After Adam Orth caused an Internet kerfuffle last night with his defense of always-online devices — seemingly outing that the next Xbox would support such a feature — Microsoft is in major damage control mode. Specifically, the Xbox manufacturer is referring to the condescending tone Orth took when addressing his Twitter follows.
His use of “#dealwithit” and an Obama meme with the same idea suggested that Orth was in a position of power and he could say whatever he wanted without any repercussions. While we’ve yet to hear about any, Microsoft’s official statement regarding Orth’s comments suggests there will be.
First and foremost, the company wanted to distance themselves from Orth, saying that his views are not representative of Microsoft. Moreover, they didn’t want to address whether Orth’s comments about always-online Internet — specifically his insinuation the next Xbox would require it — was actually true.
Read their official response below and note that Microsoft never mentions Orth by name:
“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.”
If nothing else Orth has seen the wrath of a fan base that has felt the sting of the always-on requirement one too many times. Diablo 3 really set the issue ablaze with its server problems at launch, and SimCity pushed things over the edge when the game became nigh unplayable in certain regards. What made things worse in SimCity‘s case was the fact that the always-on connection was not terribly important to the game, which ran contrary to the line developer Maxis was feeding the public.
Orth simply picked the wrong time to have an “I don’t see what the big deal is” moment. And when gamers tried to defend their position, and even a developer at BioWare took up the cause of the gamers, Orth foolishly took the troll approach.
So while it’s still entirely possible that the next-gen Xbox might require an always-on connection, we hope that, if nothing else, this kerfuffle as opened Microsoft’s eyes. To be honest, the fact that Sony balked at the idea for the PS4 should have been enough to dissuade Microsoft. Orth might be in the hot seat, but his public “crucifixion” might just have saved the Xbox.
Do you think Adam Orth’s online bashing might convince Microsoft not to rely on an always-online connection? Will an always-on connection convince you to get a PS4 instead of the next Xbox?
Source: Major Nelson