Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Single and Offline

Internet connection required is a prerequisite for more and more PC games (http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/12/3073049/offline-diablo-iii-paul-miller); this DRM initiative MIGHT be implemented in the new PlayStation and the new Xbox. There are figures out there that over 60% of Xboxes are not hooked up to the internet - for Microsoft to neglect this HUGE segment of its consumers would be suicidal. PlayStation owners will probably trend similarly, but even if the number is closer to 40%, that's a population size you CANNOT disregard especially in this market.

Even for those of us who are connected to Live and PSN - what happens when the internet goes out? One of the great things to do when the internet is wonky is to play some single player or "local" multiplayer. What happens when you are going to your parents, grandparents, in-laws who might not have an internet connection - packing up your PS2 or PS3 into a GPAK was one of the great salvations of intolerable family outings; Hotel Stays, vacation, etc. Even in some houses where there is either not a wireless router or the wifi is not strong and you want to move the console either outside or on the big screen family room. Is piracy that bad? Does Sony and Microsoft realize how much they are crippling their consoles, is the PC market really the market they want to emulate? Are they caving to developers who are complaining about reduced margins? Is this all premature speculation, similar to the next wave of consoles will be digital downloads only with no disc drives (there might be a SKU version that is a cheaper disc less version, but as we saw in the leaked 720 docs Microsoft is envisioning Blu-Ray playback).

You can play Angry Birds on your iPad without having a wireless connection, I just don't see Sony and Microsoft ceding even more of their target market over to iOS and Android without putting up more of a fight rather than giving a large segment of their population more frustration.

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