Xbox 720: Why Microsoft Has Nothing to Fear from Sony

And it has nothing to do with being always online.

Posted By | On 26th, Apr. 2013 Under Article, Editorials

We’ve heard it a million times by now. With Adam Orth’s comments not exactly helping the case for secrecy – and which earned him a ticket out – it seems the next Xbox, codenamed Durango and which will probably be called the Xbox 720, will be always-online.

This means launching applications and playing games while connected to the internet. For an example as to how this can negatively impact the console’s working, just take a look at recent news of Xbox Live going down and people being unable to access Netflix, Hulu and multiplayer. Now just extend that to all your games.

Then again, as Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski has mentioned, an always connected world is not far off. In fact with innovations such as 4G and LTE, not to mention Google Fiber making inroads throughout the United States, it’s not far-fetched to think that the whole world will be connected within the next 10 years. Then again, the Xbox 720 doesn’t need to cater to whole world. Just to markets that already enjoy the Xbox 360 or have an internet connection.

xbox 720

Leave aside the fact that we know nothing – repeat, nothing – about whether the Xbox 720 is always online or not. Heck, Microsoft could very well be working on some kind of system to benefit your games if you’re always online – but if you’re not, you can still enjoy the experience; just that it won’t be the same as if you were connected.

Think hot fixes that are commonly seen with some patches these days, whose benefits are gone when you exit the game or are unable to access them at the time. Maybe extending that to removing content from the game, unless you’re connected?

Completely possible, absolutely draconic, but again, just a rumour – like everything else we’ve heard about Microsoft’s next gen console.

assassin's creed 2_01

The main crux of the argument is that always-online will be the death of the console. An always-online DRM helped Assassin’s Creed 2 PC lose about $50 million dollars. Let’s not even get into the SimCity debacle, wherein EA wanted to implement “social features” (read: sell you practically everything) to enhance/milk the experience.

One segment worries about the piracy; the other is trying to recoup the enormous amount of money spent on development somehow. But with Microsoft, it’s completely different.

The Xbox 360, after the release of Kinect, has transcended the need to rely solely on hardcore gamers and franchises. It’s fully made the transition to being a living room device that the whole family can appreciate and it’s done so far better than Sony.

Look at where the Move has gone from when it was introduced – the definitive motion gaming solution – to now, where it plays second fiddle to the DualShock 4 and can be used to create, of all the things, a puppet show.

Let’s not forget that the Xbox 360, whose biggest market is the United States, is now the top selling console for the 27th consecutive month in a row. If it stays on top for 9 more months, it will have been the top selling console for 3 YEARS in a row.

Coupled with evidence that plenty of gamers are pretty much online all the time anyway, in some form, with Xbox Live – not including all the casual users who use it for Netflix, social networking and the like – and it’s quite amazing to see the response to an always-online console be so venomous.

Call Of Duty Black Ops 2

Remember those Xbox 360 first person shooter fans? The ones who make Call of Duty a success, year-in and year-out, and are the primary reason for Activision focusing all of its efforts on Microsoft’s console? You think they care about single-player? They’re always online anyway. A new console with the same requirement changes nothing.

Microsoft knows which audience it’s catering to – it knows the success it’s achieved, and how to strengthen and expand that market further.

And that’s not because they’re going to go always-online from here on out.

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  • dafukumean

    Lol dude sony dismal 1st party games lmao.. n think about it a $599 console with a year lead against it has out sold the cheaper xbox 360.. so tell me when they both launch together which 1 u think will continously outsell the other.. get out of the usa bubble the ps3 has been outselling the xbox 360 worldwide on a yearly basis.. so stop the fan boy crap n use facts..

    • wiz7191

      That’s quite funny the PS3 isn’t outselling the 360 right now, last time I checked the 360 is number one in terms of sales

    • only in USA, as the poster said

    • Russell Gorall

      Globally, or where?

    • Kamille

      Xbox is at 77 millions now, PS3 was at 77 millions between Jan-Feb.

  • TKK

    nothing to fear from sony ? i don’t think so. little to fear is a better choice of ward. sony had little to fear from xbox 360 coming from ps2, see what happened ? MS didn’t ruin ps3 due to competition, Sony ruined ps3 otherwise immense success ! it’s usually the company itself screwing their own console over ! and MS is extremely arrogant with next gen xbox right now !

