I have to say, I find this a little bit ridiculous.
A Hooked Gamers editorial published last week and making the blog rounds today makes the claim that Ubisoft's always-on DRM plan, which I've discussed here already, is actually pretty cool or something. Through a rambling escapade of analogies and references to electrical plugs on planes and the 360's common red-ring-of-death, in the end the final judgement is that Ubisoft's DRM is both progressive and "ahead of its time."
A refutation could easily be made for everything in the blog entry: for example, even though a handful of airlines in the US have pilot testing for wifi on some of their flights, this is far from universal, and the latency and connectivity of such connections are so appalling that they would likely trigger many disconnects as a gamer tries to get through his copy of Assassin's Creed while flying from New York to LA– the sort of disconnects that would throw said gamer back to the loading screen while their modem decides what to do. The argument can certainly be made that eventually such access will be commonplace eventually, but that's little consolation for gamers today. I also don't know the last time I've actually purchased a game on physical media: with the proliferation of marketplaces like Steam, I have to go out of my way to find a disc for a PC title, so Ubisoft's digital system certainly isn't anything new or providing additional functionality. In the end, though, it doesn't matter. Potential future technology doesn't excuse a form of copyright protection that is live and active this very moment that is hampering legitimate customers from their legitimate purchases.
It used to be that the only benefit piracy provided was giving someone a game without paying for it. When such piracy is now restoring functionality crippled by developers for consumers who've actually bought their product, something is warped in the plan. If this is ahead of it's time, it's reflecting a time of some sort of dystopian restriction that I'm not really interested in.
* (The tasteful image used here appropriated from Saint Superman's excellent article on DRM and PC gaming.)
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