** Updated Info on the Xbox One and internet connections **
In my earlier post talking covering the big Xbox One reveal today, I got a little bit into the whole always on issue.  From those who had hands-on experience with the One, it seemed that it would be only games that utilized Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform that would require an internet connect to play.  Well I’m very sad to report that that’s not totally the case.  Let’s hop over to the Xbox press site, where they’ve posted a Q&A describing a lot of Xbox features.  On a question on always-on, this is what they’ve posted:
Q:    Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?
A:    No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.
OK…
That doesn’t make a lick of sense!
Unfortunately for me my day job keeps me on the east coast and without an invitation to Redmond to ask further questions on what’s going on.  Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo on the other hand does have that opportunity.  When Stephen pressed for an answer, what he received was the following:
“For single-player games that don’t require connectivity to Xbox Live, you should be able to play those without interruption should your Internet connection go down. Blu-ray movies and other downloaded entertainment should be accessible when your Internet connection may be interrupted. But the device is fundamentally designed to be expanded and extended by the Internet as many devices are today.”  After some more digging, here is what always means as far as Xbox is concerned:

The Xbox One checks in with the cloud once every 24 hours.
It’s a technicality that allows Team Xbox to say that they don’t require an always on connection to play.  But it ain’t exactly forever.  So fine, instead of being shackled to a network, we’re now all… on parole?  Are the 300,000 Xbox LIVE servers my parole officers?  Do I get time off for good behavior?
I have no idea what happens if you don’t check in every 24 hours, but I can’t imagine it’s good.  I have my Xbox 360 turned completely off unless I’m playing.  It’s not listening for my voice commands, it turns on when flip a physical switch.  As it stands at the moment of writing this I haven’t turned my Xbox on in roughly a week.  With these rules on the One, am I going to be restricted because I haven’t checked in for a week?
Anyway, no, I guess it’s not as bad as the three minute rule that was rumored before, but it’s still something that’s a pain in the ass.  Just letting you kids know.
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2 Comments

Mikey May 22, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I… don't know what to think. On one side, I hate the necessity of having an internet connection for single player games. However, if the device allows you to still use it without having a connection, even if it still just needs to "check in" periodically, I'm kinda alright with that.

If my internet suddenly and unexpectedly drops to a crawl cough*comcast*cough, I still want to play my single-player shit. So, it will really depend on what this 24-hour restriction is. I mean, hell, right now if I go on and it says I need to patch Netflix, it'll kick me off of Live if I say no. Is that all it might do? Just kick off of Live? If that's the case, it really isn't a big deal. If not being connected prevents me from playing my single player games or using the devices basic services… like already downloaded content or the optical drive… that's where I draw the line.

tushar May 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

a lot of this has got to stem from microsoft pushing their cloud agenda for the last couple of years – skydrive and subscription software on the enterprise side and this on the entertainment side. you're right, the "check in" isn't exactly world-shattering and your "line" is pretty much the same as mine. but we still need more info, which we should be getting around E3 time.

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Author and creator of Technical Fowl. IT/Tech hero. Jiu Jitsu purple belt. Enjoying the venn diagram intersection of tech, gaming, business, and politics.

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