment / passion with which were there with minimum hassles in the past cannot be enjoyed now due to technical difficulties that serves a purpose that’s not even remotely necessary.
1 – I Won’t Be Able To Play
I agree, this last reason may appear very self-centered, but I’m speaking with 100% confidence that those words won’t be ushered solely from my mouth. I know quite a few gamers personally that would be affected by this, resulting in them not being able to play games that they’ve been looking forward to. I, for one, am really excited and also not excited at all by The Witcher 3. Reason for this being that I totally dig the idea of a third Witcher game with a humungous map, but the excitement is brought down by the possibility of these restrictions.
The idea behind a new generation of consoles is to bring us new features and ideas, giving developers more to work with and providing more reason to be into gaming, not to chase away existing customers.
Guys and gals, please, speak up! If this is where we’re headed, the companies need to know that this isn’t the wisest of choices.