Microsoft has confirmed their new gaming console, the Xbox One, will require users to log online once every 24 hours to use the console. That has put a significant burden on gamers without broadband or steady Internet access.
But don't worry. Microsoft has a solution for those who can't reach Xbox One's standards:
"Fortunately, we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity and it's called Xbox 360," Don Mattrick, Microsoft's head of Xbox, said to Game Trailer's Geoff Keighley. "If you have zero access to the internet, that is an offline device."
That quote, and the system's requirement that all Xbox One users be connected to the Internet, has upset many hardcore gamers.
It's not uncommon for some gamers to work in areas without steady Internet access like at military posts in Afghanistan or on maritime vessels. Mattrick even admitted that, if he were on a nuclear vessel, he'd be disappointed too. But that does little to address an acute domestic consumer problem: nearly three in ten Americans don't have a broadband subscription.
In an interview with Ars Technica, Microsoft Xbox Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi said he and others largely expected the current outrage at Microsoft's new console. But, Mehdi added, the aim of the new console is to adapt users and developers to an environment dominated by digital distribution. Mehdi said the Xbox One's policies are largely an attempt to bridge both physical and digital distribution.
Microsoft announced the Xbox One back in May. While the console itself boasts some impressive specs and features, like the new Kinect console, Microsoft has attached some odd restrictions to how users can play video games on the console.
For example, gamers can share or loan games like they have in the past, but first they have to be friends with the person they're loaning the game for at least 30 days, and even then, according to Ars Technica, they can only lend out the game once. That is, of course, unless game publishers block the ability to share games on the Xbox One altogether, something which Microsoft will allow them to do.
The Playstation 4, meanwhile, features none of the restrictions.
There are many more examples of curious Xbox One requirements. And while a good deal of them may change before the system lands in the hands of gamers, it doesn't bode well for the system's adoption. In the war for E3's press and popular opinion, the perception is that Microsoft lost. Badly.