Former Xbox boss thinks all games will be connected like Titanfall in the future, but not at the expense of offline

Marc Whitten talked about the online future of games before leaving his job at Microsoft.

Former chief product officer and corporate vice president for the Xbox team Marc Whitten thinks that more games will be connected like Titanfall in the future, but not at the expense of offline.

Whitten stopped by the Major Nelson Radio podcast during one of his last days with the company and talked about the past and future of Xbox, especially the evolution of its online features. “We’re clearly in the place where not only is every console and every device is going to have a service, but every game is going to be a service,” he said. “This is the way that we’ll have entertainment experiences and they’ll be connected together.”

Whitten said that we’re starting to see where things are headed with games like Titanfall, which uses Microsoft’s cloud computing. “Everybody obviously sees the Titanfall stuff with the cloud. It’s easy to get into a match, low latency, all those sorts of things. But then there’s this other thing where I’m relying on the cloud so I can offload more stuff. Now we have AI coming from the cloud as well. And as that becomes more and more of the tool set I think you’re going to see this deep and rich growth of new entertainment experiences.”

However, Whitten was quick to say that this future does not necessarily mean Xbox will have the kind of online requirements that stirred so much controversy leading up to the Xbox One launch. “No, I don’t mean at the expense of offline and all that kind of stuff,” he said. “I just think that having more tools for creators, to be able to use more crayons to draw the pictures, that’s all just great for us.”

Whitten announced earlier this week that he was leaving his job at Microsoft to join Sonos as its chief product officer.

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emanuelmaiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.
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267 comments
Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

The day SP dies is the day this industry crumbles.

This industry can't live on virtual sports alone, it needs deep story and characters, or this industry becomes nothing more than a second rate hobby.

oskuuu
oskuuu

microsoft is really backwards with always online, because everyone hates it... i guess they just have to deal with it :/ or not  to buy that crap

kujel
kujel

@Marc Whitten: as an indie dev I can say I will always make singleplayer offline games cause that's the kind of game real gamers want!

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

The reason Titanfall is connected is because it is multiplayer only. Destiny is actually far more connected by not just on the surface like multiplayer, but the persistence of the world. So 'connected like Titanfall' doesn't do justice to games like Destiny.

sirslimyscott
sirslimyscott

How about when the service is in maintenance, or when you internet starts eating itself? My ISP sucks so much I have an alarm to warn me around 3am in the morning.

FBohler
FBohler

In a far future, maybe. The possibilities range from other criminals interfering in your activities in GTA 10 or even heroes helping you out on randomly generated encounters in TeS VIII. Just like Watch Dogs is going to do with the whole hacking thing. Of course, the encounters should be seamless and rewarding, not just to get some kid ruining your experience. And there's the major challenge for the developers.

Pewbert
Pewbert

Ahhh EA told you off for not mentioning Titanfall for a few hours, so you quickly came up with 3 headlines containing it.

Awesome! Gotta please your slave masters.

pip3dream
pip3dream

Haha.  What a funny headline article.  THIS JUST IN.  DUDE THINKS SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN, BUT MAYBE NOT TOTALLY.


sladakrobot
sladakrobot

So Microsoft and Sony are speaking of "service" as the future?
I hope at that day Nintendo still exists coz i might go their way.

Sarg1010
Sarg1010

Not if EA has anything to say about it.

spilly42
spilly42

Look at the clickbate word choice "Boss" "will" "all." I mean isn't is contradicting to say he thinks that ALL games will be online, but not at the expense of offline games? Poor choice of words in the title of this article. 

anshanlord
anshanlord

OH MY GOD! they released one single game, they can't shut up about it!

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Whatever the expense is, please don't let it be value to the customer.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Is Major Nelson the only survivor of the Xbox One fiasco now?

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

most of my games i play are offline. Like literally. these literally like 4-8 games i play online FOUR - EIGHT!!! no im serious.


Counter Strike, COD, Red Orchestra and a few others liek Race 07 and TOCA 3 and maybe civilization and Heroes (which i mainly play single player). the other 300_+ games i have on STEAM are Offline only games, even Titans quest and Torchlight 2 i play offline.


I have no interest in online only games really. Im sure elder Scrolls online will be a big hit, but i want to play the single player elder scrolls games a lot more. Even games like The Sims i have no interest in the online mode.


Fine i prefer downloading and digital purchases that i can store on my PC, sure. But once ive downloaded it and installed it, I play offline. Also cloud saving SUX....it SUX ok? It sux. for home use. Great for mobile gaming maybe, but its sht for home use. I like to have my ave files on my PC for easy access.

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

Windows 9 cloud powered?

