Monday, June 17, 2013

Why The XBoxOne Doesn't Work For The Military

Jay Johnson is a member of the U.S. Navy. And like so many of our armed forces, they play video games in their downtime. Seriously if you knew how many games and systems GameStop sells to bases around the country, it’d make your eyes pop out of your skull. And really who could blame them? Anything to take away from looking at the real world around them, games are a great method for distressing and relaxing.

From experience, a number of these soldiers are Xbox fans. I think a lot of it had to do with the relatively cheap price, but there are also a lot more first person shooter, sports, and action games in comparison to the Playstation. I realize that may seem weird that a soldier would want to play an FPS, but it’s not the fact that it’s an FPS. They need something that is quick and easy to get into. They don’t have the time to devote to an RPG where they need to spend 100+ hours to complete the game. Because  they need to be ready at a moment’s notice, an RPG doesn’t offer the freedom to just stop and go as need-be in comparison to an FPS.

Video games are also a great way to have fun without the need of an internet connection. This is kind of big. It’s a pain in the butt to get online at bases. You’re lucky if you can send out an e-mail to your family and friends sometimes. A number of bases have a rationing system where you get a ticket and turn it in for an allotted amount of time daily or weekly. Even with the pervasiveness of technology today, the military has restrictions.

So when the XboxOne announced a need to connect to the home base every 24 hours to check that your system is still “valid,” I could already hear the voices of the military men and women in a collective sigh of disappointment. Microsoft is really going to be kicking themselves over this decision. The military makes up a nice chunk of their game sales. With the XboxOne having this restriction in order to play, it’s going to turn more of those gamers to the Playstation and/or stop buying from Microsoft all-together once Xbox360 games are discontinued.

Let’s see how Microsoft plans to address this concern, if at all.

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