Why the next Xbox won't be always online or block used games

OXM's editor Jon Hicks shoots down today's big next gen rumour. "There's a germ of truth in it, which I'll get to, but releasing a console with those two requirements would be totally counter to what Microsoft needs from the next console."

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bicfitness1771d ago

A lot of these "they can't", "they simply wouldn't" wishful thinking sort of stories popping up. First Sterling's, now this. MS are a corporation, they aren't making consoles for charity, but for money. And they came from the PC space first, which has serial codes bundled with every game or games locked to service accounts. This is nothing new for them. Or for PC gamers. Someone argued to the contrary about this in another thread, but they simply don't know what they're talking about. PC games, not just online ones come bundled with serial codes, with very exceptions. You enter the serial code when you install the game.

So no, it wouldn't be outside of the realm of possibility for MS to do this. They won't care about throwing one segment of consumers under the bus in favour of constant, dependable Live subscriptions and DLC buyers. Now it remains to be seen if A.) this rumour is true. Though as we get closer to console announcements, the weight of truth > BS has been shifting and more 'rumours' are seeming credible - you just can't hide this stuff from a console set to launch in 6ish months. B.) If Sony will follow suit.

Jam_sponge1771d ago

As the article points out, the industry's efforts to lock out pre-owned PC gamers are far from a success, and a console armed with a unilateral pre-owned block would face a huge, huge disadvantage at launch.

You're right, Microsoft exists to make money. This would be a terrible way of going about that.

Belking1771d ago

"You're right, Microsoft exists to make money. "

Just like any other business.I can assure not only MS exists to make money.

bicfitness1771d ago (Edited 1771d ago )

Except PCs are OPEN, whereas consoles are CLOSED systems. So hacking, circumventing always-on DRM is par for the course with PC gaming. Its hardly so for consoles, at least no where on the same scale with regards to user concentration. That would actually be appealing to certain publishers, the idea of "locked in" games on a "locked" system. Can't get more DRMish than that.

MS come from a PC heritage, this is actually a natural move for them - people keep avoiding that fact. While I personally think that this is a bad move, I don't think that its one that would impact their paying consumer base all that much. People drum up all sorts of ire and negativity online, but that rarely translates into consumer apathy in the real world. The 40 million or whatever who readily hand over $60/ year just for the privilege of playing online have already been conditioned for this sort of move and will eat their lumps and carry on.

theBAWSE1771d ago

Official Xbox magazine.....they know nothing just like edge its all speculation of corse oxm are wishing praying the stories from edge ain't true

just wait for the official word from ms

decrypt1771d ago (Edited 1771d ago )


Dont get the PC into this, clearly its the Console gamers getting hosed again. PC games cost darn cheap, meanwhile console gamers will be paying 60usd+ per game.

PC games are on discount few weeks after launch, hell many can even be had for insane discounts pre launch, i personally purchased Tombraider for 34usd few weeks back.

Even when a PC game does come infested with always on DRM, the PC is an open platform, the game gets hacked to shreds within a few days.

Meanwhile consoles are locked down platforms, you wont be seeing games getting cracked on those platforms.

I wouldnt be surprised if Sony and MS join hands on this one. Eventually console gamers will take it up the hind just like usual.

High price games
over priced accessories
locked down old hardware
Pay to go online
Day one DLC
the list goes on

dirigiblebill1771d ago

"So hacking, circumventing always-on DRM is par for the course with PC gaming."

But this isn't about hacking - it's about damaging your profile via needlessly draconian preventative measures and deterring potential customers. Attempts to control how players make use of their purchases via online have, provably, hit the likes of Ubisoft square in the publicity glands. Do you really think Microsoft is going to risk that kind of fallout - which would absolutely extend to the enthusiasts who account for a high proportion of launch purchases - when they're trying to sell a new console? Do you really think they want the stigma of being the only anti-pre-owned next gen outfit in town?

Microsoft's big gameplan is to turn everybody into online customers, true - that way they don't have to deal with the retailers - but doing it this way means crippling the next Xbox straight out the door.

SilentNegotiator1771d ago

Neither MS or Sony will go always online or block used. They would have to have rocks for brains. Areas with bad internet are still a big chunk of console sales. Wii U already allows used games, so PS4/720 coming out and saying "Hey! We won't let you do what the currently released systems do!" would be a major disadvantage.

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Outside_ofthe_Box1771d ago (Edited 1771d ago )

It won't happen and isn't wishful thinking to think so. MS would NOT sell as many hardware AND software as they did this gen if they were to along with the absurd idea of requiring the 720 to be online in order to function and block used games on top of that. MS has sold 70+ million consoles this gen and the numbers will continue to grow. So why drastically change things?

I don't see how implementing the idiotic crap in rumors into the 720 will guarantee them more revenue. If they truly want money they wouldn't do that B.S.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1771d ago

"Ascend: New Gods Beta Coming, Requires Online Connection"

InMyOpinion1771d ago

Most online betas require an online connection lol.

