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Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

Soulskill posted 1 year,19 days | from the par-for-the-course dept.

DRM 572

New submitter SoVi3t points out comments from Microsoft Studios Creative Director Adam Orth about the debate over always-online DRM, brought to the fore recently by the disastrous launch of SimCity and rumors that the next-gen Xbox console will require it. "Don't want a gaming console that requires a persistent internet connection? 'Deal with it,' says Microsoft Studio's creative director. In what he later termed a 'fun lunch break,' Orth took to Twitter to express his shock at people who take umbrage with the idea of an always-on console. When quizzed by other Twitter users about people with no internet connection, he suggested that they should get one, as it is 'awesome.' He then likened people who worry about intermittent internet connectivity being an issue as the same as someone not buying a vacuum cleaner because the electricity sometimes goes out. While Orth later apologized, saying it had being a bit of banter with friends, it did raise awareness that there are more than a few people who are very unhappy with the possibility of an always-on future version of the Xbox. Orth has also now switched his Twitter account settings to private."

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572 comments

Better answer (5, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367665)

Don't want a gaming console that requires a persistent internet connection? Don't get one!

Re:Better answer (5, Funny)

jewens (993139) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367681)

Maybe he is auditioning for head writer on the soon to be released Sony PS4 ad campaign?

Re:Better answer (5, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367819)

I doubt it will be any better of a selling point when Sony does it than when MS does it...

And if you think Sony won't... do you remember the last time Sony had a chance to screw their customers for profit and control, with a reasonable (or even only slight) chance of success, and DIDN'T take it? Neither do I.

Re:Better answer (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367921)

Pretty sure Sony was quoted shortly after the announcement that (paraphrasing) "We know there are people out there that don't want to be social or online all the time. We're listening, and the console does not require an internet connection to function. It only requires the connection if you want to go online, which we really hope you will."

Re:Better answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367927)

That's because Sony don't email you to make you aware of all the chances they have to do stuff.

Re:Better answer (5, Interesting)

Pi1grim (1956208) | 1 year,19 days | (#43368005)

Gabe will applaud this move and remind people that there is offline mode for quite a fair share of Steam games and will be glad to sell a console that will double as a generic PC with linux under hood.
Also trying to inconvenience the users is not the best selling strategy. Given choice, I'd rather get a console that does not require me to be always online (hint: what do you do when the internet is out?)
Also, vacuum analogy is pretty shitty. I wouldn't buy a vacuum that only functions when internet is on. Single-player games don't need internet connectivity all the time - so artificial inconvenience for customers will make pirated copies all the more popular. Choosing between a free copy that doesn't require internet connection to play and a rather expencive one, that doesn't is a no-brainer.

Re:Better answer (3, Interesting)

BillCable (1464383) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367865)

Comparing what we know so far about the PS4 v/s what is rumored/leaked about the NextBox, the NextBox looks disastrous. One wonders if Microsoft will pay attention to the backlash and revise their approach. One also wonders if they do if they'll still make a 2013 launch. Launching the NextBox with the current rumored "features" and being this tone-deaf to the community would be ill-advised. There's only so much gamers will put up with for the ability to play Gears and Halo.

Re:Better answer (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367983)

Bullshit. If gamers will put up with generation after generation of faulty hardware, and paid online services (as if a console is an MMO), they'll eat always-on DRM with a smile on their dumb little faces. Anything for Halo of War Duty VII, where they can share screams and racial insults with their prepubescent peers.

Re:Better answer (4, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367733)

Heh, that if only it were that easy.

Now here is where your choice affects me: if the internet-dependent console is successful, others will probably copy the model. In addition, the attention of game developers will be drawn towards it instead of competing consoles. Therefore, it is completely rational and logical for me to advocate my preference and try to get persuade you to see the merit in it. Your choice can indeed be a problem for me.

Re:Better answer (4, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367843)

That's the drawback of living in a society. Sometimes you have to suck it up and submit to the majority even if they are dumbasses. The whole agriculture, technological progress, culture and not being eaten by wolves aspect mostly makes up for it however.

Re:Better answer (4, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367737)

Don't want a gaming console that requires a persistent internet connection? Don't get one!

Exactly right.

And the market will show that the vast majority of gamers could not care less whether an Internet connection is required or not, so long as the game is fun. And since game development is all shifting towards multi-player anyway, with only token efforts being made for the lonely solo console players, this whole issue borders upon moot.

Five years from now, just two categories of game will be made: Multi-player for consoles, solo (with multi-player functionality) for mobile devices.

Re:Better answer (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367845)

Won't be buying one if it ends up requiring internet connection.

I skipped the X-Box 360 (not for that reason obviously), so I doubt I'll have any problems skipping the 720 either...

