An unscientific survey conducted by Kotaku for Kotaku members involving 405 participants (because not everybody likes even numbers) showed that half of the participants were not okay with it, as 210 gamers responded to the survey question that any set amount of required online time is unacceptable for a game console.
Following the outing of the controversial Xbox One consumer policies by Microsoft's own executives, who acknowledged a 24 hour mandatory check-in for the console in order to maintain access to your paid content, Kotaku posed a one-question survey, which is as follows...
If the Xbox One must use the Internet but can run online, then I will accept an offline gaming mode that lasts as little as ________ hours/days/weeks/months. (Put N/A if you are sure you would simply never accept such a mode.)
52% of the 405 responded with NA or a similar response, 15% said that one month of not having to log-in or check into the game console's servers would be acceptable and 3% said they would be okay with an initial sign-in measure. According to Kotaku – who admits that multiple users could have registered and the lack of officiating the survey could mean redundant answers – notes that the other 30% offered answers across the board of how long they would be willing to go without having to check into the Xbox One's server authentication.
You know what's sad? That gamers have given up so much of their rights that they would be willing to give a fixed number of how long they could use a device THEY paid for before having Big Brother check in on them to make sure that they're playing by the corporate rules and only using software allowed by the company. What's next, a time frame on when it's acceptable for them to come to your house and take your stuff away when you don't sign-in?
I'm sure there are plenty of people scoffing at that last possibility “Pfft, that would never happen.” and two decades ago if I told you that in order to play your home console you would have to do a daily 24 hour check-in or else they would lock you out of your paid-for content, people would laugh and go “Pfft, that would never happen.” If there was a bet that I would get to kick them in the gonads if it came true, my foot would go numb from the kicking.
Now, some of you might be wondering “What makes this any difference from registering games with Steam” and technically it isn't any different. However, that doesn't mean that it's right. While I do enjoy Valve's contributions to the gaming community, I do not like that they have such a stranglehold on the software we purchase. Thankfully we do have middle-ground consumer advocacy groups like the VZBV fighting on behalf of consumers for more leeway in content ownership via digital distribution.
Anyway, the poll results from Kotaku, scientific or not, are very telling. It showcases that only half of gamers out there (who visit Kotaku anyway) would be willing to stick to their guns and say “'No' means no!” to Big Brother.
I don't know what's more sad, that only 52% of gamers are willing to hold their ground or that we've moved to a point where corporations are brazen enough to move one step closer to 1984 and people are letting them?
On the upside, at least Sony made it clear that you won't have to sign-in online to use the PS4.