Try playing the Crysis 3 beta online. Or Dust 541. Don't get what point you are trying to make.

user39158001771d ago

Its rumour and I will treated as such, but if they did, then executive are looking at it with the prospect of earn income. Problem is 360 has 40 million online while the other35 million is not, thats a huge amount to loose and make or not, what keeps you alive are gamers. I only see the model working if MS gives it out nearly free in some kind of sunscription were gamers pay an amount for lets say 2 year connection. 99 dollars to start services and a monthly fee. They will have so much sales even if they block used game, but allow dowloads to be register. Im thinking, if MS could strike a deal with comcast/time warner/ and all major internet providers to suply the box with their cable, they will have a seious break through. Cable plan 2 years and charges maintenance fee, while ms charge subscrition, lol... Rachet I tell you. Anyways, it will be a missed if they do block used games, cause you will have a backlashed of contempt gamers in the millions.

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Jazz41081771d ago

Finally a article that makes sense. All edge is doing is trying to get ms to talk and make a reveal and there hurting the industry doing this. I hope this comes back and bites them in the butt. Isnt edge owned by best buy?

Knight_Crawler1771d ago

This why I belive that N4G is one of the most bias gaming sites in the world.

Hip Hop Gamer got banned becasue people reported him for having over the top headlines and over the top rumors on his articles but edge gets a free pass for doing the same thing -__-

NastyLeftHook01771d ago

LMAO! this shit is hilarious!

why "this"

why this will,

why this wont


come on people wait for feb 20th.

Jek_Porkins1771d ago

Anyone who believes Microsoft will block used games and always require you to be online is foolish. Yes they are a corporation and want to make money, but XBL more than makes up any money they lose on used games.

Microsoft would alienate themselves from roughly half their market share if they did these things. Around 80 million Xbox 360's are out there, only a little over 40 million are Xbox Live members. That isn't losing a little money, that is losing half your money! Think and use your head before believing every single little rumor.

Microsoft wouldn't risk being the only console this generation to cut out used games, we know Nintendo allowed used games with the Wii U. Microsoft and Sony aren't going to talk and say one way or the other if they'd do that, it'd be suicide to be the only company to block used games.

Let's not panic and say "I'm not buying it!", because we haven't heard a single confirmed piece of information from Microsoft, anything right now is speculation.

rainslacker1771d ago (Edited 1771d ago )

I can see them automatically signing in people for whatever reason, much like the PS3 and 360 already do. It's a no brainer that if your going to do online stuff it would require an online connection. That however has nothing to do with locking out games, just like it doesn't now.

Forcing game lockout because someone isn't connected is just bad business. SimCity itself is losing a sale from me because of this, and there was quite a commotion over Diablo because of it. In the end they served no purpose but to alienate customers, and cause some problems for the honest consumers. The flimsy argument of piracy, or in this case 2nd hand games also, just didn't hold up, and it's something even Ubisoft re-evaluated because it just wasn't working and was causing more problems than it was worth.

Anti used game tech doesn't require an online connection, based on Sony's recent patent at least. But that doesn't mean that they will do it either. That tech could be used for a variety of purposes both in gaming and out.

I know we've seen remarks from publishers who want to push this issue, and I even understand why they want to push it. But that doesn't mean that what they want is what is good for the industry or the console manufacturers. That is the difference between publishers and console manufacturers. The publisher wants to maximize revenue by cutting out consumer choice, whereas the console manufacturers have to look at what people are willing to accept and what they can sell. Console makers have to be very tuned in to market trends and consumer spending habits because they have a lot more at stake than just video games publishing.

Soldierone1771d ago

I'm not so much scared of it being there, but the possibility of it being there. If they say it "can" do it, but launch without doing it, then whats stopping them from getting an install base and then going "oh btw, discs are locked now and you need to be online at least once an hour of gametime"

Now you are stuck with a console, and probably can't sell it since no one wants that DRM crap. I wanted DC Universe badly until they pulled the "code locked to account" stuff, then I passed on it.

rainslacker1771d ago (Edited 1771d ago )

They could possibly be sued for that. Introducing it later in the consoles life would cut off lifetime sales in a big way. Those that already have it, namely the hardcore, would not tolerated it. Even Steam is getting heat for that very thing, and it started with these premises in place for the most part. The casuals may not even realize that's the case, but it wouldn't take long for something so anti-consumer to make it's way to the mainstream media. MS isn't well loved by Americans, and their past anti-consumer practices have always made the mainstream press.

The only way I can see this happening is if the console makers leave it up to the publisher to decide, much like region locking on the PS3 is. If that's the case, at least we as consumers can avoid those games that decide to favor profits over consumers. The hate for the idea is strong on all sides of the fence, and I can't see this being something big publishers wouldn't try more than once or twice. The immediate and long term backlash would be a PR disaster.

I think if they do decide to do it, console makers should require big lettering or logo's somewhere on the box to indicate it is the case with that product. If publishers are so sure it will be accepted there is no reason for them to hide it in the small print on the back of the box like they do with online passes. Own your choices I say.

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