Report: Xbox 720 memo shoots down always-online rumors
Rumors have swirled about the next Xbox like they would for any big gaming announcement, but one bothersome notion has dominated the conversation: will the system codenamed Durango require a persistent internet connection to function?
According to an internal memo obtained by Ars Technica, that is not the case.
“Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today’s Internet,” the memo, which was allegedly sent to all full-time employees working on the next Xbox. “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 memo doesn’t note whether single-player games can be installed offline, or if the console may push some sort of used-game blocking one-time authentication. According to another recent report, that will be up to publishers. We’ll hopefully put this and other matters to bed when Microsoft debuts its new console on May 21.
The memo is one more rumor for the pile–make sure you check out our Xbox 720 news and rumor round-up, by the way–but so far it seems fears of an always-online system have been overblown. Was this always the plan, or did Microsoft change its tune after strong consumer opposition to previous leaks?
We may never know.