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Xbox One: No Always-Online Requirement, But Needs To Phone Home

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the ways-in-which-microsoft-is-like-ET dept.

XBox (Games) 395

An anonymous reader writes "The Xbox One was revealed earlier, and Kotaku was able to get some answers about the always-online rumors that plagued the console before its announcement. Microsoft VP Phil Harrison said Xbox One doesn't need a constant connection in order to play games, and you won't be dropped from single-player games if your connection cuts out. However, it does require check-ins with Microsoft servers. This echoes the Xbox One FAQ, which cryptically says, "No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet." The number Harrison gave was once every 24 hours, but Microsoft's PR department was quick to say that was just one potential scenario, not a certainty. Microsoft also provided half-answers about how used games and game sharing would work. Players will be able to take a game to a friend's house and play it (using their profile, at least). Players will also have some mechanism to trade and sell used games, but it's not yet clear exactly how it would work. If one player uses a disc to install a game on their Xbox One, then gives the disc to a friend, the friend will be able to install it, but needs to pay full price to play it. That scenario, however, assumes both players want to own the game — the second one would essentially be a unique copy. Microsoft said they have a plan for trading used games, which would involve deactivating the game on the original owner's console, but they aren't willing to elaborate yet." Several publications have hands-on reports with the new hardware: Engadget, Ars Technica, Gizmodo.

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That's a whole... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792499)

...load of crap !

Re:That's a whole... (4, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792615)

There was news that the new console will be able to sell your used games on the Xbox One.

I think the reason is Microsoft just wants to kill the secondhand market and gamestop and take money for themselves. I bet it's gonna be revealed and clarified that you can sell your license to the game on their marketplace and you earn a certain percentage (if they were nice it would be high like at least 70% but who knows) and you can only put that money back into the Xbox marketplace for a new game or whatever.

To stay on topic, I bet this is why it requires always online, license checking. If you sell your game but never go back online then you can have your cake and eat it too.

Re:That's a whole... (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792675)

Well, looks like developers finally found a way to drive GameStop and its ilk out of business. First they made it impossible to sell used PC games, now they've finally come for the used console games too.

DRM wins (4, Insightful)

witherstaff (713820) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792829)

I think Microsoft is starting a trend that Sony and Nintendo will continue as the market is ready for this. As consumers we've been programmed to accept that you can't trade anything digital. Buying anything on itunes, google play, or steam is a one time purchase, can't trade or even give away. Kindle lets you loan books - if the publisher allows - for a single short period. Get a book loaned to you but something comes up and can't read it in that window? Oh well out of luck!

Re:That's a whole... (4, Insightful)

JosKarith (757063) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792847)

In a time of global recession M$ decided to release their new platform burdened to the hilt with DRM? Wow - that's not so much shooting yourself in the foot as sticking a live grenade into your boot. Sales of this are gonna tank and they're going to be forced into a Win8 style climbdown.
Also, what happens if the authentication servers go down? My old house the internet connection would drop to virtually useless for days at a time due to Virgin's shoddy infrastructure and the 360 was the only thing left to use. If it has to dial home every day then that's pretty damn useless.

Re:That's a whole... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43793051)

Well, looks like developers finally found a way to drive GameStop and its ilk out of business. First they made it impossible to sell used PC games, now they've finally come for the used console games too.

Perhaps eventually, but I don't see Gamestop and "its ilk" going away anytime soon...not while the store is still stuffed to the walls with every console game that existed before this new model came about.

Hell, I still play Atari games. And the popularity of very simplistic 99-cent games on cell phones and tablets clearly define a market for cheap, simple entertainment. Not to mention the millions backing projects like the Ouya console.

The XBox One model will almost certainly alienate users and create a niche of hardcore gamers whom no matter what will pay, not unlike that same group exists today who pay XBox Live fees for what every other gaming console offers for free. However, we seem to be hung up on the fact that Microsoft or any other company really gives a shit that they're doing that. Perhaps they're not. That's the sad reality in the sheer numbers of customers today. The arrogance of companies defines their knowledge that they'll always have enough customers, no matter how bad we may think they pissed users off.

A gaming company knows gamers. Inside and out. They know the spending habits, and the addictive nature behind it that keeps driving them to spend hundreds. What we fail to realize as consumers is they really don't give a shit who they piss off, because the revenue is almost guaranteed. Kind of like Facebook charging upwards of $100 to send a single email to the Inbox.

I suppose 30 years ago no one ever thought there would be a market to put water in a bottle either...who the hell would ever PAY for water, right?

