Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Was Xbox 720's "Always On" Demand Confirmed on Twitter?

By - Source: Videogamer | B 106 comments

The Xbox 720's "always on" requirement may have been confirmed on Twitter in a conversation between Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth and BioWare designer Manveer Heir.

On Thursday in interesting conversation broke out on Twitter between two staff members from Microsoft Studios and BioWare after Kotaku reported that Xbox Infinity (720) will require an Internet connection to load games. An unnamed source told the site that if there isn't a connection, then apps and games cannot start. If the console is disconnected while an app or game is in use, they will be suspended after three minutes and the console will go into network troubleshooting mode.

The news shouldn't be surprising. Publishers like Electronic Arts and Gameloft require an Internet connection to verify the validity of an installed app on a tablet and smartphone even after the customer has downloaded all the necessary bulk files once the smaller, base app is installed. If you're on a plane flying across the nation without a Wi-Fi connection, these apps are useless.

Unfortunately, DRM rules the digital world in which we now live thanks to piracy. That's the stance Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth took after Kotaku's report went live and the tide of negative feedback began to wash through the industry.

"Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an 'always on' console," he tweeted, presumably talking about rumors of an Internet requirement for Xbox Infinity. "Every device now is 'always on'. That's the world we live in. #dealwithit."

This comment didn't seem to sit well with BioWare designer Manveer Heir who jumped on Twitter to retaliate. "Did you learn nothing from Diablo III or SimCity?" he said. "You know some people's internet goes out right? Deal with it is a shitty reason."

Orth then pointed out in several comments that, just like an Internet connection, the electricity can go out as well as a wireless carrier's signal. "Sometimes the electricity goes out. I will not purchase a vacuum cleaner. The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will not buy a mobile phone."

Meanwhile, Heir continued his stance by acknowledging that while Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle are highly congested, highly connected areas, towns like Janesville, WI or Blacksburg, VA aren't quite as saturated with Internet coverage, making it hard for many potential customers to meet the Internet requirement. "Gamers live in non-urban areas too," he wrote.

He makes a good point. By imposing an "always on" requirement, Microsoft may be missing out on a large market of gamers who simply don't have that kind of access to the Internet. Unfortunately, Orth has seemingly verified the "always on" rumor, thus the new Xbox Infinity may be out of reach for many gamers this holiday season.

Later on, both apologized for their online banter on Twitter, saying that the back and forth comments are the norm for the two developers. "You should know we [Heir and Orth] are good friends who joke around with one another," Heir said. "Don't read too much into our back & forth... All those tweets you are seeing about the city being superior. That's him just trolling me. And I fell for it. Don't bust his balls on that."

Orth has now protected his Twitter account so that only confirmed followers can see what he writes. Meanwhile, The Workshop Entertainment Senior Designer Nikolai Mohilchock has taken to the Evil Avatar forums to hint a possible Internet requirement for Xbox Infinity.

"Given that legally I cannot confirm or deny if this information is true, nor can I comment on rumor or speculation, all I can say is be sure to pay your ISP bills," he said.

Thanks for that.

UPDATE: This article was modified to reflect that the opinions of Adam Orth and Manveer Heir have nothing to do with Microsoft Studios and BioWare. My sincere apologies that the previous version offended Orth, Heir, the two companies and their fans. - Kevin Parrish

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Display 106 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    Hando567 , April 7, 2013 12:14 PM
    Well, that settles it, wont be buying the next xbox. Sorry Turn 10, looks like Forza Horizon is the last one I buy from you unless you port to the PC. The Forza series was the only reason I got the 360, and was going to be the only reason I got the Infinity, not anymore.

    Also, I sometimes would bring a console with me when I travel, usually without internet at my destination, so in these cases I guess you are just saying I am SOL, and need to deal with not being able to use the console which I paid good money for?

