Next Xbox may not need constant web connection

An internal email, reported on by Ars Technica, said that Microsoft recognises the need for the next version of its video game console to work even when it's not connected to the web.

(Credit: Microsoft)

Plenty of video gamers had feared that the next Xbox console from Microsoft would require a constant internet connection.

However, the new internal email to the Xbox team has suggested that the console won't always need to be plugged into the web.

"Durango (the code name for the next Xbox) is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's internet," the email said, according to the Ars Technica report. "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."

Microsoft declined to comment on the Ars Technica story, or even verify the authenticity of the email. Instead, the company trotted out the statement that it's been offering with regard to Xbox rumours since announcing plans to unveil the next console on 21 May.

"We're excited to share more about the new generation of games, TV and entertainment on May 21, but have nothing further to share at this time," a spokeswoman said via email.

The internal email cited by Ars Technica is unlikely to quell gamer angst about always-on connectivity with the next Xbox. The big concern is that Microsoft will require connectivity for game installation, potentially undermining the ability for gamers to play second-hand titles. For some, the need to be connected to servers is seen as offering few, if any, benefits for single-player games. Rather, they see it as Microsoft's way to thwart piracy at their expense.


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