Re:That's a whole... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43793117)

If you buy the game on day one for 60 Euros, do you really think you'll get 70% off it three months later when you can pick it up 10?

It's not about making money by killing gamestop, it's about vendor lock-in.

That's the whole Microsoft business model. That's how they keep corporate clients, that's how they've built Windows 8 and the the whole Office suite. Etc etc etc.

The reason they're not releasing any details, is because they're testing the water, looking to see how people react.

Can i please have two? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792503)

More restrictions on the used game market, unknown "online requirements", what more would one want?

Re:Can i please have two? (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792701)

I tell you what I don't want: an Xbox One.

Re:Can i please have two? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792781)

That was clear to anyone who opposes locked down consoles that are infested by DRM long before this news hit us (just like with the PS4 and pretty much any other console).

Re:Can i please have two? (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792869)

(just like with the PS4 and pretty much any other major console).

FTFY, I'm pretty sure you didn't intend to lump the indi consoles like Ouya and game stick in with the big guys. I hate to make a "This is the year of" prediction, but I think some of the casual consoles will pick up a bit of steam with the crap Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are putting out.

Of course PC still reigns supreme in any case, especially with gaming becoming more common on Linux boxes.

Re:Can i please have two? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792821)

Yep. Thankfully I've built up a significant library of games for older systems. Enough to last the rest of my life. They can keep their crippled horseshit.

Re:Can i please have two? (4, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792923)

I think I may go back to PC gaming this generation. Those games are loaded with DRM too, but at least the games are cheap and developers are upfront about restrictions. I just really hate to go back to chasing that upgrade dragon.

Re:Can i please have two? (5, Interesting)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792837)

Unfortunately, million and millions of brainwashed masses will buy one; maybe even two. Nobody cares about privacy and the like anymore. I collected about a dozen or so links to real facts about Skype and the backdoors for Law Enforcement etc, and posted on many topics, nobody cares man. In fact they will attack you textually. They could announce right now that in order to use the Xbox One, you need an Always-on camera and a full time connection to a monitoring dept.; it would sell like hotcakes.

I've come to the conclusion that there is no hope for Humans and they completely ruin it for people who DO care about their privacy and other matters. So just let them have their fun and in the end it will bite them in the ass.

A camera in every living room (5, Interesting)

blarkon (1712194) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792513)

Xbox One includes and requires Kinect. This means that each Xbox One has an internet connected camera. In every living room, dorm room and bed room where someone places an Xbox One http://windowsitpro.com/blog/csi-effect-not-everyone-wants-kinect-camera-their-living-room [windowsitpro.com]

Re:A camera in every living room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792573)

So unplug the freaking thing

Re:A camera in every living room (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792627)

It requires it to be connected at all times.

Re:A camera in every living room (5, Funny)

andy.ruddock (821066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792669)

What does?

Turn it off, put it back in the box and return it to the retailer - tell them you'd like your money back because you're too stupid to own a computer.

Re:A camera in every living room (2)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792929)

Is there a citation for this? I'd be intrigued to see the justification as to why Kinect is necessary for the system to function.

Re:A camera in every living room (5, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792585)

Xbox One includes and requires Kinect. This means that each Xbox One has an internet connected camera. In every living room, dorm room and bed room where someone places an Xbox One http://windowsitpro.com/blog/csi-effect-not-everyone-wants-kinect-camera-their-living-room [windowsitpro.com]

Good thing they make a highly sophisticated camera disabling device [amazon.com] . The bigger concern is, if the console is voice activated to turn on, is the audio recorder always on?

Re:A camera in every living room (3, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792707)

Presumably, you can turn it off from the console. But you, of course, have to take MS's word that it's really off.

Re:A camera in every living room (5, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792773)

Presumably, you can turn it off from the console. But you, of course, have to take MS's word that it's really off.

Unless you, you know, unplug it.

Re:A camera in every living room (2, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792953)

And miss out on all those great ads splashed on top of your cable signal? No way! ;-)

Re:A camera in every living room (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792971)

That's assuming that the camera wouldn't error out for some reason if it can't detect anything other than the electrical tape. From the sounds of the presentation they gave, the microphone would have to be on when the Xbox One is plugged in for the voice activated âoeinstant onâ to work correctly so I'm assuming that it's always listening.

The bigger question would be if it can record anything or if there is a backdoor to access it.

Re:A camera in every living room (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792603)

I imagine this will cause masking tape sales to jump to the levels of hat-grade tin foil.

Insight (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792633)

Maybe before we rush to adopt a camera in every living room we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives.

