This isn’t the first time that this next-gen Xbox rumour has popped up, but this revised iteration of basically the same rumour extrapolates a little. To date there’s been a ton of speculation around whether or not the next Xbox will require a permanent Internet connection. It’s been thought that this alleged requirement was a way for Microsoft to control piracy, to control the used game sales market, or to have better control of the advertising on their console. That last theory ties in rather nefariously with another popular next-gen Xbox rumour that suggests the next iteration of Kinect will be mandatory as well.
Kotaku (which appears to be on a roll when it comes to breaking news this week) has sited reliable sources that have told them the next Xbox won’t even launch games or applications unless it has an Internet connection.
“Unless something has changed recently, Durango consumer units must have an active Internet connection to be used,” said one of Kotaku’s sources.
This same source, Kotaku has stated, has a “perfect track record in getting these kinds of things right.”
“If there isn’t a connection,” Kotaku’s source continued to explain, “no games or apps can be started. If the connection is interrupted then after a period of time–currently three minutes, if I remember correctly–the game/app is suspended and the network troubleshooter started.”
Shortly after Kotaku’s piece went live, the creative director at Microsoft Studios, Adam Orth, hopped onto Twitter to begin hurling “deal with it” comments regarding the possibility of the next Xbox requiring a permanent Internet connection: “Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always on’ console. Every device now is ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit”
His fighting words were met with retaliation from BioWare’s senior gameplay designer Manveer Heir: “Did you learn nothing from Diablo III or SimCity? You know some people’s Internet goes out right? Deal with it is a shitty reason.”
The entire exchange, in addition to further rants about the topic by Orth, has been collated on a NeoGAF thread. It’s somewhat odd and I can’t imagine that Orth will get away with saying the things he has without repercussions from Microsoft.
Anyway, that’s the current next-gen Xbox rumour and subsequent scandal. Don’t forget that it’s been confirmed by Sony that the PlayStation 4 WON’T require a permanent Internet connection. With that in mind, I still get the feeling that Microsoft will be committing market-share suicide if they go ahead and make an Internet connection mandatory in order for a gaming console to, you know, do what it’s supposed to and actually allow you to play games.