Hackers Leave Companies with One Choice: Online Gaming Subcriptions

The digital age is indeed upon us and gamers will be shocked to find out what these companies have in store. On TQcast Episode 132, Desz Martinez and several distinguished guests from SFX-360, Talking About Games, and Dead Pixel Live had a debate about digital gaming. While most angles were covered, there was one noticeable argument absent to evince why digital gaming is a must in eyes of companies: hackers.
To some, Geohot is a hero but to those with foresight, people like him are the biggest reason why games will literally be taken out of our possession. Sony’s attempts at legal restitution failed simply because the console physically belonged to Geohot once he bought it. But rest assured, Sony pursued legal actions to send a message to all gamers…”you have pushed us too far.”

But they do have a choice. One that could put an abrupt end to piracy and hackers alike. Considering how many consoles and handheld devices have already sold, where is the motivation to spend money researching, developing, and creating another physical console  especially when the laws do not protect your creation and hackers fail to respect your innovation?

That’s exactly why OnLive will be the new model of gaming. Anybody hacking into the network is banned and furthermore,  subject to legal ramifications. Pirates will not be able to back up or copy games because they are strictly server side and any attempt to access a secure network without permission would be illegal.

If you notice, the handheld devices Sony and Nintendo are putting out are becoming more advanced along with their controlling schemes. The latest rumors even indicate that the new PSP2 will have a 3G modem and WiFi. Who is to say these new handheld devices and future iterations will not be used to access digital gaming networks thus eliminating the need for consoles altogether? Utilizing DLNA or some new technology, you can output the video to your television for wireless gaming at home or possibly a tablet / iPad. Why else have the power of a PS3 inside a PSP2?

Gaming is a luxury, not a right, and the gaming population is due for a rude awakening when they find out HALO 5 or Uncharted 5 are not available on disc. If you want it, you have no choice but to join the digital revolution. No pirating and no torrents. You will be forced to vote with your wallet.

Why would a game publisher not jump at the chance to do this? Just like the Netflix model, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony would pay to make their games available on these services. That is guaranteed money for publishers without having to worry about producing discs, shipping them out, the used game market, or piracy. Of Course Activision and EA Sports will not abandon current generation tech immediately, but look for the online versions to be given more content and bonus features.

OnLive is proof that the concept is feasible and with the first party games like HALO or Uncharted, the hardcore gamers will indeed flock to it despite their chagrin. In essence, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony  can use exclusives, online incentives, and features to slowly increase their online infrastructures and audience. First the hardcore come. People with money to burn and a moderate interest in gaming will come next. Then the mainstream follows.

And when can we expect this gradual digital shift to begin? Look for implementation of this to begin within the next two years. The steps have already been taken. The concept is proven. Hackers and piracy have left companies with little choice. And for the people that do not possess access to Internet, the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii will still be available for sale. All you have to do is look at the PS2’s longevity as evidence.

There is a dark side to all this. Besides no longer being able to play hit titles on your own console without an Internet connection, gamers will be at the mercy of publishers and any company that offers this type of service where pricing is concerned.

It becomes even more worrying when you acknowledge that “net neutrality” laws are not in place to prevent throttling to such a service. Should Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo care about “net neutrality” especially when growing numbers of gamers currently hack their consoles and pirate their games?

Absolutely not. These companies are here to make money and unfortunately, the current model has proved troubling. Hackers may be the victors now but their arrogance will cost all of us a heavy price. Soon we will have no legal recourse, no ownership, and no control over how much we can play.

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  • stalin

    It’s not viable, on-live is extremely experimental this writer is trying to make it sound like its ready for public consumer use. There are already concerns about the on-live model in its current form. Bandwidth usage, Extremely expensive hard to manage servers. latency over distance, latency from bottlenecking. These issues would simply be exasperated and would become totally debilitating if all companies tried to rely on this model.
    Sorry but this entire article is just totally unrealistic, it’s like the person writing it just speculated all of it without actually knowing anything.

  • TheL1T1G4T0R

    I think you missed a key word…gradual. I understand clearly there are difficulties with servers and bandwidth; that said two years is a long time when it comes to tech. However nobody is saying the online model will completely replace physical consoles immediately.

    Look at Xbox Live, PSN, and Wii online stores. PlayStation Plus is even testing the pulse of the market by allowing members to download MAG and play it for free as long as you are a member.

