[Update]: Conflicting reports continue to fly out of Microsoft's Washington campus on whether or not Xbox One requires an always-online connection. While the response according to Wired was fuzzy, Phil Spencer seems to have locked the situation down for Kotaku.
"There are many devices in your life that require the Internet to function." Harrison continued to say that "Xbox One is no different in that it requires, at some point in the beginning and at various times through its on state, to connect to our cloud and to our Internet."
When pushed about how often Xbox One needs to connect to the internet, Harrison replied "Depends on the experience." Single-player games, blu-ray movies, and downloaded content won't require many connection checks, for example, but Xbox One "is fundamentally designed to be expanded and extended by the Internet." Further, Harrison said that even for single player games, Xbox One users must connect to the internet at least once per day.
[Update]: It appears that while, technically, the device won't require an always-on connection to function, developers have the ability to take advantage of that requirement. According to Wired:
And what of the persistent rumors that Xbox One games will be “always online” – that is, that single-player games would require a constant online connection to function? As it turns out, those rumors were not unfounded, but the reality is not so draconian. Xbox One will give game developers the ability to create games that use Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service, which means that they might be able to offload certain computing tasks to the cloud rather than process them on the Xbox One hardware itself. This would necessitate the game requiring a connection.
Are developers forced to create games that have these online features, and are thus not playable offline? They are not, Xbox exec Whitten said to Wired — but “I hope they do.” So the always-online future may come in incremental steps.
[Original Story]: Following the Xbox Reveal, Don Mattrick confirmed to GameTrailers' Geoff Keighley that the Xbox One will not require an always-on connection to play games offline.
Naturally those who want to play multiplayer with friends and enjoy the benefits of Xbox Live will need to be connected, but those looking to play solo and unplugged with have no problem doing so.
How relieved are you at this news? Let us know in the comments below.
More reading on the Xbox One:
- Xbox One Revealed: Everything We Know
- Is It Really Called The Xbox One?
- Xbox One Blocks Traditional Concept Of Used Games
- Xbox One Has A New Controller; See It Here
- Xbox One's Kinect Is A Core Selling Point