Friday, April 5, 2013

Follow-Up on the Adam Orth Thing

Deal with it, indeed.

Since yesterday, no less than twenty individual gaming news sources took the whole "I don't get the drama over Always-On consoles" story and ran with it in a big way.  Adam's twitter has been completely locked down after brief, lack-luster apologies were handed out by Orth himself and Manveer in what is, at best, the worst attempt at damage control that I've seen in a loooong time.  Because while one could theoretically buy that Orth and Manveer were trolling each other playfully about something silly, that doesn't exactly explain the -other- comments he made to -other- people.  Such as telling one person who lamented that he knew people who lived in areas that have no access to "get with the times and get the internet" because "it's awesome".  And, in response to someone stating that it should be up to the user to determine how they use the product they purchased, he flippantly stated that "Sure, if someone wants to make a smoothie with a chainsaw, that's their right".

However, this was never about Adam Orth, even though he was the one who instigated it and said incredibly dumb things.  The only way that it -was- about him was because he is, presumably in a position to know just what is going on with the NeXtBox that we currently have nothing to go on besides rumors and speculation.  Rumors and speculation that are all pointing at the exact same thing.  Rumors and speculation that are only bolstered when someone who knows what the hell starts saying "Always On" consoles aren't a bad thing.  This seems to be the point where people are losing the plot because their argument is just basically "Some guy said something".  Well yeah, that is kind of the deal, but that is detracting from the context and completely ignoring that what he is saying is lining up perfectly with what internet rumors have been saying.  The internet has a pretty damn good track record with this shit lately, telling us shit we wouldn't know or think about any other way.

Who could have predicted the DualShock 4 would have a friggin' touchpad on it?  Yet we knew because internet rumors and speculation said it and it was proven correct.  Hell, who could have thought that the Vita was going to have a rear touchpad?  People argued up and down, left and right that no, no, no, absolutely not, that wasn't going to happen, right up until it happened.  The Nintendo Network.  The Wii U's Tablet Controller.  The hardware specs of the PS4.  The streaming solution to backwards compatibility for the PS4.  The "Share" button and highly-integrated social features of the PS4.  All of this was just 'rumor and speculation' right up until guess what, shit is confirmed, so why do we have any reason to distrust anything that has as much press as the goddamn "Always-Online Durango" rumors?  Pure and simple - we don't.  The last time the internet was 'wrong' on something big was the whole Final Fantasy Versus XIII thing and to be fair?  Fucking game still isn't out, nor is there any official -anything- out there for it that is in any shape or form 'new'.

Microsoft's official response isn't really helping matters, either:
"We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers.  We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter."
We get it.  Microsoft doesn't comment on rumors and speculation.  Does this mean that Adam Orth just let something big slip and whoops, NeXtBox is definitely going to be Always Online?  No.  Is it helping?

Hell no.

Basically, we're not going to 'know' anything until we know 'everything', which will be whenever Microsoft decides to officially unveil the thing.  In the meanwhile, people will go on continuing to believe that the NeXtBox is going to be Always-Online and start planning their PS4 purchases.  In the meanwhile, it's going to completely gnaw away at any platform that Microsoft might actually -have- to unveil the NeXtBox.  By the time it's announced, it's going to be less "Holy shit the NeXtBox" but rather a checklist of what the internet actually got right about it.  I have no doubt in my mind that, at this point in time, the device is going to be Always-Online.  Might that change between now and the unveiling?  Absolutely.  So where we're at is that the thing is going to be announced one way or the other and people will either say "Well, there's that, totally buying a PS4/Wii U now" or "Oh, so I guess they changed it.  Well, I still don't know, I'm pretty hyped on the PS4/Wii U now".  Basically, Microsoft's stubbornness is hobbling them right out of the starting gate which is interesting, since that's usually Nintendo's job.

Yeah.  I went there.

okay I'm mostly joshing about the Nintendo slam at the end there but come on

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