7 May 2013

Next Xbox Will Play Games Offline - Leaked Email

With 21 May coming even closer, the excitement around the new Xbox grows even higher.

First the discussions were mainly about the name with Xbox 720, Xbox Loop and Xbox Durango (which turned out to be the internal testing name for the device). The hocus-pocus around the name soon died with most people anticipating it to be called just “Xbox”. This make a lot of sense to me as it conveys a powerful sense of commitment. It says that it isn’t the next Xbox, or the latest Xbox, or anything like that — just simply the definitive machine. This would be similar to Apple’s strategy of naming the most recent of its tablet offering simply as “iPad”.
A now-former Microsoft employee was even caught defending the controversial feature 
The topic that stirred up quite a storm on the internet was the “Always on, Always Connected.” rumor about the next Xbox. I’m not so sure where it originated, it was about the requirement of active internet connection to use any feature of the next Xbox. Right from the start I was against this, and I always thought of it as a gigantic mistake by Microsoft. It would hand the business to Sony with its PS4, and basically tell people with unreliable internet that they shouldn’t buy the console.

It was quite a relief to see an internal letter pop up onArs Techina. “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,” the email says, it also goes on to state single player gaming to be one such scenario. The fact that it’s a mass email suggests that this is a recent change, or at least a recent clarification, in Microsoft’s official policy. A company however big it might be never sends an e-mail to everyone to say, "Just FYI, the policy we've had this whole time is still the policy. Keep doing what you've been doing."  

How good the next Xbox will be? We still don’t know. Will it be better than the PS4? No idea. But luckily the fears that the console will be completely useless when your broadband goes down have been overblown.

Source: Ars Techina 

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