Don't like always-on games or consoles - you know, stuff that requires you to be connected constantly to the Internet in order to use it? Well former Epic Games creative director Cliff Bleszinski thinks that there's no avoiding a future filled with always online requirements and he thinks it is "coming soon and it's coming fast." Bleszinski made his comment in a recent personal blog post - a space where he often tackles subjects that drive gamers crazy. Clearly this is one of them.
It's that silly season (the time between major events like the Game Developers Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo) where rumors fly fast and furious about what the biggest companies in the industry have planned. So with that in mind, there's a new rumor that says that the "always online" requirement we have been hearing about for the new Xbox console is actually for the Xbox Mini device. Rumors about the device first surfaced in March of last year.
The Microsoft employee whose glib response (in a series of tweets to a developer friend) to the rumor that the company's next-generation console might require users to be connected to the Internet all the time has lost his job, according to Game Informer.
Despite almost everyone agreeing that an always-on console is a phenomenally bad idea, rumors continue to persist that Microsoft's next console will require an internet connection to start disc-based games.
Okay, fine. Let's say the big M goes in that direction. How do you think such a move will affect the sales of its new console?
It's been a while since the disastrous launch of EA's "always-online" game SimCity and things have calmed down enough that Maxis has turned "Cheetah" speed back on. Maxis had disabled the "fastest game mode" in SimCity on March 7 because the game's servers were having trouble staying online. Now that everything has calmed down a bit it has decided that it's safe to let players build their cities in hyper mode again.
According to this Bloomberg report citing an anonymous source close to the "situation," the next Xbox (which is codenamed "Durango" or is currently being called the Xbox 720) will not be backwards compatible with current generation Xbox 360 discs. Other rumors have indicated that the system will be pretty expensive - reaching the price point of close to $500 for the premium model of the system, though a cheaper model will also be available.
As much as EA and Maxis want to smooth things over with fans and make them happy, this latest blog post from Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw isn't being received very well, if you believe the comments following the article.
Last night SimCity Senior Producer Kip Katsarelis posted a statement on the EA forums addressing the ongoing issues with the game and players' complaints that servers are continually inaccessible.