WhyFi: is being “always online” really that bad?

Is it really that bad? A console that requires an online connection to function is in the works, and the world of gamers are in disarray as to what mad antics gave birth to this preposterous idea. But really, is it that preposterous? The yet to be announced Xbox 720 has been rumored for a while now to require an internet connection, I would even go so far as to say its 90% confirmed save for the actual word of mouth from Microsoft themselves. There was a little scuffle a while back where Microsoft’s Creative Director, Adam Orth called up on all gamers to “deal with it”, amongst other semi-rude things, the potty-mouthing ended in a firing, sadly.

Back to the actual topic, Adam Orth had a point with one of his sarcastic comments “I won’t buy a vaccuum cleaner because the powers sometimes goes out”. The keyword to note there is “sometimes”. Just because the cellphone service providers black out in tunnels or remote areas, doesn’t really mean people are going to give up on buying the latest iPhone, no, right! The point to be made here is that just because the internet will be choppy and I don’t know, goes out sometimes due to whatever reason, doesn’t mean that the Xbox 720 won’t be worth buying. More than often, the games that we buy include a multiplayer aspect; once the single-player fun runs out, multiplayer is something everyone turns to. Guess what doesn’t work without an internet connection? That’s right, multiplayer. Which, by the way, is available on every console.

Even if multiplayer and internet connections aren’t really your thing, unless you’re living in the hills and come down to join society every decade or so, you probably own a mobile phone, some sort of computer, maybe even cable tv and perhaps your own iPad or other electronic notebook. If this is the case, the argument can be made that you’re already “always connected”. Most people that can afford a console nowadays are also locked in contract with one provider or another for a mobile phone plan, be it out of your parents or your very own pocket. You’re more than likely going to have some sort of data usage there, to check your email or whatever. Since Facebook took the number one spot from most one place spent while on the internet from the previous champion (Porn), we now know that a vast majority of the public are online for Facebook, Twitter or YouTube reasons.

Really, think about it, how much of your time do you spend on the internet while using a computer? If the internet went out, would you cease from using/buying computers? The iPad you own is essentially a laptop version of a laptop, and there is absolutely nothing on there to do without the internet, it’s basically “always on”.

If you don’t posses an internet connection, you’re either a) not reading this or b) not using a phone, console, PC or c) not concerned with this whole “always online” thing. If you belong to any of these, I can understand why you don’t want to buy the Xbox 720, hell I don’t want to buy the Xbox 720 unless they do something drastic to change my mind, but the reason is not because it’ll be “always online”. In fact, my PS3 is “always online”, when I’m not connected, I tend to just feel isolated from the world and most of the gaming I do is with friends, requiring me to be online.

So yes, if you have a crappy internet connection that barely works, then go ahead and feel free to not buy a next-gen Xbox, but if you game and use the multiplayer and online sectors of the console, what are you going to lose by having an “always online” console? You’re basically already always connected anyway, why not add another medium?

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3 responses to “WhyFi: is being “always online” really that bad?

  1. I don’t have a problem with always on. I have a problem if I always HAVE to be online. What would happen if I’m somewhere that doesn’t have internet or has slow internet? I’ve lived places where the fastest you could get was 1Mb MAX. My Xbox would not stay online if someone else was on the computer watching a youtube video. Also, what would happened to people somewhere that didn’t have any internet at all? Like anyone who’s in the military and is deployed? They take Xbox and PS3’s out there but there isn’t always internet. Okay, last one, what would happen if my internet went out for a couple of days (it does happen) , so now I pretty much have a brick in my house. As I originally stated, I don’t have a problem with always on, I have a problem if it’s mandated. Look at epic fail moments like the SIMS and Diablo III? What happened when the Xbox network went down as well? I couldn’t get to any of my saved games in the cloud. That doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s mighty inconvenient when it does. Enough to make me not want to purchase it.

    • You have a point with people who are deployed, and people who live in places where the connection is so bad that if two people are using the internet, the online function of the console would not work, so I see where you’re coming from and in that case I would not buy an online console like the next-box. Like I said I do believe that there are exceptions to this “always online” theory.

      Although if the internet cuts out every now and then where I live, I don’t think I would go about not buying an “always online” console just because I can’t play it “sometimes”, providing that the features that come with this “always online” aspect are good enough, but thats a whole new topic.

      And yes, epic fails like Sims and Diablo have probably cemented my future with Sony in fear of how the always online Xbox might fare. All I’m saying is that the prospect, if done right, isn’t so bad. I mean we are after all connected via other devices more or less around the clock.

      • I have no argument with you there. I agree with you that if done right it could be an awesome achievement and in the future I’m positive that it WILL happen, it’s just a matter of time. I’m just waiting for something more solid before I jump on that boat is all I’m saying.

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