The modern challenge of gaming without a strong Internet connection

Extreme close-up image of computer ports.

Enlarge / More and more these days, your ability to play new games depends on the quality of your Internet connection. (credit: Sean MacEntee / Flickr)

For many players these days, the video game industry’s increasing reliance on online connections is an afterthought. But for the significant portion of the world without a quality Internet connection, it can sometimes feel like the game industry at large is leaving them behind.

Pointing out the frustration of large day-one updates has been a feature of the gaming industry for more than a decade now. The topic perhaps reached its global breakthrough with the November 13 announcement that the Xbox One would require a day-one update to function. More recently, the Xbox Series X requires a one-time online check-in before some disc-based games will work.

Both Sony and Microsoft also introduced disc-drive-free options for their latest consoles, perhaps presaging the day when those drives are gone from consoles for good. And that’s not even mentioning the many multiplayer games that require a strong online connection for a reasonable play experience or the offline games that require not only day-one updates, but sometimes months of patching and downloadable fixes before they begin to resemble the product which consumers had hoped for.

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