Re:Insight (2)

andy.ruddock (821066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792687)

That's sharp!

Re:Insight (5, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792735)

What really should worry people is the possibility of someone figuring out how to hack it. Or some MS employee realizing that he now has a limitless supply of free dorm room pron.

Re:Insight (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792845)

You're thinking too small, man. If CISPA goes through, the government can then legally compel MS to secretly hand over surveillance in the interest of "National Security". Just so happens they have a camera and mic in living room / bedrooms, bought and paid for by the consumer. Must be online regularly if you want to use it even for single player games.

I've never made a tinfoil hat before, but I do believe I'm adding a large roll of aluminum to the shopping list.

Re:Insight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792871)

figuring out how to hack it ... limitless supply of free dorm room pron

That's exactly what I want! This might be the best thing ever!

Re:Insight (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792979)

I just hope the hot girl in the apartment next door is an Xbox fan.

Re:Insight (2)

JosKarith (757063) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792885)

(M$ admin) : Remote activation of suspect's Xbox camera in 5...4...3...
(FBI agent) : Why the hell didn't we think of this years ago? Scr3w warrantless wiretapping statues...

Re:Insight (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792855)

That's a great Insight [xkcd.com] , you must be really wise, thanks for addressing my biggest anxieties.

Re:Insight (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793025)

You're like the kid at the magic show that goes around pointing out how the magician did all his tricks. Thanks for ruining the show.

Re:Insight (1)

wertigon (1204486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793079)

Hey, every guy (and gal) needs a hobby! :D

Re:Insight (2)

RomanH (857801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792879)

You must be wise

Re:Insight (3, Insightful)

sesshomaru (173381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792983)

Sounds like someone doesn't like their Telescreen....

Re:A camera in every living room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792665)

"This means that each Xbox One has an internet connected camera. In every living room, dorm room and bed room where someone places an Xbox One http://windowsitpro.com/blog/csi-effect-not-everyone-wants-kinect-camera-their-living-room"... .. or probably two internet-connected cameras, since laptops already come with these things.

This will not END WELL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792517)

This will not END WELL.

Regards,
Yaboi

Re:This will not END WELL. (2)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792721)

Yes, it will. People will still buy millions of these. The minor segment of population who actually cares about DRM/privacy will buy one too because everyone else has one.

Explanation (5, Funny)

puddingebola (2036796) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792535)

The games do not require an always-on internet connection, provided that the user first supplies a blood sample and a retinal scan and wears a special microchip implanted in his/her skin. The special microchip must always be within contact of a wifi connection, and not doing so voids the warranty on your XBox. You are free to sell used games to your friends, but after doing so, you are required to provide their name and address to Microsoft so that they can hunt them down and kill them and destroy the existing copy of the game.

Re:Explanation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792595)

Humm... I think I will stick with the Wii U, then.

Re:Explanation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792771)

Well, somebody has to.

Why? (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792555)

How about making a straight forward good old console. Why do we need to have all consoles internet active and DRM locked, what ever happened to the rocking systems like the NES ans SNSES?

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792611)

you can make more money by being evil and doing stuff like this?

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792851)

More accurately, it is easy to see how to make money being evil and doing stuff like this. When was the last time you saw customers actually reject an evil product? We, the consumers, make evil the low-risk option.

Re:Why? (2)

quantumphaze (1245466) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792657)

The NES and SNES aren't so innocent since they still had the form of DRM known as region locking. The PAL/NTSC limitation is complete bullshit when the digital game ROM has no analog video signalling components.

At least my old games still work on those old consoles. The future is pretty bleak as to the longevity of current games with activation servers going offline after they become an expense. Cracking teams are our only hope of preserving our gaming history.

Re:Why? (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792729)

Fair enough, your right! Region locking was a pain in the ass but you never had to worry about your internet being down or buying a used game. Everything just worked, you might of had to blow in the cartage a few times but that was part of the magic of the system.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43793085)

Consider 1990 vs Today, 20 years later. Intel 80486 was released in 89. Palm was born and died - original palm released in 96. Compare (S)NES vs PS1, PS2, XBox, XBox360... hell compare it against the DS. Google, Facebook, twitter, etc weren't even a twinkle in their parents eyes. IE6 was released in 2001.

The "Good Ole Days" aren't coming back for a good reason. They are obsolete and the memories shine because of all the misery you've forgotten about those years.

Anyone who sold a game system like the (S)NES today would be relegated to niche status. Without all the bells and whistles, people will stick to Facebook and iPhone/Android games.

