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How an always-online console will happen

on 25 April 2013

Welcome to PSU.com's hit series on the world of gaming. Join our hosts Skip Williams and Max Platinum as they give you the inside scoop on a myriad of topics in gaming. From how to catapult up the Trophy rankings to debating about the current console war, don't change that channel as there might even be some broken tables, because the debates get so hardcore!

Disclaimer: All likenesses used are for parody and/or satirical purposes.

Skip: Welcome back, fans and viewers, to another exciting episode of Skip and Max’s Prime Time Gaming. I’m your host with the most, Skip Williams, with the doctor of trophinomics Max Platinum. Tonight we try to do the unthinkable, and the impossible, the blasphemy of trying to keep this broadcast going forever.

Max: We have unions who are going to sink this studio in more debt than a drunken sailor at a Las Vegas casino; you know that right, Skip?

Skip: This order comes straight from the top, Max.

Max: I’m as vain as the next incredibly attractive, buff, TV personality, but even I have my limits. I am not a machine. What if the power suddenly goes out?

Skip: I never thought about that. Do you think upper management did?

Max: The bigwigs never consider the common man; we’ll just have to deal with it.

Skip: Tonight, ladies and gentleman, we attempt to dissect the growing discontent among the gaming community about the possible future of an online only console. A lot of fans are angry at the thought of being hooked online forever, as if this were some cybernetic dance macabre, hooking us into a futuristic technological nightmare.

Max: We’ve established that I can read, but I don’t know what you have on your shelf. Can you explain that for the science-fictionly challenged? I’m not Japanese.

Skip: Is this a doomsday scenario where mankind steps one step closer towards being hooked into a machine forever.

Max: Still not following you, Skip. I see your mouth moving but all I hear is ‘I read too many highly complicated literature that the mainstream public finds dull and boring.’

Skip: They do not.

Max: Obviously they do or how else would some studio exec think that watering down Paul Verhoeven’s masterpiece called Total Recall would be a good idea.

Skip: Point taken.

Max: I can run through a list of reasons why the new Xbox being online-only is a bad idea but that would just get ignored. Instead I’ll tell you the only reason why they will ignore everyone who complains, whines, throws a hissy-fit, bitches, throws a temper tantrum, trolls, and generally thinks it is a bad business decision. It is a shooter console, nothing more.

Skip: Aren’t you overgeneralizing the system, it has a great gaming catalog.

Max: Name me the best exclusives on the console.

Skip: Gears of War, Halo, and Forza.

Max: Shooter, shooter, and a racing game.

Skip: See Max, it is also a sports console.

Max: In the end, all of them are meant for online play which makes having an Xbox for offline play a waste of money. When the new Xbox is revealed next month, Gears of War, Halo, and Forza will be announced for it in some form or another, and maybe as a launch title. People only play those games for the online component, so if the power goes out then it doesn’t matter if the console is online only as gamers only want to be online for it.

Skip: Will Sony ever pull the trigger and make a newer system that is online-only, as obviously the PS4 is not unless something drastically changes.

Max: No, because it has a more diverse game library than the Xbox, which includes genres like RPGs that have no reason to be played online. Strip away all the bells and whistles and it comes down to the games. A person can play more games offline on the PS3 than the Xbox 360. Why make a feature that will be intrusive and an obstacle for the majority of the user base?

Skip: Could this online-only concept show a shift in thinking between companies, where instead of one console to rule them all, they want to focus on different genre markets, like the Xbox only having shooters or the PlayStation only having RPGs?

Max: In the current financial and cultural climate it would be hard to achieve. It would require someone like Sony dedicating a massive chunk of its influence on saying to companies, don`t make these type of games. It would be a waste of potential and a waste of resources, forcing companies towards the competition.

Skip: What about the idea that people are becoming ready to accept that an online-only console is an inevitable fact because we’re always connected online through other devices?

Max: The problem with that analysis is home consoles are dictated by a person’s Internet connection at home, whereas a cell-phone has the ability to get 3G or 4G, which never dies 98% of the time. Unless you live in South Korea or Japan, no way are two different parts of a country going to be equal. It is hard enough being a gamer in Iraq but what if a bomb takes out the Internet cables? It becomes a useless paper weight. Also, and I think every gamer would agree with this, what if my Internet suddenly cuts out in the middle of a game? Does that mean the system turns off? My 10 hour speed run of Final Fantasy 16 is ruined because I didn’t save it? Too many problems to change a winning formula.

Skip: What are your plans when the new Xbox is released? Will you be first in line waiting to get the new Halo?

Max: I`d rather go to Helghan on vacation. Besides, it`s Halo and if I wanted to be racially abused by some pre-teen who is so socially awkward he needs to show his e-dominance by calling me names, I'd just go to China. At least there are girls.

Skip: So that is a no then, Max?

Max: No Skip, that is a yes, I just so want to be a part of the online sensation known as Xbox live, where each new membership comes with a box of condoms to prevent me from getting pregnant from all the ass-rape that others will say they will do to me, and most likely accomplish because I suck at FPS games.

Skip: At least they are considerate enough to wear protection, Max, think about it.

Max: When did you become me, Skip? Something is not right here. Who are you and what did you do with the boring Skip I know, the one who sounds like he should be a British soccer announcer that makes one of the most boring sports in the world more boring?

Skip: I`m trying to spice up my image, you know, get more public appeal.

Max: Why?

Skip: Didn't you read the online polls? We're the worst show on the network, as said by the uneducated, band-wagoning, Internet trolls.

Max: They are just jealous they don`t have abs of steel like mine. Once the new Madden comes out they will crawl right back to EA like an abused partner, unable to break the chain of abuse and find someone new who appreciates them without a black eye.

Skip: Well, that is all for us this week, fans and viewers. Join us next week when we discuss the unthinkable, something so earth shattering to the viewers we can't risk talking about it now or else there will be Majiko rage.

Max: Who or what is a `Majiko rage` and who would care?

Skip: People will care, Max, people will care. Don't piss off the Ekans lovers, Pokemon fans are vicious. Do you know what happened to Jimmy the Intern?

Max: No, what did happen to him?

Skip: Exactly!

Max: You're saying the Pokemon fans kidnapped him and sacrificed him at an Altar of Charizard?

Skip: I wasn't going to go that far…


Skip: For Max Platinum, I`m Skip Williams live from the Tokyo Dome, saying good night and good gaming…Max, put your shirt and pants on, please...

Missed an episode of the program? Check out the back issues to get up to speed. Want so see if the writer is just as crazy as the characters he has created? Check out his thoughts and adventures in Japan on Twitter and Facebook.