Day One Patches and Next-Gen Consoles

Next-Gen Consoles Future is a Wired (or Wireless) One

I just wanted to mention a little something about next-generation consoles and the internet. There was quite a huff a little while ago when a major next-gen console maker mentioned their device would require an internet connection to work.

Next-Gen Consoles need the intenetThe reality is that all next-gen consoles (both PS4 and Xbox One and even going back to the Wii U) need an internet connection to work the way we’ve grown to expect. And I’d even go out on a limb and say I bet that you have an internet connection at home. (Unless you’re reading this at the library. Are you?). The reality is, pretty much anyone buying a next-gen console has internet, or has reasonable access to the internet. And while this first run of the next-gen consoles need a day one update, the ones manufactured later will most likely have the necessary updates in place (for military personnel, which is just about the only argument for cases regarding gamers without reliable internet).

The Future of Wired Consoles is Bright

Bottom line is, the next generation of consoles (both the PS4 and the Xbox One) will be “amazing.” And that “amazing” needs to be updated as the launch moves forward. Developing the OS and features will continue throughout the lives of the systems (look at the changes to the Xbox 360 dashboard over its life as an example) and a connection to the internet is a must to have the latest and greatest on your PS4 or Xbox One.

I feel weird when my console isn’t connected to the internet, which is hardly ever the case. I for one have no problem with day one updates for next-gen consoles that bring new amazing features we’re only just beginning to understand how they will change gaming (and I think I’m with you in hoping for the better).

Now, if the servers that host these updates don’t crash on launch, everything will be fine. But we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there.

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Steam Goes With Sharing

Digital is the future! At least, that’s been the mantra around here for a while. But sometimes digital has drawbacks that physical media users have enjoyed for years. For example, loaning a game to a friend.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to loan a game digitally? This question has been on my mind since the reversal of the Family Sharing plan on the Xbox One. There were rumors at the time that Steam would go this way as well. And today, they announced that sharing is caring.

Steam Family Sharing, a new service feature that allows close friends and family members to share their libraries of Steam games, is coming to Steam, a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC, Mac, and Linux games and software. The feature will become available next week, in limited beta on Steam.

Steam Family Sharing is designed for close friends and family members to play one another’s Steam games while each earning their own Steam achievements and storing their own saves and application data to the Steam cloud. It’s all enabled by authorizing a shared computer.

While I’m bummed that this sort of feature was killed by consumers on the Xbox One, I’m excited to see how it plays out on Steam.

Read more at the official Steam Blog:

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BREAKING: Microsoft Backs Off of DRM – No Family Sharing Plan

The last week as been an awesome roller coaster of trying to figure out where Microsoft was going with new features and how they were going to handle DRM. Today, all that died.

Xbox One

Don Matrick, President, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft announced today that (alternate source since the Xbox site is under heavy load):

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

While this means the used game market isn’t going anywhere and people can still trade their used games, the features that went along with the DRM to add value are gone as well. No chance to share your game library with family or friends the next state over. Unless you want to put your game in an envelope and mail it to them that is. And hopefully they send it back.

Where this puts publishers and developers down the road can’t be good. It’s already well-known that used game sales hurt AAA titles the most. I guess we’ll just have a few less Call of Duty class games and a few more indie games on our next gen consoles. Ho, hum. I’m not a fan of backtracking.

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