    • wiz7191

      Its not arrogance they set their reveal and that’s what their sticking to, nobody knows what Microsoft is gonna do at the reveal. You just wasn’t them to rush a reveal and them complain

  • teo72

    Microsoft is in big doodoo this next generation of consoles, and most informed people knows this. Don’t get me wrong, MS can still change opinion around, but they need to act fast. Sony has a huge momentum, and are going to have another press conference May 7th. Sony might have only showed 1 AAA-title (Killzone ShadowFall), but trust me, Sony will have more AAA titles at launch than ever before, and E3 will prove this. Sony is as of right now, the favourite to win next gen. Will this change May 21, only time will tell, but I doubt it. It is simply too silent in the MS camp, but that is only my opinion.

    • Huge momentum? Oh you mean all of the PS4 fanboys constantly talking shit on the Xbox? Well then ya your right on that point. Go PS4 and all but don’t talk crap on Xbox because its an amazing system too

  • Kazzy

    Please bear your personal testimony about Playstations so new converts can become faithful sheeps to Sony. We at Sony HQ don’t ask you to submit your body and blood, we just need you to submit your money and time. We hype, you type!

    Let’s start a smear campaign to beat our competitors. Do all you can to keep the world’s attention away from the May 21st. Thanks You. 😉


    • DickBasterdly

      PlayStation is going down next gen and it will take the rest of Sony down to hell with it. Sony=lies, overhype and underdeliver.

    • mikey

      Sony wont go down. Mircosoft will win the North American market so what. Sony will be fine with part of the American market but own the Asian, and European market.

    • Jason

      Nope, MS has been winning in almost ALL American markets of importance. No1 in Brazil, Mexico and the US and Canada.
      MS is still has more than a million unit worldwide lead and it’s gaining traction in many European countries as well.
      IDC predictions were BS as financial quarterly reports by both MS and Sony have proven time and time again.

    • Russell Gorall

      You just stated everything mikey just said…

    • Russell Gorall

      “Check is in the mail!” – Microsoft

    • Robbie

      So is your parole reprimande. GTFO!

    • Russell Gorall

      “Another check is in the mail” = Microsoft

    • I am a Sony fan and really after reading what you just said you make me sick to my stomach. What is wrong with people.

    • On another note I will be buying both consoles next gen anyways just like I did this gen. You are a disgrace kazzy. Plus I am super hyped about all the new stuff coming from both MS and Sony

  • cowpissdrinker

    these motherfucking snake charmers are now blogging shit

  • heavenshitman1

    Strictly always online (even for single player) is bad. Firstly this article is assuming that any non-multiplayer experience will be dull and uninspiring. Which will simply not quite be the case.
    And problems can grow quite servere, I had a Steam account, they suspended it, even though I didn’t touch it for weeks or ever attempt mis-behaviour there. I mailed them, with telling me what reason they suspended me for, they gave me a one page reply asking me to jump through impossible hoops to reactivate, and I cant make a new account. Never touched Steam again. I utterly detest Valve.
    Always online 720 is only likely to serverely diminish its audience, even if it improves features, ppl won’t buy into a system that restricts them to an active net connectiion.
    And the point about networks becoming more thorough in the next decade isn’t very relavant because 720 will not be competing that far in time. Right now my ADSL 2+ bites. And its speed and reliability barely satify my net surfing, never mind having every feature of a major media system depending on it

  • Russell Gorall

    I don’t think you know what the word “draconic” means.

  • John

    Top Selling? In the USA maybe. PS3 has been outselling it world wide. How else are they both at 77 million units?

  • Tiredofidiocy

    What does always on have to do with Sony?

    What does this article have to do with anything, other than the author trying to reassure himself that “Everything is going to be OK at Microsoft”.

    Always on is a HUGE problem. We’re talking potentially eliminating MILLIONS of customers. Do you know what AOL’s largest revenue stream is? Their dialup business.

    But that isn’t the only reason Microsoft has plenty to fear from Sony. Sony has a forceful first party studio, Sony has courted indie developers who are turned off or uninterested to work with Microsofts draconian tactics, and most of all, Sony has everything to lose.

    If you’re going to write an article, or even an opinion piece in the future, please take the time to think it through, and write something that has a compelling argument. These N4G fluff pieces really get old, and do nothing to further the industry.

    • While I don’t think that companies can sit around and not push online offerings because of some areas not having reliable Internet, I do see a major issue with always on. I personally have a high-end connection that I pay quite a bit extra for each month, but even it can be unstable at times. While getting bumped out of an online match here and there isn’t too big of an issue, having my single player campaign affect by this is indeed an issue, in fact it is nonsensical.

