Online requirements on Sony and Nintendo consoles

When Xbox One was announced back in the days, people were absolutely furious about the “always online” propositions that were done at its announcement. I can largely see two reasons why people were furious.

  1. “What about when the sewer construction in my neighbourhood cuts the Internet for an hour?”
  2. “What about when I’m at the mountain cottage, which I paid far too much money for in the first place?”

A large number of people were thankful when Microsoft retracted these some weeks later. But that’s not to say that any gaming consoles these days can be permanently placed at a remote cottage with no internet. Since I have or had owned a large number of Nintendo and Sony consoles over the years, it’s time to summarise what I know about the internet demands of those consoles, for your benefits and decisions!

Wii U

  • Always-online with subscription payments: None
  • Always-online, no interruptions: Active online matches in games, Nintendo eShop, system firmware updates, Wii Shop Channel, Wii U Chat, system transfer functions
  • Almost always online, only tiny gaps allowed: Miiverse, games with online Miiverse-based gameplay, Wii U Karaoke(?)
  • Interruptions in online access permitted: Game/app software updates
  • Only needs to connect once per boot: The Miis running around on the system main menu

 

PlayStation 4

  • Always-online with subscription payments: Almost all active online games, the ability to receive free games from PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Now’s basic package (United States)
  • Always-online, no interruptions: PlayStation Store, PlayStation Vita streaming (relies on router, not on internet access), Media Player
  • Almost always online, only tiny gaps allowed: Leaderboard-based online games, BD-Live, online chatting
  • Only needs to connect once per boot: Various social and ad-based functions on the home menu, playback of downloaded games on your secondary machine(?)
  • Only needs to connect once ever: DVD and Blu-Ray playback licenses (Once for all discs of its kind)

 

 

Nintendo 3DS

  • Always-online with subscription payments: None
  • Always-online, no interruptions: Online gameplay, system firmware updates, Nintendo eShop
  • Almost always online, only tiny gaps allowed: Miiverse, “Automatic software downloads”

 

 

PlayStation Vita

  • Always-online with subscription payments: PlayStation Now (United States), receiving free games from PlayStation Plus
  • Always-online, no interruptions: Active online games, PlayStation Live, PlayStation Store, PlayStation 4 streaming (based on router, not internet), network-based file transfers to PCs and PlayStation 3, DLNA music streaming, online chatting
  • Almost always online, only tiny gaps allowed: Leaderboard-based online games
  • Only needs to connect once: E-mail reader

 

 

Wii (as of 2016)

  • Always-online with subscription payments: None
  • Always-online, no interruptions: Wii Shop Channel, system firmware updates, Wii-to-Wii-U system transfers
  • Almost always online, only tiny gaps allowed: None
  • Only needs to connect once: None. It’s a sad state the Wii got into after all the intentional channel closures.

 

 

PlayStation 3

  • Always-online with subscription payments: Receiving free games from PlayStation Plus
  • Always-online, no interruptions: Online gameplay, PlayStation Store, all updates for all games and firmwares
  • Almost always online, only tiny gaps allowed: Online chatting
  • Only needs to connect once ever: AAC playback

 

 

Nintendo DS (not DSi)

Second-to-none. It does not support WPS router encryptions, and all games marked with Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection has been shut down. I struggle to see the worth in, and the worth of the effort in, connecting a Nintendo DS to the internet anymore.

And as the final conclusion: If you do decide to bring a PlayStation 4 or Wii U to your non-Internet mountain cottage, and to bring freshly bought major games with you, make sure that you also bring your HDMI recording card along with you. That way, you can record the guaranteed bug-filled feature-lacking disaster that will play out in front of your eyes, since you then cannot download any Day One Patches. Even just watching those scenes play out will be guaranteed to have you and your cottage pals laughing and drinking into the early morning hours, and if you record a game with little background music, you can upload the (edited!) footage online!

 

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Online requirements on Sony and Nintendo consoles

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