Re:Better answer (5, Insightful)

Xeth (614132) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367871)

Five years from now, just two categories of game will be made: Multi-player for consoles, solo (with multi-player functionality) for mobile devices.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the "gaming by the numbers" studios and publishers move that way. But I can guarantee that the people pouring millions of dollars into independent Kickstarter and greenlight games, and getting DRM-free software written by devs who care in return, will still be doing it in five years.

Re:Better answer (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367901)

That is not how markets work.

There will still be single player DRM free games, they might not however be AAA console games. Smaller developers will take to this market in droves if it appears in anyway viable. As we have already seen via kickstarter and HIB this market exists and will pay. It however will not be able to fund AAA games, but the barrier to entry using tools like Unity is coming way down. We will once again have very small studios making the games we love.

Personally I could not be more excited about that. No longer will our games be choices be limited to what is most popular, genres that the AAA publishers left to rot will be revived. Unless the only thing that matters to you is graphics you should be excited as well.

Re:Better answer (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367979)

And the market will show that the vast majority of gamers could not care less whether an Internet connection is required or not, so long as the game is fun. And since game development is all shifting towards multi-player anyway, with only token efforts being made for the lonely solo console players,

Always on DRM != multi-player

Re:Better answer (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367981)

And the market will show that the vast majority of gamers could not care less whether an Internet connection is required or not, so long as the game is fun. And since game development is all shifting towards multi-player anyway,

Fun fact: it's actually not [penny-arcade.com] . In fact, it's actually moving away from multiplayer-in-everything that was so common a few years ago. The percentage of games without multiplayer on consoles has almost doubled.

Re:Better answer (5, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367745)

I know that's what I'll do.

He then likened people who worry about intermittent internet connectivity being an issue as the same as someone not buying a vacuum cleaner because the electricity sometimes goes out.

This guy is proof that you can be a retard and still get into high positions in the corporate world.

(1) A vacuum cleaner is almost a necessity, a console is a luxury. While there are other ways to clean a carpet, they are generally much more effort intensive.
(2) you don't lose your state when the electricity goes out, with a vacuum.
(3) electric is less prone to flicker than internet connection, if nothing else, because a flicker of electric will not cause the same for the internet. Excepting with UPSes, but these aren't exactly ubiquitous.
(4) many people travel, and bring their consoles with them... They don't always get to bring an internet connection.

Even if there were no other issues with DRM, this addition would provide enough to make it a deal-breaker for many.
You can stick your always on DRMed XBox720 up your ass. Sideways. After adding spikes.

Re:Better answer (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367863)

This guy is proof that you can be a retard and still get into high positions in the corporate world.

I thought that was REQUIREMENT of those positions, along with horrendous levels of Arrogance...

Re:Better answer (5, Insightful)

cnaumann (466328) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367991)

You missed the main failure of the analogy. A vacuum cleaner requires electricity. Anybody can generate that electricity. It does not require special electricty from the Hoover Corporation's electricity server. It would not be illegal to modify your vacuum cleaner to work off of batteries or a portable generators.

It is not the Internet connection part that bothers me. It is the long-term availability of the DRM servers and the control that they have over my purchases, long after the sale.

Re:Better answer (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367997)

I can see your general thrust, but I think you're a little wide of the mark.

  1. 1. A console may be subjectively a necessity to some. This is not about necessity.
  2. 2. True, although the state can be managed in the cloud and increasingly is.
  3. 3. Same as point 2.
  4. 4. Falls under the same condition of "not having a 24-hour internet connection" - exactly where you get the connection from is not relevant to the question.

The point here is that he is exactly correct in his analysis that it is the same with vacuum cleaners and their power supply. If your electric power supply is inconsistent or intermittent, you would be unwise to buy a vacuum cleaner that depends on that power supply. You certainly wouldn't buy one, then wait around for the time that the electric comes on, and then jump on it and do the housework, which is what he is proposing.

Re:Better answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367807)

Orth is just being a douche. Always on is bad for many reasons, be it a console game or a PC game. Laptops by their nature don't always have an internet connection, and not being able to use your game because you're traveling is just asinine. Trying to use your game console for entertainment when your cable TV goes out (for whatever reason) isn't an option if your console needs to suck on the DRM teet every second of every game.

In this case DRM = Douche Runs Mouth

Re:Better answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367959)

lol same answer for anti-gay-marriage advocates

Re:Better answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367973)

Dont buy a console that requires a 4.20 per month fee to use, plus a 50+ dollar a month connection to use.

You quickly realize that for the 650 dollars a year you can buy a very nice computer for 1200 and 'ROI' in under 2.

