Published on June 10th, 2013 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder

Editorial | Am I the Odd Man Out? A Question of Online Requirements

Xbox One vs PlayStation 4I feel like the “odd man out.” Tons of my friends are excited about the new Xbox One announcements, but I’m very much not, as of yet. Some have even been slamming me and doubting my enthusiasm for gaming.

Do I like what I’ve seen of the exclusives? Of COURSE! Titanfall, Forza 5 and Dead Rising 3 all look amazing, but there’s a huge point of contention that kills it for me: You have to connect to their servers once per day. Here’s the quote that hurts me the most:

With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies.

That’s patently offensive to me. Why is it that my games console doesn’t play games if I’m not connected to the Internet for a day?

I’m not paying $500 for the console and an additional $60/year (if the price for Xbox LIVE stays the same) to have the privilege of my single-player games not working when the Internet goes out. What happens when I’m moving and the Internet doesn’t work immediately? After 24 hours, my games that don’t require online won’t work, so I’d essentially be holding onto an expensive paper weight.

All the arguments in the world don’t add up to my loss of ability to play my games.

My gaming console is always connected to the Internet anyways.

While that may be the case, what happens when things outside of your control affect your Internet connection? Within the last two months, my Internet dropped to lower than 56K speeds for no reason other than that my modem wanted to break.

It took a week for my Internet service provider to get scheduled to come out, and magically I was forgotten by the technician who was set to appear. Even with my bugging them to get it done, they took another week to come out. You know what I did to pass the time while waiting for the cable guy?

I played on my Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Steam on my PC. Were this to happen next year with an Xbox One in my apartment, I wouldn’t have been able to play anything.

I never have a problem with my Internet! It’s pretty awesome.

What happens when the inevitable Xbox LIVE outage happens? It’s happened multiple times this generation, so it wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of impossibility. If the service goes down for more than a day, you won’t be able to play the games you’ve paid for.

How’s that for awesome, right?

The final nail in the coffin for me is the future playability of games. What happens in 10 years when I want to get nostalgic about my Xbox One games? What if I’d like to show my children how far gaming has come? I can still play original Nintendo games that came out when I was about three or four years old. When I’m a father, I’ll be playing the original NES, SNES, N64, Genesis, Dreamcast and PlayStation.

Since I’m one of those “collector” guys that likes having the disc and case for every game I own, if I own a disc, I should be able to pop in a game and play without an Internet connection whenever I please. That’s doubly the case for any single-player games I’d purchase — why should I need to connect to the Internet for them to verify anything on a game that doesn’t use online features?

We’re between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 announcements, and for gamers like myself, it’s essentially the deciding factor whether or not I’ll be getting onto one of the future systems at all.

What do you think? Am I overreacting? Is there an argument you can make for a gaming console blocking your ability to play games after not having Internet for a day?

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About the Author

Deejay has been a gamer since the Atari 2600, has wrestled–and defeated–alligators with only his toes, and once aligned all the planets in the Solar System by uttering the words "Coo Coo Ka-Choo". In his sleep. He currently bides his time behind the scenes here at GAMINGtruth.com, streaming at http://www.twitch.tv/deejayknight and teaching.

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