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Xbox Live Outage Underscores Why Gamers Fear Always-On Consoles

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News Posted: Sun, Apr 14 2013 10:22 AM
Some Xbox 360 gamers who tried to sign into Xbox Live over the weekend may have run into difficulties doing so. That's because the service was down for a period of time, and it couldn't have come at a worse time for a couple of reasons, especially for Call of Duty: Black Ops II players. Activision's been awarding double XP to Black Ops II gamers since Friday and will continue to do so until 10AM PDT on Monday, so if you holed yourself up for the weekend, you could have earned some major points.

"We're still hard at work fixing the issue members are having signing in to Xbox Live. Thank you for your patience during this time. Keep checking back here every 30 minutes for an update on our progress," Microsoft stated yesterday on its Xbox Live Service page.

Xbox 720

For the most part, Microsoft has addressed the issue and users are now able to sign in to the service, though some lingering issues remain. For example, Microsoft says users may experience "difficulties" creating new or accessing existing Minecraft game saves, and listening to music via Last.fm is spotty. In both cases, Microsoft says it's working on a fix.

In the meantime, these problems underscore why gamers take issue with the concept of an always-on console. It's been rumored that the Xbox 720 (Durango) will feature an always-on Internet requirement, and Microsoft has yet to confirm or deny if the rumors are true. In cases where Microsoft is having problems on its end, an always-on requirement could render the console unusable.
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WendellWoW replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 10:54 AM

I am not a fan of the "required" Internet connection for playing games. Multi-player is ok, but if I want to play a single player game why should I be penalized and required to be connected?

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I will not buy the 720 if the requirement is in place. Guess I will be switching to PS.

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mikepaul replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 11:08 AM

Always On Connection gives them control. They can decide if the game you put into the machine is new or used, and if they don't want people to play anything but a new version, it's the end of used or rental games.

Would Microsoft attempt to only allow the use of bought games? Don't know. I guess we'll find out, just like we'll find out about the Always On thing...

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I still don't get why I pay not just $50 a year, but now $60 for a service that I hardly use and gaming that mostly uses MY Internet connection.

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undefined replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 11:20 AM

We had an article on this exact topic yesterday:

http://nowso.com/xbox-live-sign-in-problems-today-bad-karma-for-orthgate/

It's amazing how bad Microsoft has been at managing the bad PR fallout from Orth's comments. I don't think the next console war will be much of a war if they keep this up.

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TimJordan replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 11:37 AM

Microsoft make Always-On. Is this a copy cat idea taken from the Chromebook !?

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slugbug replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 2:13 PM

I have an older RROD version and honestly haven't used it since getting a PS3.

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RWilliams replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 2:39 PM

I've heard this mimicked elsewhere. I agree. There's absolutely no reason a console needs to be always-on.

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DHampton replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 7:26 PM

It will definitely take away alot of the experience for me. Personally I hate always online for a myriad of reason but look at this recent outage. Xbox live has been around for almost a decade it is practically as stable as they can ever make it. But there is still outages and what happens when new servers ect are put in place for new live is it going to be as stable hell no. Also games that require online have had a track record of insane ques crashes and a myriad of problems.

Add the extra cost some dont xbox users dont use live or have internet it could raise cost for some user 100 bucks a month. And xbox could be feeling extra douche making it so everyone has to have a live account or locking games to accounts. So familys ect would have to buy five xbox live subs and five games all at full price because at this point used games are not allowed.

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RiCoFrost replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 7:49 PM

This will be a very very bad idea if they do this. I for one will not get a xbox 720 if that is the case. I couldnt play both Diablo 3 and simcity for the first few days because of that always online bullshit.

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Clixxer replied on Sun, Apr 14 2013 10:52 PM

They can't have always on. They say they are going to but I bet if numbers are low or sales for games go down or just something they will patch it. In fact I bet they will have one ready just in case.

My rig - I7-4770K, ASUS Z87-A Mobo, 16 GB Corsair Ram, AMD 7990 GPU, CoolIT AiO Cooler, NZXT H630

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It's obviously a matter of control and removing any and every choices a customer can make:

1- Always on also means the day server support is eventually and inevitably discontinued, you'll be forced to upgrade, on Microsoft terms, while leaving you with a useless, unusable console with ZERO value. Also, if Microsoft ban your console by mistake, no online OR offline gaming until Microsoft says otherwise.

2- Windows 8 metro app from the Microsoft store was only the beginning. It's obvious their long term goal is to force users to buy ALL their content for phone, tablet, PC and now console, exclusively from the Microsoft store. No more physical media, no used games and no competition to drive the prices down. That explains the 500GB hard drive standard for every console.

So your console, accessories and games now have an expatriation date on them, instantaneously reducing their value to zero the day server support is gone. All games are brand new priced and Live membership is required even for the most basic function such has YouTube.

In conclusion, Microsoft wants absolute, totalitarian, Nazi style control over you and will make you pay through the nose at every corner for it. Pay for the consoles, pay for the accessories, pay for the games, pay the Live membership, pay for Internet connection and pay for DLC. And all this investment can be reduced to a useless paperweight after 3 minutes without internet connection. The worse is Microsoft denied NOTHING since last week, which make those "rumours" much more likely to be true.

In the meantime, Sony at least seems to make some efforts to please their customer base, PSN is free for the most part, the new PS4 SDK is said to be "developer friendly" and no "always on" or "used games ban" on the horizon.

If even only half of this is true, Microsoft just committed corporate suicide and Sony PS4 will simply wipe the floor with the 720.

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