That is the requirement for an xbox now. You may already have an internet connection in which case the cost comes way down. But then you get to deal with little issues like the recent sim city and diablo 3 issues. For crying out loud ubisoft is backing away from it, and they are the masters of DRM (cant tell you the number starforce infections I have had to remove...).

Re:Better answer (1)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367989)

Yup, and thats exactly my plan to. Though, to be fair, its not because of this, this issue is just the final nail in the coffin of console gaming for me. If I have to be always on, and can't pack up my console and bring it with me somewhere on a whim without having to worrry about net access.... then its just another desktop....an underpowered desktop.

Nope. If I am buying the device then anything it requires of me better be something it needs to provide me service, not to serve someone else....who I bought it from.

Not surprising (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367675)

Microsoft has a very long history of not understanding what customers want.

Re:Not surprising (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367767)

Microsoft has a very long history of not understanding what customers want.

Yeah, I guess that's how they got all their money and influence over the years. Oh, wait. Maybe it's just that they have a very long history of not understanding what a small-yet-very-very-very-very-vocal minority of people who aren't their customers want?

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367809)

Connect a Microsoft device to the Internet? Sure! What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Not surprising (2)

Holammer (1217422) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367883)

Lies! Dirty lies! Windows 8 delivered everythagfhahahaaha heheheh. Can't keep a straight face.
I'm obviously not cut out for marketing.

Re:Not surprising (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367999)

Microsoft has a long history of understanding what proportion of their customers will accept what amount of abuse. And the people willing to spend the most money on consoles are, sadly, kids and parents who don't vote with their wallets.

In this specific case, it could end up bad for them, but it might not. After all, if a family doesn't have an internet connection, they probably aren't going to be the first kids on their block to get a new console, and they aren't going to be on twitter or facebook generating bad press about how their new christmas present won't work.

What I think they may be failing to do is a cost/benefit analysis. DRM in this case as always, won't hurt piracy or modded consoles. Most people don't mod their consoles to play pirate games, this might ensure that people will, and obviously piracy =/= lost sale. So why are they doing it? To satisfy developers' idiotic demands? From Sony's tweets, it sounds like the PS5 probably won't have always on DRM, so it's not like they need to match the competition. To force everyone who wants an xbox to get internet service? To prevent people from cheating at online games through modded consoles? From my experiences years ago, that was really rare.

I simply can't figure it out.

Use to follow him on twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367677)

Well before all this, but I recently gave up and removed him [tumblr.com] because he continously posted nonsense.

Darn.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367683)

Usually I buy every current gen console at some point in its life cycle, but if they are publicly supporting always on HARDWARE DRM for a console, yeah no thanks.

Yep, Like a Vacuum Cleaner (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367685)

He then likened people who worry about intermittent internet connectivity being an issue as the same as someone not buying a vacuum cleaner because the electricity sometimes goes out.

So if we were to fulfill that analogy you would have to expect there are vacuum cleaners that already exist that run without electricity -- as almost all the games I own run without an internet connection. Now, a new vacuum cleaner comes out but it is required to always be plugged into the wall and it will only work if it is connected to a service that costs me a monthly payment. Correct, I would not buy this "new" vacuum cleaner as I have tons of old vacuums that somehow manage to get the job done without the need of electricity.

Unsurprisingly I have purchased none of these always-on for the sake of DRM games.

You're introducing a feature that none of your customers want -- a feature that complicates a product and causes them inconvenience for unclear benefits to you. A feature that introduces a new dependency and more moving parts to run the game. And how are you surprised, exactly, that there are many people upset about this?

Re:Yep, Like a Vacuum Cleaner (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367821)

So if we were to fulfill that analogy you would have to expect there are vacuum cleaners that already exist that run without electricity -- as almost all the games I own run without an internet connection. Now, a new vacuum cleaner comes out but it is required to always be plugged into the wall and it will only work if it is connected to a service that costs me a monthly payment. Correct, I would not buy this "new" vacuum cleaner as I have tons of old vacuums that somehow manage to get the job done without the need of electricity.

Brooms existed before vacuum cleaners. When electric vacuum cleaners were introduced, there were similar concerns about irregular electric availability. Vastly unlike DRMed games however, vacuums had significant advantages over brooms that were functionally dependent on available electricity. Since the DRM adds nothing to most games, and only added a "pay us for what our game doesn't let you earn" model in Diablo 3, the proper comparison is not to vacuum cleaners, in fact there is no proper comparison. Even a broom with an incandescent bulb near the bristles would still work as a broom when not plugged in, much like how internet access used to be handled in games: a benefit, not a threat.

Re:Yep, Like a Vacuum Cleaner (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367869)

He then likened people who worry about intermittent internet connectivity being an issue as the same as someone not buying a vacuum cleaner because the electricity sometimes goes out.