Re:Why? (2)

havana9 (101033) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793001)

The PAL/NTSC limitation is complete bullshit when the digital game ROM has no analog video signalling components.

I'm not sure about NES, but PAL and NTSC Commodore 64 have different clock speeds and the vertcal blank is at different frequencies, so on some games the timing is wrong or some video tricks aren't working.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792709)

C(r)apitalism.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792793)

What, you mean you don't want your console to put an annoying kludgy overlay on top of your cable box?!?!?!? Don't you want your living room filled with the magic of MS ads?!?!?!?

You people are so ungrateful. Here MS is kind enough to allow you to pay $50 a year for the privilege of paying Netflix $8 a month to watch movies, and THIS is how you repay them?! Ingrates!

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43793003)

(S)NES? Really? Consoles released in 85/90?

You are talking about consoles that existed before the internet as we know it. Before high speed internet access. Before DVDs (1995)/Blurays. Before XP (2001). Before GPS (1995). Before cell phones.

With Torrents and inexpensive burners (DVD/BluRay) ALONE, can you really blame a company for trying to protect their investments? There is a difference between acceptable DRM (Steam) and unacceptable DRM (Sims always on, Sony Rootkits, Starforce drivers that break computers). Where does X1 stand on the scale? We have yet to see, but you are blind if you think that any company will put THIS much investment without some sort of protection. (Or do you really think that someone should be able to simply rip/copy/burn games with no barriers?)

What happened to "Simple" systems like (S)NES? The same thing that happened to the phone booth, dial up, palm and the horse and buggy. The world has moved on and continues to do so.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

darkstar949 (697933) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793067)

The problem is that when I pull out my old PSOne I can put the disk in and sit down and play a game without any issues where as with the newer consoles if you have online activation the life cycle of that game is tired to the activation servers which might be turned off a year after the game came out. Since a lot of people that grew up with the NES, SNES, and similar systems are now having children of their own, they can sit down with their kids and introduce them to a game that they enjoyed as a child. Will the children that grew up with the Xbox One be able to do the same thing? For that matter, a year or two after you played a game would you even still be able to play it if you wanted to?

Re:Why? (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793039)

How about making a straight forward good old console. Why do we need to have all consoles internet active and DRM locked, what ever happened to the rocking systems like the NES ans SNSES?

If you ever saw that stupid blinking red light when trying to boot a game, you encountered a DRM-related problem on your NES.

Whenever the NES boots, its internal CIC (authentication) chip tries to do a handshake with the matching CIC chip in the cartridge. If it fails, then it goes into an endless reboot cycle (that blinking red light. This process is very sensitive to dirt or other contaminants on the connectors. Making matters worse, instead of using a standard card edge connector, they used a weird ZIF-like connector which was very unreliable. This was for marketing reasons, because they didn't want it to look like a game console (these had a bad reputation after the 1983 video game crash [wikipedia.org] ).

This DRM was aimed at unlicensed publishers, but it often affected end users as collateral damage. Nintendo wanted a cut of third-party game sales, and was also concerned that a flood of crappy third-party titles had helped precipitate the 1983 crash.

The game data itself was, fortunately, not encrypted in any way – they figured that the cartridge form factor would be enough to deter casual copying, and for the most part they were right.

The original Japanese Famicom didn't have any of this crap, and neither did the top-loading NES that was released in the early 1990s.

Anon plays a game on the new Xbox (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792563)

http://i.imgur.com/inXnRfO.png

In other news (3, Informative)

quantumphaze (1245466) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792571)

Sony's stock jumps 9% [nowgamer.com] during Xbox One announcement.

False... (5, Informative)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792747)

Sony's stock jumps 9% [nowgamer.com] during Xbox One announcement.

From
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-21/sony-jumps-on-report-company-weighs-entertainment-spinoff.html [bloomberg.com]

Sony Corp. (6758) rose as much as 9.2 percent in the U.S after Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported the company is “leaning toward” spinning off its entertainment division.

Re:In other news (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792807)

Yeah, but does Sony have a Halo TV series? I think not!

Steam for comparison (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792583)

Steam has been reported to work offline for weeks at a time. If the Xbox One really can't stay in offline mode for more than 24 hours, it just makes the Steam Box that much more likely to succeed.

Re:Steam for comparison (1, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792663)

Steam still needs to be online to activate new purchases, even if you buy them in a brick and mortar store AFAIK.

Of course there's nothing saying Valve can't change this if they want to make Steambox more attractive to the internet-less.

Re:Steam for comparison (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792785)

Of course there's nothing saying Valve can't change this if they want to make Steambox more attractive to the internet-less.

