Categories AndroidGamesHardware

Always Online Gaming Already Here?


Those who consider themselves gamers have without a doubt followed the recent announcements of the PS4 and the XBox One with interest. Sony put a ton of software and games on display while Microsoft gave us a view of the physical console but much less in the form of software. Beyond all the hardware specs and games, a burning question has been brewing for a while now. Well, in all honesty, there are several but one in particular that hit me just tonight: always-online.

The always-online concept is simple: in order to operate your console, or at the very least play any games, your console always has to be connected to the Internet. Naturally, this gives rise to all kinds of concerns, whether you are a privacy buff or just live in a cabin in the woods with no Internet connection.

The thing that struck me as I was thinking about this tonight was that although we may not be quite aware of it yet, the always-online concept is already creeping into the gaming world from a perspective I hadn’t considered before: mobile gaming.

In all honesty, I may be completely behind the curve on this one and perhaps I just need to wake up and face reality. Perhaps all of you already realized this long ago. Regardless, I guess I just woke up.

So, let me get back to where I was going with this blog entry. Considering that summer just decided to come visit us here in Alaska, we’re of course busy planning camping trips etc. Although the great outdoors and enjoying the good weather is much of what we like to do here in the summers, once in a while some gaming comes in handy, especially on long trips.

Knowing that at least one trip is not that far away, I decided to take a look at some of the games on my tablet, to see which games will I be able to play even if I for some reason find myself without a wifi connection.

I was dismayed at what I found.

As of today, here are some of the games I play with some regularity, even if it’s just once or twice a week.

  • Real Racing 3
  • The Simpsons Tapped Out
  • World at Arms
  • Train Crisis
  • Emergency
  • Angry Birds
  • Fester Mudd
  • Total War Battles

Of the above, the top three are on my more frequent list of games. To my dismay, I found that neither Real Racing 3, Tapped Out or World at Arms are playable without an Internet connection. RR3 insists that it needs to download 1MB of something, Tapped Out blames me for not having a connection and World at Arms also requires connectivity.

The rest of the lot seem fine. So, in my particular case, three of eight games could not be played on the road. See what I’m getting at here?

While we wring our hands about consoles that may need to be connected all the time, or once a day, or once a month, the games on our smartphones and tablets already have started moving in that direction. Often, we may not even notice because these devices are connected anyway for surfing, email, IM, Facebook and whatever else.

I guess my question is: are we making a big stink about something on our consoles while inadvertently supporting it on our mobile devices? You tell me.

I'm just one of those guys that like well as drawing, writing, reading, coding and a whole bunch of other things I rarely have time for.