Rumour: The next Xbox needs to be online, always

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Smokefire

If there’s just one rumour about Microsoft’s next generation console that keeps rearing its ugly head, it’s unfortunately this one. According to even more sources, the next Xbox is going to require an internet connection all the time, whether you’re playing single or multiplayer games. In fact, they say you’re going to need to be connected just to boot a game up.

“Unless something has changed recently,” Kotaku’s sources claim,  “Durango consumer units must have an active internet connection to be used.”

Durango, as you know, is the project codename for Microsoft’s next Xbox.

“If there isn’t a connection, no games or apps can be started,” the source continued. “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.”

If that’s true, and the Next Xbox requires always-on internet with a 3 minute grace period, that would give it about one seventh of the time EA’s always-online SimCity allows – and we know how well that turned out.

It’s a rumour that’s been churning through the mill for about a year now, and while I’m not sure Microsoft is that short-sighted, it’s starting to look like a case of “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” The Xbox 360 has been plagued with a pesky piracy problem, and this would certainly go a long way to battling that problem.

Microsoft, as is the norm, has taken to being rather coy about the rumours, saying “We do not comment on rumours or speculation. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don’t have anything further to share at this time.”

Interestingly, adding a bit of fuel to the fire, Microsoft creative director Adam Orth took to Twitter with this gem, the beginning of along back-and-forth.

“Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always on’ console,” Orth said on his now-locked-to outsiders Twitter (though preserved for posterity by the affable neoGAF). “Every device now is ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit.”

This could, of course, only pertain to the dev-kits, in order to prevent leaks. We should hopefully find out more at the console’s reveal, expected later this month. Well, that’s if our internet connections hold up, at least.

Last Updated: April 5, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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