Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Microsoft Studiosí creative director defends always-online Xbox 720

Machiavellian said:

Do not forget that MS was the first (ok technically sega was) to have a Online infrastructe with the First Xbox.  When you start something you are free to do what you want to see how the market takes it so MS created Gold for Online play.  Do not forget this was done with the first Xbox not 360.  Online consoles and services today are nothing new and competition are bringing out new services that competes with MS stragety.  I will be surprise if GOLD remains the same or continue to tie online multiplayer but we will see.

"And as I said before the possibilities to capitalize on an always connected Xbox are endless. Even if they sell 25 Million less due to always on. Customer lock down and selling personalized TV Ads to the Cable provider could easily make up for the difference. Kinect could just choose ads based on general information about number of persons (children) without even sending specific data somewhere  this wouldn't even break any laws but could be marketed for absurd amounts of money and its only possible if the console is always on." 

This would only depend on if MS is looking to prevent the reach of their console to a lot off different markets.  There isn't any benefit to only online outside of DRM.  MS get everything you just mentioned without the need for Only online.  Making your console so it cannot be played without a internet connection would be a huge risk. 

 

"Your point on if the subscription runs out on games you purchase and you cannot play them anymore unless you renew will not happen because the market today does not support such a thing and consumers would not as well."

Assumption. Maybe MS doesn't see it that way see Gold. Seems like the Market did support paying for a traditionally free feature. Why won't ghe market support an always on console which requires a subscription to work ? Also MS is taking  probably babysteps maybe: 

 

Lets just say that both of our positions are assumptions.  I will base my assumption on what the market supports today and what the competition supports today.  For MS to go your route they would have to convince people that they do not own their content and must go through MS first which any competition would have a respond.

You mean like paying for online ? And as I said MS can gain alot through  always on. Even if they lose some marketshare to Sony. You think MS is satisfied with the puny consol market ? Sony and MS always wanted full control over the formats and media consumption of the people using it. Always on is the next logical step. Sony is just more gentle about it (if MS follows through).

Yes, MS and Sony wants to be the big dog in the living room.  The key is you have not presented a case where MS can sell this type of plan over what the competition is doing or will do.  MS want to rule the living room but you cannot rule the living room unless you can get there.  What does MS offer that will get them into the living room above their competition if they do not provide important functionality that their competitor will.

I am not saying that MS will not have a online only console or they will not go in that direction.  What I am saying is I have not see any evidence that they could or would go that route now.  If MS could sell the nextbox for 99 bucks and Sony comes in at 400 to 500 then that would be something where MS could do an only online console.  If MS can sell the nextBox to cable companies and they are given to users just like any box then that would be a good case for an online only box.

Actually I can see MS restricting the cable/ sub next box to online only and allowing people to purchase a nextbox at full retail price that does not have this restrictions.


Always On is the only way to tie your customers to you permanently also always on makes sure every box is guaranteed to be connectedand marketable data for personalized Video adds through Kinect can be sold that way.

 

MS could easily make a 99 Console and Gold pricier and mandatory. Or maybe even give it away for free. 

 

Its just a question of if MS wants to do it mandatory. 

 

Obviously everything I said is purely speculation but its a real possibility and nobody knows if the market would accept or deny such a model because it wasn't done before in that way.

 

PS: Sony also had an online service with the PS2. MS Infrastructure is based mostly on Matchmaking servers and hardly an expense that justifies a paid membership.



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Online only is not the way to tie customer to you permanently. Making content that is tied to an account where users can only access using your services is the way you permanently get customers to stay with you. If customers are purchasing your content and services then by choice the customers would be tied to MS. I still do not see for the console to be online only other than for DRM purpose and really for Purchased disk based games.

The reason the market dose not support what you are saying is that the market already have sub based systems like phone, tablets, which all allow you to play your content offline if no net connection is present. This would mean that MS would have to go against whats already established and sell it to consumers who already have devices that give them this ability.

