A Microsoft executive has told people without a reliable Internet connection to stick to the Xbox 360. It’s the latest in a string of responses that suggests the company is being particularly defensive about the new console.
As has been widely publicized, the forthcoming Xbox One won’t need a permanent connection to the Internet, but will need to connect at least once a day for game licensing purposes. That’s prompted disappointment among potential buyers who, for various reasons (some real, some playing devil’s advocate) might not be certain of being able to do so.
Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s gaming chief, likened the situation to people in an area with no cell service buying a cellphone. To be fair, he acknowledged that this might not be a great analogy, and was responding to a question specifically about people with no access whatsoever.
However, Don Mattrick, whose in charge of all of Microsoft’s entertainment devices, flat out said “We have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of Internet access. It’s called Xbox 360.”
He also decided to pick out the example of a complaint from somebody stationed in a nuclear submarine who was upset at not being able to use a Xbox One there. Assuming the complaint was genuine, that’s not quite straw-manning by Mattrick, but it’s pretty close.
And Phil Harrison, a Microsoft corporate vice president, addressed the issue of internet outages. Apparently never having lived in a rural area or used certain broadband providers he said “In my experience internet downtime lasts for seconds or minutes.” He added that as the authorization connection uses “kilobytes of data”, you could also try tethering the Xbox One to a cellphone.
The comments follow Mattrick saying a couple of weeks ago of the lack of support on the Xbox One for Xbox 360 games: “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards.” He noted that only five percent of people play games from an older console on a newer one, though that’s something of a circular argument given how few modern consoles have backwards compatibility.