UK game retailers are already against an "always on" next Xbox

At the moment, Microsoft has yet to confirm the many rumors posted on the Internet that the next version of its Xbox game console will require an "always on" Internet connection to play games and use its apps. On Thursday, Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth took to his Twitter account to suggest that such a console might be a good idea, but his comments were slammed in message boards and forced Microsoft to issue an apology on their employee's comments.

Even though Microsoft did issue a statement on Orth's Twitter posts, the company would still not confirm or deny the "always on" rumors for the successor to the Xbox 360. That has not stopped a number of UK retailers from proclaiming their opposition to such a feature.

MCV quotes Christopher Rogers, the games category manager of Dixons Retail, as saying, " ... I do not think the UK broadband infrastructure is robust/fast enough for this to be a prerequisite. Surely last month’s teething troubles with SimCity are a warning for this?." His thoughts are echoed by Steven Doyle. the manager of the Games Dojo retail store, saying, "Not all of our customers are online and not everyone is on the internet so that could damage it. In the UK, our internet infrastructure is way behind the rest of the world and if a game cuts out, that will upset people."

Other game retail managers and executives are worried that an "always on" connection could mean Microsoft is planning to restrict used games from being played on the next Xbox. Robert Lindsay, the Managing Director for Games Centre, states, "The publishers are completely out of touch with their consumers if they don’t understand how important pre-owned is in helping them fund new releases. It’s not rocket science to see that a £39.99 new release with no sell-on value will put a massive hole in consumers’ spending budgets."

Microsoft is expected to officially reveal its plans to launch the next Xbox console sometime before the E3 2013 trade show in Los Angeles in mid-June.

Source: MCV
24/7 image via Shutterstock

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1st: Unconfirmed rumor is unconfirmed.

2nd: IF it's true, it's most like going to be a feature, not a requirement. A feature that has benefits that they'll share when the time is right.

3rd: Used game blocking software could exist in this as it has already been admitted for the PS4 (which many seem to be ignoring ...). Exactly HOW such software is implemented is yet to be seen, but I personally would be surprised if it was comprehensive.

I'm skipping this generation if it requires always online. Maybe we might be ready for something like this on next gen and its still ain't the best of moves.

Don't bother me at all, rocking a 78mb down / 20mb up fiber connection (soon to be 160/50) It wont happen tho, im sure you will be able to download games via the online store and there will be "features" you can unlock in the games by going online. "The pay to win" we get on phones sorta thing.

So yeah it will be just pay to win features added to the games and a requirement to use them will be go online.

If MS decides to to include "always on" DRM, more game developers will jump to create XBOX exclusive games, which may potentially hurt sales of the PS4. If the new XBOX has tons of exclusive releases, then most console gamers will still jump at buying the new XBOX.

The downside for MS is that 20% of console gamers play their console without connecting to the Internet. If MS goes with the "always on" format, they could potentially lose 20% of their customer base.

In the end, if MS decides to go with the "always on" format, it's because of the game developers pushing them to go this route. MS better hope they get a lot of exclusive titles, because if they don't, they are going to lose a lot of customers.

ChopSuey said,
If MS decides to to include "always on" DRM, more game developers will jump to create XBOX exclusive games,

Developers go where the money is, always have and always will. If no one buys the next xbox because of this then there will be no development for it

Nobody wants to talk about the PS4,all they want to talk about is a feature the new Xbox may or may not have. Microsoft finally learned a thing or two. If you keep your mouth shut,any tiny peep about your upcoming product will be blown up causing the internet to go nuts. Even retailers are getting in on the action.

"Nobody wants to talk about the PS4"
Probably because people are just anxious to see more at E3. What Sony has revealed back in February was enough to know 1) there's going to be a successor to PS3 2) a few specs 3) ballpark release date. What we're hearing about the Xbox3 is "omg, they might require an always online connection to play", since there's very little to talk about spec-wise. So, "nobody wants to talk about the PS4" is hyperbole.

