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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

38 Comments

  1. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    April 5, 2013 at 09:50

    This does not bode well.

    And who does that guy think he is telling us to deal with it?

    Fine we will. We will deal with it by buying your competitor’s product instead.

    Hey Sony! Send me one of those awesome looking PS4’s huh? The nextBox seems to have the always on plague! I don’t wanna catch it.

    Reply

  2. Daryl Eksteen

    April 5, 2013 at 09:51

    I hope this is BS, otherwise….hello PS4, nice knowing you Xbox.

    Reply

  3. FoxOneZA

    April 5, 2013 at 09:52

    Ignorance is bliss. Being ignorant in a multi-regional market is just going to backfire. Sure my phone(Android) requires an always on connection but I can still play my games offline.

    Reply

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      April 5, 2013 at 09:53

      Actually even your Google synced Droid does not need a perma-connection. It doesn’t suddenly refuse to allow you to make calls just coz your internet is off.

      So in fact the guy is showing just how ignorant he is. Not sure if I should laugh or cry at our industries current ignorance

      Reply

  4. frikkenator

    April 5, 2013 at 10:02

    You have to wonder who makes this crap up. MS is obviously quite aware of how many people have bought a 360 and how many are on live, and no one in their right mind will limit their market like that.

    Reply

    • Chris Gibbs

      April 5, 2013 at 20:21

      Totally agree with you on this one!

      Reply

  5. Anon A Mouse

    April 5, 2013 at 10:09

    No wonder the Gartner report states that Microsoft could be obsolete by 2017. I for one think the analyst is smoking his socks while he was typing that report but stuff like this do make you wonder if Microsoft isn’t starting to lose the plot a bit. Even their share price is taking a knock while Google is gaining. Not as bad as Apple though.

    Reply

  6. Purple_Dragon

    April 5, 2013 at 10:11

    Like I said in that other article, if this is true it will be one of the biggest mistakes in console history.

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    Reply

  7. umar bastra

    April 5, 2013 at 10:28

    probably just a rumour, I don’t think MS will such a bad move

    Reply

  8. Sir Captain Rincethis

    April 5, 2013 at 10:36

    If you are a company with more money than god, why would you allow the rumour mill to churn out negative publicity like this and not contradict it… IF IT WASN’T TRUE. MS can go flick itself if it thinks I am buying anything that tells me to pay for internet. SONY FTW!

    Reply

  9. CaptainNemo42

    April 5, 2013 at 10:40

    Question, I really can’t remember, but did Sony outright confirm that it will not have Always Online for it’s PS4? I’m think they did, but it’s been a while.

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      April 5, 2013 at 10:47

      Yep, it’s confirmed: the PS4 won’t be saddled with this lame-brain DRM, BUT what they have been mum on is whether or not PSN will be free.

      Reply

      • CaptainNemo42

        April 5, 2013 at 11:07

        I think Sony was kind of lucky with this generation. They got a bit arrogant with the launch of PS3. They then realised their folly and changed strategy a bit. I have a feeling they will continue with their current model of it’s PSN services, because it seems to work really well for them. It looks like the whole Netflix type yearly subs for decent (few months old) games is bringing in in revenue. I’m seeing more and more little yellow plusses.

        It also helped a bit with hardware sales if you look at the PS VIta. Also, there’s all the news on Sony becoming the haven for Indy devs. I honestly cannot see them changing that model anytime soon.

        Here’s another thought that just popped in my head, but how about the allure of some PSN games free on the PS4 (on launch) if you have a PSN+ account? That might be something to get more day one buyers.

        Reply

  10. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    April 5, 2013 at 10:44

    I’ve kind of already said all I wanted to on this, but since it would be rude not to comment, here’s the shortened version: I still think Microsoft is being silly if this turns out to be true. I wasn’t planning on getting a nextkinectbox, but “always-online” is hardly swaying me to reconsider.

    As I said earlier, I find it hard to believe that the Microsoft Sockpuppet account wasn’t hacked. I mean the stuff that he tweeted (and they way he tweeted) was ignorant and obnoxious. Now, maybe the guy is a dick in real life, but this is a sure way to torpedo your own career. There was just a distinct odour of trolling in those tweets, which makes me think Orth’s a victim of some twitter account shenanigans.

    Reply

    • CaptainNemo42

      April 5, 2013 at 11:09

      MS might just be that arrogant and stupid. The biggest concern for me is that they haven’t really denied anything, and publishers/ companies are very quick to point out if rumours are false. The fact that they haven’t reassured us yet, does lead to some concern.

      Reply

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        April 5, 2013 at 11:15

        Yeah, that’s the really strange thing about all of this. Usually, they’d come out guns blazing, but their silence actually speaks volumes.

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          April 6, 2013 at 11:44

          lol, the man is already a meme!

          Reply

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            April 6, 2013 at 16:04

            And the internet answers…

  11. Kobus Nel

    April 5, 2013 at 10:59

  12. RitterBruder

    April 5, 2013 at 11:03

    I just want to ask something ? Do they even care about us ? those who live in area’s like midrand that can’t get a adsl connection ? if this is true then the PS4 will have my money and Microsoft can go plough themselves ( like Gerald will say ) and this goes double for Game developers that keep changing the games we love to shit !! i am a massive van of the total wra series and yesterday I heard that Rome Total war 2 will not be like the previous Total war installement that that just makes me flip my bunnies ! the only gmae I have played and stays quite the same is the Dynasty warrior series and samurai warriors series from koei ! those are the guys I will keep supporting cause the look after my gaming needs !