    Using Piracy as a scapegoat for this is getting kinda old as well, seeing as almost 100% of the time the pirates find a way around it, and the DRM measures only inconvenience the paying customers. It almost makes me want to pirate crap if I have to deal with DRM and limitations on the legitimate version, and I can get a copy that I can do whatever I want with pirating it. If I was truly able to move everything around, and convert formats, etc for all of my various devices on legal copies, I would be much more likely to spend the money.

    Much like with Windows 8 and Metro, I'll "dealwithit" by not purchasing the product, and they wonder why Windows 8 has not been selling very well. I predict much the same for the Infinity.
  • 26 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 7, 2013 12:26 PM
    Here is how I will #dealwithit; I will simply elect to not purchase the console.


    I do, however, look forward to supporting BioWare with my $
  • 22 Hide
    911ducktail , April 7, 2013 1:22 PM
    What about people in the military who like to spend their down time playing video games? I wonder how reliable the Internet is in Kandahar or Mosul....
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    Hando567 , April 7, 2013 12:14 PM
    Well, that settles it, wont be buying the next xbox. Sorry Turn 10, looks like Forza Horizon is the last one I buy from you unless you port to the PC. The Forza series was the only reason I got the 360, and was going to be the only reason I got the Infinity, not anymore.

    Also, I sometimes would bring a console with me when I travel, usually without internet at my destination, so in these cases I guess you are just saying I am SOL, and need to deal with not being able to use the console which I paid good money for?

    Using Piracy as a scapegoat for this is getting kinda old as well, seeing as almost 100% of the time the pirates find a way around it, and the DRM measures only inconvenience the paying customers. It almost makes me want to pirate crap if I have to deal with DRM and limitations on the legitimate version, and I can get a copy that I can do whatever I want with pirating it. If I was truly able to move everything around, and convert formats, etc for all of my various devices on legal copies, I would be much more likely to spend the money.

    Much like with Windows 8 and Metro, I'll "dealwithit" by not purchasing the product, and they wonder why Windows 8 has not been selling very well. I predict much the same for the Infinity.
  • 21 Hide
    popatim , April 7, 2013 12:19 PM
    Sorry MS but Bioware is right. I live in a heavy ISP coverage zone and yet my internet is only on when I need it. I don't want you tracking everything I do no matter how much you (and others like google) try and cram it down our throats and try to make it seem perfectly normal, nothing to be concerned about... screw that.

    At worst you should be allowed 8 hrs game-time w/o an internet connection. This should handle any issues while travelling or isp downtime.

    But still.. I won't be getting either of the new systems just because of that.
  • 21 Hide
    razor512 , April 7, 2013 12:26 PM
    What happens if microsoft decides that they no longer want to do gaming and move on to something else, then decide that it is no longer profitable to run those DRM servers (well your consoles become a paperweight)

    What happens if they go out of business a few years from now ad you still want to play some retro xbox 720 games? well you cant because there will be no DRM server.

    Never buy a game that has single player elements but requires an always online connection for everything, or requires an online connection even for the initial activation.
    When you buy a game that requires any online activation, you are essentially renting the game since if the company goes out of business or gets rid of the DRM servers, then you will no longer be able to activate or play your games.

    imagine of games like red alert 2 required a always online connection DRM, none of them would work today (at least none of the non pirated copies). In fact, those games would not word if they required so much as an online activation because there would be no DRM server to do the activation.
  • 26 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 7, 2013 12:26 PM
    Here is how I will #dealwithit; I will simply elect to not purchase the console.


    I do, however, look forward to supporting BioWare with my $
  • -7 Hide
    SirTrollsALot , April 7, 2013 12:31 PM
    Ive been into PC gaming since the late 1980's. I like to game a lot of the time with 1st person shooters, but there are so many hacks!!! I got a XBOX Slim a few years ago to by pass the hacking bullshit, and the only other thing I needed was a keyboard mouse translator enter the XIM 360. I like the always on feature so forth for that point... Are consoles getting hacked more and more that I should not look into the next generation of consoles and stick with my PC games?
  • 20 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , April 7, 2013 12:43 PM
    Oh Microsoft, keep it up and you'll demise will be something that I can clearly imagine. If your solution if to force users to your decisions, like you did with Windows 8 then I wonder how much is enough until you run your game division to the ground.
  • 9 Hide
    10hellfire01 , April 7, 2013 12:45 PM
    I still don't understand this ignorance with businessmen though. DRM doesn't work...I think the scene groups have proven that too many times. Why waste so many funds on something that is bound to flop, rather than putting it into good use to make a higher quality product that will entice even more people to buy it?