I have no problems with always on Steam. I'm 8 years with Steam, I have 10 Steam activity rating and never used offline mode.

This is really getting annoying. It's obviously not going to be 'always on'. Even if it is, there will obviously be an option to not be. Just like some of the comments above, it'll probably be some sort of connected standby. I love how people freak out over unconfirmed things like this.

j2006 said,
This is really getting annoying. It's obviously not going to be 'always on'. Even if it is, there will obviously be an option to not be. Just like some of the comments above, it'll probably be some sort of connected standby. I love how people freak out over unconfirmed things like this.

Agreed. Thank god there are some sensible people out there.

Spot on. This is a rumor that is now so out of control that MS will probably get bad press for it any way, despite never saying anything about a "Required internet connection".

People "Always on" does not equate to "Required"

If true I agree UK internet is bad and I have no choice in the matter short of moving home.... since the government demands all internet goes though its exchanges.

Its a real possibility that Microsoft could turn on the "always on" feature . I've seen lot of people complain about not having internet bla bla bla,

Lets face it , If you play games Offline or you don't have internet , Microsoft probably doesn't want your business. It means they can't charge your for all of their online services or Gold membership which is something they use recoup back their money for selling the console at a loss. Its going to be interesting to see how Microsoft acts.

How about them making money off the games? Like all previous generations.

If this requirement happens, it's ok. As you said, MS doesn't want my business. And they won't get it.

jasondefaoite said,
How about them making money off the games? Like all previous generations.

If this requirement happens, it's ok. As you said, MS doesn't want my business. And they won't get it.


No, I don't think kinpin gets it. I wouldn't worry about Microsoft. They do want your business, and I'm sure there will be no hurdles in place to complicate that for anyone.

I'd like to say thanks to everyone that helped make this conversation possible. Rumor or not, I promise you Microsoft is listening and now they have no excuse if they try to jam it down our throats later this year. DRM is a big motivator here but it's also part of their much broader strategy to infiltrate every facet of your life, much like Google, little by little, more and more of everything you do is known to corporations/government.

I wish Xbox would of saved this information for there announcement. The way this is way out of control now is for sure gonna make Microsoft change this. Ah man I wanted PS4 to really smoke them

t3chmachine said,
I wish Xbox would of saved this information for there announcement. The way this is way out of control now is for sure gonna make Microsoft change this. Ah man I wanted PS4 to really smoke them

Yeah, from their controller announcement, it sure looked like they're in a position to smoke someone... /s

astalvfnw said,
always on xbox is going to be real. signs are showing up

?? And what "signs" exactly? Because there have been none. LOL

astalvfnw said,

ignorant and ms fools wont see the sign

What the hell are you talking about? There are no signs, get over it and get on with something else.

Mikeffer said,

What the hell are you talking about? There are no signs, get over it and get on with something else.


Microsoft had a chance to shot down this rumor before it spread, but for some reason they are waiting while it is doing significant damage to their reputation.

astalvfnw said,

Microsoft had a chance to shot down this rumor before it spread, but for some reason they are waiting while it is doing significant damage to their reputation.

It's very clever on their part. No publicity is bad publicity. There's absolutely no evidence the XBOX will 'Require' an internet connection to play. Will it be 'always on'? Here's hoping. The main issue here is idiots are to dumb to know the difference.

MS advertising is just sitting back and relaxing, letting the internet do its job for them lol

Bad / False press > no press

All MS will have to do is clarify the falsehoods when they do officially announce.

torrentthief said,
there is no way this bad press is better than no press! Not when it comes to gaming.

Nope. Quite famously no such thing as bad publicity.

ozzy76 said,
End? Not even close, this rumor will be talked about until MS confirms/denies it at E3. Get used to it.

Yeah, I really can't wait for the denial so I don't have to see this nonsense anymore. Lol

That's very possible. If I were MS and this rumor was false, I would immediately come out and say it's in fact false. 2 months of people talking can create a lot of negative press that even denying in June might not immediately rid all the stigma of other failed attempts to require an always online connection to play a game.

