I'm boiling over with anger right now. If the rumor report by Kotaku today is true, there's going to be a lot of gamers just as angry as I am. Kotaku reported that two of their sources are saying the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, will be an always-online system. What does this mean? It mean that the next Xbox will require an internet connection to start and play games.
Let's hope this is a rumor. Even so, there's a little bit of truth attached to most false rumors. And since I've been in the industry, I would say a larger percentage of the rumors we've come across have been true. If the rumor is true, I would imagine that it would hurt the perception of Microsoft's next-gen console, especially when compared to the PlayStation 4, which Sony confirmed will not require an online connection — just like every other console ever made.
Kotaku's sources said, "Unless something has changed recently, Durango consumer units must have an active internet connection to be used. 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."
How nice of Microsoft to give us three minutes if our internet goes down. It's what all gamers want — their gaming experience to be controlled by servers and internet connection. Because, ya know, that worked so well for SimCity. It's the fact that I won't be able to play a game I bought on a console I bought that's a little scary. And, once again, if this is true, what about people that have unreliable internet or no internet at all? What are they supposed to do?
Kotaku did note that other sources said they were unaware of any plans Microsoft had for an online requirement. Still, no one has denied it, and if it's required as part of the operating system, Microsoft doesn't have to tell developers or retail partners. Of course, when Kotaku tried to reach Microsoft for a comment, they said, "We do not comment on rumors or speculation. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don't have anything further to share at this time."
Until it's confirmed, it's just a rumor. But it's an unsettling rumor. And if it wasn't true, why wouldn't Microsoft just squash it now so that there's not a negative connotation surrounding their next Xbox?