So if we were to fulfill that analogy you would have to expect there are vacuum cleaners that already exist that run without electricity --

There is - it is called a broom. Unfortunately, most people prefer a vacuum cleaner because it provides a better user experience. Sure, there are times when a broom is quite acceptable; but most people won't give up the vacuum in favor of the broom. That said, I am not surprised people are upset about always on DRM. The real issue, which his comments mask, is always on DRM is a way to prevent resale of games. Quite frankly, those without internet connectivity are probably not a big market for MS anyway; at least not for expensive new games.

Re:Yep, Like a Vacuum Cleaner (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367935)

A vacuum is not a direct competitor to the broom. I have both, as I would bet most folks do. Brooms are for hard surfaces and vacuums for soft.

Either way a vacuum offers some utility to the end user, DRM does not.

Re:Yep, Like a Vacuum Cleaner (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367879)

So if we were to fulfill that analogy you would have to expect there are vacuum cleaners that already exist that run without electricity -- as almost all the games I own run without an internet connection. Now, a new vacuum cleaner comes out but it is required to always be plugged into the wall and it will only work if it is connected to a service that costs me a monthly payment. Correct, I would not buy this "new" vacuum cleaner as I have tons of old vacuums that somehow manage to get the job done without the need of electricity.

Anyone else remember these?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ewbank-EW5250-Manual-Carpet-Sweeper/dp/B005FP3Y58/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365170159&sr=8-1&keywords=carpet+sweeper

Re:Yep, Like a Vacuum Cleaner (2)

YojimboJango (978350) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367907)

Not to wreck your analogy, but when I was a kid we had a carpet sweeper. It was a cheap vaccuum cleaner that, wait for it... didn't need to be plugged in. Then we decided to get an electric one because the carpet sweepers just weren't as good.

Disclaimer: I don't own an xbox. Never have, and never will if they require an always on internet connection. I do have a steam account, but I'm in the odd minority (according to loudness of form posts) that has never had offline mode fail me.

Re:Yep, Like a Vacuum Cleaner (1)

nschubach (922175) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367957)

you would have to expect there are vacuum cleaners that already exist that run without electricity

It's kind of pedantic, but there are "carpet sweepers [amazon.com] " that are not powered by electricity that many people use to pick up crumbs and for light cleaning.

Re:Yep, Like a Vacuum Cleaner (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367963)

It's not even worth evaluating. It's a poor/flawed analogy and that's all the analysis it requires.

People make the mistake of trying to come up with an analogy whenever technology is utilized. The problem is that an analogy is always 'not quite' right and very often providing an accurate and concise explanation of the actual technology is the best approach.

With that in mind, I liken people who worry about intermittent internet connectivity being an issue to people who worry about intermittent internet connectivity being an issue because it's a pretty valid concern!

Bizzaro slashdotified version: It's like people who worry about being able to vacuum their cars while driving on the highway and trying to empty the canister into big trucks like how bits get dumped onto the internet. If the big trucks were like street sweepers, then they could vacuum the street without requiring overhead electrical connections and the cars could dump out their vacuum canisters directly onto the street. Thanks Obama.

Deal with me not buying you product.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367687)

nuf said

When quizzed... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367689)

"When quizzed by other Twitter users about people with no internet connection, he suggested that they should get one"

"When quizzed by the Microsoft Studio's creative director about clues, other Twitter users suggested that he should get one"

Really? (5, Interesting)

LinuxFreakus (613194) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367691)

What's so hard to understand? I like to have a games on my laptop or other device which I can play on an airplane, on the commuter rail, on a camping trip, etc... there are many times where I play games and do not have reliable internet... not to mention the potential security flaws which may exist in the networking code of said games which could compromise my devices. Maybe some people don't want to be online all the time. No?

Re:Really? (2)

garyoa1 (2067072) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367837)

Yeah. If your connection goes down what else is there to do BUT play games? And they want to take that away too?

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367867)

So much this. I'm currently deployed in Afghanistan, my internet is hit or miss at best. When if goes out for days on end, I like being able to keep myself entertained during my downtime.

Re:Really? (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367893)

What's so hard to understand? I like to have a games on my laptop or other device which I can play on an airplane, on the commuter rail, on a camping trip, etc...

I doubt that an XBOX is targeted at airline or commuter train use; and when I go camping a generator is not exactly on my "put in ruck" list

Orth is a corporate cunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367703)

The pathetic flawed vacuum analogy might work if you said it only worked with one supplier's electricity and they had a habit of changing to other forms of power every 6 months.

That explains it (5, Insightful)

scotts13 (1371443) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367709)

See, I've always expected people like this don't ignore our concerns, they just can't comprehend we HAVE concerns. "I don't understand why you're all 'Argh, I'm starving!' Why don't you just get some food?"

