Weeks ago, a rumor spread across the internet. This rumor caused a massive argument within the community, and quite a few opinion articles too. Said rumor was that Micrsoft’s next console would require all users to have an Internet connection constantly to use the gaming device. Gamers around the world (rightly) expressed themselves when they had heard the rumors. Now, after the uproar appears to have died down slightly, the company have released a memo to their employees regarding the details of the console’s internet strategy.
While there is no proof of the email being legitimate, Ars Technica, the website which released the email have cited it as “an internal Microsoft e-mail sent to all full-time employees working on the next Xbox.” The email in question says:
“Durango 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.”
If true, this can confirm that Microsoft are not continuing with plans to implement an always-online nature to the next Xbox home console, if they were in fact ever planning to in the first place. Another interesting point to note is that the console is referred as being able to play “a Blu-ray disc” which seemingly confirms the inclusion of the disc format in the next generation Xbox after its absence from the Xbox 360 while the PlayStation 3 profited from including it from the off. Lastly, note how “playing a single player game” is the last thing talked about in the list behind films and television capabilities. This further reinforces the hints that Microsoft will take an alternative route to that of Sony’s PlayStation 4, focussing on the wider appeal of home media devices rather than a games console first and foremost. Food for thought.