I don't matter if it's confirmed or not. If MS are actually stupid enough to even be considering this, then with enough people speaking up against it, it wont be too late for MS to change their plans.

Osiris said,
Hells Yeah!! lets be against something thats not confirmed and that we dont know the full details of

I've seen this Luddite movement really taking hold lately. All the idiots banning Google Glass and making petitions against it. All the people fearful of Google self-driving cars. All the people who bashed Windows 8 before it launched. The hardcore gamers who bashed Kinect like crazy. So much of this crap lately. Very anti-technology sentiment pushing back against a lot of advancements that are trying to be made in the tech world.

Edited by Avatar Roku, Apr 7 2013, 2:19am :

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
I don't matter if it's confirmed or not. If MS are actually stupid enough to even be considering this, then with enough people speaking up against it, it wont be too late for MS to change their plans.

It wouldn't be changing their plans because this was never their plans. LOL

Avatar Roku said,

I've seen this Luddite movement really taking hold lately. All the idiots banning Google Glass and making petitions against it. All the people fearful of Google self-driving cars. All the people who bashed Windows 8 before it launched. The hardcore gamers who bashed Kinect like crazy. So much of this crap lately. Very anti-technology sentiment pushing back against a lot of advancements that are trying to be made in the tech world.


It's not "anti technology" it's "anti idiots spreading rumors without a grain of truth to them..."

Osiris said,
Hells Yeah!! lets be against something thats not confirmed and that we dont know the full details of

It's a lot easier to let a company know you don't want an always on DRM then after they've released it and sold millions to suckers who didn't know. They just say 'well everyone brought it anyway' and you'll not get them to revert back to a always on DRM free option.

Voice your concerns now before it's too late to do so. If you think otherwise, you're honestly living in a dream world with your head firmly stuck in deep the sand.

In saying that, I think a lot of the fuel that is powering the rumours at the moment is due to the poor reception of EA's SimCity with the always online DRM that just was/is a joke, and the only people who're getting hurt by it are the loyal, paying customers and long time fans of the game.

And it's going to be the same with gamers on the next xbox if the rumours turn out to be true. Pirates will not lose out, they might find a way to load games on without an internet connection, they might not, but changes are they'd not buy games anyway and will just target another platform.
The real issue here is pre-owned games, not really illegal but somewhat of a grey area when it comes to profits to Microsoft and the other publishers and that's more of an issue with the retail stores reselling games and making pure profit from it not us end users who're happy to buy a game cheaper, used, slightly scratched disc or dog eared manuals/boxes. Heck, if the old and dated on demand games weren't so expensive I'd probably buy them rather then used games. But even games that are a few years old, Microsoft prices them up with RRP of release date prices. That's never going to happen even on release day as retail store prices are cheaper, and mark them down as time goes by.

The result of the always on DRM is Microsoft is forcing our hand to pay more then most people are prepared to pay for games and content, especially older releases.

I'm going to laugh so hard when this online requirement rumor is proven false.
I'm pretty sure it's got something to do with having the option to remain connected to live even when you shut it off so you don't have to keep logging back in or something like sony ps4's sleep low-power mode.

Avi Patel said,
I'm pretty sure it's got something to do with having the option to remain connected to live even when you shut it off so you don't have to keep logging back in or something like sony ps4's sleep low-power mode.

I've been thinking the same thing; the rumoured "always connected" is about connected standby like the Surface RT for example, and not a DRM-scheme requireing the console to always be connected. We might see something like how other MS products require activation via an internet connection, but otherwise aren't functionally incapacitated without a connection (generally speaking). But it will be interesting to see what MS unveils when the time comes, now that the interwebs has spoken its opinion on the matter.

The rumors are based on solid sources from what I've seen. My response to anyone saying infrastructure isn't there: This is such bad reasoning. If you don't create reasons to improve infrastructure then there isn't enough demand. This is chicken and egg. When World of Warcraft, YouTube and Netflix streaming debuted infrastructure wasn't ready for those either, but because those things existed consumers demanded better Internet and were willing to pay more for Internet service.