Nothing, that is, except their business model.

Re:Steam for comparison (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792893)

Steam still needs to be online to activate new purchases, even if you buy them in a brick and mortar store AFAIK.

Of course there's nothing saying Valve can't change this if they want to make Steambox more attractive to the internet-less.

Valve can not change this without eliminating what DRM they have. As such, they will not change this. Look for all consoles of the future to go this direction.

Re:Steam for comparison (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792667)

Steam has been reported to work offline for weeks at a time. If the Xbox One really can't stay in offline mode for more than 24 hours, it just makes the Steam Box that much more likely to succeed.

...The XBox One also makes the XBox 360 look like open source.

I'm pleased that I won't have to replace my 360 any time soon - there are too many uncertainties to jump in feet first into a new platform with new games and no backwards compatibility.

Re:Steam for comparison (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792907)

I'm pleased that I won't have to replace my 360 any time soon - there are too many uncertainties to jump in feet first into a new platform with new games and no backwards compatibility.

That's what I thought about my Wii. But since the latest system update and Netflix update, I'm getting those hard lockups where the Wii makes a horrible air horn noise. (Thanks, Nintendo!) It's almost as if they snuck a classic Wii-killing function into the latest update. I opened up the Wii using a guide and made sure there was no dust in it, and there really wasn't. I hope the fan is just dying or something...

I've had to repair my 360 as well, the optical drive went tits up so I replaced it, doing the logic board swap so that I didn't have to mess with key extraction. Just a small handful of solder points and I'm off and running. That is, after getting into the @#%@!!# case. Even the Wii was easier. The classic Xbox is like opening a Mac II by comparison.

I'm playing the game, not playing Steam (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792787)

So why the hell should I have to be online at all at any time for Steam, since that's not what I'm buying to play, I'm buying a game to play.

It's a second agreement I must agree with to a third party not producing the thing I wanted to buy that if I disagree with ensures I cannot play the thing I wanted to play and paid money for.

If the game is multiplayer and I must connect to the internet to do so, then there's a reason for internet connection. If the game has multiplayer modes and single player, connecting to the internet for the multiplayer is reasoned, but needing to to play the single player mode is not.

But if I disagree with Steam's terms, or if the terms change on either and I disagree with the change, why am I denied the thing I wanted to do, ESPECIALLY if it's something I wasn't buying in the first place that is stopping me (i.e. Steam)?

This is why Steam is a non-starter and will ALWAYS be a non-starter for many people.

It's why GoG.com will make sales and why Valve gives huge breaks on people agreeing to exclusivity on Steam: so that GoG can't get the triple-A titles, ensuring that they're not widely known and are starved of recognition. Same reason Microsoft wanted exclusive deals that banned Netscape installed on any PCs.

No Sale (5, Insightful)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792589)

So if you have to install games to your Xbox ZERO or "deactivate" them to sell them, why bother with a console at all, just get a PC...

Re: No Sale (2)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792865)

I guess you realise Steam, Origin etc are the same, only with no option to sell at all?

Re:No Sale (1)

mean revision (2542028) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793053)

Yes, the principle reason that I play console games is they are easy to rent or buy used.

All of the other features might be nice to have, but I don't see many people buying an XBox to get them since there are perfectly good media streamers for a fraction of the price. It's games first and foremost.

Games are not played in the living room (5, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792593)

If Microsoft want to make a home media device for use in people's main living rooms, that's fine. It's actually quite a good idea. But such a device cannot be principally viewed as a games console.

I don't know about the rest of you, but aside from the occasional multiplayer split screen session, I play console games on a dedicated screen, either in a bedroom or computer room. I cannot play a game in a main living room, on a screen which in in demand by others for watching TV, films, or even browsing the internet. It's nice that this device can do so much, but flipping "channels" to whatever everyone else wants to watch is not conducive to the 4-6 hour gaming sessions I would like to have.

Maybe they're going for the complete casual gaming market here, people who will flick over to Angry Birds or whatever. But even the most passé of run-of-the-mill gamers is going to spend an hour or so playing shooters online, and are not going to be inclined to flip over to daytime TV, or browse the web in the middle of their frag session. I just cannot see this working en masse.

Some may call it anti-social, but to me playing video games is closer to reading a book than watching TV; it's principally an individual experience, and the living room is not the place to have it unless you are specifically playing co-op. I don't think Microsoft are serious about the Xbox One as a gaming console. It appears to be principally oriented around completely orthogonal capabilities.

