Xbox 720 Permanent Connection Only the Beginning? Ian Livingstone Talks the Future With No Box

All roads point to one eventuality: No more box.

When it first came around that the Xbox 720 might require an always online internet connection that would help prevent the sale of used games. As our interview with Eidos Life President shows however, that could just be the beginning.

“It’s very interesting. It seems to me that next generation hardware is like a halfway house. Latency and bandwidth constraints have forced these devices to have physical media yet again. But we hear that Microsoft, Xbox 720 requires a permanent internet connection and the optical discs are effectively watermarked and that will only play on one dedicated machine. But who knows what’s going to happen next time around?

“I doubt there’s going to be a physical media in the next situation. There might not even be a set-up box, if the software is embedded in smart TVs that are connected to the internet. Ten years is a long time, in technology for games. I don’t think anyone knows. I certainly don’t.”

Ian_Livingstone

Of course, when asked whether we’re coming closer to an age of no box, Livingstone stated that, “It’s interesting and an inevitability. One day there will be no box. At one point that has to happen.”

But the reasons for that happening – if Microsoft does indeed go for an always-on internet connection while Sony has you replaying PS3 games through the Cloud – are the same. As Livingstone states, “As a content creator, pre-owned’s never been great. Retailers have started to sell the same items 6 or 7 times with no with incremental revenues going back to the content creators.

“At the same time, piracy’s been a problem. So games are almost obliged to become an additional service where you can monetize…So for the pirates to take what part of it is long-term, and legislative doesn’t work, you can only do it through price and technology. It’s very difficult for pirates to compete with free, and very difficult for them to compete with the Cloud. So long term, it’s inevitable that we go this way.”

So while it may be a big yet annoying step, if the Xbox 720 does indeed decide to go with a permanent internet connection, it will just be a dot on the road map to something bigger.


  • Timmeh

    At least this will be less annoying and less laggy than GaiKai. Cloud only is going to be a bigger failure than it has already been

    • Mr. Derpington

      I hate to burst your bubble.. but Cloud is the future. The days of having full ownership of a product is gone and none of these developers want you to feel that you actually “own” the media.. because you don’t.. you only own a license to play it. With Cloud they will achieve everything they’ve been aiming for, which is: Stop piracy, Restrict second hand games, Have complete where-about of what you are pressing at all times. No matter what corporate company you choose to side with.. they both work for the same industry, the and industry will consist of DRM and Bandwidth fee’s.

    • Wykydtron

      that seriously sounds like some creepy 1984 shit, if i cant own something then why should i have to part with money to begin with? that would be like Ibanez saying “hey you cant play any songs on our guitars by musicians that we don’t endorse” yet somehow the rules are changed for the videogame making assholes, i can buy anything used, car, instrument, house, appliance, electronics. etc etc yet somehow the game industry morons say like fucking gollum IT HURTS US IT HURTS US, when every other market is coexisting with second hand goods just fine,

  • lt.dan

    I must say that there is something fundamentally wrong with this. Many industries would crap their pants if this happened to them. So why is it so acceptable in the gaming industry? I think companies like game stop should have to pay royalties to the companies if they are selling their games.

    • Wykydtron131

      No other company that makes stuff gets royalties paid to them when somthing is bought second hand, whether its Gibson Guitars, or Fruit of the Loom. Why should gaming companies be granted a special set of rules? They should abide by the same rules that every other company in the market abides by.

    • lt.dan

      I was talking about entertainment industries. Like the music industry, who wants royalties who wants royalties paid whenever someone plays their music. Also, you aren’t looking at at the fact the gibson has a constant stream of guitars coming coming out, while a gaming company might only be profiting for 2 months every 2 years. David cage said that a game on average will only have a couple months to profit before used games sales take up the lalrge majority of sales.

  • lt.dan

    I must say that there is something fundamentally wrong with this. Many industries would crap their pants if this happened to them. So why is it so acceptable in the gaming industry? I think companies like game stop should have to pay royalties to the companies if they are selling their games.

  • oneangrygamer

    guys youre not the only gamers out there extremely upset about this whole situation.Gaming is dead :’[

  • Luke

    I’m not saying I like this but those comparing games to cars and guitars your missing the point. Unlike games, cars and guitars cannot be duplicated in such an easy way that costs virtually nothing to pirates and takes the money from developers and the industry in general. Not selling games second hand sucks balls but it is fair enough for the gaming industry to try and recoup the massive losses from the f-wits pirating their stuff. In fact the pirates are the cause of us possibly never owning hard copies of games again so let’s just point the finger in the right direction peeps!!!

    • Wykydtron131

      So respond to bullshit (piracy) by enacting even more bullshit (not being able to truly own anything), sounds like the epitome of Pandora’s box, wouldn’t this encourage more piracy? seems like a self defeating and stupid strategy. as far as the gaming industry is concerned, “trying to recoup massive losses” how about the games in question just plain suck? or because they are ripoffs of other games with a different skin thrown on and called something else? or the completely original idea of releasing the same game every year with only slight changes, if any?

  • Luke

    Ps if you pirate stuff go shoot yourself fucknuckle!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/project1x Philip

    “BREAKING NEWS! TECHNOLOGY EVOLVES!”

    Get over yourselves.

  • An Informed Person

    It’s all more or less BS to control you. Piracy is the one of the reasons that developers switched to consoles to PC, because it’s harder to pirate on. Yet console piracy is most likely less then 1% of all of it.

    Emulators and roms is considered piracy but it is the only way to play some games because of how few physical copies was made. Likewise for other media such as early episodes of Doctor Who and other specials like the Star Wars Holiday Special that has nvr been re-aired. Some things can only survive thru it.

    Also all the reports that has came out saying that piracy accounts for X percent of losses, or any other negative effect are pretty bogus and doesn’t use good methods of data gathering or uses bad sources. Publishers just assume that every copy that is sold there are 10 pirates.

    Now in the last few years there have been the rise of indie devs that has to use piracy methods such as torrents to get get their products out and have people help spread it. Mojang allowed piracy of Minecraft and it became a hit. Recently there was a ad front page of Piratebay that was a free and complete download of an indie game called Anodyne. They might not make anything because it was offered on a “Pirate” site, but if you like it you can pay for it like anything else.

    Indie devs don’t have the money or the patience either to go thru all the red tape BS to release their games on consoles either. The devs behind Super Meat Boy has said that before.

    For large corp games, the pirated versions are usually better because whoever cracked it usually removes the DRM. A lot of Ubisoft’s always-on games had their’s removed. Pirated version Diablo 3 had their’s removed too. The people who got that game is angry cause now Blizzard is gonna release the game DRM free on consoles which makes it a better version and not even attempt to patch out the DRM for PC. The new SimCity is the same thru mods that make it be able to be played offline, but how long is it gonna be before they say no mods to get rid of that extra feature that should have been in the actual game?

    Google abuses it’s power and gets rid of these so called “pirate” websites from it’s search engine. YET! Runs youtube which is probably the most publicly avalible form of music and video piracy on the internet.

    Think about it.

  • eonzy

    IF THIS IS TRUE AM MOVING TO PLAYSATION, SO YOU HAVE TO BUY THE GAME, HAVE XBOX LIVE AND ALSO AN INTERNET CONNECTION TO PLAY THEM. BYE BYE XBOX r.i.p

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