I live in rural New Zealand and have a fantastic broadband connection that i've never had any problems with
it's shocking to me that much richer more advanced countries like canada and the US would have worse internet???
They're really, really big countries, together they're almost an entire continent. Regardless of how rich and powerful they are, the challenge of providing broadband internet to everyone across an continent is considerably more complex than providing it to a couple of million people on some relatively small islands.
To make matters worse for the US, their haste to roll broadband out across the country allowed the formation localised monopolies. In some areas, particularly rural areas, there's only one available ISP, and the lack of competition means there's little incentive to improve the network infrastructure for those customers.
But even if the US and all nations across the world had excellent broadband services available, an always-online game console is still an offensive concept. It has nothing to do with piracy and nothing to do with providing a better service to customers. It has everything to do with giving Microsoft greater control over what content we consume and providing them an assured outlet for advertising.
Robert Maxwell wrote:
Indeed. That's why I find all this speculation tedious. No one here knows if it actually will be "always online." Even if Microsoft says it is, what does that actually mean? How much flexibility is there? Again, no one here knows. Just seems like there's a whole lot of Sony fanboying going on, instead.
I don't think the backlash against this rumour has been because of fanboyism, many of the loudest critics have been Xbox 360 owners, including myself. I don't want to switch consoles to the PS4 next generation, I'd lose everything associated with my Xbox account, but if MS does decide to implement this crazy feature then I will end up having to switch. Hopefully the rumour isn't true, but Microsoft does have a history of pig-headedly pushing unpopular features onto consumers to further their wider agenda, which is something we've seen most recently with the way they handled Windows 8's new interface. I see this backlash as a shot across their bow to warn them not to pursue this feature.