Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th Apr 2013 10:47 UTC
Games More and more evidence is pointing towards the next Xbox requiring an always-on internet connection in order to play any games - i.e., once you lose your connection, you can't play any game at all. Three minutes after losing your connection, "your" game will suspend itself and stop playing. Microsoft's Adam Orth took to Twitter to defend this anti-consumer practice, but he did so in the most ungraceful of ways.
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Has no one learned anything from history? Whether services or tangible goods, if it requires a remote component to operate, and if you don't have the bits to replace the remote component, eventually it will be taken away and/or have problems.
- Google Reader
- SimCity launch problems
- Microsoft PlaysForSure
and the list goes on.

The problem with any of these games or consoles or pretty much anything that requires a phone home, whether by internet or telephone or secret code, is that eventually there's no home to call back to.

Recall Microsoft's PlaysForSure music DRM scheme? It wasn't as successful as they wanted, so the shuttered the service.

Key quote: '"You will need to obtain a license key for each of your songs downloaded from MSN Music on any new computer, and you must do so before August 31, 2008. If you attempt to transfer your songs to additional computers after August 31, 2008, those songs will not successfully play."'

Never mind the question of whether or not you really bought something if it requires calling home in order to function. The bottom line is that unless _you_ are given the code, or servers, or means to setup your own "home" for the device to call back to when - NOT IF - WHEN the entity behind the device decides to stop supporting their device, then you're essentially left with a paperweight.

And what happens if your online account or device "hardware" gets banned for any reason? Imagine the fun hackers could have breaking into Microsoft and blacklisting the world. Or, if there is a major compromise and the service has to be taken offline for it to be repaired. Think it won't? Look at Sony. How long was their online service disrupted?

They are essentially leasing these consoles. And they are taking additional steps to kill the second-hand market, like various entities have been trying to do for years.

The only way I can think of this being remotely palatable is if the game console and individual game prices are highly, highly subsidized - as in $99 for a good mid to high end console and no more than $30 for games, probably closer to $20. After all, once Microsoft decides it's time for everyone to upgrade, they'll just turn the servers off and all these will be worthless. :/

People will get what they deserve if they buy into this racket. Whether from Microsoft, Sony, Google, or anyone else.

Edited 2013-04-05 15:19 UTC

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