Rumours that Microsoft’s next Xbox console will require a constant Internet connection to operate have been circulating for ages now, leading many people to declare themselves completely against the console despite us not actually knowing the facts, yet which is a real shame.
However, a new report from Ars Technica suggests that the next Xbox will NOT require an Internet connection to work. According to Technica an internal memo sent to employees working on the next Xbox had this to say on the subject of Internet connection: “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.”
The exact implications of what this means is unclear. For example does this mean we could expect to install and play a game without ever having to connect to the Internet, or will it perhaps be a Steam style thing where we have to be connected for installation, but not for actually playing?
Either way it may help alleviate some concerns. However, like the idea that the next Xbox is going to require a permanent Internet connection this is just a rumour, so I’d take both with a pinch of salt. Ultimately we’ll find out on May 21st when Microsoft lift the curtain on their new console.
On a personal note, if the next Xbox does require a permanent connection, there’s a good chance I may never pick it up simply due to privacy. As anyone with a webcam knows it’s not difficult for people to get in to your system without you ever realising it and turn on your camera. The same could be done with Kinect. Hell, in this day in age it would be the publishers themselves watching you through connect, claiming it’s so they can better adapt to what their consumers want.
Finally, the memo, should it be real, also confirms that you will indeed be able to watch live TV through your Xbox.