Saying we shouldn't have services like OnLive because the world isn't ready is dumb. Creating demanding services like OnLive is what incentivizes the world to get ready. People have to have a reason to want to spend more money on Internet so that ISPs have the money to improve infrastructure and service. I can double my Internet speed from 25Mbps to 50Mbps for only $10 but I keep refusing to do it because I feel like I would not even notice the difference in anything I use the Internet for. The Internet has failed to provide reasons to want to keep improving. If things like YouTube and Netflix didn't exist infrastructure would be a lot worse today.

So what if you don't want to pay an extra $10? This is a UK story.

Broadband use in UK falls into three camps: those on cable, those on phone line, those who can't get either. There are no plans to extend the cable network except in new build inside existing cabled areas. Unless you live in a major city (and sometimes not even then) broadband over phone line is a bit of a joke. There's no broadband at all in most rural areas (satellite is far too expensive to be an alternative).

Avi Patel said,
I'm going to laugh so hard when this online requirement rumor is proven false.
I'm pretty sure it's got something to do with having the option to remain connected to live even when you shut it off so you don't have to keep logging back in or something like sony ps4's sleep low-power mode.

Agreed. I don't know how so many people could buy into this rumor... Especially for a globally available device with various levels of connectivity... It would be ludicrous, and the fact that Orth was poking fun at it should say something as well. People are just blowing this way out of proportion.

Avi Patel said,
I'm going to laugh so hard when this online requirement rumor is proven false.
I'm pretty sure it's got something to do with having the option to remain connected to live even when you shut it off so you don't have to keep logging back in or something like sony ps4's sleep low-power mode.

Well, maybe the negative reactions and publicity about this subject will be the reason MS ditch this 'always on' thing, whatever it is. You gonna laugh hard then too?

Mackster said,

Well, maybe the negative reactions and publicity about this subject will be the reason MS ditch this 'always on' thing, whatever it is. You gonna laugh hard then too?


For a multitude of reasons that shouldn't even have to be listed, they will not be changing their mind because this was never anything more than an absurd rumor with nothing to back it up.

Avi Patel said,
I'm going to laugh so hard when this online requirement rumor is proven false.

All it takes to dismiss a rumor is to make a formal announcement. Considering Microsoft isn't exactly strapped for cash, time, or resources to do something as simple as this, my money is on them testing the waters, judging the reactions of the media, developers, and consumers before they move forward with their plans.

From there, they'll either attempt to sway the public opinion to their side, or be the "hero" to say, "Nooooo, we'd never want to do thaaaat! Hah!"

I'm still on the fence personally, but I know a few people who've already made up their minds about the next generation of consoles. The video from that YouTuber, Francis, did make one solid statement in his comedy presentation: if this is the direction Microsoft chooses to go, all Sony will have to do is show up...

dead.cell said,

All it takes to dismiss a rumor is to make a formal announcement. Considering Microsoft isn't exactly strapped for cash, time, or resources to do something as simple as this, my money is on them testing the waters, judging the reactions of the media, developers, and consumers before they move forward with their plans.

From there, they'll either attempt to sway the public opinion to their side, or be the "hero" to say, "Nooooo, we'd never want to do thaaaat! Hah!"

I'm still on the fence personally, but I know a few people who've already made up their minds about the next generation of consoles. The video from that YouTuber, Francis, did make one solid statement in his comedy presentation: if this is the direction Microsoft chooses to go, all Sony will have to do is show up...


Microsoft does not, nor have they ever, commented on rumor, unannounced products, or bs... It makes absolutely no sense to change that now, especially when it guarantees that everyone will be watching their unveiling.

Their silence does nothing to support that they are even considering such a ridiculous feature.

Maybe not, but it does allow for people to spend the next month establishing anger towards them, even if unfounded. (provided the rumor of their unveiling being pushed to May is true)

Avatar Roku said,
I can double my Internet speed from 25Mbps to 50Mbps for only $10 but I keep refusing to do it because I feel like I would not even notice the difference in anything I use the Internet for.

