More rumors pop up on Microsoft's "always on" next Xbox

In February, rumors hit the Internet that claimed the next Xbox console from Microsoft would require an "always on" Internet connection to play games, perhaps used as a deterrent to the used game market. Now a new report, again based on unnamed sources who claim to have inside knowledge of Microsoft's future Xbox hardware plans, seems to cement those "always on" claims even further.

Kotaku reports that, according to a quote from their unnamed insider, "If there isn't a connection, no games or apps can be started. 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."

The same report does add that they are in contact with more unnamed sources that are currently not aware of any requirement for an Internet connection to play games on the next Xbox console. It's also possible that this feature could be fixed with a software upgrade if needed.

Sony's PlayStation 4 console, which was officially announced in February for a holiday 2013 launch, will not have an "always on" Internet connection feature. Microsoft has yet to officially announce that a successor to the Xbox 360 is even in development. The company is widely expected to hold some kind of announcement event sometime in May, prior to the E3 2013 video game trade show event in Los Angeles.

Source: Kotaku
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Why such a surprise? It is a logical move. You wanted the future; you're getting it!

' And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name ' Rev 13:17 KJV

This is all about stopping EB Games from profiting off the resale of games that cuts into total sales for the software houses.

There is a lot of money they are trying to capture! or "recapture" in the software house eyes. So I guess they are putting pressure on Microsoft and Sony to help them.

I don't really have a issue with always on. I even have a crappy Internet connection. But it works.

What does rub me wrong was I have read how they want to use digital downloads for game purchases, Again I have no problem with that. However, I also read a rumor that they want to up the price for games to $70 to $80! So no production costs for packaging, shipping, and cutting media, and yet they still want to up the cost!

They need to be careful or the game industry will destroy itself and consoles will die out again! But they are banking on your $$$ and your addiction to the games to make you willing to pay. Oh and pay again for a new map pack, and once again for another map pack, oh yeah and once more for the insane map pack, and only one more time for the final map pack! Then again for the next version of the same game.

It is so strange to me how something that wouldn't even make me pause for a second on buying a console sends so many off the deep end. I'm not sure if it's because I've had FiOS for several years or what. I buy devices all the time that require online connections. Internet and electricity are pretty much synonymous to me at this point. This just seems like a logical move to me, but I have several Roku boxes scattered around my house and I think OnLive is the box that Microsoft should be building.

"I'm not sure if it's because I've had FiOS for several years or what."

No need to be unsure. Thats why. Your opinion will have merit when we all have FIOS.

Whether any of this is true or not (it makes sense that the Durango kits would need to be always-on after the SuperDAE happening) Microsoft's greatest mistake is not addressing any of the speculation. I work in a college and many of the students have been listening to all the negative press and have shifted from buying the next Xbox as an outright certainty to now only wanting a PS4. This may be fickle choice and built only on rumours, but the seeds of doubt have been planted and they are now only excited to hear about Microsoft's competitor - sure, some of them will be all talk and will buy a new Xbox anyway, but their gaze has shifted to other possibilities.

Perhaps this is only a requirement in the dev units. It could allow Microsoft (as well as developers) to collect performance and other metrics that could allow them to greatly improve the operating system and other parts of the software. It could also be for security purposes, allowing the system to phone home whenever needed to keep tabs on development.

I really doubt MS would do such a stupid mistake. Sony already said the PS4 will not need a internet connection. If Xbox goes the opposite way, Shuhei Yoshida can already start dancing, it will be an easy win for Sony and the PS4.

The backlash would be unimaginable. You think removing the start menu was bad? Yeah, watch out. No way this is going to happen. It'd be suicide. Article to get clicks and hey, it worked.

Kotaku reports that, according to a quote from their unnamed insider, "If there isn't a connection, no games or apps can be started. 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."

The same report does add that they are in contact with more unnamed sources that are currently not aware of any requirement for an Internet connection to play games on the next Xbox console.

