Does PS3+no internet=FAIL?
May 9, 2008 6:39 AM   Subscribe

My brother wants to buy a PS3 (or even a Xbox 360) but he doesnt have any sort of internet access (why yes, he does live in a cave) Would that be a major hinderance/hassle or would it just be a annoyance?
posted by ShawnString to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total)
 
Without a broadband connection, it might be tough to apply firmware and software updates needed to fix games like Grand Theft Auto IV. The only solutions I can think of are to get broadband, or bring the unit occasionally to a friend's house, which has internet connectivity.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:54 AM on May 9, 2008


I can't speak to the PS3, but my xbox 360 is constantly downloading updates to games- often bugfixes, etc. This is particularly true for older xbox games that need to be patched to run on the 360.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:54 AM on May 9, 2008


The PS3 has occasional firmware updates, and game patches, which it will auto-download if you are connected.
It allows you to install these from a disc or USB device, but you'd still have to download them from *somewhere*.
posted by jozxyqk at 6:55 AM on May 9, 2008


I can't address the PS3, but as for the 360: Just an annoyance. He won't be able to download patches or updates for the games he plays. He won't be able to play original Xbox (pre-360) games, because you have to connect to Xbox Live to download the emulation code for each game.

Additionally, many games are now designed with the expectation that online play is most of the value they deliver -- Halo 3's single-player campaign is short and mediocre, while its online multiplayer is widely considered to define the state of the art -- so he'd have to choose carefully when buying games.
posted by jjg at 7:01 AM on May 9, 2008


Yup... he'll lose out on firmware updates (very handy, IMO... on the 360 alone, it's added in things like divx support for the media center functionality, which is super useful for me)... the PS3 also adds functionality through firmware updates, not just bug fixes, but if your brother is happy to play games and put up with the bugs? It will be more of an annoyance than anything. Plus, he also won't get to compare his gamerscore online with his buddies. :)
posted by antifuse at 7:02 AM on May 9, 2008


More info on what you may be missing, specifically for the PS3. A list of the changes made in all the firmware updates to date.
posted by jozxyqk at 7:10 AM on May 9, 2008


On the 360, firmware updates (for the system itself) are included on many games, so if you buy a game after the update it is applied at that time.

Secondly, for backwards compatability, a disc can be burned from Xbox.com which contains the necessary emulator which can be installed.

The biggest problem is for game patches, but in the majority of cases the fixes are limited to online multiplayer in any event (e.g. reducing lag etc..). There's one or two cases where the game pre-patch has signficant problems (e.g. the recent port of Bully) but on the whole it shouldn't be a problem.
posted by Mattat at 7:14 AM on May 9, 2008


I had my Xbox 360 for over a year without ever hooking it up to the internet. It worked just fine, in my experience. However, as noted several times above, there are patches and firmware updates you can download, and he'll miss out on those. I imagine there are even some games off the shelf that will suffer from bugs that require patches.

But again, it was just fine for me for over a year (I'm no hardcore player). Now that I have the access, it is more fun though - especially free download demos, and some of the arcade games you pay for. I don't even play online, and Silver access is free. But you can't miss what you never had.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 7:23 AM on May 9, 2008


The game "Mass Effect" needs an internet connection to remain activated. It phones home every ten days to verify the copy of the game, or it won't work on the eleventh day. I don't think many games are like this, and it'd be good to avoid them on principle (what's to say the game manufacturer won't eventually go bankrupt, kill the server, and now the game will never play again?).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:30 AM on May 9, 2008


Just as a correction to spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints *gasp*

Mass Effect for PC is the only version that has the 10 day verification.

Don't worry about it for the XBox 360.

As for what everyone else says - you can have a system without the internet, but you will miss out on patches, and other fixes.
posted by SNWidget at 7:52 AM on May 9, 2008


spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints that is for the PC version, not the console version which the op is asking about, you should double check what you hear before you go spouting nonsense like that.

My friend has a PS3 which has never been online, and its not a problem for him, but it really depends on how much your brother wants to get out of it.
posted by BobbyDigital at 7:53 AM on May 9, 2008


My PS3 has never been connected to the internet (I do have access, but it's 200 feet away from the PS3 and that's how lazy I am).

So far we've played Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, Heavenly Sword, Call of Duty 4, Resistance: Fall of Man, Motorstorm, Guitar Hero III, and The Orange Box. We're currently playing GTA IV and Gran Turismo 5. Never had a single problem.

So may I pile on: everyone else here, should I hook mine up for updates? Why? What differences will I notice?
posted by peep at 9:13 AM on May 9, 2008


Both machines require regular patching via the internet, as others have noted. As far as every day use, the PS3 is probably okay to play without internet, since frankly there aren't as many good games for the PS3, and Sony's online community/features (albeit free) pales in comparison to Xbox Live (~$60/year).

An Xbox 360, however, derives a lot of its interest with Xbox Live play integrated into so many games. I wouldn't dream of owning a 360 without internet access. To me it would be like owning a computer and not connecting it the internet. You can enjoy it, but you'd be missing out on a very large portion of its potential entertainment value.
posted by wubbie at 9:26 AM on May 9, 2008


peep - don't you have a wireless router? The PS3 has BUILT IN WIRELESS! :) And see the link posted by jozxyqk above for all the PS3 system updates thus far.
posted by antifuse at 10:16 AM on May 9, 2008


System firmware updates can be downloaded to a USB key/external hard drive via the Playstation site (you'll probably need to use a different link if you're not in North America). Some games will also require you to update your system firmware to the version available on the game disc, which requires no internet access at all. I don't know what, if any, games come with updated firmware, though.

Game patches are a different story; usually those auto-download when you try to play a game, and I'm not really sure if there's any secondary method of loading game patches that bypass the PS3's internet connection. I can't think of any games right now that are horribly broken without a patch (unless you count Lair's inability to use the analog sticks for flying, but that's another story) so right now you're okay. An aside: Grand Theft Auto 4's occasional freezing problems almost certainly won't affect you if you buy a late-model PS3 (i.e. not a used 20GB/60GB) and you're not connected to a network.

Aside from that, the main things you're missing out on are online play/stat tracking (duh) and purchases off the Playstation Store (which isn't a dealbreaker, but I have more games bought off PSN than I own on disc to give you an example). So long as your brother is willing to forgo all that, playing without an internet connection will be mostly fine. Warhawk would probably not be the best purchase (unless he's got three other friends and a penchant for split-screen local multiplayer).
posted by chrominance at 11:23 AM on May 9, 2008


A great majority of the games I play on a regular basis - the ones I can sit down and play for 15-30 minutes - were downloaded off of PSN. As far as I know, there's no other way to get them, and they're the most interesting and unique titles the PS3 has to offer.
posted by Caviar at 6:55 PM on May 9, 2008


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