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People claim that always-on requirement for gaming is a turn off
Monday 15 April 2013 12:28:44 by Andrew Ferguson

In the gaming community Digital Rights Management (DRM) that requires a console or PC to be online to verify a game has never been popular, and the recent launch of SimCity that could only be played online revealed the problems in terms of ensuring that a game had adequate resources to support the number of people buying it.

Our poll last week, looked at the scale of the public perception for an online requirement in a games console, and with the recent rumours over the next Xbox games console (maybe called X720) needing to be always online it was highly topical. The poll attracted over 1,500 responses and revealed that some 56% of those responding would be put off a console if it needed to be online during single player game play.

Poll Results: Would requirement for being online during single player game affect console choice?
(click image for larger version)

It is likely that after a Saturday when the Xbox Live sign-in system was offline for many people, with the result that online games and third party services like Netflix, Lovefilm and NOW TV did not work on the Xbox 360 platform, fortunately a great many single player games still worked. Back in 2012 the Sony PS3 store had its infamous hacking incident that did not do much to help the public perception of central gaming login systems.

What was interesting in the poll is that people are clearly not frightened of having their games console online as 94% of those with a console or dedicated gaming PC have it connected to their broadband service. Ethernet unsurprisingly is the preferred method for connecting a games console and wireless with its potential for producing variable latency (a killer in online gaming) is still heavily used, mostly for convenience we suspect.

Poll Results: How is your games console connected to your broadband connection?
(click image for larger version)

One aspect of online gaming and the current broadband services in the UK is that people are always looking for a better service, and we tailored one question to look at reliability and whether a broadband connection failing had caused people to exit an online game unexpectedly. With some 20.9% saying they had never lost a connection during game play, and another 34.2% saying it was rare it seems that reliability of broadband is probably not the main reason people are scared of any always-on requirement. For those 8.8% of people who say they lost connection when gaming most days, it is time to really check the reliability of your broadband connection, and if using wireless consider getting an Ethernet connection to the console to improve reliability.

Obviously not everyone owns a games console, so we did ask a question to learn the ratio of the various platforms people own, and one interesting snippet is that that around 23% of our visitors don't own a gaming console or PC, which when combined with the 17% who said in another question they will never buy a console suggests the growth in sales of consoles is not about converting new people, but the upgrade market. The size of the upgrade market is shown by the fact that some 25% of those taking part in the poll claimed to own a mixture of consoles.

Comments

Posted by Spectre_01 over 4 years ago
Imagine if some of the great game series that THQ (who recently went out of business) required an always on and linked to their servers policy - they'd be completely worthless right now.

Its a stupid idea I hope M$ is dumb enough to implement - just because I like watching arrogant companies throw themselves under the bus.
Posted by undecidedadrian over 4 years ago
This is the one reason why I stayed away from buying SimCity. EA have a proven track record of shutting online services down.

Gaming is going in a bad direction and the only people it is hurting is the consumer.
Posted by camieabz over 4 years ago
Never touched Steam with a bargepole for the simple reason that I'm not putting my gaming in the hands of a remote server.

Nowadays you even need a Steam account to try demos.

I'll stick to pre-Steam games until someone learns that when a person buys a game, they buy the right to play it without 3rd party interference. I don't copy and/or distribute software, and will not be regulated as if I do.
Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
Whilst ones console or computer continues to work, one should be able to play the games you have purchased indefinately. We still have a Sega Megadrive, and can play those games if we want. Will Microsoft and others guarantee this will be the case for current games in 20+ years time ?
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
here is some info. For the past 2-2 weeks I have been using my PS3 from around 11pm to about 9am. Latter 7 days start time been later but still pre 3am. The first week of that period I had FTTC issues with my dsl going down so lost connection, after that fixed I still have PSN going down almost every day at 5.30am. A always on requirement would be a disaster.
Posted by pigfister over 4 years ago
their goal as the sony patent proves, is to abolish copies you can share, resell & let everyone in the household have their own profile or save, they want to sell you a licence per person in every household & the only way to accomplish this, is via online only services.

imagine if your xbox connect/sony eye was counting every member watching the latest blockbuster from netflix say, & charged per person, corporate shills orgasm NOW!
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