So essentially Kotaku knows nothing and this is just another trash article designed to get views.

This can't be true, MS is not that stupid. This is probably true for the Dev Kit, but it's not possible that this always on will go on to the retail product....

If they do that, it would be the end of Xbox. Sony will laugh to the bank.

warwagon said,
Well they did release Windows 8.

whats your point about the windows 8 bit? I'm using it on my laptop, and tablet and it's running pretty nicely. what no start menu? get real. the start menu is nothing but a glorified search box. THATS ALL IT IS. when I use win7 that's all I ever used it for was to search. and if you tell me that you actually used it for something else than search then I'd say you're in the 2% of people that actually use the start menu for something more than searching (yes, I pulled that % out of thin air).

Yes. Out of thin air. I've seen dozens of people using windows. Not one, including myself, has every used the start menu to search. No way does 49 out 50 people use the start menu for search only.

I cannot remember what the majority of my programs are called. What would I search for?

I honestly hope Microsoft swings for the fence on this stuff and goes full-draconian on us. Why? So they get a hard, unforgettable dose of reality and realize people aren't going to bothered with this crap. They need to lose this next generation, if nothing else to be shown they're not invincible and to force them to stay competitive.

like it or not, we were asking for a gaming future of games as a service, product keys, buggy un-finished releases and micro-transactions when we allowed Microsoft to succeed in the console business. I'm no fan of some of Sony's past stunts, but I firmly believe if Microsoft hadn't entered the console business, we wouldn't be talking about things like this.

Disclaimer: I'm a 360 owner.

AR556 said,
I honestly hope Microsoft swings for the fence on this stuff and goes full-draconian on us. Why? So they get a hard, unforgettable dose of reality and realize people aren't going to bothered with this crap. They need to lose this next generation, if nothing else to be shown they're not invincible and to force them to stay competitive.

like it or not, we were asking for a gaming future of games as a service, product keys, buggy un-finished releases and micro-transactions when we allowed Microsoft to succeed in the console business. I'm no fan of some of Sony's past stunts, but I firmly believe if Microsoft hadn't entered the console business, we wouldn't be talking about things like this.

Disclaimer: I'm a 360 owner.

if Microsoft hadn't entered the console business we wouldn't be talking about much at all.
they did good in ONE generation and you think they should lose the next generation? seriously? well whatever, the market will decide.
I for one hope Microsoft does pretty well in the next generation they have done nothing but innovate (and no i'm not just throwing that word out there).

ctrl_alt_delete said,

if Microsoft hadn't entered the console business we wouldn't be talking about much at all.
they did good in ONE generation and you think they should lose the next generation? seriously? well whatever, the market will decide.
I for one hope Microsoft does pretty well in the next generation they have done nothing but innovate (and no i'm not just throwing that word out there).

Gaming was moving along just fine before MS jumped in. Developers/Publishers would simply be releasing games on another console. I doubt online play would've progressed as far as it has, but other than that, not much difference except a less of the nonsense we're talking about here. I would also argue games have suffered to an extent with online play taking center stage these days. Single player experiences get shortened, and games get released with more bug and have to be patched later.

I am actually surprised by the fake outrage at this. I believe most XBOXes in the US are already always connected and a good percentage of these also have gold subscriptions. The entire time I used an XBOX, It was online. It would be better though if MS releases data on the percentage of XBOXes always connected in the US..

raghavny80 said,
I am actually surprised by the fake outrage at this. I believe most XBOXes in the US are already always connected and a good percentage of these also have gold subscriptions. The entire time I used an XBOX, It was online. It would be better though if MS releases data on the percentage of XBOXes always connected in the US..

Agreed this is fake outrage. Xbox is primarily an online system already. Every feature they've added to the console was for online. Not a bad idea to release more online stats to make it clear.

The part that I'm interested in is the bit about games and apps being "suspended".....sounds like everything will have pause/resume functionality

I would say microsoft wouldn't be stupid enough to do this but they were stupid enough to put a smartphone ui onto a desktop os so.... i wouldn't put it past them to try this as well.