    These companies have been working towards this for a while. They could easily start by using Indie games and older generation games to launch the service. Basically they take away the true reason for homebrew and then use continued piracy to justify their stance.

    Indeed this is all speculation but while you look at present problems, I see opportunity. Netflix was also experimental. Steam is proving successful. HULU streams high definition video. OnLive works and is so influential, it is being embedded in televisions and media devices as we speak. Even Gamestop is preparing their stores for the transition by offering more digital content and creating ideas to tie your Gamertag / PSN ID in with a Gamestop account.

    Maybe its time for gamers to wake up and realize the problems of today don’t have to stay relevant. There are people with the intelligence and creativity to solve these problems…not just hack somebody else’s work.

    What about Massive Multiplayer Online games? How do you explain the survival of the MMO genre when these “costs” are so astronomical and Internet connectivity so unstable?

  • Kale

    @starlin: Truth be told onLive still has some way to go, I agree. But I don’t find the articles point unrealistic. Perhaps cloud computing is not the immediate future, but digital downloads are already here. I keep reading articles about analysts and publishers pushing for digital distribution.

    What’s to stop Sony from requiring that you download your games and have to be connected to their server to ensure your not a filthy pirate. They would then be able to monitor the amount of copies they distribute and ensure that of the 1million copies sold, only 1 million players are accessing the game.
    If MS,Sony and Nintendo agree to got that way what choice do we have but to accept it.
    These hackers claim they fight some system or what ever crap they dream up, but fact is the few are ruining it for the many. We as true gamers who support our industry will now have to suffer.

  • Somebody just brought up a really good point. Not only would online gaming make piracy near impossible but it would also do away with Used games.

    Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

  • duhast

    thats stupid geohut needs to be killes hes a fucken retard

    • trabv\

      Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? GeoHot deserves to BE KILLED for people abusing his firmware hack? Extreme mcsh?

  • ManAnimalX

    I’ll say it again….THIS IS ALL BY DESIGN…….all this junk thats played out in the media, fueled by Big Buisness, this is what they’ve always wanted and only a fool who doesnt understand CAPATILISM would think otherwise. Hackers are allowed to hack for 1 reason, so tht big buisness can then come and say” we need to CHANGE(lol) things” to “Protect our interests”, …THEY(Big Buisness/CORPS/GOVT) create the PROBLEM, …then! they offer a SOLUTION. Taking away more of your choices and freedoms while saying its whats best for everyone. There goal is have it all online(gaming) under big brothers(gaming buisness/govt/corps/mediaetc) thumb and TOTAL CONTROL, where at the push of a button you can lose all your gaming priveliges should they choose it.

    • TheL1T1G4T0R

      I would normally agree with you except this time I think it’s different. They have worked diligently to make sure the system was not hacked. Why?

      Look at the PSP’s library of games? The hacking market ruined the potential library. You might think it’s all games but follow this:

      1) Wii sells like crazy and everybody wants to make a game. It gets pirated and suddenly 3rd parties aren’t so interested in making Wii titles.

      2) The Xbox 360 is smashing the PS3 in sales and publicity. It even has many third party exclusives at the beginning. It gets hacked, people begin pirating games, and suddenly developing a game for just the Xbox 360 becomes less appealing.

      3) The PS3 stands as the only system unhacked. It starts amassing exclusives that make even diehard Xbox 360 fans jealous. It gets hacked and Sony actually sues!

      Why? Because they understand what hacking means. It undermines the studios that make games. Games sell consoles…not hacking. Researching fixes costs console makers money…not us.

      So for you to say it’s by design is ridiculous. Why don’t you try making an app and then try to stand by your argument once people start sideloading your apk or app. There’s a reason devs prefer the safety of the Apple App Store over Android’s marketplace.

