Jimquisition: Why An Always-On DRM Console Would Be Dumb Dumb Dumb

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When you said "congratulate Nintendo," I had no idea what you were talking about. When you mentioned "having the best exclusive," Lego City Undercover came to mind. When you joked about the WiiU not getting Colonial Marines, I sighed.

With surprisingly well-animated and acted characters and addicting piece collecting, that Lego game sounds really good.

Honestly jim i noticed you tried to lump sony in with xbox in an effort to sound open minded.

But that's just it. Sony isn't going that way. We (the sony fans) wether you like it or not own you ^^. Hate drm? Come on down to sony land jimmy.

I'm proud to see I've long since preferred sony over x box and if there ever was a full on time for fan boy gloating,
it's now baby ^^.

but yeah great episode but lets be honest this is xbox shit bomb. no one elses.

keitarobg:
It's about time to start suing developers for imposing always-on DRM and failing to sustain the conditions for it. It's an obvious breach of contract, because the obligee (ze publisher) is denying a service, for which the customer has paid. Imagine buying milk from the store, paying for it and getting just the plastic jug without milk in it, because the cows aren't able to produce milk right now. It's exactly the same.

What I'm trying to say is that it's a legal issue. This is not a debate. People need to turn to court otherwise this bullshit will continue in the future.

the breach of contract would only work if their contracts were not written to allow the exact same thing we all hate. If they mark it as a service, they by all economic means take all our rights away.

I.e.

In economics, a service is an intangible commodity. More specifically, services are an intangible equivalent of economic goods.
Service provision is often an economic activity where the buyer does not generally, except by exclusive contract, obtain exclusive ownership of the thing purchased. The benefits of such a service, if priced, are held to be self-evident in the buyer's willingness to pay for it. Public services are those society (nation state, fiscal union, regional) as a whole pays for through taxes and other means.
By composing and orchestrating the appropriate level of resources, skill, ingenuity, and experience for effecting specific benefits for service consumers, service providers participate in an economy without the restrictions of carrying inventory (stock) or the need to concern themselves with bulky raw materials. On the other hand, their investment in expertise does require consistent service marketing and upgrading in the face of competition.

Hence the rise of ultra long EULAs that we just want to click through to play our games. People do not read how steadily every bit of 'ownership' has been stripped away from us. Basically, by being dismayed by what we're playing and planning to protest, we are the ones breaching contract. As long as games change nomenclature to a 'service'.

Azriel Nightshade:
Why is always on-line for consols detrimental, but always online via Steam exempt from scrutiny?

Last time I checked, Steam runs ALL my games with offline modes in them perfectly fine when my internet is down.

It's even kind enough to let me chose if I'd like to update whenever possible, or if I'd rather it not mess with my modded copy of X-Com or another game.

Legion:
I can't see why else they could have such a dismissive attitude towards their customers, especially considering that selling 3 million copies of a game is considered "below expectations". If games were still being made cheap, then perhaps they could get away with that kind of attitude, but considering how much money they are losing, even when games are selling well, you'd think trying to please people would be a much better idea than trying to siphon money off of them any way that you can.

As for the always online. I honestly cannot see the logic behind it. We are not yet in a world where reliable fast broadband is widespread enough for this kind of usage. In five to ten years, I'd imagine this idea could work, but right now we simply are not ready for it. So why are they so insistent? I cannot see the advantage for them.

That's something that I feel gets overshadowed amid all the other shit, that EA and other big companies are hemorrhaging money because they are just plain poorly run companies. They are spending far more than they can reasonably expect to make, making their products less desirable in a vain attempt to squeeze out a few more pennies, and showing outright contempt for their customers.

It's no wonder CEO's are being forced to step down and the market is crashing when they refuse to learn from even recent mistakes, either too proud or stupid to consider any alternatives despite almost certain failure. It's become an industry so nearsighted and sure of itself that it can't (or won't) see the giant pit just down the road.

And as for being always on, clearly anyone who thinks it is a good idea has never lived in an area with poor connection and just takes for granted that not everyone can be online all the time. As many have pointed out willingly excluding a fairly large percentage of potential customers (I believe the number of non-online 360's was like 20-30%) is just stupid and strikes me as cutting off your nose to spite your face.