  • keysy

    wow this is a fanboy article. funny thing is Microsoft have not even said that they are comming with a games console. if your parent dont let you use the main tv i dont know how this is going to work for them . they are targeting a niche market

  • Louish1982

    To all the people wishing a console or the other to fail: MONOPOLIES ARE ANTI-CONSUMERS, as long as they all do well and compete with each other, we get better value, better games, more choice, etc…..Shame on all extremists fanboys, those corporations are not your friends nor your families….They only want your $$$$

    • It’s so nice to see that there are a few gamers out there that actually understand how the industry works. Haha

  • chamber25

    That’s ridiculous, wasn’t Sony on top of the US market by far last gen? Not listening to your customer base is the surest way to lose market share. Lots of people may not mind, but there will be a large chunk that the whole always online factor will be a deal breaker. Not to mention the fact that customers outside of the US might not get the whole added benefits of being always online as people in the states, so hamstringing them with it sucks as well.

  • vbfgf dfdf

    Another idiot who think America = World. Worlwide sales, PS3 selling better (US included). USA market isn’t enough. PS4 won’t do the same PS3 mistake : alien hardware, too much late on sale… Nope so do the math..

  • duckmysick

    Lmao! Microsoft hasn’t proved shit! To nobody! If they are what you dweebs on here say they are, then lets see if they do it again. Without the year head start, and without the people of America owning 6-7 360’s A PERSON! A lot of those people chose 360 early on because of Xbox live was literally years ahead of PSN. And now stuck with a system with no new exclusive games… They won’t make that mistake again! Microsoft has lots to “fear”, PS4 is on a war path… And I’m not interested in getting my bank account raped with a hundred different services just to get enjoyment out of video games. Pizza hut? Cameras that follow you n shit? Internet required to play a fucking game!?.. Yea you busters have fun with that! Lmmfao!!

    • asdasd

      MS didn’t have a years head start Sony had 10 years headstart with their name alone you really don’t understand how much difference a brand name makes do you.

      You talk about exclusives and yet in 2012 MS released Forza Horizon, Halo 4 and the brilliant console exclusives Withcher 2, Minecraft etc and Sony releases NOTHING but 2 kid games in NOVEMBER.

      Who said “Always on” not Microsoft that’s for sure and now Sony have said that “well actually we haven’t decided whats going to happen about 2nd hand games yet after all”.

      MS reveal will be amazing, well it can’t be any worse than showing an invisible PS4 console….

    • duckmysick

      …how could you have a head start in a race with no other racers? Like the similar situation between the Vita and 3DS.. Vita is no longer competing with the 3DS.. So whatever the 3DS does is just how strong the market is.
      As far as those M$ exclusives that’s two games, those Ps3 exclusives: wonderbook, psasbr, lbp kart, and journey were amazing games(in their own right) respectively. Not big sellers but they were better than fable journey and the other sad attempts. Halo and forza horizon were probably the worst iterations of each franchise. Sony gave people ps+… Which gave everybody a backlog of games to play, nothing you can say to me or anybody else to make me believe that an Xbox is a better games machine than the ps3.

      I actually feel bad for anyone that doesn’t play the last of us because of their stupid bias. I am biased, but I play everything. The question is; what has M$ done for me (you) lately? …nothing. Lol, minecraft!? That shit would sell on Ouya!

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  • LOL fanboys

    LOL @ the Sony fanboys already trolling anything and everything to do with the xbox 720,, before MS announced they were ready for May the Sony fanboys were on just about every kind of WII-U post or sales sites slagging off the Nintendo , it’s weird it’s like they think it affects them in some way that not everybody wants to buy their console of choice.

  • Ticks

    MS have won this round of console generation sales, you don’t need numbers to work anything out just the fact that they were the relatively new boys that have sold so many xboxs whilst competing against a huge brand name like Sony.

    MS Kinect has sold far better than Sonys Vita ever will and sold far more games MS didn’t even need o release a handheld.

    You can bet on it that Sony will have just as much always on and restrictions on 2nd hand games as MS, if one does it then the other will and vice verser.

    No mention of PSN being FREE surly that would of been the FIST thing Sony would of announced for PS4 ?.

  • I currently own a 360 and would rather have the next Xbox console than a Sony, but if it requires a constant connection I will probably go with Sony this time around. I want to be able to play games I purchased 10 or 20 years from now when there most likely wont be any online support. If Microsoft provides a way for us to play our 720/durrango games when they are no longer supporting the platform then fine, but it is going to be the deciding factor for me and several people I’ve talked to, we would love to buy microsofts new console but if its going to be impossible to play them a decade or 2 from now then I and many others will defiantly be switching to Sony. Still play my Nes/snes/genesis on a weekly basis, yes I know you can emulate but I prefer to use the original hardware.


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