With the current generation of game systems being released there has been a lot of talk about things being “Always On”. In the age of smart phones and Wi-Fi, it is unusual for many people to go a day without, in some sense being plugged into the larger digital world. The idea of peer to peer play, once just the past time of PC gamers has become a major pull for many gamers on their consoles as well. With all the connectivity in the world today, the idea that the newest systems would call for players to have dedicated access to the internet was one that was much focused on and the question still remains, will the PlayStation 4 require players to always be connected to the internet?
The good news for fans of Sony’s newest flagship, PlayStation 4, is that the newest system in their lineup will not require fans to have any sort of dedicated internet access. The company has released statements supporting this and detailing their reasons for not doing so. There were a lot of reasons why people were looking towards dedicated internet access. Namely it was the idea of security that fueled this movement. With the system set at “always on” companies will be able to verify that players were playing legitimate copies of games as opposed to pirated versions. They would also be able to patch and update as they became available.
On the surface this seems like it would be a great thing for developers and fans. Developers can keep track of their product while fans have quick access to updates and the like. However, this is one of those things that sounds great in theory but sort of falls to pieces in practice.
There have been many games that have come out with always on demands and have failed to live up to the perfect expectations of their creators. There have been crashes, players being kicked out of games, or just simply, not being able to play at all. The system, idealized and practical as it may have seemed, in reality just did not work.
Sony, instead of trying to jump on the wagon, decided instead to learn from the past and respect the voices of their fans who were pretty vocally against the idea of always on gameplay. The reasons for this were many, some based on the history of failure that single games had met with when trying to implement this strategy.
Another, far larger issue is that not as many people are plugged in as we might think. Even in highly developed countries there are still large segments of the population that just do not have access to the internet that still enjoy their games. These people live in rural areas with poor or unreliable access or in urban areas where they choose to not have it due to personal reasons. Whatever the motivation, the idea that everyone has the internet all the time is a biased one that does not hold up in the real world.
In response to this, Sony has set up the system so that it does not need to be online at all times. But it cautions that you may want to keep it online simply because the system is set up to download things in the background and in a low power mode meaning that updates and game purchases can completed while players engaged in other gameplay or in other activities altogether.
This means that with the exception of games that do require always on connectivity, players are free to play offline and alone if they so choose. Even though Sony really is moving to push social play as well as their digital presence and marketplace, they are not forcing their customer base to move in that direction as well.
Will you be playing your PS4 exclusively with Internet access, without Internet access, or a little bit of both? Let us know below!
Article by - Dusty W.
Insert Date: 10/16/2013
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