If we believed companies like Sony and Microsoft, in a perfect world everything will be available online and the Xbox One/Playstation 4 will serve it all to us. In reality though, if you make a console the slave to the Internet, it will tend to become a useless brick without it.
This is exactly what we’ve seen with recent Xbox Live outages. While the Xbox One console themselves were able to connect to the Internet, because the Xbox Live services were down suddenly all the apps and online functionality was taken down with it. Unless you wanted to play offline games, suddenly the Xbox One was nothing but a black box.
When this was pointed out to Phil Spencer on Twitter, he had this to say:
@tomwarren I think you are right. The dependencies between the services needs to be minimized.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) October 1, 2015
While his words are admirable, the fact is Microsoft have created this problem all for themselves. Through the blocking of services behind the Xbox Live service, and even behind Xbox Live Gold service it creates a system dependant on the Internet Live Service. When the service goes down, the fact that we lose services such as Netflix shows the weakness of the Xbox Live model.
So will Xbox change their policies and allow apps to gain access to the Internet without the Xbox Live service? From what Spencer says, they may look into it. I’m sure they will find that it is not an easy task for them to undertake though, especially if they still want to lock certain apps behind their Xbox Live paywall system (Gold Account). If the Live system is down, how do they check the user has the right to use the app?
What are your thoughts on Phil Spencer’s comments? While he makes sense, can they really bring about this kind of change in the system? Let us know below.