IGN - SimCity's disastrous always-online requirement should be a grim warning for next-gen consoles.
I don't think either company has anything to learn from SimCity. Both Microsoft and Sony are sensible enough to realise that not everyone has broadband or can afford broadband. There may be advantages if you play certain games online but both of these companies will have an offline component in most of their games. I'm not one of those people that have championed 'always on' or 'gaming TV' but I do realise it's inevitable at some point ... I just don't think the infrastructure is there yet to support such a bold move, and I'd say that both of these companies have done a hell of a lot more research than I have. Both companies will try persuading people to invest in that future, but they're not going to risk market share by forcing the issue. Taking Sony as an example, they have always used poorer, less technically advanced countries to meet their 10 year lifecycle projections, so they wouldn't risk shortening their lifecycle by effectively cutting future revenue streams. I'd imagine that Microsoft have a similar strategy. It was a risk worth taking with PC because PCs have become synonymous with online ... more so than consoles, although consoles are catching up rapidly. Expect both Microsoft and Sony to offer great deals as incentives to invest in online but not (just yet) make it compulsory. In the future when delivery points spread beyond one piece of hardware, but NOT when the hardware sales are a huge part of their ability to drive profits.
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