The problem with Windows 8 currently is that they released a touch-first OS and allowed OEMs to put it on rebranded mouse-only systems while they waited to produce touchscreen enabled systems. Like it or not, though, Windows 8 is not as much of a problem as people make it out to be. They're just too lazy to learn a couple new mouse gestures.

Nazmus Shakib Khandaker said,
MSFT must be living under a rock to not realize that we hate always online DRM stuff. *sigh* They deserve a HUGE backlash if this is true. I mean HUGE.

Dude this is a heap of crap and obviously for dev kits to prevent a leak...

I think those people speculating on the fact it is just the dev kits have hit the nail on the head.
Makes sense they want to monitor what developers are doing to keep leaks to an absolute minimum.
Because if not, it would be an absolute disaster in all regards. It just cannot be true.

DirtyLarry said,
I think those people speculating on the fact it is just the dev kits have hit the nail on the head.
Makes sense they want to monitor what developers are doing to keep leaks to an absolute minimum.
Because if not, it would be an absolute disaster in all regards. It just cannot be true.

This ^

Exactly! I believe any requirements on dev kits would solely be to phone home to A) keep track of devs and ensure security and secrecy, and B) submit important performance metrics for the OS and software (like their existing Customer Experience Improvement Program, except that membership is required here). Nothing to be alarmed about, especially since the console hasn't even been announced. Just a bunch of sensationalism to generate clicks and ad-revenue.

Read your sources guys!

On Kotaku it says:
"Unless something has changed recently," one of the sources told us over email, "Durango consumer units must have an active internet connection to be used."

Other than that, I don't know what everyone is fretting about. I physically can't recall the last time in around 8 months since I moved into my property when the internet has been down. Even if it is an always online console.

You should probably avoid running with sharp objects, you know, just in case you burst that little bubble you live in.

JonnyLH said,
Read your sources guys!

On Kotaku it says:
"Unless something has changed recently," one of the sources told us over email, "Durango consumer units must have an active internet connection to be used."

Other than that, I don't know what everyone is fretting about. I physically can't recall the last time in around 8 months since I moved into my property when the internet has been down. Even if it is an always online console.


I'm quite sure the PS4 devkit is phoning home constantly too to prevent leaks.

raghavny80 said,
And get your gamertag / console banned forever..

If the decision is 'you can only ever play online' or 'you can only ever play offline'... I choose the latter. Hacky hacky!

I would imagine that the next xbox will be partly cloud based, which is why it would require a connection. Doesn't matter for those with good connections but bad for those with bad or no connections.

It could just be how the dev kits are so they can make sure those don't go out in the wild. Rumors are rumors and if MS doesn't say this is how it'll be then that's all they'll be. Fact is they sell the Xbox in markets where people don't have the greatest of internal connections. Doing this shrinks their market for the device, it'd be stupid from a pure business move so I don't see this as being what will happen.

Having the option to go into a reduced power connected standby so that it can download and install updates when not in use and also start up faster then a 360 is what I expect we'll get in the final hardware.

This would be the worst decision ever. It just doesn't make sense and I don't think they would do something like this.

Even if the check is only at start up I would not get an xbox if that is the case. There are plenty of times I have taken my xbox somewhere where there is no connection just to play. That also means I would have to re-think my next phone since my L920 would not make sense anymore since I want everything on the same environment. (Same for tablet and desktop OS).

I almost want this to be true, just to see the huge outcry and fallout that will make the SimCity launch disaster seem like a picnic.

Even MS wouldn't dare do this. This is most likely the Durango devkits being locked down to prevent leaks.

Defcon said,
I almost want this to be true, just to see the huge outcry and fallout that will make the SimCity launch disaster seem like a picnic.

Even MS wouldn't dare do this. This is most likely the Durango devkits being locked down to prevent leaks.


That's actually not a bad thought... I'll bet that's what this is.

