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Rumour – Internal email debunks next Xbox’s always-online requirement

Monday, 6th May 2013 19:07 GMT By Debabrata Nath

The next Xbox might not require a constant internet connection if an email apparently sent to Microsoft employees is genuine.

The email, which has been procured by Ars Technica, has reportedly been sent to “all full-time employees working on the next Xbox” and it clearly states that the console will allow offline functionalities, including the ability to play single player games.

“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.”

Interestingly, the email also mentions the console’s ability to run Blu-ray discs, apparently confirming that the next Xbox will be ship with a Blu-ray drive.

However, previous rumours suggested otherwise, as the console was said to require ‘some form’ of always-online connection in order to function.

Microsoft is confirmed to show its next-gen console to the world through an event they’re holding on May 21.

Thanks, IGN.

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15 Comments

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  1. DrDamn

    Always thought that the gist of this communication was true but hope that this is some kind of spoof. This shouldn’t be something you have to tell everyone working on Durango at this stage. It should have been an obvious know fact already, unless they’ve done a bit of a u-turn.

    #1 12 months ago
  2. redwood

    they already said somewhere that it will be up to the publisher.. meaning we won’t be entirely screwed.. but screwed nonethless.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. No_PUDding

    Well I’ve stood by it being a stupid rumour.

    But I really wonder why this email was sent to employees. Wonder what the context was.

    Maybe employees working on it, were reading the rumours and getting uppity about it.

    As I understand, Microsoft is super secretive and employees may only know about the area they’re working on. Not the overall direction.

    #3 12 months ago
  4. No_PUDding

    I’ve heard talk of biometrically locked chambers at Microsoft’s studios, with the ‘future tech’ inside. Only a handful of people are allowed in.

    #4 12 months ago
  5. DGOJG

    Yeah this internal email seems legit as hell..why is it being circulated?
    Can the 21st please hurry up so we can hear less about rumours please?

    #5 12 months ago
  6. Fin

    Unless this is a tactical leak, I don’t really see an internal email being sent round using that kind of language.

    SDK docs, or a dev conference or something yeah, but not an email.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. salarta

    I can easily see Microsoft originally planning to include an always-online requirement for the system, then backtrack as a result of recent problems with that model. Diablo III and SimCity both vividly displayed the inherent problem with forced online connectivity. Right now, a lot of people are wary of any game or hardware that basically becomes useless if the internet connection is unreliable or if the servers are overloaded or simply not working. At this stage, announcing a console with an always-online requirement would be a huge blow to their revenue and interest from consumers and developers/publishers alike.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. Erthazus

    Let’s wait a bit longer. Soon we will see everything. He he :D

    #8 12 months ago
  9. oddeye

    If it was sent out to all employees working on the next xbox, they already know what the features are and the e-mail looks like an ad the way it’s written. Having an e-mail that mentions the always on part is just suspect to me.

    It could be possible that there was a recent change to not require always on and everyone on the team should know about it, which means it did have always on in the first place. Who knows.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. sg1974

    All news is good news. No reason for MS to respond until 21 May, and the speculation increases interest. Clever strategy.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. The_Red

    @6
    That’s the first thing that came to my mind too. A tactical / intended “leak”.

    All the major sites are somehow reporting something that couldn’t have possibly leaked by its own AND it more or less puts at end to all the negativity surrounding always-online.
    Now, it’s up to publishers (optional always-online) to look like the bad guys.

    #11 12 months ago
  12. Silent Killer01

    If an internet connection was required in past plans what is keeping them from adding it later on after everyone buys the system.

    #12 12 months ago
  13. RocknRolla

    We will see on 21 may, right now I don´t believe anyone..

    #13 12 months ago
  14. salarta

    @12: Legal ramifications. Microsoft advertising that the system doesn’t require online, only to suddenly force online as a requirement, would be lying about the specifications. If nothing else, even if they could somehow legally get away with it, they would take a vicious public relations blow, one that I doubt they would be able to recover from even during the next generation of consoles.

    #14 12 months ago
  15. G1GAHURTZ

    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…

    How can you watch live TV without an internet connection?

    Is the 720 going to have full DVR functionality?

    Interesting…

    #15 12 months ago