Wish I could do that for an extra $10. I'm paying for 24Mbps and getting 3Mbps. It's not as simple as saying build it and they will come, having an always on console won't suddenly improve the infrastructure.

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. I don't know how so many people could buy into this rumor... Especially for a globally available device with various levels of connectivity... It would be ludicrous, and the fact that Orth was poking fun at it should say something as well. People are just blowing this way out of proportion.

Sure they do. One good example is when they denied the Office for iPad screenshot was real.

Avatar Roku said,
The rumors are based on solid sources from what I've seen. My response to anyone saying infrastructure isn't there: This is such bad reasoning. If you don't create reasons to improve infrastructure then there isn't enough demand. This is chicken and egg. When World of Warcraft, YouTube and Netflix streaming debuted infrastructure wasn't ready for those either, but because those things existed consumers demanded better Internet and were willing to pay more for Internet service.

Saying we shouldn't have services like OnLive because the world isn't ready is dumb. Creating demanding services like OnLive is what incentivizes the world to get ready. People have to have a reason to want to spend more money on Internet so that ISPs have the money to improve infrastructure and service. I can double my Internet speed from 25Mbps to 50Mbps for only $10 but I keep refusing to do it because I feel like I would not even notice the difference in anything I use the Internet for. The Internet has failed to provide reasons to want to keep improving. If things like YouTube and Netflix didn't exist infrastructure would be a lot worse today.

In The Netherlands we have great internet connections but every now and then there are some connection issues. These will always remain just like sometimes the power goes out. If the power goes out then there is nothing you can do about it, the game is lost.

But if Microsoft's NextBox stops playing offline games because of an internet connection issue while Sony's PS4 goes on playing just fine then Microsoft is going to lose this generation and destroy the Xbox brand. Consumers dont like these kind of restrictions even if they sound worse then they are in practice. Even consumers who have a perfect connection will rather go for a console that CAN play offline even if they never use such a feature.

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. I don't know how so many people could buy into this rumor... Especially for a globally available device with various levels of connectivity... It would be ludicrous, and the fact that Orth was poking fun at it should say something as well. People are just blowing this way out of proportion.

Because people like to kick up a stink to cover up the fact they don't actually have a clue about anything.

I'm with you on this.

Mikeffer said,

Because people like to kick up a stink to cover up the fact they don't actually have a clue about anything.

I'm with you on this.

Pot kettle black.

Seems Paul Thurrott just posted saying he was told in Jan that the next Xbox would require an always on Internet connection.

Edited by Eric, Apr 7 2013, 6:54pm :

Avatar Roku said,
The rumors are based on solid sources from what I've seen. My response to anyone saying infrastructure isn't there: This is such bad reasoning. If you don't create reasons to improve infrastructure then there isn't enough demand. This is chicken and egg. When World of Warcraft, YouTube and Netflix streaming debuted infrastructure wasn't ready for those either, but because those things existed consumers demanded better Internet and were willing to pay more for Internet service.

Saying we shouldn't have services like OnLive because the world isn't ready is dumb. Creating demanding services like OnLive is what incentivizes the world to get ready. People have to have a reason to want to spend more money on Internet so that ISPs have the money to improve infrastructure and service. I can double my Internet speed from 25Mbps to 50Mbps for only $10 but I keep refusing to do it because I feel like I would not even notice the difference in anything I use the Internet for. The Internet has failed to provide reasons to want to keep improving. If things like YouTube and Netflix didn't exist infrastructure would be a lot worse today.

That is a completely silly reason. So in the meantime, whole swathes of people won't be able to use it? For Microsoft it would clearly be cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Having an "always on" connection for a console isn't improving it. The console should always have a way to use it when there is no connection, that way it can be used by ALL. No one is calling for it to not have an internet connection, just that it should be playable without one (obv).

It's not going to happen.