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Next Xbox reportedly won't require net connection

Internal memo says playing solo, watching movies, live TV should "just work" regardless of online status

In the run up to Microsoft's unveiling of the next Xbox, a number of reports have emerged claiming that the system will require a constant Internet connection. Today a report to the contrary emerged, as Ars Technica cites an internal Microsoft email plainly stating that for many functions, the system won't need to be online at all.

"Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet," the memo reportedly states. "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."

As the report notes, one rumor surrounding the next Xbox was that it would have an HDMI input to connect with cable TV boxes. Users could then control their live TV viewing through the console's interface.

The always-online Xbox reports have drawn plenty of ire from gamers. When a Microsoft Studios developer tweeted that he didn't see what the fuss over an always-online device was and told people to "deal with it", the outcry prompted Microsoft to issue an apology for the comments. The next week, the developer in question was no longer employed at Microsoft.

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Latest comments (7)

After the backlash, I am sure the firmware has been adjusted accordingly!
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
I agree, Kevin. It seems that they were forced to test the waters early after that "#dealwithit" debacle and probably had an easy out planned in firmware re-jiggering if things got too heated from the user base. As it is, of the 300+ people I've spoken to over the last month or so, less than 10% were interested in an always online console from any manufacturer.

I stopped taking my little poll a few days back as I want to see where this press conference coming up is going to head. The "some functions" thing is still not a good idea, as they specify "single player games" but not co-op single screen or any MP game where players share a screen, but I'm nit-picking there, as I can't think of any 360 games in the latter category (that aren't XBLA titles)...
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
@ Greg It's adorable that you think the next Xbox will even have local multiplayer. :P

(Only kind of kidding, I loathe the death of local multiplayer gaming that has taken place over the last generation.)
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
Seems like all these rumors can't make up their mind. I can't wait until May 21st to finally learn the truth.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 3 years ago
@Nicholas I agree, I'm still very much a local multiplayer guy.
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@Paul - the days of real rumors went with the dinosaurs. The reality is that they "throw things up the flag pole to see who salutes them!" That is what now is meant by "rumor". We entered the lock-down phase last month for Xbox Infinity, so unless it is a retail deal killer, what has been 'rumored' Is what you will get, (other than the obvious Sony curve balls).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 9th May 2013 12:20pm

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Nicholas: Yeah, well.... I'm optimistic (to a fault) that SOMEONE at Microsoft actually plays games these days (or at least remembers that local MP is awesome and works all the damn time with no exceptions).

Actually, I'm hoping Sandlot's EDF 4 has local MP as well as online play just so it shows people that yes, it can be done even in a "dopey" Japanese giant bug killing game with a lower budget than a bigger name AAA game with enforced online play.
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