When I heard about Microsoft’s controversial requirement for owning their new Xbox One entertainment console (right—entertainment console; remember, it’s not just for games anymore) I was, in a word, flabbergasted.
What? You have to check in online once every 24 hours? Or what? They take it back and penalize you for not being online all the time?
Sure, everyone’s online these days, and there’s hardly a time when you don’t, at least once, go online in a day, however briefly. But what if you forget? Maybe you’re out the whole day and you get home you’re so tired that you just go to sleep and completely forget to check in online. Or what if you have to go on a trip or a vacation where you’re gone for a week or two. Surely you can’t bring your Xbox One with you everywhere. So what do you do? Hire an Xbox One babysitter to check in with the console once everyday while you’re gone?
Yet, Microsoft confirmed last week that they will insist that you check in online once a day. I don’t really know how it would go in practice, but they said you still have to. In order to have games and entertainment, you need to be constantly online so that content is current and they can provide new and improved features, especially from the cloud. You have to connect to the internet with your Xbox One once every 24 hours, and that if you can’t do that, there’s always an offline device you can buy—the Xbox 360.
Microsoft is apparently not abandoning the Xbox 360 just yet, and at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles announced that they had a new, updated version of it, more in line with the looks of the new Xbox One, and that it was immediately available beginning that day. It’s based on the split glossy/matte black look of the Xbox One, and it’s smaller and quieter than the previous version. They’re continuing to support it and promise hundreds of new titles for it will be released in the near future. Furthermore, Microsoft is creating a brand new dashboard for the 360 similar to the one made for the Xbox One to keep things more or less on an even keel.
Ok, we know Microsoft is just looking forward to the time when everyone is on the net all-the-friggin-time. A bit premature, I think, but it is a brave, bold and far-thinking move. Still, the fact that they put out a new, updated version of the old “offline” Xbox 360 shows that they are aren’t too sure about this and are covering their asses. This, coupled with the other rumored conditions like having to be constantly online just to play single-player campaigns or not being able to use old, used games on the console unless you have permission from Microsoft makes Sony’s PlayStation 4 seem like a better deal right about now.
Well, until these new consoles finally come out at the end of the year, everything’s in flux and we don’t really know how everything’s going to turn out.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
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