My internet connection is fine most of the time and that's the key word, most of the time, it always baffled me why would I want a freaking console to be "always online", I mean, I love MMOs and I love online gaming in general, but there are times where I'm not in the mood to play with strangers or friends and I just want to play some good ol' fashioned single player goodness, heck, there are times when I'm in the mood to use the Wii (!).

I mean, it's neat that consoles can be connected to the internet and it's definitely neat to use my Wii for YouTube and Netflix (the most use the little fella is having right now), but it's not a freaking requirement, it's not necessary to play, say, Mario Galaxy or Okami.

Heck, not even Steam itself uses my internet connection constantly, I can perfectly live by connecting it once every few weeks and keep playing anything I want offline.

If these rumors are true, I can see a big rope haging from the ceiling with Microsoft's name on it.

It's funny; I just disassembled my vacuum cleaner, and, you know what? The thing doesn't need electricity at all. It turns out it just connects to the power outlet so the power company can give Hoover information about how I use their vacuum cleaner, how often I use my vacuum cleaner, and whether enough time has passed that Hoover can send an electrical pulse up the line and cause my vacuum cleaner to self-destruct so I'll be forced to buy a new one. And I guess there's some kind of widget that prevents my vacuum cleaner from using generic or reconditioned parts, and that requires electricity too.

Jim? Amen.

Microsoft? Zune, Windows 8/Mobile, Games For Windows Live- you're running out of breathing room for allowable fuck-ups. Don't do it.

actually this has been confirmed and Microsoft is making the new Xbox with DRM, they even gave the prices and said "if your internet connection goes out for 3 minutes you Xbox will shut down" what an epic fail.

Lawl! Lawl! *snarf* Great job, Jim :) Would be nice for the AAA pubs to realize the issues they're causing but maybe the empty wallet teaches best.

2 things...

1. I can't wait to see the nightmare of parents returning these because they didn't realize that they needed high speed internet for a game console. And let's face it, no matter what Microsoft are aiming for, its a game console first and foremost.

2. My biggest concern that Jim pointed out that not many have is what happens when the gen is over. I still regularly play my NES through my PS2 and Xbox. I can't see buying a toy that has a total life of maybe 10 years tops as I still like playing new and old alike.

This episode pretty much confirms the same opinion Yahtzee has in his Extra Punctuation column in which Triple A gaming is indeed dying, as to Yahtzee's words, the act of SimCity's always online DRM on a game that was essentially a single player game was "from the wild thrashing of a dying beast that we see such illogical decisions as trying to make SimCity multiplayer focused.".

Honestly, the death knell for EA, Blizzard or any other publisher that uses Orwellian DRM tactics is when opposing, open-minded publishers start selling their products as DRM-free and available offline, It's already used as an incentive in numerous Kickstarter projects(it was an incentive for FTL where Kickstarters would get a DRM free version on release) and CDProjekt Red even preaches about that on any copy of TW2 you get from GOG.com or Amazon.

Remarkably though, my 2nd paragraph can count as an attack on Steam, but it isn't, despite Steam being a DRM on itself, Steam's safe due to its business practice and ultimately you can run Steam offline if the games you've bought can run offline.

Jimothy Sterling:
Why An Always-On DRM Console Would Be Dumb Dumb Dumb

Just talking about an "always-on" Xbox is a really dumb idea.

Watch Video

4:38 Not to mention I need a stable connection just to play Doom and Destiny. 5:42 Please explain to me as to WHY we, the consumers, have to spell it out for the sellers, the alleged peddlers, as to why screwing over your customers is a bad idea. 6:20 Yeah, you're not gonna take advantage of my cash, you grubby Microsoft punks. 7:00 They're bluffing when they SHOULD be afraid. Of us. We don't like how they're treating us? We'll give our money to the competition ,then. 7:24 When your castle has crumbled, there's no one around, and your left with but a name, we'll ask you this: "Where's your crown, King Nothing?"

Very powerful words Jim, especially in your final act. Well done. I haven't posted here in forever and a half, but I just had to let you know how much I respect this video and will, in fact, thank god every time someone in the industry watches it.

Job well done, sport.

gamegod25:

It's no wonder CEO's are being forced to step down and the market is crashing when they refuse to learn from even recent mistakes, either too proud or stupid to consider any alternatives despite almost certain failure. It's become an industry so nearsighted and sure of itself that it can't (or won't) see the giant pit just down the road.

