After Months of Rumors Otherwise Next Xbox Not Expected to Require Online Connection

Posted May 6th, 2013 at 5:45 pm


The most discussed topic relating to the next-generation the last few months has been whether Microsoft would debut a new Xbox that required an online connection at all times to function. Initial concerns over used games being blocked completely have subsided but an always-online console became impossible to spin as a positive as rumors surfaced and consumers displayed utter contempt for the idea. 

An internal Microsoft email was secured by ArsTechnica which explicitly states the console will operate even when there is no online connection. While it doesn’t go as far as to say a connection won’t be required at game installation or some other stage clearly this is good news for consumers. Microsoft really had no choice in the matter as they couldn’t give a competitor such a huge PR advantage.

“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 would seem to be a controlled leak on Microsoft’s part in order to deflect all the criticism that has been directed their way as the email seems as though it was scripted for public consumption. Another possibility is that the company was either uncertain until now as to the direction they would take or they have changed course which could explain why they didn’t do such a thing earlier. Rumors have suggested an internal struggle between those in support of always-online and those against it.

The affect of an always-online system would have been lesser on sports games than other genres. EA Sports and 2K Sports have already been actively pushing towards online requirements by featuring modes such as Ultimate Team and MyTeam – along with needing it for roster updates and other post-release content offerings that extend the value of the products.

Much will be answered on May 21 when Microsoft reveals the next Xbox including whether there may be an exclusivity agreement with EA of some nature. It will be a big day for examining the future of gaming as a whole.