There have been many rumours floating around about the next-generation Xbox, but the most prevalent has been the dreaded “always online” one. The debate on the constantly connected console came to head when now former Microsoft man Adam Orth posted some pretty outlandish stuff on Twitter, and in turn, feeling the wrath of many Xbox fans.
However, Ars Technica claim to have acquired an internal memo sent to all full-time employees at Microsoft that sort of debunk the rumours:
“Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] 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.”
This memo, if in fact true, confirms many of the hear say, as well as putting some theories to bed. Firstly, the Durango (as is stated, the codename for the neXtbox) will indeed include Sony’s Blu-ray tech and will also connect with a digital television box-set. Ars Technica have also said that as well as watching live TV on your Durango, you may be able to pull up some form of TV Guide and with that, probably something akin to the information summary you can access on a Sky box.
The offline play isn’t extensively outlined in this memo – for instance, do users still need a connection for DRM/anti-piracy measures? Booting up a single-player game in offline mode is, I’m sure, what most people want, but will people still need to input some form of one-off code to start their game?
More than likely, some of these questions will be answered on May 21 when Microsoft unveil their new system – well, we hope.