      • ManAnimalX

        Ty for highlighting some of the propaganda that i am pointing too. but what you dont understand is that all of this is being played out in the public eye, in order to get people to buy in with their ideas , for instance, b4 we go to war or b4 public policy can be changed without peeps fighting the change, we are sold the idea(s) of change based on so called facts, that supposeldy point to a breach in security. the idea im presenting to you is the fact that its not really about $$$…..???….they have all of the money(Govts/Corporation worldwide), its really about CONTROL. In order to have control of humans you must control the mind, so what im saying is this: All , and i mean ALL !! …Nintendo,Sony,Microsoft ,etc..THE Industry is really NOT competing with one another, their all just different sides of the same coin, ALL are a part of the the Big Scam , carefully orchestrated scam to Consolidate the Industry….and you can see this very example happening in all different sectors of life, all of this being played out for public viewing and consumption without being able to see the strings controlling the puppet so to speak. CONSOLIDATION means CONTROL and CONTROL equals SLAVERY…welcome to the New AGE. p/s– have you ever wondered why the “industry” has welcomed with open arms “On Live”, and the big 3 have not fought it at all, even knowing if it catches on(an it will lol) it would be a “direct competitor”?..cause thts what they really want, and only a moron wldnt see tht. control my friend..lol time to wake up and smell the ashes.

        • TheL1T1G4T0R

          1) I don’t believe these companies care what the other is doing as long as they make their own profit. They care when they’re not getting a piece of the pie or when people start taking away from their profits.

          In short, money motivates.

          2) No corporation or company controls me. I, unlike, many others vote with my wallet instead of hacking things. There’s always an option without resorting to immoral practices to fight the so called “injustice” and power hungry corporations. Just don’t support them.

          Nobody is arguing against lobbyism here.

          3) OnLive will never be a serious competitor to any service Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony put out because they won’t be able to get their first party titles without ponying up a lot of money.

          They are being watched carefully as a guinea pig and after OnLive’s one year anniversary, you’ll start hearing details about one or all of their comparable services to launch in the future.

          OnLive will either be bought or pushed out of relevance because the big three won’t allow them time to build up like Netflix has. That’s exactly why my two year window is completely realistic.

          Really whether OnLive succeeds or not matters little. It can be done. It is being done. And if companies like Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony can weather losing money on hardware initially for the first few years, they certainly won’t mind spending a bit to build an environment where they have ultimate control.

          • ManAnimalX

            On Live is helping to to sellllll the idea to the public that “Digital gaming distribution is the way to go in the future. It will be a success if it helps sell the idea to the public. Its a tool, kinda like a beta test to see how the public reacts, to stress test etc… The issue of hacking is also a Tool, being used to help shape the idea the “Digital distribution is the safest way to secure the rights of the the gaming companys and the interest of their partners”. You like everyone on the face of this earth has been shaped and molded by your enviroment, you are what you eat so to say, this is the reality of life. Television is a tool that shapes the very fabric of society in whatever part of the world you live on. your brain like a computer records your exeperiences which help to shape your opinions about things. your way too trusting, you probably still think that those arab hijackers are responsible for 911…lol and if you think that then its really gonna be difficult to unplugg your brainwashed mind my friend.

  • ochoas08

    Dammnmnnn Thel1t1g4tor just said it all!!! Thats why Wii and 360s have less exclusives or at least good ones coming out this year. Hacking is gonna sell consoles while there are good games out but once Developers get a hit by their games being pirated they are not gonna want to make games for that system no more and all the ppl who hack their console aint gonna have nothing good to pirate.
    Just look at the 360, all the ppl that hack their console aint got good games to play this year except those multi platform..

  • WTF? lol. It’s all a conspiracy!!!

  • That was a very good explanation…. You make complete sense now. It’s all a conspiracy…. Omg!! Hahaha!!! Troll!

    • ManAnimalX

      Your just brainwashed, anything thts makes you think, makes your head hurt, it is a conspiracy whether you care abt tht or not, IT IS WHAT IT IS, if one would take time to study are economic system, governmental system and there relationship with corporate worldwide, you wld see the same thing, but i know you wont, cause the “TRUTH IS UGLY, and very few have the courage to call it what it is. One day these facts i stated will be so apparent, they will be NO way for you to deny it, ignorance is not bliss, ignorance means unprepared for the storms of life, when your ignorant and scared, you just go along with things, while calling peeps TROLLs tht have the courage to tell it like it is.

  • ^ It’s time for your medication now. The voices will go away soon.

    • ManAnimalX

      Your a bad comedian lol, i know your some young guy without a perspective on whats going on, i feel sorry for your generation which doesnt seem to care about anything,and everythings a joke and easily made into a comedy, your ignorance is going kill you in the end. Laugh now, Cry later.,..lol p.s- just remember aliens are real! lol lol (i know you believe in aliens lol lol )