FUD alert: "always connected" Xbox 720 rumors are mostly paranoia

By on March 20, 2013, 10:40 AM

Rumors about some sort of anti-used game protection being planned for the next-generation Xbox have surfaced on several occasions over the past year. Although I’ve always been skeptical about an “always on, always connected” requirement for the console, today a number of sites are reporting on rumors that supposedly reinforce that notion, along with new details courtesy of leaked Xbox Development Kit documents.

After carefully reading the hardware overview published by Vgleaks, which was previously responsible for revealing Durango’s specs, it seems that some people are just being paranoid or unrealistic about Microsoft’s plans. Here’s the relevant “always connected” bit and the context in which it’s mentioned:

Durango will implement different power states so that it can always be powered on, but will draw minimal electricity when not in use. The console will be ready instantly when users want to play, and will always maintain a network connection so that console software and games are always current. With this “Always On, Always Connected” design, users will easily and quickly enjoy their connected entertainment experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install updates.

In other words, “always on, always connected” is a feature rather than a requirement to play games. It’s not necessarily meant to do DRM checks every few minutes to make sure you are not running pirate or second hand games, and it certainly doesn’t mean that games will stop working if you lose your connection. Instead, it’s about downloading stuff like game or social network updates in the background so they’re ready when you need them.

If any of that sounds familiar is because the PlayStation 4’s “network standby” will do the same thing.

Now, that doesn’t mean the next Xbox won’t have any protections against used games. The company might still use one-time use activation codes for games, as previous rumors have suggested, but exactly how such a scheme would work hasn’t been confirmed.  Microsoft could charge a fee lower than the price of a full game to re-activate it on another console, for example, in a move that would mimic EA’s Online Pass initiative.

Other interesting tidbits from the leaked documents include a mention that the next-gen console will feature a hard drive with enough capacity to "hold a large number of games." Blu-ray media will be used for distribution, but games will actually be installed and run from the hard drive.

The installation system is designed in such a way that users can load games even before the installation is finished so there’s not too much waiting involved. Playback from optical discs is not supported.

User Comments: 8

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SantistaUSA said:

If a console ever require to be always online to be able to play games I will not buy it. Also if Microsoft still require a membership to just be able to play online I will not buy their next console, they should do a membership like Sony does, it just makes more sense.

1 person liked this | m4a4 m4a4 said:

Pretty much what I've been saying; the next box won't have always on DRM. Too many gullible people and too many PS fanboys -_-

Duskywolf50 said:

Geez man! If this rumor is true then that's greedy. We cannot sell game to store anymore plus we cannot bring disc to friend's house and play. It is total waste. I like old times. Dumb people will go for it so they can show off, as smart people refuse buy for good reason. Either no choice cause they stop make games for old console then push you to get next generation? That's a question which I wonder?

MilwaukeeMike said:

Pretty much what I've been saying; the next box won't have always on DRM. Too many gullible people and too many PS fanboys -_-

True, and it's a great news story for those who love ripping on MS. And the truth has never stopped any number of people from spouting off about how they're 'not going to buy something from another greedy company'.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I'm going to stick with my Atari VCS2600. They wont get me with this anti used games stance...

Guest said:

This is so that I can RDP into that bad boy and play games anywhere...

dennis777 dennis777 said:

It's not a bug, it's a feature.

ikesmasher said:

This wasn't what bugged me about an xbox. I have internet. PC is a different story.

Now the rumor of no-used-game support, thats bugging me greatly. Not getting Durango if that turns out to be the case.

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