JHBrown said,
I guess Microsoft hasn't heard about EA's Sim City junk and their always on requirements!

Still didn't stop being buying it.

General consumers = dumb.

JHBrown said,
I guess Microsoft hasn't heard about EA's Sim City junk and their always on requirements!

Balderdash. The SimCity outrage wasn't inherently because of the always-on requirement. It was because the servers were annihilated at launch and nobody could sign on. You can make all kinds of if-thens about it if you want, but you're misrepresenting what actually happened.

It'd be like blaming the height requirement for the outrage over a roller coaster down for maintenance.

Crisp said,

Still didn't stop being buying it.

General consumers = dumb.

Many people have realized if they want to see a game franchise live, they have to buy it. Everytime people vote with their wallet on EA, EA scrap the game/shut the studio down and blame piracy.

McKay said,

Many people have realized if they want to see a game franchise live, they have to buy it. Everytime people vote with their wallet on EA, EA scrap the game/shut the studio down and blame piracy.


There is only so many EA studios they can shut down before they go bankrupt. Sooner the better if that's their attitude towards their loyal paying customers fan base of games.

sagum said,

There is only so many EA studios they can shut down before they go bankrupt. Sooner the better if that's their attitude towards their loyal paying customers fan base of games.

You think EA Games doesn't want successful franchises or something? That they are basically begging for bankruptcy themselves?

Companies and divisions are going down because of piracy, stop blaming companies for trying to protect their work. They have no exact figures anywhere, but if I just look around me and the rest of Europe or even the US, the average bloke has absolutely NO issues downloading pirated music, games, software. Hacking their 360 or PS3 for the free games.

Joshie said,

The SimCity outrage wasn't inherently because of the always-on requirement. It was because the servers were annihilated at launch and nobody could sign on.

...nobody could sign on because of the always on requirement

Shadowzz said,

You think EA Games doesn't want successful franchises or something? That they are basically begging for bankruptcy themselves?

Companies and divisions are going down because of piracy, stop blaming companies for trying to protect their work. They have no exact figures anywhere, but if I just look around me and the rest of Europe or even the US, the average bloke has absolutely NO issues downloading pirated music, games, software. Hacking their 360 or PS3 for the free games.

I'm not saying piracy isn't an issue, but it's hardly the cause. EA just spits out re-hashed sequels most of the time, anyway.

I personally will never buy a another Ubisoft game because of all their issues

Of all the consoles gamers I know, only 1 of them hacks their consoles. That's out of maybe 30 people. And he doesn't even game that much. He just likes to hack stuff.

technikal said,

...nobody could sign on because of the always on requirement


You're getting your chickens and eggs mixed up. If the servers were working perfectly at launch and there were no connection difficulties, the outrage over always-on would've been much less pronounced.

The anger was precisely because of the connection difficulties, not the connection requirement alone.

If you do not understand the difference here, you lack the cognitive skills to form an opinion.

farmeunit said,

I'm not saying piracy isn't an issue, but it's hardly the cause. EA just spits out re-hashed sequels most of the time, anyway.

I personally will never buy a another Ubisoft game because of all their issues

Of all the consoles gamers I know, only 1 of them hacks their consoles. That's out of maybe 30 people. And he doesn't even game that much. He just likes to hack stuff.


What about selling used copies of games online. If game companies make less profits games would be getting less and less quality. Smaller gaming companies would die. Just like many of good ones already did. The adventure company is an example. Games that require more work and artists will be never made again which is in many case true. So stop moaning and let people pay for what they're playing. I assure you if everyone buys the price would be lowered.

Joshie said,

You're getting your chickens and eggs mixed up. If the servers were working perfectly at launch and there were no connection difficulties, the outrage over always-on would've been much less pronounced.

The anger was precisely because of the connection difficulties, not the connection requirement alone.

If you do not understand the difference here, you lack the cognitive skills to form an opinion.

Seriously?

