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How the Xbox One Fails the Armed Forces

Illustration for article titled How the Xbox One Fails the Armed Forces

People in the U.S. Armed Forces, are, for the most part, just like the rest of us. There are dedicated gamers in there too. If they get a little downtime, deployed gamers would like to spend it like they would at home, or at least as close to home as possible.


A Marine deployed to Iraq, a Guardsman in Afghanistan, a sailor out on the Persian Gulf, these guys would really like to play some games when they get done for the day, and for the most part, they do. I have personally known a Navy man whose entire non-clothes locker, meant for personal effects, was filled up by a Gamecube, a display, and a slew of games. I was even part of an onboard LAN party where we played Starcraft 1 and Diablo 2.

The Xbox One, however, will change how these men and women could game, if they were to bring one on deployment. Often times, loved ones will send a military person a care package, filled with treats, letters, and small gifts, with requested new games among them. An excited sailor whose wife just sent him the new Halo game would set up his display, hook up the Xbox One, pop in the disc, and be confronted with no way to activate the game on the internet, because the ship doesn't have any.

There won't be any more Marines bringing their personal games with them, and having one person bring the console, because it just won't work, the game will demand a new connection once a day. What's worse, many of the people this change will effect may not be well informed gamers, and may not even realize the problem until they're stuck in the middle of nowhere with little to do, and a lot of time to pass.

It's a worrying trend, publishers and hardware manufacturers who assume that the internet is fully functioning and prevalent wherever you may be in the world. That might be the case a couple decades down the line, but for right now, our brothers and sisters who are deployed, and in the most need of entertainment are deprived of some really great games, and now, looks like they might even be deprived of an entire console.

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