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UPDATE: Adding official comments by Microsoft Corp.

Although it is hard to imagine the world without the Internet today and devices without the web access are considered archaic, the Internet connectivity in many cases is still unstable. Therefore while the Net is important for smartphones and tablets, it is not vital for using a lot of their functionality. Therefore, the rumoured “always online” requirement for Xbox Next seems to be rather controversial. As it appears, not for a Microsoft employee.

The third-generation Xbox will implement new power states so that it can always be powered on, but will consume minimal energy 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 be quickly be able to enjoy their games, with no waiting for the console to restart or install updates.

The “always online” design brings a lot of good, but this feature will also inspire security and privacy concerns, given the fact that the Xbox Next will also require always-on Kinect sensor with cameras and microphones. Besides, “always online” likewise means that when the Internet connection is unavailable, video games will be unplayable. Yet another significant concern is that this “always online” feature will allow Microsoft to bind a particular video game copy to an Xbox Live user account and will thus destroy the market of used games. However, Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth does not seem to care about all those concerns in general and “always online” requirement in particular.

“Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an 'always online' console. […] Every device now is 'always on'. That is the world we live in,” said Mr. Orth over Twitter, reports CVG web-site.

Manveer Heir, a BioWare designer, then asked Mr. Orth whether he had learnt anything from poor launch of SimCity (which has always online requirement) and what should people in regions with unstable Internet connection do with the “always on” term only to learn that “electricity goes out, too”.

While the comments on Twitter should barely be considered as official stance of Microsoft, the vision of a rather high-ranking executive may be in-line with those of his employer. Still, Microsoft quickly published an official apology.

"We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter," an official statement by Microsoft reads.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox, Durango, Xbox Next

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 04/05/13 06:35:50 PM
Latest comment: 04/10/13 01:54:27 AM
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1. 
The rich always does not understand why the poor is complaining about always on-line. The always on-line hurts data caps. Some cable providers monitor data caps like a hawk and no wonder people have a problem with always on. I do not like the always on because you can spy on me what I am wearing, how I am sitting, what I am chewing, what I am drinking, etc.. My I have mobile data connection disable on my cellphone or smartphone, so in fact I am offline all the time and do not feel like paying for the data connection. Game consoles does not require an always on connection to function. Sim City does not need it to function after I saw the video that a person showed when in debug mode.

The always on connection is a lame attempt of not trying to understand piracy. Microsoft is taking away of the consumer right just to turn the consumer in a puppet.
4 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 04/05/13 06:35:50 PM]
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Microsoft is taking away of the consumer right just to turn the consumer in a puppet.
Yeah, there is no gun to anyone's head to purchase it, just speak with your wallet. It gets hard to respect people that get it anyway and then complain about what they knew going in.
1 1 [Posted by: lehpron  | Date: 04/05/13 09:19:50 PM]
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Oh yeah? What about during the industrial revolution, when all hotdog(and other food) companies had terrible food processing standards? It only takes on company to start a trend

These sort of business practices are unethical and should be punished, lest this be the start of a trendsetter. Costumer rights need to be protected outside of just "voting" with your wallet.
1 0 [Posted by: evernessince  | Date: 04/06/13 05:16:18 PM]
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2. 
Well, MS seems to be on a roll of stupidity lately so i guess we shouldn´t be astonished.
4 0 [Posted by: DIREWOLF75  | Date: 04/05/13 07:44:31 PM]
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3. 
People that make comments like this is what's wrong with people. People who live in areas that don't have broadband access will/would be negatively hurt by having a console that had to always have a constant connection. Or are people in those areas not important enough for Microsoft to view as important? Microsoft is just plain arrogant and it shows the culture that works for Microsoft I belive by this statement that was made by this individual.
2 0 [Posted by: dirtysouth_boy  | Date: 04/06/13 08:19:24 PM]
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4. 
"Always on, always online" isn't bad if it's done in a way which doesn't require the always online connection. I'd certainly enjoy it if my console updated in the background and came to life in a second because it's sleeping and not fully off. I do want the console to be more like my phone and tablet, but both of these continue to function well without an internet connection. Give me the benefits without adding drawbacks.
2 0 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 04/07/13 12:12:43 AM]
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5. 
This Tweet was probably planted by Microsoft to see how the world would respond to such a device that is always on. I don't really have a problem with that as long as the games that need a constant connection are clearly market as such. Those are the ones I wouldn't buy.
2 0 [Posted by: Memristor  | Date: 04/07/13 03:40:29 AM]
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6. 
So xbox 'gamers' will be forced to have a net connection to play games ??, good luck selling that to prospective buyers MS, you greedy f*ckers
1 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 04/09/13 01:36:44 AM]
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7. 
Those M$ idiots are starting to copy Blizzard and EA. You need to login online to play a game?! No shit! Fuck off with your crap console already.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 04/10/13 01:54:27 AM]
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