Servers are not eternal (5, Informative)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367711)

Sooner or later every server is shut down. When the DRM server goes down, I'll be unable to use the console and the games for which I paid a expensive price? No thanks.

Re:Servers are not eternal (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367749)

That is true, but this situation is even more perverse. They now not only have to pay to keep the server running but the second the next version of the console/game ships they have a direct incentive to kill off the old DRM server. So not only can they deprive you of your game, but they have an incentive to do so to get you to upgrade on their schedule not yours.

It works both ways... (5, Insightful)

Kelerei (2619511) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367713)

To turn the article title around: "Gaming Console Users 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Requirements". And based on the SimCity launch (there's been other examples, but this one is, in my opinion, the proverbial straw breaking the camel's back), this has been the reality for a long time.

Adam Orth has quite possibly done a fair bit of irreversible damage for the next-gen XBox's prospects.

Re:It works both ways... (1)

Kelerei (2619511) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367751)

Replying to self: given the responses that were posted inbetween me reading the original article and getting my parent post in, substitute "quite possibly" with "most definitely".

Re:It works both ways... (1)

odin84gk (1162545) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367965)

I disagree. The backlash being created at this very moment is enough to convince management NOT to include it.

I will bet there are many people within M$ who disagree with the "Always On" requirement, and this is ammunition for their counter-argument. If it wasn't for this twitter-gaff, you might see Always-On, but because it happened, we will probably see this requirement removed.

"Deal with it" (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367715)

This is why Microsoft is losing market share and why so many analysts are worried about the company's long-term future. "Deal with it" seems to be Microsoft's mantra not just in the console market, but with Windows as well. They let their employees' pride and stubbornness override basic business considerations. Metro must be shoved down everyone's throat, even if not a single desktop user wants it. Because if they backed down, then the people who worked on Metro would feel bad, and we can't have that, can we? The thing is, Microsoft can no longer get away with this kind of behavior. They're being pressured in the consumer space by tablets and smartphones and in the business space by evangelists of "the cloud". Just as Windows started out as a toy and then grew to dominate the market, we may see the same thing happen with Android – especially since, as an open-source product, anyone (not just Google) can take it in the direction they see fit.

Orth, Ballmer, and those who think like them are soon going to figure out that "deal with it" isn't an acceptable answer when you're trying to get people to buy your stuff.

Why is this news? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367717)

Microsoft is an abuse company that makes software and now game consoles. Of course they would continue to offer the level of abuse they are known for on the console, that is what they do. People need to realize the software and hardware are just tools that let microsoft sell its real product, abuse.

He doesn't get it. (4, Interesting)

cje (33931) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367721)

The issue is not "intermittent Internet connectivity." Most of the people who are spun up on this are concerned about the principle of always-on DRM in general. Even if people had an iron-clad agreement with their ISP that they would provide them with five-nines uptime on my WAN connection, it doesn't change the basic principle that lots of people are miffed that their Internet connection is being used on a 24-hour basis to demonstrate that they are, in fact, not thieves.

Of course, this doesn't even address the fact that the most reliable Internet connection in the world is completely useless if the server(s) that you're attempting to connect to are down due to incompetence, unanticipated demand, DDoS attacks, etc.

Re:He doesn't get it. (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367777)

You left out "Or have been turned off to get you to upgrade or just because the no longer want to support that product."

Re:He doesn't get it. (4, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367855)

You're right. It's also about locations with no internet activity. My get-away cabin doesnt have a phone and it sure as hell wont get internet. It's used for a few nights a month. The only time I have to do serious gaming will be when I am there. You really think I am going to pay another $80/month, plus several hundred if not thousand in install fees, to get a connection out there just so someone I paid good money to can spy on me with it?

Forget that. The old gaming machine out there with old games and dosbox runs fine. I'd like to upgrade it but not at that cost. (Not talking about the cost of the xbox - assume that's free. Still not worth getting a high speed connection laid out to a location that has no need for it, where it will very rarely be used, and only to spy on me. That's just too high a price by itself.)

Many people cannot get internet at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367723)

OK, there is satellite internet, but it's expensive, and high latency is bad for games.
Great idea, inentionally discarding half your potential market. Microsoft also makes some nice trackballs which are only usable by right-handed people, and left-handed versions are not available.

What an unfettered jackass (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367725)

While I'm not really a fan of consoles these days either way, the only one I do have hooked up right now is a 360. You can make good money wagering that I will not own the next generation of this console, thanks to comments like these and the attitudes that go with them. Hell, just about the only time I power up a console is when my internet connection is down -- I otherwise have a plethora of DRM'd PC games to play.

Has Sony made a stance on this yet?