Re:Games are not played in the living room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792761)

I don't know about the rest of you, but aside from the occasional multiplayer split screen session, I play console games on a dedicated screen, either in a bedroom or computer room. I cannot play a game in a main living room, on a screen which in in demand by others for watching TV, films, or even browsing the internet. It's nice that this device can do so much, but flipping "channels" to whatever everyone else wants to watch is not conducive to the 4-6 hour gaming sessions I would like to have.

They are probably assuming one of two major scenarios: that you will put it in a bedroom or computer room, or, that the principal buyers will be bachelors living alone who have no problems like contention for a living room.

Re:Games are not played in the living room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792767)

...I cannot play a game in a main living room, on a screen which in in demand by others for watching TV, films, or even browsing the internet. It's nice that this device can do so much, but flipping "channels" to whatever everyone else wants to watch is not conducive to the 4-6 hour gaming sessions I would like to have.

Maybe they're going for the complete casual gaming market here...

Yes, or perhaps they're finding that not catering to the gaming addicts would still benefit them, as it would target the other 90% of their customers who can manage to play games on the main HDTV in the living room without pissing everyone else off for hours on end.

Just a thought...

Re:Games are not played in the living room (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792935)

AC's got a point. If you don't like it, don't buy it. The most hard-core gaming is, and will always be, on your own rig using the very latest and most expensive components.

But don't be surprised, or get into a hissy-fit rant on the Internet, just because there exist multitudes of people who are casual gamers and would rather not drop a couple grand and spend days or weeks configuring a system that only gets them better graphics and frame rates. Some people simply don't care about such things.

Get a Wii U (2)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793103)

Get a Wii U, then you can play on the main TV and allow others to watch TV without interrupting your session.

What's it *really* cost? (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792607)

What's the real price going to be? You know, the one after you factor in whatever they're charging for Xbox Live this time around, in order to do what every other system on the planet lets you do for free. If they expect me to pay them for multiplayer gaming this time around, they're living in a fantasy land.

This unveiling was so vague and missing information that it's truly impressive. It's like Microsoft knows their answers are going to piss people off, so they're just avoiding giving details at all.

TBH the entire presentation was highly unimpressive. The people listening were core gamers, and Microsoft totally ignored them in favor of "hey look at Kinect moving the TV window around and bringing up a browser!"

Re:What's it *really* cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792801)

What's the real price going to be? You know, the one after you factor in whatever they're charging for Xbox Live this time around, in order to do what every other system on the planet lets you do for free. If they expect me to pay them for multiplayer gaming this time around, they're living in a fantasy land.

I guess that silly pointless XBox live thing will just sit in beta with its 17 users then. Clearly there's no point in a company charging for that. Obviously no one will ever pay it.

Speaking of fantasy land, perhaps you should join us back here in the land of reality and established revenue streams before you start making your demands.

Re:What's it *really* cost? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792933)

If they expect me to pay them for multiplayer gaming this time around, they're living in a fantasy land.

I feel the same way, but many people don't. And since games using Live will be able to use Azure to run servers, at least you're finally getting something for your money. In theory.

This unveiling was so vague and missing information that it's truly impressive. It's like Microsoft knows their answers are going to piss people off, so they're just avoiding giving details at all.

Which is why after the announcement, Sony stock is up and Microsoft stock is down slightly.

Soooo.... (0)

DeathToBill (601486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792619)

How long before HTC starts the trademark infringement action?

Re:Soooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792939)

As long as it takes the HTC executives to lose their brains.

Re:Soooo.... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792955)

How long before HTC starts the trademark infringement action?

Right after Keanu Reaves.

Why does it "need" to phone home? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792637)

It's no good saying "It doesn't have to be always connected to the internet", but why the hell does it *need* to phone home AT ALL?

It's like saying for the OEM mass market Windows9 OS that it has to log in to a Windows AD controller on another machine. If they've made it that it must get its configuration on boot-up for a user to log in from an AD controller, then the fact is that it DOES need to connect to one.

What's missing is WHY they made it have to do that and could not make it so that the OS *could* join an AD domain, but didn't *have* to.

I can see from their point why: they sell another OS license and an AD license (in this fictitious case). And they can make up what benefit you get (you can have a roaming account that is the same for your laptop, MS Phone, Desktop, tablet and XBox), but that doesn't explain why these "features" are *must have*.

Re:Why does it "need" to phone home? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792745)

steam has to call home.

Re:Why does it "need" to phone home? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792899)

Neither of these "have" to call home, but they've been programmed that way because every large entity these days, be it government or corporations, are a bunch of paranoid control freaks who jump at any chance to reduce your liberties while lining their own pockets.