That, my friend, is the MAGIC of shareholders! :D

You see, they don't give a shit about your product. They just give you money and ask you to grow in order to get that money back + growth! So they want you to grow more and more and faster and faster and they don't give a rat's ass what you have to do to make your profits go up so theirs go up.

They basically hijack your company and force it to make more and more and more profits, regardless of your wishes for your product, and there will be hell to pay if you can't make your stock value go up by at least a quarter of its previous value by year end...

This is what's causing companies to go evil, be anti consumer, use sweatshops in china that employ kids, and crash themselves. I'm convinced that the only reason Valve is doing as well as they are is because they aren't publicly traded, meaning that they don't NEED to chase maximum growth, and thus be massive douches about it.

What I don't get is how a company like microsoft could actually believe this would be good for business, surely you would want as many people as possible to buy your console and the demographic of "people with good internet connections + the people without them" is bigger than "just the people with good internet connections and who happen not to mind having to jump through arbitrarily mandated hoops".

Azriel Nightshade:
Why is always on-line for consols detrimental, but always online via Steam exempt from scrutiny?

I'm not asking this to be contrarian or witty, I'm generally curious. Mainly because the only two PC games I play are WoW and LoL, both on an 5 year old iMac. So I'm a bit out of the loop.

There's probably a hundred answers to that question, but I'll drop my own two cents in. Steam gives people a reason to -want- the always online service, from ludicrous deals on games and software, to a robust social ui that for me, has replaced any other chat and social media programs I used to use. It is the same thing, Steam is a DRM program, the difference is in the customer service, Steam makes an effort to make their customers feel valued, and in return is rewarded by getting a pretty loyal customer base, who (at least in my case) spend a lot more than they otherwise would on games because they feel like they're getting a bargain. Whereas other programs, Origin comes to mind, make the customer feel like they are being forced to deal with this program, with no benefit provided to them for it.

Ken_J:
This is kind of why I'm loving my Wii U. Sure it has it's own bullshit but It doesn't look nearly as bad as this

Also why I like my pink 3DS XL. And Pokemon Black/White 2. And the upcoming X&Y generation. See, to my way of thinking, Pokemon is probably one of the best examples at how to do a good game right. It is, at its roots, a single player turn based strategy game. Sure, there's the always prevalent motto of Pokemon, "Gotta catch 'em all!", but that's not REQUIRED of you to complete the game. And speaking of what's available on the game, but not required for the game's completion, here's a short list of things that I can think of at this moment in time:

- Trading Pokemon from other generations
- Battling other people via Nintendo Wi-Fi or Infrared connection
- Side quests (i.e. Gen 5's Subway Battles, Gen 2's Apricorns into Poke Balls, Gen 4's Underground, Gen 5's Pokemon World Tournament, etc.)
- Downloadable Content (Pokemon Dream Radar comes to mind; and it's free, might I add)
- Catching Legendaries...although let's be honest, who WOULDN'T want to catch legendary Pokemon?
- Shiny Pokemon

All of these things that I've mentioned have their own benefits if they are utilized...but they are not required whatsoever to complete the main storyline of ANY Pokemon game. The games may introduce them to the player during their first romp through the game, but completing them is purely optional. But perhaps the best feature overall for the Pokemon games, and one that fits the current atmosphere of discussion here...

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO HAVE ONLINE CAPABILITIES FOR PLAYING THE GAME.

Say what you want about Pokemon, it is my belief that this is a game whose formula is consistently beneficial not only for the companies involved (Game Freak and Nintendo, mainly) but for the customers who pay for the games. It's a good, basic game, it's not "always on-line", though it has it's failings it's strengths more than make up for it...

you are a scholar jim. A scholar.
I know I'll simply but which ever console does not have a DRM requirement.

keitarobg:
It's about time to start suing developers for imposing always-on DRM and failing to sustain the conditions for it. It's an obvious breach of contract, because the obligee (ze publisher) is denying a service, for which the customer has paid. Imagine buying milk from the store, paying for it and getting just the plastic jug without milk in it, because the cows aren't able to produce milk right now. It's exactly the same.

What I'm trying to say is that it's a legal issue. This is not a debate. People need to turn to court otherwise this bullshit will continue in the future.

Because the little guys always win in court? Man, I wish 'Merica was just like a movie, too.

Their guarantee only goes so far just like most products and services. I can't sue my power company if too many people overload the system. All they would have to prove against my case is that they tried or even planned to fix the problem as soon as they knew about it. Which isnt hard at all. What would be harder to do is prove the opposite.