Dismissing complaints is very bad policy (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367731)

Whilst the customer isn't always always right, in this situation, the customer is. The customer doesn't want an always on connection. This applies to a lot of potential customers. Telling the customer they're wrong isn't going to make the customer change his mind. It's going to result in the customer not being a customer any more.

In other words ... (2)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367735)

"Let them eat cake." -Attributed to M. Antoinette and Adam Orth

"The cake is a lie." -Attributed to some poor bastard trying to get cake, and anyone dealing with always on DRM.

Screw you Mr Orth, but it does look like you are choking on a gob of twitter frosting.

Mr. Orth Should Visit Rural America or ... (3, Informative)

trydk (930014) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367757)

... or (maybe more up his creek) take a nice trip island-hopping in the Caribbean in a sailboat without satellite connection.

Either place may lack a proper, always-on Internet connection, but why should that stop the people from enjoying a game on their console?

... Oh, DRM!

Re:Mr. Orth Should Visit Rural America or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367885)

You don't have to be in the sticks for ISP issues. The UK's 120mbps service sounds great on paper, but it suffers with terrible outages in the Surrey and Hampshire region, where, quite frankly, there is a shit load of money with high population density.

Virgin's service (was NTL (was Cablevision)) can go down for days as well as suffer from the bloody awful smart-routers with crash and need rebooting. One side of the road may be fine, the other dead until some one visits the RSB. Six weeks later, and it's the other way around.

MS have basically confirmed they're going always online, that's fine, but they're going to hammered in unit sales by the PS4 if Sony don't follow suit.

Re:Mr. Orth Should Visit Rural America or ... (1)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367917)

You're island hopping in the Caribbean on a sailboat and you worry about being able to play computer games? Your priorities are clearly very different from mine.

Steambox (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367781)

I'll be switching to steambox. I don't know if it will require always on, but I bet it will be cheaper for the hardware and the games will be too. Steam discounts like crazy. Microsoft thinks they are saints to discount 2 year old content at 50% off.

And... (2)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367791)

I want to know on what planet - or alternate reality - Adam Orth lives. Because many things on my planet does not need to be "always on", and under no circumstances I can assume that I will always have a internet connection available.

Don't have any paying customers... (1)

Wireless Joe (604314) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367799)

...for your next-gen gaming console that requires a persistent internet connection? Deal with it.

The only games I have and will ever have that require an internet connection are MMOs, because, well, that's the point.

I'm not buying it (4, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367803)

As a long term Xbox user, I can safely say that between the need for an always on connection plus the blocking of 2nd hand games AND the increase of per game costs forecast, I'm not going to be buying their next gen Xbox any time soon if at all. I love the 360 but whatever the 720 gets called is a huge turn off for me because of these issues.

What about astronauts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367813)

I would have liked to see his response if a astronaut on the ISS said that he wont be able to get one due to connection issues... Would make a interesting read.

-AC-

The thing with these people ... (5, Interesting)

MacTO (1161105) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367817)

There are two things that bias the perspective of these business men.

The first is that they look at business models rather than what the consumers want, and try to shape the consumer to meet the needs of their business model. Their main interest, after all, is to make money. The best way to make money, reliably, is to have a plan and execute it. Selling a product without a plan is suicidal, particularly for large businesses that need to coordinate within their own structure and with third party developers and suppliers.

The second issue is that these business people know what their lives and interests are like, but they rarely understand the market as a whole. They have reliable high-speed internet because it is a function of their job, their lifestyle, and their income. They fail to consider that some people buy consoles because they live in rural locations and don't always have access to other forms of entertainment (or reliable, high-speed internet for that matter). They fail to realize that some people buy consoles because it is a relatively cheap form of entertainment, and may not be able to afford reliable high-speed internet. If the motivation is to kill off the second-hand game market, they fail to realize that even the big spenders use that to offset the cost of their entertainment. And that's just the stuff that would be easy for them to understand, because it is quantifiable. What about the stuff that is harder for them to understand because it isn't quantifiable, like privacy?

Hubris (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367829)

When a large company has success, everyone claims the success as their own. So every idiot making lousy decision thinks his choice resulted in the success even if the success was *despite* their choices.

He has that attitude. It's hubris, it's inappropriate when Microsoft is flailing so badly.

Too stupid to be in charge of anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367835)

Sorry but he's a fucking idiot, completely out of touch with his customers. There's no nice way to put it. Does he even understand the business he's in?

The majority of new games have Online Multiplayer (1)

ragethehotey (1304253) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367839)

So to a person in a position of power at Microsoft, this is a very straightforward progression to tie the game experience into some kind of server-side authentication scheme

Coming up with some anecdotes about how SOME people don't have the luxury of an always on internet connection does not change this

I am not defending DRM, but I do believe the next step the console industry will take is widespread single-use codes to lock out used games on top of the line Titles (because of the success EA has had with it on Madden), and that always-on DRM is still a little ways off from being the industry standard for everything

Not like a vacuum cleaner (1)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367841)

It's more like deciding to not buy a particular new-fangled hammer because the electricity sometimes goes out.