    Anyways, the PS4 could pull all this too (not taking sides here for either)--we just don't know anything 100% yet until we get it in our own hands. I am very eager to see how this all plays out come end of the year.

    Anyways, I find it funny Orth compared the internet with electricity--two different...elements/technologies. One of which struggles when faced with heavy congestion.
  • 20 Hide
    meluvcookies , April 7, 2013 12:54 PM
    Dear MS,

    There is ZERO chance that I will purchase your new console if it requires "always on" for games.

    That's it.

  • 6 Hide
    RambosBodyguard , April 7, 2013 12:55 PM
    Well if they confirm it later this month I'll just put that money into the new gaming PC I'm planning to build near the end of the year. The only reason I am thinking of buying it is because all my friends have a 360 and maybe for Halo. This is something I won't support, like others have said, if I buy something I don't want to be told when or how I can use it, once it's in my hands I own it.
  • 2 Hide
    segio526 , April 7, 2013 12:56 PM
    Meh, it'll be a matter of days or weeks for the "pirates" to circumvent this "feature" which will just drive more and more people to pirating games. I think the mentality will be "well, I've already modded my box, might as well make the most of it!" Congrats on making the Dreamcast 2!
  • 21 Hide
    razor512 , April 7, 2013 12:59 PM
    Wanted to also add, the electricity argument is the stupidest argument possible.

    If the power goes out, you can use a UPS, solar, generator, Wind, geothermal, and many others.
    If the DRM server goes out or the only ISP in your area fails, you cant feasibly make your own internet.

    In addition to that, when people buy products they accept that it will not work if something the product naturally needs, fails, (eg you do not expect your TV to work without electricity)
    The problem is when your product is linked to unnecessary things for it to function, imagine if for your TV to work, it required that there be exactly 2 pairs of sneakers hanging from the telephone line in a slum in Detroit?

    Imagine if a company made a pacemaker that required that the rust spot streaming down the side of a building due to exposed rebar be exactly 16 inches long, and if it were not 16 inches long for more than 3 minutes, then it would stop working (how many people would line up to buy it)

    What if your car required a constant connection to the car company for it to run? (and what if that car was a Saturn? )

    An added unnecessary limitation is not the same as a necessity that has the possibility of failing.
    We accept that we cant use certain things when the power goes out. We accept that a cellphone cannot make calls without cell or other wireless services service. What we don't accept is a reliance on things that the product does not truly need to function.
  • 17 Hide
    bluestar2k11 , April 7, 2013 1:17 PM
    Quote:
    DRM rules the digital world in which we now live thanks to piracy.


    I'm pretty sure it's not just piracy, I'd bet money another fact is they don't like people sharing their games, they want the person to buy it themselves, no matter if they like it or not. Piracy is a problem, but I don't believe it's the only reason.


    Quote:
    Sometimes the electricity goes out.


    My internet is 50x more unstable then my electricity.

    I can count on my light coming on everytime I flip the wall switch. (As long as i pay my bill) The only time it's ever gone out, is when a Major storm hits and causes severe damage to the cities lines and knocks out entire neighborhoods. I use spiral lights now so they rarely die out.

    I can't count on chrome coming up to my email every time I open it because my internet maybe slow, down, or otherwise having a problem for a dozen reasons or more. It can be rain, shine, tidal wave, whatever, and my internet will be down on sunny days and working fine on rainy days or stormy days.


    Quote:
    The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will not buy a mobile phone.


    If mobile reception in your area was poor and unreliable, then no you likely wouldn't buy a cell phone. Why would you buy something that doesn't work for you? You'd buy a landline so you can ensure it works.