The sad part is that not even most gamers are talking about how we can't trust the publishers to hold up there end of the deal. Most of the posts I've seen discussing an always on console are defending the idea, asking people how often their 360s aren't connected to the internet and throwing out the phrase "get better internet" without realizing that not everyone can, and of course not realizing that it doesn't matter how good your connection is when you can't trust publishers to hold up their end of the bargain.

Seriously, why is any other argument put forward? The only thing we need to say is that publishers can't do always online properly and thus they shouldn't do it at all. Xbox Live goes down completely or has bad connection problems every year at Christmas, why the fuck should anyone trust Microsoft to magically make those issues go away if the new console is always online? We shouldn't.

In fact, that's just a big problem with gamers in general, it seems. Too many are far too willing to defend any terrible thing a publisher does with some of the weakest excuses I've ever heard. Why? We don't owe these companies our blind love and devotion just because they put out games for us to play. Our love and devotion should be reserved for those companies that go that extra mile to do right by us, like Rockstar or Valve. And speaking of Valve...

Azriel Nightshade:
Why is always on-line for consols detrimental, but always online via Steam exempt from scrutiny?

Because Steam isn't always online.

Honestly, what did you think the answer was? What made you think we'd all hate Ubisoft, Blizzard, EA, and potentially Microsoft for doing it, but give Valve a free pass? I'm not asking this to be contrarian or witty, I'm generally curious.

And don't say "because everyone loves Valve", because that's not a logical answer. It's a stupid one. People love Valve because they don't try to screw us at every turn like Blizzard or EA. If Valve did try to screw us over at every turn, we wouldn't love them anymore.

Valanthe:

Azriel Nightshade:
Why is always on-line for consols detrimental, but always online via Steam exempt from scrutiny?

I'm not asking this to be contrarian or witty, I'm generally curious. Mainly because the only two PC games I play are WoW and LoL, both on an 5 year old iMac. So I'm a bit out of the loop.

There's probably a hundred answers to that question, but I'll drop my own two cents in. Steam gives people a reason to -want- the always online service

Uhm, no. Steam doesn't give people a reason to want that service. Steam doesn't need to give people a reason to want it because Steam doesn't have it.

Don't speak unless you know what the hell you're talking about. Thanks.

lord pickle:
I bought the Xbox when it first came out and I am on my third Xbox 360.

Just a little question. You say you're at your third xbox 360. What's wrong with that thing? I keep hearing people talk about how many 360's they bought, while i still have my old xbox 1, which is still working perfectly without any problems whatsoever.

Great show as always, jim.

aegix drakan:

gamegod25:

It's no wonder CEO's are being forced to step down and the market is crashing when they refuse to learn from even recent mistakes, either too proud or stupid to consider any alternatives despite almost certain failure. It's become an industry so nearsighted and sure of itself that it can't (or won't) see the giant pit just down the road.

That, my friend, is the MAGIC of shareholders! :D

You see, they don't give a shit about your product. They just give you money and ask you to grow in order to get that money back + growth! So they want you to grow more and more and faster and faster and they don't give a rat's ass what you have to do to make your profits go up so theirs go up.

They basically hijack your company and force it to make more and more and more profits, regardless of your wishes for your product, and there will be hell to pay if you can't make your stock value go up by at least a quarter of its previous value by year end...

This is what's causing companies to go evil, be anti consumer, use sweatshops in china that employ kids, and crash themselves. I'm convinced that the only reason Valve is doing as well as they are is because they aren't publicly traded, meaning that they don't NEED to chase maximum growth, and thus be massive douches about it.

That is probly part of the problem too but I think it's bad decisions and lack of understanding of an evolving industry that is the big issue.

Broadband is something I pay for and I refuse point blank to accept that any company can use my bandwidth for their own purposes without my consent. Pay for my broadband and you can have a say on what I consume.

When the metro UI was introduced, that was enough for me to say goodbye to my 360 and I've zero intention of getting windows 8 for my PC. So Microsoft, it really doesn't matter what you do now; our business is concluded.

Amaror:

Just a little question. You say you're at your third xbox 360. What's wrong with that thing? I keep hearing people talk about how many 360's they bought, while i still have my old xbox 1, which is still working perfectly without any problems whatsoever.