Because, you see.... a hammer doesn't actually need electricity to perform its function... and designing one that does simply for its own sake is more than just slightly ... uhmmm... stupid.

This guy is several shades of stupid... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367851)

First, using the 'Gee golly shucks, that's just the way the world is' argument when you are part of making the world that way is a smarmy cop-out.

Sure, it is realistic and pragmatic to deal with conditions that are not within your power to change. However, if you change the conditions and then tell anybody who protests to just be realistic, that's the way it is, as though the matter is somehow one of historical inevitability, you are a shirking little weasel.

Second, during the exchange screenshotted here [boingboing.net] he responds to the "some people's internet goes out" argument with "Electricity goes out too". Yup, no shit. However(as I hope some MS datacenter or operations people will be willing to take him into the hot aisle and beat into him with spare rack rails) Downtime is additive. If somebody says "Downtime source A exists." the correct answer is not "Oh yeah? Downtime source B also exists!". That isn't a refutation, that's just a confirmation that your uptime will potentially suffer from at least two weak links, rather than just one. Every system-critical component you add is a component that can reduce your uptime. 'Always on', just means that MS' datacenter operations and the customer's ISPs are now system-critical components.

Third, has this guy taken a look at any market penetration numbers for wireline broadband vs. cell-only users and console vs. PC gaming in less connected and/or poorer areas? Whether he likes it or not, Gaming, especially console gaming, is now cheap entertainment(per hour). It also requires minimal technical aptitude or interest, and has historically had low costs of entry and relatively low and flexible ongoing costs. Having adequate wireline broadband, by contrast, tends to require the sort of steady income and financial footing that allows you to keep on good terms with the phone or cable company each month, every month. Is he trying to alienate everyone who has some disposable income and a desire for amusement; but not enough income(or at least not enough stability) for wireline broadband, a golden retriever, and a white picket fence in the suburbs?

My vacuum will work long after your games (1)

linebackn (131821) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367873)

I bought my vacuum cleaner more than 10 years ago and I don't have to worry that it will suddenly stop working because some mega corp flips a switch and says I can't use it any more. I fully expect it to work for another 10 or more years if I take care of it.

Good luck using an internet DRMed game that long after release. I certainly wouldn't buy a vacuum cleaner if it could stop working like one of these games. You have to be pretty stupid to even buy something DRMed like that, but the world is full of stupid exploitable people.

Another "best and brightest" without a clue (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367911)

people with no internet connection, he suggested that they should get one, as it is 'awesome.'

Just because you make $100K+/year and live in an area which has decent broadband doesn't mean the rest of world does. When you make $40K/year, have a mortgage payment, maybe a kid or two, car loans, maybe student loans, having to pay anywhere from $70/month or higher for slow broadband is not high on ones priority.

This dismissive attitude, "I have it so it must be the best thing in the world!" is symptomatic of the tech culture. People who are glued to their screens as they check their Twitter feeds every ten seconds, Facebook updates every 30, and can't wait to stand in line for the latest and greatest gadget which will works .01% faster than the last gadget you bought six months ago, live in a wonderland world. They have no clue, nor understanding, of people who don't care one wit about tweeting their latest shit or posting their latest cute puppy picture.

It may be hard for those who are heavy tech users to understand, but there are large and vast numbers of people on this planet who don't give a flying fuck about what you're doing. Certainly some are technophobic, but a large portion of those people just don't care. The treadmill of upgrading equipment, having to figure out how to use the latest and greatest piece of crapware that some developer, or company, thought was the be all and end all, the relentless drone of having to be always connected or you're not living life to its fullest, doesn't appeal to them. They want to know: how is this useful to them (aside from online banking or research), yet no one can give them a good answer.

The usual response is something along the lines of, "You can keep in contact with your friends!" or, "You can find out where to eat before you get to some place." I guess it never occurs to people who have grown up on the pablum of technology that if one wants to communicate with friends they don't need to tweet, "We're coming over in 10 minutes! LOL" to communicate. A simple phone call or prearranged meeting is all that is necessary.

Further, one doesn't have to plan out where they're going to eat when they visit a place. Exploring can be fun in and of itself. Besides, if one wants to know where to eat, they can ask someone at a gas station or on the street. Granted, this means having to TALK to a LIVE HUMAN BEING, but that is one of the dangers we all must navigate.

