Yannis Mallat, the CEO of developer Ubisoft Montreal, has claimed that the market IS ready for an always-on next-generation of consoles.
“That's a question you should put to Microsoft and Sony,” he told The Guardian when asked if the world is ready for always-on consoles. “I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices – I would suspect that the audience is ready.”
So how on earth can Microsoft convince the obviously very sceptical public that the time is right for an always-s on Xbox?
“As soon as players don't have to worry, then they will only take into account the benefits that those services bring,” Mallat added, speaking of course generally and not specifically about any upcoming hardware.
“And I agree, these services need to provide clear benefits. It's important to be able to provide direct connections between us and our consumers, whether that's extra content or online services, a lot of successful games have that.
“We used to say that we're not competing against other games, we're competing for leisure time. We have to craft our experiences around the way people are now consuming entertainment. For example, with the online multiplayer aspects of a game, we can say – and this is true already of Watch Dogs – that the next generation will help us to blur the lines between on and offline play and between single and multiplayer. It will be a totally new way to play.
“I think we showed that last year with the Watchdog trailer and also the live demo we did in February at the Sony PlayStation 4 event. Essentially it will be possible for friends to jump in and out of each other's games without completely changing the experience or becoming an essential part of the storyline that players craft for themselves.”