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      April 5, 2013 at 11:25

      It’s more a case of our sales numbers are but a drop in the ocean, and we’re just unlucky to be on the southern tip of Africa (or as I like to call it the Penis tip)..

      When I was living in Sweden about 5 years ago, I had a 50Mb connection from bredbandsbolaget (which cost me about 240Kr a month (about R250 at the time). I’m sure they have 100Mb connections now for that price.

      While not everyone in Europe is connected, the demographic that matters for gaming is, i.e the lower middle class and upwards… The US is similar to an extent, and where it matters, those folks have moved on from dialup to much faster connections.

      Also there might be a hint of arrogance as well, with Microsoft believing that people will upgrade their connections to faster speed broadband, purely because of the NextKinectBox.

      Reply

      • RitterBruder

        April 5, 2013 at 11:28

        maybe they should start play more with their “Totters”and think of the epic gamer that lives at the penis tip !

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          April 5, 2013 at 11:31

          Well, apparently there’s a boom in mobile internet use in Africa, so the guys who are focussed primarily on mobile aps and mobile gaming, are looking at a potentially 1 billion customers (and that’s just for Africa). And that’s not completely pie in the sky either, with the whole of Africa slowly but steadily building a fairly wealthy middle class.

          You could see a game changer in the next 20 years, but obviously from our perspective, it’s meh… since we want our games now. lol!

          Reply

          • RitterBruder

            April 5, 2013 at 11:34

            Totally agree with you ! Its Good to plan for the future but what of those of us that’s supporting and gaming now ! they shouldn’t forget about us !

          • RitterBruder

            April 5, 2013 at 11:34

            Totally agree with you ! Its Good to plan for the future but what of those of us that’s supporting and gaming now ! they shouldn’t forget about us !

      • OVG

        April 5, 2013 at 12:32

        (or as I like to call it the Penis tip) LOL I always thought that Mugabe fellow was a bell end 🙂

        Reply

  13. BeatzByChrisBrown

    April 5, 2013 at 11:24

    The XBOX started so strong this gen but steadily it’s been sinking.

    Reasons:
    – Need xbl gold to use internet explorer…. INTERNET EXPLORER! also need gold for youtube, skydrive, netflix and a host of other apps.
    – Kinect. If your kids like it, great! Unfortunately this device has diverted MS resources away from where my interest lies -> hardcore titles.
    – No exclusive titles. Might as well get a competitors console then.

    Reply

  14. Carl Angus

    April 5, 2013 at 11:34

    I think this would be the nail in the coffin for microsoft in the PS4 vs XBOX 720 war.

    Reply

  15. Jonah Cash

    April 5, 2013 at 11:52

    I have owned a Xbox 360 since the month it came to SA(have been red ringed 3 times). Why did I go away after owning a PS1 and PS2? Why it is quite simple I was a student at that time and had to sell my golf clubs just to be able to buy a console, and unfortunately the PS3 at that stage was R6500 and more… I couldn’t afford it… But let me tell you something: If they go the always online route, I don’t care what the price difference will be cause I will be buying the PS4… Me and Telkom have a very complicated relationship with regards to my connection and how terrible it is in my area, always online console would make me a seriously demented person and I would chase all Telkom vehicles I can find and…….

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      April 6, 2013 at 11:48

      My tale is similar. I also couldn’t afford the PS3 when it was released, so I opted for an xbox 360 (actually got mine before the SA launch, because I ordered from the UK through HMV). 4 red-rings later and I was a bile-filled creature, with an axe to grind. The first one I couldn’t get replaced because at the time, powercare (i think) insisted that since I bought it outside of South Africa they wouldn’t fix it. I was dumb back then, and should have kicked their asses.

      I bought my PS3 while in France, and it’s still going strong (it even survived a stint in Doha…). That was nearly 5 years ago.

      Reply

      • Jonah Cash

        April 8, 2013 at 09:22

        Gamespot have got some rumours that are close to the Microsoft home, and it does look like the Nextbox will be always online… I said it after Sony announced the PS4 it is so cool that they want to concentrate on games and gamers… Looks like Microsoft wants to go the other way, concentrating on the casual gamer and the guy who wants another device that can go on the internet… Feels to me like MS wants to commit corporate suicide on its gaming side?!?!?!

        Reply

  16. fred

    April 5, 2013 at 12:11

    Suck IT , MS.

    Reply

  17. OVG

    April 5, 2013 at 12:30

    NO SALE!

    Reply

  18. OVG

    April 5, 2013 at 12:38

    SONY have already won. The moment a seed of negative thought has already been sown before the launch of a product if it be true or not… The snow ball has started rolling. DAMAGE CONTROL AKA GET TWO FCKING JOBS SYNDROME ARROGANT TROJAN HORSE ACCOUNTANT SUIT TACTICS.

    FAIL MICROPANTS. YOU LOST MY SALE WHEN YOU SAID THE KINECT 2 WAS MANDATORY LET ALONE THE REST OF YOUR BULLSHIT.

    But I love your 360 🙂

    Reply

  19. HillbillyGamer

    April 5, 2013 at 13:37

    As PC gamer in rural part SA, I had my gaming experience ruined more than few times due to Internet required DRM or Cloud content, so I know how does it feels to tough luck end of these arrangements.

    Reply

  20. Maestro247

    April 5, 2013 at 15:55

    Even if this rumor is true who the hell doesn’t have internet these days?? I guarantee the system would work in ‘offline mode’ it just won’t get to Live services. Sort of like the 360 today! Calm down people MS isn’t this ignorant.

    Reply

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