The dangers of an always-connected society is that you can never be too sure who's listening in. Of course in the case of public virtual conversations and declarations, the answer is everybody.
Which is why Microsoft Studios' creative director Adam Orth might regret not being a little more circumspect perhaps regarding his recent defence of always-connected hardware.
"Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always on’ console,” Orth said on Twitter. “Every device now is ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit.”
A response from BioWare designer Manveer Heir channelled the obvious, zeitgeist-grasping reaction: “Did you learn nothing from Diablo III or SimCity? You know some people’s internet goes out right? Deal with it is a shitty reason.”
It's worth noting that the two are good friends, and that the back and forth waas a bit of banter, with Heir doing a little bit of damage limitation with the following tweet:
“You should know we [Heir and Orth] are good friends who joke around with one another. Don’t read too much into our back & forth… All those tweets you are seeing about the city being superior. That’s him just trolling me. And I fell for it. Don’t bust his balls on that.”
That may, but it doesn't really change Orth's original comment regarding always-online. Given that Microsoft are yet to announce anything regarding their next generation console, and given that gamers have been up in arms recently regarding the increasing prevalence of always-on experiences, one might suggest that Orth was perhaps a little naive to make such a statement using a medium that allows for little by way of sarcasm or inflected humour. Coming from Joe Bloggs, it might not be particularly noteworthy. Coming from the lead of a platform manufacturer's in-house dev studio is something completely different.
It's important to note that Orth's tweets are by no means whatsoever a confirmation of anything at all. But perhaps Microsoft should actually bother to announce something, before any more of their top staff piss off parts of their fanbase with controversial statements surrounding a currently lava-hot topic.
Orth's protected his tweets (stable door shut, horse already bolted), but you can check out the full exchange over here on NeoGAF. Meanwhile, parts of the internet have already responded, with YouTube favourite Francis getting really, really angry. Use headphones, it's definitely NSFW.
You see, always-on is such a fiery topic that it doesn't take much to provoke some rather extreme reactions. And surely the last thing Microsoft want people thinking is that "the PS4 is winning the [console race] just by showing up and not being assholes."