According to a new Kotaku report, multiple unnamed sources have confirmed recent rumors that claimed Microsoft is planning to make the next generation Xbox (Xbox 720/Durango) an “always-on, always connected console“. Additionally, these sources are stating that the console will require users to first connect the system to the internet before they can run any software.
“Unless something has changed recently [as of two weeks ago]” the unnamed industry source wrote, “Durango consumer units must have an active internet connection to be used.”
“If there isn’t a connection, no games or apps can be started,” the source added. “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.”
While this should definitely be considered a rumor, it is also the latest in a long line of reports that suggest Microsoft is arrogantly positioning the Xbox 720 (Durango) as an internet required all-purpose entertainment device. Naturally, there would be some user benefits to such a setup, but it also seems to be setting the console up for disaster the first time everything doesn’t work exactly as expected.
The recent launch of Electronic Arts’ Simcity is the perfect example of what can go wrong if Microsoft’s servers ever go down and the Xbox 720 really does require an internet connection, as the rumors suggest. There will also almost certainly be cases where users temporarily lose their own internet connections for extended amounts of time, and will therefore be unable to do anything with their next-gen Xbox. Additionally, there is a rather large number of people who live in areas that don’t have any high-speed internet service options.
None of that even takes into account people who simply don’t want a console that requires them to have it online all of the time.
Hopefully, all this talk of an always-on Xbox 720 (Durango) turns out to be nothing more than rumors, because it is hard to see how such a machine could ever be successful in the current market. Especially, when it is sitting on the retail shelf next to a fully capable offline PlayStation 4 and Wii U.