Well, well, well. With 14 more days to go until Microsoft’s special unveiling, and what with all the rumours flying around the company’s next Xbox (colloquially known as the Xbox 720), there’s another additional rumour kicking about – one which contradicts what I’ve come to know.
I already know that games for the Xbox 720 won’t be always-on unless publishers say so, which is alright if proven true, but that particular rumour only concerns the games. This rumour, however, concerns the actual console itself.
According to Ars Technica, Microsoft allegedly sent an internal email to all full-time staff working on the Xbox 720. The email’s contents suggests that the console actually won’t require an always-on connection order to work. The email is as follows:
“Durango (the next Xbox’s codename) 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.”
Hoo-ray! It seems that some sense may have been finally knocked into the bigwigs at Microsoft. However, like any and all rumours – despite how convincing they may be – they are only rumours until officially confirmed otherwise. Are Microsoft trying to win some support back after the amount of backlash they have gotten? Possibly – that’s how I see it. Could it be too little too late? Even more possible, but I think no-one will truly be sure until May 21st.
I’ll try to stay optimistic about Microsoft, and they might surprise gamers during their reveal. Untill then, however, nothing is really absolute.
So, let’s take a hypothetical: if the console doesn’t require any internet at all to even function, it’d probably work like the Xbox 360 does – which is what I’ve fundamentally wanted from the Xbox 720, just with go faster stripes. Ars Technica proposed the same idea. They also came up with a comparison to Valve’s Steam client, where internet is required to install games and updates etc. but – once finished – enables an offline mode so gamers can still play their games.
If either one of the hypothetical outcomes become true, I’ll certainly be a lot happier with the Xbox 720. Preferably I want the former, but I would be okay with the latter.
Like, if the possibility of publishers/developers releasing games that require an internet connection for a one-time authentication becomes true, I’d be okay with that. I’d also be okay with the Xbox 720 console requiring an internet connection for something similar – for software updates, game installations, etc. – because I assume it’ll only take five to 10 minutes of internet usage to do so. After that, the console should have an offline mode so it could be used normally without an internet connection. That’s what I’d ideally like to happen.
How do you feel about the next Xbox supposedly not requiring an always-on internet connection to work? Let us know in the comments!
Chirps to Ars Technica. Thank you for reading, and I’ll catch you next time!