Can be a lot of problems ranging from cheap solder used to other stuff:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_technical_problems#Causes
Though I think this article is far from complete, at points there is mention of simply baffling failure rates. I also think the page is focusing too much on the extremely old disc scratches... possibly because the investigations into this offer much more reliable data than "inofficial" research.

I still can't grasp why people keep buying those things when their old ones break. I understand people not wanting their gaming libraries to be inaccessible but somewhen people should realize that they are basically being shafted just so MS can save 5 cents per console for solder.
And chances are that BS like this will get even worse next gen, as they don't seem to have to fear real consequences and people will just buy a new one if their system fails.

I concur Mr. Sterling.

Being an old-head, I'm reminded of the first crash of the video game industry, when arcade operators found themselves operating empty rooms filled with dusty old machines. In the US anyway, they were enjoying the rising popularity of a new digital passtime and were making money hand-over-fist. People were lining up to shove quarters endlessly into their noisy new box, surely it was a trend that would never end.

Right up until Mario.

We're living in the aftermath of that miscalculation. The idea of only being able to play games in a building with regular business hours is laughably prehistoric. Similar to how a "personal computer" isn't a big stack of boxes with blinking lights skulking in a corner of the household anymore, and how people don't really need to own a console to enjoy their favorite games anymore.

Then again, the idea was pretty stupid back in the early eighties but too much easy money makes common sense notably less common. People were still shoving half their wallets into these newfangled boxes, one quarter at a time. People still make microtransactions, why should they ever stop?

If we've learned anything from history, it's only that we haven't learned anything from history.

cheetahguy:
actually this has been confirmed and Microsoft is making the new Xbox with DRM, they even gave the prices and said "if your internet connection goes out for 3 minutes you Xbox will shut down" what an epic fail.

where has it been confirmed? Thought it was just unsubstantiated rumours at this point

I have glorified dial up at BEST. Always online will suck out here in the boonies.

I almost wish MS would make the nextbox always online/DRM so I can look forward to not buying it and hasten the long predicted console crash.

ObsidianJones:

Hence the rise of ultra long EULAs that we just want to click through to play our games. People do not read how steadily every bit of 'ownership' has been stripped away from us. Basically, by being dismayed by what we're playing and planning to protest, we are the ones breaching contract. As long as games change nomenclature to a 'service'.

The scary thing about game service contracts, is that the provider must only "attempt" to provide the service advertised; they don't actually have to deliver (as so many SimCity and Diablo 3 players discovered).

A game distributed through such an online service (like Steam) results in something similar (in function) to a regular good:

"Yes, I received the game and it works"
vs
"No, I did not receive the game."

But combining the two (digital + service) to create "always online", results in the worst parts of both models.
"I received the game, but can only play it on my end as long as their end functions."
It is a good being held hostage at the whim of service.

Those ultra-long EULAs make all manner of legal demands of the user, but no assurances that they will uphold their end of the bargain beyond a legal "maybe".

But perhaps the scariest part of all: Some people go out of their way to rationalize a defense for such a model.

I already know how I will deal with it. In fact I'm doing it right now...

If it's true that Microsoft is making the next X-Box online only, It will be enough for me to switch to PC gaming. I used to buy the X-Box because I was a huge Halo fanboy, but this is enough to make me drop it. I even have a good internet connection where I live, but I am willing to not buy the next X-Box on principle alone if it is always online. If Microsoft is smart, they are scrambling to remove the always online feature. If not, they have lost many customers.

I forgot to mention last week, but the new logo looks really nice!
More on topic, an example that has really affected me was the deactivation of online leaderboards in Mirror's Edge. Once you've done the best you can against yourself in time trials, the only content left is against other players, so they effectively killed their own game's replayability. It's not like their isn't an audience either. I really don't see how it was necessary, other than the actual time and ghost data there's very little that needs to be stored on their servers. You don't play on the servers either, ghost data is downloaded and used locally. Anyway, enough ranting from me >.>

the antithesis:
And that's how the Ouya will outsell the next Xbox. Deal with it.

I don't see the ouya selling well. It's an awesome concept and I love the idea of it, but it doesn't have the horsepower. I do see this as this is how Steam box will outsell the the everything.

Side note, I love how Jim has gone from being massively hated in his first few episodes to actually having a gif made with him telling others to deal with it.

This is definitely something I have to add to da favorites

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