    This argument also works for always on games, like Diablo 3 and simcity. Hence half of why I didn't buy them.

    The other half is I don't buy always-on DRM single player titles on a fact of principle, MMO's are a different classification, much like if I buy Tribes, I'm expecting to be online, I buy an MMO expecting to be online, but I also expect it will work.

    I'm not expecting to be online when I build a city, or slay a monster in Diablo III. They make you obviously. So till they remove it, I'll keep not buying those titles, and stay with Diablo II, Titan's quest (Quite good actually), and older Simcity games, untill I can pay for Cities XL.

    By extension, if my console requires always on, why would I want to buy it to be forced to be connected when i don't need to be? That's just burning power, plus, if it auto-updates all my games and consoles OS, how do i save myself from being unable to play incase that update breaks the game entirely? Or renders my console unusable? (Pretty sure a few 360 updates did that)

    I want to be able to decide, not be told.

    Even though my Vita, or PS3 often require updates to run each game, I can check online to make sure said update isn't breaking or bricking everything before I do, I have a choice.

    It sounds as if the next xbox system doesn't give you any choices (Much like their stance on metro) You do it their way, or you gtfo apparently.
  • 22 Hide
    911ducktail , April 7, 2013 1:22 PM
    What about people in the military who like to spend their down time playing video games? I wonder how reliable the Internet is in Kandahar or Mosul....
  • 6 Hide
    bison88 , April 7, 2013 1:25 PM
    It doesn't matter if this was friendly banter or just personal trolling. Orth works for Microsoft, therefore he represents that organization not just at the 9 to 5. ESPECIALLY if those credentials are widely publicized and or in your public profile. He should have been smart about how he played the comment, instead he opted to look like a self-centered asshole to the entire geek world.
  • 0 Hide
    rocknrollz , April 7, 2013 1:31 PM
    I doubt highly that the PS4 will go the same route as the next Xbox. MS hasn't even revealed their console and have already "unofficially" announced that it will be an always connected console. Sony said nothing, so it probably means they do not intend to. If that is the case, Microsoft has really killed a lot of its customers off its new console.
  • 7 Hide
    peted , April 7, 2013 1:47 PM
    The difference between a vacuum cleaner with electricity or a mobile phone with cellular service is that THOSE DEVICES CANNOT POSSIBLY WORK WITHOUT THE SERVICE.

    It's one thing to suffer the inconvenience of lack of service when dealing with a device that has no way to operate without that service.

    But to impose that inconvenience on users of a device, when that device can otherwise operate perfectly well when the service isn't available? That's idiotic and contemptuous to your users.
  • 5 Hide
    kritzler , April 7, 2013 1:51 PM
    When I'm out of the country I've enjoyed bring my Xbox 360 with me to play a few single player games while in my hotel, some areas not having the best internet and in other areas no internet access at all. I'll probably jump on the PS4 bandwagon since Sony hasn't showed any interest in an always on environment.
  • -1 Hide
    bustapr , April 7, 2013 1:53 PM
    compared to this always-online drm, sonys used games drm looks good. I actually dont mind sonys drm(if they implement it) because I never minded steam which also doesnt do used games. its retarded to use always-online drm. precisely simcity and diablo fails were enough to prove that drm doesnt work.

    but you have to accept that some for of drm has to be implemented. the fact that it is an x86 based console means that its going to be pirated fast. thing is that online drm is not good at all and wont work. from a business standpoint, online drm will backfire on microsoft, where used games drm will be good for sony and devs. microsoft has to come up with a different solution if they want to make money and retain their customers.
  • -3 Hide
    zedon , April 7, 2013 1:58 PM
    Sony will require always on also, they stated it a long time ago, over a year ago, but have been quiet about it. If they weren't going to require always on they would come out and say it. If I am a game developer I would probably develop special content just for the one that is always on. If you don't like it you only choice is to not play any games or go with one of the lesser consoles.
Display more comments