Why Game Journalists are Spinning Durango’s “Always Online” Functionality and Why They’re Wrong

It seems as though every gaming website has jumped all over the rumor of the next gen XBOX, codenamed: Durango, featuring an “always online, always connected” configuration. Coupling it with rumors of Microsoft’s attempts at blocking used games it’s under the assumption that the company will use an online connection to achieve said blocking. How can all of these gaming sites be so naive?

Well, it’s not so much that they’re naive as it is more so a form calculated neglect; that or a complete and total lack of common sense.

When this kind of news rumor is spun this way, do you know what it creates? Anger and rage. People going nuts in the comments section of a post, on a forum thread, or wherever. It’s a cheap and easy way to generate traffic by instigating fanboy wars and it’s done by using a rather simple forumla:

  1. Find a Durango rumor
  2. Spin a part of it to mean something totally off base (without any official confirmation) and report it as fact.
  3. ??????
  4. Profit

Let’s ask ourselves why won’t Microsoft, or M$ as folks like to refer to them as these days, use “always online” as a means for DRM? Because it’s career suicide, that’s why. Do you really think that Microsoft, one of the richest companies in the world who also happens to hire the brightest minds in technology, needs to consult the world’s armchair analysts who write for “video game site X” or troll the depths of NeoGAF to realize that going to an always online model is stupid? No, they don’t. They fully understand the lack of broadband throughout many parts of the world and know for a fact that such a move would completely decimate a good chunk of potential business for them.

So what will “always online” likely mean? The same thing that it means for current PlayStation 3 owners right now. Through PlayStation Plus, PS3 owners have the option to keep their system “always online, always connected” in order to have the system automatically download and install system updates, as well as updates for individual titles. It’s a convenient option that keeps the system ready to play at a moments notice, instead of dealing with constantly having to update every time you  turn the system on; especially when all you want to do is get a quick fix of the game you’re currently playing. Microsoft is likely taking a page right out of Sony’s book with this one, hence the latest Durango document published by VGLeaks making note of a low power mode in the upcoming console.

If in fact Microsoft does decide to to block used games, it won’t have anything to do with using the always online functionality. It will likely be a chip embedded on the game disc or something along those lines. But “always online” will certainly not be the culprit.

When reading these kinds of “news” stories and “reports,” you need to have your salt shakers out and ready. Everything is a rumor until it is confirmed as fact. Nothing is official until Microsoft speaks out. Nothing with the word “source” or “insider” should be considered gospel and it doesn’t matter where it comes from. And remember, just like it’s cool to hate EA, it’s cool to hate Microsoft (or rather M$) right now. Wait for official announcements and then make your judgements.

Join the Discussion

  • mboojigga

    Um thank you for writing a common sense piece.

  • good read.

  • While they probably wont do an online only console as they would have a huge amount of backlash and they would have to be blind to try it, MS has done some stupid things in the past all gung ho on the PC. They tried to charge people for online on PC with Windows LIVE gold. It backfired big time and they had to make it free. So, in that case they did eventually listen, but it was a really dumb and out of touch move especially when you had alternatives like Steam. Oddly enough to this day they have still failed to capture their own PC gaming audience outside of the initial OS purchase.

    • I think its safe to say all companies have done stupid things during the course of thier existence. But it seems like people think only MS should be tarded and feathered for thiers.

      All businesses try different models to see if it works. If they dont then the scrap them. Sony and nintendo both have made their share. But people will say bu bu but they have learned their leason. Only ms is incapable of doing the same as those companies.

      I do agree with this article. Too many wed sites run with made up crap to spark a war with fanboys with no facts. And when tney are proven wrong their excuse which is all to common is to blame a imaginary source that doesnt exist or has no clue.

      Because these sites need hits. They tend to play on fanboy hate and misinformation to attract you to their site. So they get you in by posting flamebait articles. One interview can be spin in 40 different ways by many sites just to get you to vome to their site for hits.

  • Jimmy

    The original Wii was “always on, always connected” with WiiConnect24. A console in standby and constantly ready to receive data is definitely not an indicator of using it as a DRM method. As SimCity and Diablo 3 recently proved for PC, a huge chunk of the gaming population doesn’t have 24/7 access to a stable internet connection (and this is PC – which we expect to be connected to the internet). So yeah, it would be commercial suicide if Microsoft was really stupid enough to employ dozens of engineers that couldn’t figure that out.

  • d sar

    Yeah right, because huge game companies like ActivisionBlizzard and EA released always online games that had huge failure problems, do you really think that a huge company wouldn’t do that? Very naive, Microsoft sees a chance for profit here, and it will greedily tak ethat chance, they don’t care if some people don’t use the Nextbox, because they have grown arrogant recently, they haven’t even bothered to confirm that the rumour is false, you don’t have to be PR rep to know that if the rumour is false, they would confirm it as false, they’re just figuring out how to spin alwasy online as a good thing