Vote no to this crap with your wallet, and let your voice be heard. These animals won't ever understand until it hits their bottom line.

It also allows for "offloading" of processing (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792649)

Anyone remember that EA bullshit about SimCity needed to "offload" some of it's processing (which was proven false [kotaku.com.au] by a hacker later)? Well, one of the things they mentioned specifically at the announcement yesterday was that the Xbox One would feature this capability (they bragged as if it was a good thing). And with them highlighting EA as a partner, you can bet you'll see plenty of One games that require always-online connections, to connect to EA servers for "processing."

Re:It also allows for "offloading" of processing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43792769)

Now that you mention EA, their recent move to drop online pass is starting to make a lot more sense, consoles will do it for them.

Why not just own it? (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792741)

Why can't you just buy it, and own it, and use it how you like? Or... not buy the damn thing. It's supposed to be entertainment, not work, not some sort of interactive customer experience with Microsoft.

Nothing to make me want to "upgrade" from 360 (1)

sorensenbill (1931240) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792797)

I've been following this closely and so far there's nothing that makes me want to get this over a 360. Between the vague answers on the new DRM scheme and the vaguer answers on used games I'm just not sold yet. If they keep the current DRM from 360 which I find to be mostly transparent and the current used game model I'll consider buying one. The live NFL games with on screen fantasy sound like it could be fun. However I haven't seen confirmation that it works without a cable subscription yet or if it's an extra charge on top of the Gold membership.

Similar to a Directv receiver (2)

sunking2 (521698) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792841)

I haven't read up on it but I would guess it is for the same reasoning. For Directv it was because if you weren't hooked up you couldn't use the PPV and some other pay as you go options. Being specific about why just ads confusion when dealing with millions of people, so they blanket it and say you need to be connected either by phone in the old days, or internet at all times whether you care about these things or not. Not ever doing PPV I've not cared and have technically broken their rules by not being connected to them for 15 years and it still does everything I want. My guess for the XBox is they want to be able to keep current on what their offerings from a TV aspect are. You may get annoying messages, but I doubt it'll be come unusuable as a whole if you don't connect. That would be a nightmare for them.

They just had to ruin it (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792943)

All they had to do was make the installation process work just like it does on the 360 where you have to put the DVD in on start up to prove you own a copy or have physical possession of one. They could have improved on that for convenience simply by making a feature to tie it to your profile and require the Internet for that. That way, the worst that could happen is two gamers share the same disk.

Get over it (-1, Troll)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792949)

I am kind of tired of this. I mean, the whining about something that you know is not an issue for 99% of people out there.

First, one of the prized features of the Xbox platform is the Xbox Live services. You know, those services that match you up in games with friends and offers social and multimedia feature. YOU KNOW, the service that requires an internet connection.

Second, pick up ANY smartphone or tablet and realize these devices are constantly online. You may not need to be online to play, but the online services are there in the background making sure your Tweets and Facebook followers are aware of what you are up to and you are kept informed of the world.

I know that in that RARE circumstance where there might be an internet outage or you take your Xbox One to the cottage and want to play some games on a rainy day might be a bummer if the game won't let you on because it can't phone home, but I doubt that will be an issue for most people out there.

So, its about people being naive and rebelling against a feature that, guess what, you have been supporting for the lat 8 years anyways everytime you turn on the Xbox360 and its signs you into the Live cloud.

Re:Get over it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43793105)

There are issues involving travel to remote areas, such as American suburbs in the Midwest. Internet access there is limited in speed and availability. Disclaimer: A friend of mine lives in northern Arkansas, we both loved Halo and talked about it a lot, but never could play together. I later found out that his lack of connectivity isn't particularly unusual for the area.

Re:Get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43793135)

People are mad that they can't share games and have Kinect always listening/watching. People are also annoyed when the inevitable day comes that the servers go down and you can't play your offline, single player game because of it...or just your unreliable internet provider fails you and you can't play your offline, single player game because of it.

But whatever, people will voice their opinion with their wallets.

Well, fuck that ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43792997)

So the system is built to work even if your Internet connection goes down, but you still have to be connected at least once a day to use it, according to Harrison. We're not sure exactly what would happen if you don't connect once per day - and that timeframe could change - but this doesn't sound good for anyone who was hoping to use Xbox One without an Internet connection.

No, not happening. The last update I took on my current Xbox changed the screen the awful thing it is now, and introduced ads -- both in games and in the home screen. That's why my current Xbox isn't connected to the network and never will be again.