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

just how many delusional people work at microsoft? why does every console and game need a service? oh wait it doesn't. i don't need my entertainment services connected.. they've been just fine on their own all this time and always will be.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

yes, in the future I'm sure it will be. However, one of the main concerns gamers had about the original reveal for the XB1 was that all those cool "connected" features that it had, were not going to be a good thing since most of the world isn't ready for all that "connected" content. Maybe I'll change my opinion of an "always connected" future being a bad one when someone comes along and proves that things like D3/SimCity server outages are a thing of the past. When I don't have to worry about not being able to log on to my single player game. Until then, take your "connected" games and shove it please.

guardianofhonor
guardianofhonor

Microsoft want everything in the world connected with all the wires leading to NSA HQ.

gannon27
gannon27

It will be a sad, sad day if single player offline campaigns are dropped from multiplayer games. Don't know why Titanfall doesn't have one???

GLOK1132
GLOK1132

That's funny coming from a company that tried to make an always online console.

noandno
noandno

Yep. He really went to Zynga

demon-returns
demon-returns

I find it funny that no one else picked up on the choice of words he used yet there'll probably be idiots here arguing over things that has nothing to do with the article.


Anyway I like how he used the word service.... and in particular he said how games are going to be a service.


Let me explain what this means for us my fellow brother and sister gamers. This means that we will probably be playing monthly fees like a subscription type thing to play games. You won't own anything. we will be nickeled and dimed to death and at that time that's when I'll be signing off for good.

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

Former Xbox boss

Yep... makes sense.

SacredGray
SacredGray

I knew it. Trying to inch back toward their original douchebaggery.

FBohler
FBohler

@sladakrobot  I was massively disappointed with Wii U hardware. Tablet controller + last gen graphics held me back from picking it up on launch. Looking back, that was a good decision, because the Wii U is failing. Let's wait for the next generation and hope Nintendo makes a decent straight forward platform with solid controller (not X1 replica) and optional nice gimmicks.

jk12324
jk12324

@thekazumalord  Microsoft wants to turn everything into a service so they can continuously charge you.  Just have a look a Microsoft Office, it went from a product you own to mostly a service you pay for now.

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

@guardianofhonor  


To be fair... if you own a cell phone and have a bank account the nsa already know just about everything about you..

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

@demon-returns that's different from now......how? We already don't own anything. We are already nickeded and dimed by most games. XBlive and PS+ and MMO's (MMO's I can understand though tbh) already charge a monthly fee....

tjkraz
tjkraz

@SacredGray  Strikes me as more of a prediction than an edict.  A decade ago, people like Bill Gates were preaching about how the marketplace would embrace digital distribution of music, movies and games.  And that's exactly what has happened.  


Microsoft can't force "always online" upon developers...but when they make 300,000 cloud servers available to devs, many are going to make use of those resources.  


MS may be able to force the issue on first-party titles--which Titanfall 1 essentially is--but not universally.  Still we're seeing games like Destiny, The Division and Watch Dogs for which online is practically a requirement...at least to fully enjoy the experience.  

rasterror
rasterror

The graphics didn't disappoint me. Mario Galaxy proved that you don't need the most powerful hardware to make a beautiful game. It just seems that Nintendo didn't invest enough in it and confused way too many people with its name. Most of the people, like my aunt, thought it was just a $350 controller add on. It needs a true next gen Zelda, Metro, and Mario Galaxy. It has some fun games but even developers don't know what to do with it. I think they expected Nintendo to be a more of line connected system and are upset that it isn't.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@nazgoroth @guardianofhonor  which isnt a good thing. They arent even overseen BY the government lol. they are like their own entity. They dont report to anyone accept themselves, its crazy. Dick cheney started it. You know? the piece of sht that stopped jets from helping on 9/11 and invaded Iraq? that piece of sht? he started the NSA. Most likely to stop retaliation from the public for the wars he wanted to start.

guardianofhonor
guardianofhonor

@nazgoroth

About me probably not, they are more interested in civil rights activist, the tea party, house intelligence committee members investigating the use of torture and federal judges but they probably share info with private institutions as well so maybe.

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

But This guy believes itll get even better. (Worse)

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

Why is it like that for watch dogs and Division?

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

@guardianofhonor why wouldn't they know about you? They collect everything in mass and then sift through trying to find the undesirables. All your info, just like mine, is tucked neatly away for the day it's convenient to abuse that information. And, if you already said that they share info with private institutions, why wouldn't they sell the info to businesses looking for your business.


Just wait, they'll get around to targeting you sooner or later.

guardianofhonor
guardianofhonor

@nazgoroth

What is more disturbing the fact that the phones are being used to spy on people or the fact that people use the phones knowing they are being spied on? It's easier to choose the tranquility of slavery I guess.

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

@guardianofhonor @nazgoroth  


I know for one they have monitored and recorded every phonecall in my country... all of them. 100% (it leaked out, (one of our ministers had a slip of the tongue)

So they have some pretty disturbing shit on me i'm sure...