46 million gamers potentially already use an always on Xbox

It can be construed that a vocal number of gamers – mostly core gamers no doubt – are up in arms over the prospect of the next Xbox being always online and potentially utilizing Data Rights Management (DRM) techniques to prevent piracy; but is this as big a deal as what is being purported. This year it has been reported that Xbox Live has over 40 million subscribers who some have paid for a service which the PS3 offers for free, and yet, 40 million plus gamers have still subscribed for whatever reasons and benefits and masses of PSN users connect to the service. Making assumptions here, but for the vast majority of those gamers who are members of Xbox Live, be that those with silver or gold subscriptions would suggest that their current gaming is all about connectivity and not the darker side of what it means to have a console that makes it a requirement.

xbox live subs

When we sign into Xbox Live, or PSN being connected is a standard feature and one that we don’t even think about, so why is there this huge furor over what the next Xbox will be like. If 46 million gamers are not that bothered and are already connected to the Live service one way or another, then should Microsoft really be that worried about those who are seeing the negatives of an always online console?

There’s perhaps a lot of rumors and misinformation floating around at the moment regarding the next Xbox considering Microsoft has said nothing of its future plans, but keeping it real, it’s obvious Microsoft will be quite smart about how they present the next Xbox. Imagine all those Call of Duty, Halo gamers, and how upset they would be with an always on Xbox…well it’s likely they won’t be because it’s no change for them. Microsoft would be very smart to actually turn the ‘Always On’ situation into a positive by making subscriptions a lot sweeter than the competition. But let’s not forget that gamers who indulge in many of the PS4’s features such as GaikaiĀ  and the Playstation Network will also require some sort of connection to play ball.

It’s likely the biggest issue surrounding Always On, is necessity, and up until now it’s not been an issue with consoles. However, being forced into a situation which isn’t that big of a deal for many gamers is probably a catalyst of the overall sentiment than the actual issue itself.

Written by: Robert Cram

Robert Cram has hundreds of video game reviews and thousands of articles under his belt. He aims to remain objective and fair in his analysis. With years of experience, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement is entirely optional.

  • Craig Peacock

    46 million live accounts is not an indication of the amount of people who are “always on” all that number represents, without jumping to conclusions on their connection strength, is people who have an internet connection that lasted long enough to make a live account, a 5 min task, to then spend the rest of their gaming life choosing to be online or offline

    • DarthDiggler

      Also some of these could be people who have signed up for XBL via a computer at another location.

  • Tony

    This article COMPLETELY misses the point–maybe intentionally, maybe out of blissful ignorance. The problem isn’t an “always-on” console, it’s the fact that you need to be internet connected to even PLAY A GAME. Yes, even single-player games.

    If Xbox Live goes down for maintenance, or your ISP is spotty/unreliable, or you take your console on vacation with you to another area where you don’t have internet–or you’re just generally wary the idea of being continuously connected to a network that can track all your activity–then your console becomes totally useless.

    • Robert Cram

      People are suggesting games won’t be playable offline when there’s problems with the ISP. However, what if this isn’t actually true? What if the game requires an internet connection on boot up only (per session), then once passed, if the connection fails the game can still be played offline? There’s many variables as to how this can work.

      • Gman

        So i cant take the xbox my cottage where there’s no internet.

      • Jay Marcase

        You should really research before you write, no offense. You article and your last post show that you have no clue about the current Xbox rumors and gamers are upset.

        • Robert Cram

          Except these are all rumors. And if you actually read them properly, you’d see that they are very vague and open to interpretation. I think I’m well versed in why gamers are upset about this (being forced to be connected seems pertinent to the moaning more than anything) – except as a gamer as well, it doesn’t really bother me.

          There’s two types of gamers here. Ones who just moan about everything (including if it’s offered for free) and are afraid of change, and those on the cusp of advancement and are quite happy to take on what’s offered.

  • Lemondish

    While 46 million people may use Xbox Live, there are exactly 0 people who use consoles that require them to be ‘always-online’. The key word here is REQUIRE. People only complain when you require an uninterrupted internet connection, even if you’re not actually playing online. Look to the Diablo 3, Sims, and Ubi DRM fiascoes to see why gamers are worried.

    Furthermore, the biggest problem with always online isn’t when there’s a problem with our internet, it’s when there’s a problem with your servers.

    • Lemondish

      Correction, I meant to say Sim City rather than Sims.

  • vinnie

    they do realize that alot of people have Jtags (that arent recognized by XBL) and all the fake and secondary accounts created so people can get a “free month of service”. and the people who make accounts to not screw up their own PERSONAL accounts when they do stupid stuff online, like glitching, hacking, cheating, trolling. these numbers are way off. anyone with a free email can make an XBL account. i have 5 gold memberships alone (family and 1 more extra) with 3 xboxs so. yea take that into consideration…..

  • keysy

    wth hell i signed up for xbox live and im not always on this is a crap article. Dont believe the hype! Hell, even my PlayStation isn’t on all the time and i have 100 mb speeds on my internet. hey its xbox grave i can list atleast ten people who have xbox live and dont have internet.

    • chris

      your ps3 is always on, if you have the original ps3, the green light blinks by the controller ports, its always on all the time as long as your connected to the net

  • johan

    its the same way that PSN has more accounts than it does consoles sold 73-74million consoles sold and over 90million accounts…heck i have 2 accounts

  • Stephen

    all I know is that always on means I will stop using Microsoft as my console. I already use the ps3 more and the specs for the PS4 are way better. not only that but if I pay for playstation plus I get a lot of bang for my money far more than Microsoft offers. 4 of my friends have already decided on PS4 and NOT get xbox versus getting both or one or the other. I am tired of Microsoft and the Micro managing control . sure a lot of people wont care but they should. I cant fix that but I can make a stand and if I cannot play without a constant on connection it is a deal breaker for myself and a growing number of people that just say it makes no sense and Microsoft taking more and more. what is next ? Hell I am going to get on OUYA this year and give them a shot at seeing what they can do for gaming. I like the underdog and a hell of a lot less expensive.