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Microsoft tells employees new Xbox won't require constant connection

Microsoft tells employees new Xbox won't require constant connection

The new Xbox looks likely to have a Blu-ray player and TV integration but not require an always-on internet connection

Microsoft has seemingly confirmed that the new Xbox won't require an always-on internet connection after a memo reportedly sent to all Microsoft employees working on the new console was leaked.

This news is contrary to many previous rumours that have suggested the new console (codenamed Durango and previously thought to be called the Xbox 720) will require a constant connection, even while playing single player games.

The memo reads: "Durango is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet.

"There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."


As you've just read, the memo also confirms the new Xbox will incorporate a Blu-ray disc player and some form of live TV integration. Whether the TV will use a standard digital tuner, a cable feed or Sky connection, is not yet clear, though current rumours suggest it may simply use an HDMI connection to pull the feed from your settop box.

The news, if true, will come as a great relief to those gamers that have unreliable or occasional Internet connections, with core features of the console still accessible when offline. Whether games will require activation before being available to play is not yet known.

While Ars Technica, who received the leaked memo, seems sure of its source, the timing and wording of the memo seems a little peculiar. After all, if this were a long standing policy, why would it suddenly need reiterating? This suggests it is either a recent change of policy or that Microsoft may have even engineered the leak.

Either way, if true, it looks like the new Xbox may have gone up in many users' estimation.

The new Xbox is being officially unveiled on 21st May - just two weeks away - while its release date is expected to be late Q4.

11 Comments

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deathtaker27 6th May 2013, 21:27 Quote
Do you not sleep/have time off work?

Also looks like a good move, always online is a pita
fdbh96 6th May 2013, 21:50 Quote
Meh, not fussed either way. Broadband round here has got to the point where it doesn't bother me anymore, unless on release day you cant turn it on because everyone else is trying to as well surprisingly :P
Madness_3d 6th May 2013, 22:40 Quote
If you read the initial document that caused all the fuss it never read like it was going to be "always on" in the sense that it has to be connected to the internet. It actually read more like it would be "always on" in the sense that it will be sat there in a standby mode where it can download updates etc when it's "switched off".
Glix 6th May 2013, 23:59 Quote
"Remember guys, your passwords expire after 30 days and need to meet the required complexity..." <- the email you never see at work.

"Don't forget guys, our always online console should work offline too!" <-supposed memo... ;) ;) ;)
SchizoFrog 7th May 2013, 04:55 Quote
Even if MS decide to say that you don't need a constant internet connection to use the console it is still up to the game developers, Ubisoft and EA are already moving that way more and more.
SchizoFrog 7th May 2013, 04:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by deathtaker27
Do you not sleep/have time off work?
I'm guessing not based in the UK... ;-)
Cei 7th May 2013, 11:23 Quote
It might still work in a similar fashion to Steam, with games being locked to your ID on first play, with an internet connection required to activate, which can then operate in an offline mode.
Xir 7th May 2013, 11:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madness_3d
If you read the initial document that caused all the fuss it never read like it was going to be "always on" in the sense that it has to be connected to the internet. It actually read more like it would be "always on" in the sense that it will be sat there in a standby mode where it can download updates etc when it's "switched off".

That's what switchable power strips are for, let's see it do anything without power :D

The OFF switch should turn a device off. Not Standby, not sleep, not deep sleep, just off.
rollo 7th May 2013, 12:04 Quote
Thats what i think as well Cei, It would give gamers what they want an offline mode but it would also give publishers what they want reducing the 2nd hand games market.

Most EA games require a permanent internet connection to play on console either way if you want the full experience. Ubisoft are heading that direction with some of the features of there games. You can still play all games that EA makes but you lose a few things by not been online. ( Fifa ultimate team for example )
Baz 7th May 2013, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by deathtaker27
Do you not sleep/have time off work?

Also looks like a good move, always online is a pita

We are, like inspector Gadget, always on duty.
SimonStern 8th May 2013, 08:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
We are, like inspector Gadget, always on duty.

Wowzers! Loved that show.

I too dislike any always online, phone home, or subscription based games/software. Tomorrow, in a month, or in ten years, I want to be able to play the game I spent my money on. Just as I can still play my NES and Megadrive/Genesis games from 20+ years ago. Though I still won't get one it's a good move they changed course.
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