Microsoft says the Xbox One won't need an always-online Internet connection. But if you want to play it, the thing might need to check in with the home office once a day. Playing used or borrowed games also sounds like a real bitch. Only one thing that can save gamers from this: our old enemy, Fox News.
Say what? Look, follow me here. Regardless of your political affiliation, I know all of us here hate Fox News, who constantly bait their nursing-home viewership with images of video games as government-subsidized homicide simulators that will force you to fuck gay aliens. But those superpatriot bumpkins are now our best friends in this time of crisis.
Why? Because of the troops.
As has been pointed out, here and elsewhere, video game consoles are often brought along by American servicemembers on deployment, and while hardship is very much a reality for them—which gets realer the closer they get to action—they're not all out there without a TV and a power strip. Internet access [WARNING: I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK I AM TALKING ABOUT HERE] seems to be a limited thing even in a [WARNING: I AM TRYING TO SOUND LIKE I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT HERE] secure forward operating base which has enough of a normal life going on that troops sending email and Skyping with loved ones is a common experience. Basically, Internet sounds like it's mostly available in common areas, and it probably has something to do with security. Or porn.
Whatever the case, the Xbox One needs to be playable offline, for longer than 24 hours, if not forever, if a soldier's gonna be able to play it. And based on the remarks from Microsoft representatives themselves, that doesn't sound like it will be possible.
So my question is, then, Why does Xbox One hate America?
Yeah, that's a dishonest question. That's why it's a question Fox News needs to ask.
Seriously, we gamers need to be as cutthroat as possible if we're going to get Microsoft—and any other game or console maker—to back off this always-online idea. And if that means cloaking ourselves in the flag, so be it. Once Fox News contorts this edge case scenario into flag-burning contempt for our brave men and women, Microsoft will assuredly capitulate.
Microsoft is an American company and for a dozen years, the one argumentative trump card in American discourse has been troops. Since 9/11, the side that is capable of defining the sacrifices of the American military and the reasons for which it is sacrificing is the side that wins. None do that better than Fox News. And the fact remains that our troops are out there putting their lives on the line for video gamers' right to complain all day long about everything, but they will not be able to go back to their base and play the thing that makes all of us unhappy.
That's not the country for which my grandfathers fought. (Really. They didn't have video games back then.) So, put down that impotent Change.Org Internet petition. Cease thy fulminations upon NeoGAF and r/games. Friends, neckbeards, countrymen, lend me your emails!
Here, I've whipped up an astroturf letter for you to write to Fox News, in a vernacular they understand:
Dear Fox News channel,
Did you know the new "Xbox One" game console was announced yesterday? There was some things about it you may not know. Like, the military can't play the new Xbox One. Because when the Xbox One plays games it always has to be connected to the Internet. So what happens is when this console comes out is that troops who take a console with them to Iraq won't be able to play it unless they have internet where they are. On ships or behind enemy lines. Also, the game won't let you play used games. Alot of our troops take discs with them and share them around, but Xbox One won't let you do that without paying a "fee"
I think this is wrong and, if I may say so as a taxpayer it is Un-American. Our troops defend our rights and the least they deserve is to play some "Xbox One" at the end of a hard day. I would like you to talk about that on your next show.
Hey if you use this please keep my name anonymous.
[make up a name]
Look, I know we have a lot of European readers here, you don't have to love America. You just have to hate Microsoft. Britons, I know our military might and superpower status is especially painful to those who lost an empire, but we saved your asses in the big dubya-dubya-eye-eye, so it's time to do your part for that special relationship. We'll get around to region-locking later. And Canada, goddammit, just do it, OK? OK? Thanks. Why do we always have to tell you twice?
Where do these emails go? I'm glad you asked. How about these addresses. We need to spread them out to hit all constituencies:
Fox & Friends: (Morning bullshit to scare homeschooling moms) email@example.com
America Live: (Unemployed men perving on Megyn Kelly): firstname.lastname@example.org
The O'Reilly Factor: (LEGO-hair stepford wives and FW:FW:FW:RE:FW: birthers): email@example.com
Hannity (Obese Civil War reenactors and freelance Constitutional scholars): firstname.lastname@example.org
There you go. Do it now. Support our troops!