If you don't get why people may not have an internet connection, let alone broadband, Mr. Orth, then that says all one needs to know about you and your company. You live in a fantasy land with only the barest of tendrils touching reality. Your deluded sense of self-importance is a shining example of what is wrong in tech, yet its lesson will go unheeded because if you're not connected, if you don't have the latest and greatest gadget, if you're not spending every waking moment staring at 3" screen, then you're a loser, right Mr. Orth?

Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367915)

He doesn't "get" his market, apparently.

They won't last long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367919)

what with increasing the cost of the platforms, increasing the cost of the games, binding them to 1 and only 1 device, making it so that you cannot lend your games to friends and get extra value from them, removing the first sale doctrine from physical sales, always on internet and drm...

Nope, neither new platform will last - once the angry mobs get ahold of them and the multitude of class-action and criminal lawsuits are filed - either the bad stuff will be turned off and go away, or the products will along with several hundred billion in penalties and damages...

Let them eat cake! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367933)

Just saying.

Games requiring a server that has been shut down? (1)

CambodiaSam (1153015) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367937)

Is there a list of single player games that required some type of server connection but has been shut down since introduction? The closest thing I can find is this:

http://mmohuts.com/editorials/mmo-graveyard [mmohuts.com]

It's not a perfect analogy since MMOs have a reasonable need for a connection to the server, unlike single player. It would be nice to reference whenever someone argues for always-on DRM.

My decision is made (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367939)

Well that makes my decision all the more simple. I won't be getting the next generation of X-Box............. I've heard that the PS4 is going to be pretty permissive (trade-able games, less restrictive DRM, etc). As long as they maintain that they've got a guaranteed sale to me.

Re:My decision is made (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43368011)

lol, sorry to burst your bubble - sony was the leader in disabling re-sale/trading of games. One activation per $80 surcharge...

The vacuum cleaner analogy is a good one... (1)

Entropius (188861) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367941)

... a vacuum cleaner is a simple device. It does a thing: it sucks up dirt. All of the fancy engineering bits are just there so that it can suck dirt better (which, incidentally, is why it requires electricity, although you can also buy battery-operated vacuum cleaners!) There are lots of sorts of vacuum cleaner, but they're all designed so that they do what you want better.

The problem with Microsoft's console isn't that it has to be plugged in all the time; it's that this requirement is there for the benefit of someone other than the customer.

Ugh. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367943)

I've never been a fan of the "PC Master Race" people, but fuck, the further we go, the more they seem to be technically right.
( I still don't care for their attitudes though :/ )
Consoles used to have the fact they were cheaper going for them, but that's hardly true anymore :/
On top of that, it's Microsoft. You know they're going to port most, if not all, of the games that do well to the Windows OS.
You know, their other product?

In related news... (1)

Kidbro (80868) | 1 year,19 days | (#43367949)

In related news, Queen Marie Antoinette asked her subjects to "Let them eat cake" when learning that her peasants lacked bread. When queried further on the subject, she elaborated: "they should get some, cakes are awesome!"

Get a new creative director (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43367953)

If the current creative director doesn't understand the current consumer mindset they can easily get another one that does...

Incompatible trends (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43368001)

The telcos/ISPs/whomever are trying to shrink our "allowance" of internetz per month, while the content providers are requiring us to ALWAYS be online. Doesn't anyone else see the rock and hardplace this is putting consumers between?

The question now is which group has the deeper pockets to shove money at the legislators to write the laws to go their way.

Either way, the consumer/constituency is screwed.

Ain't America grand?

you just don't get it ... (1)

l3v1 (787564) | 1 year,19 days | (#43368013)

I've seen so many of these you-just-don't-get-it people in- and outside of tech, and in all cases it is very angering. Even more so when people "in power" make such statements, showing they have absolutely no clue about what they're dealing with and in that instant you see how you and a lot of other people will s*ck big time because of these guys. While gaming-related always-on internet DRM is not something that would shake the world of all people, it is something to be worried about, since it contributes toward reaching that feared point in time where everything will require always-on DRM - and do believe in that will make your life miserable.

Specifically, in these always-on internet-based DRM schemes, what angers me most is that 1). you simply can't access content (in this case the game) if your connection has problems or - which is much more frequent - the provider of the content - e.g. the game servers - have problems, and 2). if the content provider decides they want to go out of businnes or release a new platform/content/game and close down the old one then there's nothing you can do. Basically your access to the content/game and your history is at the mecry of the provider and you can only access/play until they let you. This angers me much more than "simple" DRM.

All in all, the DRM everyone now sees to want to deploy everywhere is just not good, and it's definitely not nice or user friendly, at all.

I would say next, that if they want to remain in businness, they need to be more user friendly, but look out there and see that they still get enough users to be profitable, despite all the bad DRM schemes... Most average users/prople just don't know, and don't care enough to raise havoc about this, they just go along with it.
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