The only way to justify doing it different is if you can provide something customers need as a result. Making GOLD a service like PS Plus where you can basically play any game you want for the Sub price. Think about services like Hulu and Nextflix, where you can watch what you want for the sub price but those are basically rental type of services which if MS wanted to go down that road they could do. Or they can do what they do with their Zune music service. You can download all the music you want and play it offline for a month. At some point during that month if you connect to the internet to verify your sub then all is good. If the month ends and you have not verified your Sub then the service would ask you to connect to the net before allowing you to play your content.

MS already have models for their subscription service and none of them require you to be online only in order to use the content. For MS to change what they already do would mean there is some competitive advantage to do so. The market doesn't show it so it would have to be something new.

I do not remember being able to play any multiplayer games for the PS2 until after the Xbox. It was the main reason why MS could start with the whole GOLD thing in the first place.



Machiavellian said:
Online only is not the way to tie customer to you permanently. Making content that is tied to an account where users can only access using your services is the way you permanently get customers to stay with you. If customers are purchasing your content and services then by choice the customers would be tied to MS. I still do not see for the console to be online only other than for DRM purpose and really for Purchased disk based games.

The reason the market dose not support what you are saying is that the market already have sub based systems like phone, tablets, which all allow you to play your content offline if no net connection is present. This would mean that MS would have to go against whats already established and sell it to consumers who already have devices that give them this ability.

The only way to justify doing it different is if you can provide something customers need as a result. Making GOLD a service like PS Plus where you can basically play any game you want for the Sub price. Think about services like Hulu and Nextflix, where you can watch what you want for the sub price but those are basically rental type of services which if MS wanted to go down that road they could do. Or they can do what they do with their Zune music service. You can download all the music you want and play it offline for a month. At some point during that month if you connect to the internet to verify your sub then all is good. If the month ends and you have not verified your Sub then the service would ask you to connect to the net before allowing you to play your content.

MS already have models for their subscription service and none of them require you to be online only in order to use the content. For MS to change what they already do would mean there is some competitive advantage to do so. The market doesn't show it so it would have to be something new.

I do not remember being able to play any multiplayer games for the PS2 until after the Xbox. It was the main reason why MS could start with the whole GOLD thing in the first place.

I said tie to you permanently. Guaranteed access to every Xbox User at all times. It also allows you full content control.

What the detailed plan could look like I have no clue but my point is: MS COULD attempt to do always on even if Sony don't and Cell Phones don't .

Unless you know the plan MS made for the 720 you can not say that MS won't do this with absolute certainty, just because you think it won't work the way you think MS wants it to work. 

Fact Opinion Theory. 3 different things. 

I personally guess they won't do always on in a non optional form. But I don't know that for sure and you don't know it too what exactly MS thinks. And if you do please post it here. 

 



MS already tie content to your XBL account without online only so this is not a case for Online only. MS already controls content they sell you online, like XBLA games, movies, TV shows, Music and videos which does not require today online only so those are not cases for MS to go that route.

You are right that MS could do always online and unless they have an ace under their sleeve they will fail. I am not saying that MS might not go for an online only console. What I am saying is that if they do, they must have something that makes it worth the consumer to purchase such a console. IF MS comes out with a 399/499 console that you can only use it online how will they position such a console if the competition does not have that restriction. Its not like MS, a billion dollar company is going to risk a billion dollar product just for DRM.



Machiavellian said:
MS already tie content to your XBL account without online only so this is not a case for Online only. MS already controls content they sell you online, like XBLA games, movies, TV shows, Music and videos which does not require today online only so those are not cases for MS to go that route.

You are right that MS could do always online and unless they have an ace under their sleeve they will fail. I am not saying that MS might not go for an online only console. What I am saying is that if they do, they must have something that makes it worth the consumer to purchase such a console. IF MS comes out with a 399/499 console that you can only use it online how will they position such a console if the competition does not have that restriction. Its not like MS, a billion dollar company is going to risk a billion dollar product just for DRM.

 

Sold over XBLA, now they would gain control over retail disk content. But even though its tied to your account you don't risk loosing it since you can use everything offline aswell. Its not as effective as always on.


Obviously they will have to sweeten the deal to a certain degree.