They made the game so you couldn't play without first "checking in" with their servers...that's the Always On component.

The servers got hammered as a result because they weren't capable of handling that amount of people connecting. Wasn't exactly difficult to foresee either.

Thus the always on component was directly involved in the issues people faced early on.

Sure, if they had put the infrastructure in place to handle it then there wouldn't have been so many complaints. That doesn't excuse the fact it was dumb to have the Always On in the first place....exactly what the base comment was eluding to. Why is it dumb? Because companies will always screw it up and underestimate the requirements because they happened to test with a few thousand beta users and don't understand how it can scale to potentially millions of users. Not that they care...that's why there are "pre-orders". They have your money and generally make it difficult or impossible to get a refund afterwards. How convenient!

Far from "balderdash" and not a difficult concept.

This would be stupid... ISP goes down, welp, can't pop in a game or continue to play. Going somewhere with a power outlet and a tv, but no internet access... welp, screw you too.

Guess that would be the time to run out and pick up a PS4 and have fun with that from now on.

Come to think of it, maybe Sony and Microsoft are working together on this to get everyone to pick up one of each.

Skin said,
This would be stupid... ISP goes down, welp, can't pop in a game or continue to play. Going somewhere with a power outlet and a tv, but no internet access... welp, screw you too.

Guess that would be the time to run out and pick up a PS4 and have fun with that from now on.

Come to think of it, maybe Sony and Microsoft are working together on this to get everyone to pick up one of each.


Absolutely. I would be very surprised if this were true.

Skin said,
This would be stupid... ISP goes down, welp, can't pop in a game or continue to play. [...]

Amen! No more playing Fifa while you wait for the Internet to come back. What a moronic idea. Even more moronic since this concept was tried before only to antagonise players.

Providing this is true, maybe Microsoft will waive this restriction for Live Gold subscribers? /s

I hope they do a thing where you can play offline and then syncs to ur profile when you have a connection.
I'm sticking to PC games anyway. Easy to mod and not to worry about scratched discs etc

I'm all for keeping a tight lid on things, but someone from Microsoft coming out to say, "CALM YOUR TITS GUYS, THAT'S JUST RIDICULOUS!" would be nice.

Before, ya know... these rumors lead to becoming popular belief and all.

dead.cell said,
I
Before, ya know... these rumors lead to becoming popular belief and all.

Most of the PS4 rumors were 100% accurate.

This could be the case. Taking it with caution, nonetheless.

This is obviously complete rubbish, no one has even heard of these guys and this "cements' absolutely nothing. They are just trying to get some publicity. Microsoft have already said that about 30% of their users dont have an internet connection so it would be complete suicide to force a connection to even use the device... who ever came up with this rumor is a moron, its not even in the slightest believable.

dead.cell said,
Holy hell, well this doesn't look good. From Microsoft's creative director...

http://i.imgur.com/fulDo2f.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/keFHbXC.png

Source from Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming...ative_director_cares_about/

Wow LOL. What a massive ***t. The 360 was my favourite console of this generation (but as always: PC > consoles), but it's looking extremely bad for the next Xbox with him in charge and makes it sound like these ridiculous rumours will actually be true, which is insane.

First of all it seems to me theres confusion over ALWAYS ON and ALWAYS REQUIRED TO BE ON. Cause he says everything is always on thats the world we live in which is true but everything is not REQUIRED to be on. My phone is online 24/7 but if i go somewhere with no connection it still plays games and music and what not that i have.

Well there's no reason for them to come out and say one way or another. I wouldn't be surprised if this is false and yet THEY started the rumor. Everywhere I turn there's news articles about the new xbox. They are getting so much advertisement because of rumors its crazy. I have not seen any mention of ps4 since it was confirmed they didn't require online. Even neowin has a front page article about it once a week.

And if Microsoft can't establish what the hell it is they're talking about, much as they did confusing the consumer with Vista Ready and Vista Capable, they're going to hurt from all these rumors more than anything...