Friday, June 21, 2013

A Glimpse Of Things To Come?

A couple of days ago (6/19/13) I experienced an event that other gamers may be forced to experience in the near future.  

I've spent the last two days here in Bend, OR.  A sort of graduation present from Conklederps parents who flew up later last week and arrived here a few days before us.  The hotel we've stayed at, Pine Ridge Inn has been pretty awesome: the view of the Deschutes River from the back porch/balcony is especially nice.  The Wifi signal though is pretty much non-existent.  Conklederp's dad said that the best place to get a signal for him was in the bathroom near/on the toilet and I'm pretty sure he wasn't joking.

So during the in-between times of hiking one of many amazing trails and going to one of a dozen breweries, I figured I would play some games via Steam, at least the ones that I already had downloaded.  I was able to play Skyrim three times before Steam experienced something it didn't like and forced itself to shut down.  It was upon restarting Steam that I first received the above message.

I probably should have known to put Steam in “Offline” mode the first time I noticed that I couldn't log onto the hotel's Wifi signal.  Not doing what I should have done though has now put me in the position of not being able to play games that I have purchased.  Even locating the folders on my hard drive and attempting to boot up without the aid of Steam was unsuccessful.

I imagine things like this happening with future Xbox One owners, although when I try to stop and think about when an Xbox One would be without service, the results are somewhat short listed.  Do people take their Xboxes on vacation with them the same way that I took my computer (being one of two ways I play video games these days)?  When at home, how often have we lost an internet signal for more than an hour?  Would I really be that hard pressed to play a video game the day after I move into a new house/apartment where internet service has not been set up?  Although, I guess the other issue is if the servers that exist for the sole purpose of interconnecting Xbox One users go down, games will not be able to be played because both sides are not longer talking to each other, which would be similar as not having an internet connection to begin with.

The new Xbox One is touted as an all-in-one entertainment center.  You're probably not going to be moving that thing around from place-to-place as you would say, a laptop.  It's not a portable gaming device.  Now that's something that I would find both ludicrous and frightening: a portable gaming device that required a constant online connection in order to play games that you have already purchased.  Gadzooks!


[Edit:  Just before posting this, I read an article on Cnet about how Microsoft is now no longer requiring the Xbox One to be logged onto the internet every 24 hours.  This somewhat changes the whole reason for the article existing, but damn it, I want to share my thoughts, even if they are 9-10 hours outdated.  Take that internet!]

1 comment:

  1. Take that Microsoft! I'm glad to see that this 'always online' thing isn't taking hold. The X-Box One definitely looked like the biggest commitment so far to what I think of as a really bad business model.

    I have heard the latest Sim City does this, and i think I also heard the same for Diablo III? I guess it's some sort of DRM thing. Anyway, as a gamer, I would be highly perturbed if my games disappeared in a puff of smoke whenever my internet connection failed.

    However, you do point out a good... point-- that really, how often does the internet fail? my connection is pretty gosh darned stable. I guess mostly when the power goes out it's a problem, but I can't play games then.

    I hope that it's never hte case for a portable system, because then it makes me think that we may as well just ditch portable systems and all play cell-phone games. But Fuck that! I'm just not into the touch-screen controller for everything approach. Then again, if my cell phone had DS controls on it, I might like it that much more.