I will connect it to the network when and if I choose, but if it requires the ability to call home once/day, it's simply not happening.

Microsoft may have visions of this being my entertainment center of the future, but it won't be. And if it is going to require this ability to connect to the internet at will (and from the sounds of it when I even have it turned off due to this low power napping), then this is a non-starter for me.

Microsoft needs to clarify some of this, because the chances of me replacing my current Xbox 360 with something which demands it be able to access the internet when it chooses is pretty much zero.

I don't care about the TV integration, I don't care about the skype integration, I don't care about the web integration, I don't care about enhanced sports watching ... I care about one thing, single player games with no internet requirement. This isn't it.

Now I'm more likely to buy another XBox360 as a spare so I can keep playing the games I have now, but I won't be buying this.

Microsoft (3, Funny)

MemoryDragon (544441) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793035)

"Where should I screw our customers today?"

Middleman (2)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793075)

My guess is that Microsoft is Angry that other companies are making money off the Internet and that they plan on putting a stop to that. This box will probably do its damnedest to charge people to access Netflix, Hulu, and the like. I am also willing to bet that MS is looking at the catastrophic failure of the Wii U with relief as it won't be a competitor instead of the correct way which is in sheer terror that it foretells their own fate if they don't get this perfectly right.

I am not looking forward to the new XBOX that much. My timeline for buying one will be around 2015 and getting a used one. There is a long list of games for my existing XBOX to keep me amused for quite some time. I am looking forward to whatever Valve comes up with and every now and then amuse myself with something on one of my mobile devices.

And there lies the rub. MS probably thinks they are going to do battle with the PS4. I bet their charts don't really show how shattered the whole market is. Does MS realize that one of their competitors is Netflix? The gaming market is part of a larger market called entertainment. People have an entertainment budget and will spend it on different things of which console gaming is just one possible thing. This is something the movie and TV industries have learned the hard way when console gaming vastly reduced people's appetite/budget for network television and movies.

So as MS realizes that people want to do other things with their money and Televisions I suspect that MS will pathetically try to position their console in between people and what they want in order to collect some rent. I love when companies pull this sort of stunt because I always enjoy the show when fantasy crashes into and is steamrolled by reality.

Everything is an iPhone! (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793095)

I seriously think the people running Microsoft have completely lost their mind. Every one of their core consumer software products -- other than MS Office -- has turned into a lame iOS clone. Exactly why do they they people buy a smartphone, a laptop, a desktop, a tablet or a gaming console? Do they seriously think people want the same capabilities everywhere? I understand the idea, and in theory is quite elegant. But it's just not reality. It's like a cafeteria that serves up salisbury steak, corn, fruit medley, and chocolate pudding with RC Cola to drink every day for all three meals. Allergic to corn? Too bad. Vegetarian? Too bad. Want diet soda? Too bad. Want breakfast? Too bad. This is what our product does, and it does it exactly this way, and you have no choice and no options. It does everything our marketing team says you want, so if you want something else you must be doing something wrong. Honestly that would work just fine for most people I know that didn't grow up playing on computers and with video games. It seems unbelievably dense to try that now as first gen computer kids are in their 40s.

I think the final nail for the XBox One is the BS for playing used games, since this also means that you can't borrow games from your friends (unless, get this, *you* sign in on your friend's console and play under *your* profile). Couple that with the fact that it seriously damages the secondary market -- who doesn't know someone who recycles games they're done with into credit for the next game -- and there's very little incentive to choose the XBox One over the PS4.

Game sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43793109)

That means that if i have 2 xbox in separate location i cannot bring my games anymore . :(

i wont pay two time for the full games

Hackers will crack this to hell and back (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793131)

Microsoft is completely stupid by doing that. If I cant loan a friend the game, then I'll support all hackers from cracking their system and pirating the hell out of the games.

Microsoft deserves to lose big time for this, as well as all game devs that support such a platform.

Dropped the ball again? (2)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about a year and a half ago | (#43793143)

So we get a $500 voice activated remote for the tv. Cool.

Don't really want one.

On the other hand, for those gamers that detest the controller and only game on the PC... why on earth not install a keyboard option? Or are a few million more customers not worth it? I would think that even if the keyboard was proprietary they'd increase sales by a huge margin.

The most annoying thing on the planet is typing on a console/smart phone/tablet keyboard.

Buying a videogame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43793149)

Nowadays, buying a video game is a lot like buying real state, so many rules and regulations, do's and dont's.

Fuck that shit!!

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