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Xbox One isn't always-on, but it will require a regular connection
Xbox One isn't always-on, but it will require a regular connection
May 21, 2013 | By Kris Ligman




Xbox One players will not have to maintain a constant internet connection for single-player games, but they will have to connect once a day to keep playing at all, says Microsoft.

Speaking with Kotaku, Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison said that performance should not be interrupted due to a temporarily lost connection, in most cases. However, Xbox One players will still need to check in online if they want to maintain access to their games.

Kotaku: If I'm playing a single player game, do I have to be online at least once per hour or something like that? Or can I go weeks and weeks?

Harrison: I believe it's 24 hours.

Kotaku: I'd have to connect online once every day.

Harrison: Correct.

So, while the console will not be "always on," Microsoft assumes its Xbox One players will have readily available and consistent internet access. This may be a tough pill for many Xbox players to swallow, such as those in the military and in more rural areas where internet connectivity remains behind the technological curve.

"There are many devices in your life that require the Internet to function," Harrison explains, repeating the rationale shared by Microsoft representatives past. "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. That is to deliver Xbox Live functionality, that is to deliver download content to you, that is to deliver some of the innovations around TV and entertainment that we showed today."


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Comments


Ron Dippold
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That is to make sure we can load you up with new ads at least once a day.

Dave Breadner
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The current amount of potential customers in my county for an XBox 360 is anyone with electricity, a TV and if they haven't bought one already: a couple of hundred bucks.

The current amount of potential customers in my county (outside of the town of 500) for an XBox One because of this alone could probably be counted with my fingers and toes.

Or they could hush it up a bit with fine print, keep this feature and someone who doesn't know better could go home with a very expensive paperweight.

Bryce Walton
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I don't have the words for this travesty...

Alexander Symington
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"There are many devices in your life that require the Internet to function," Harrison explains.

Indeed. But game consoles running single-player or local multiplayer games aren't one of them...

Looking at the Kotaku link, it seems MS still haven't figured out how they're doing this, let alone why:-

Update: Sounds like things are a mess over at Microsoft. Now they're telling Polygon that Harrison's comments illustrate a "potential scenario."

"While Phil [Harrison] discussed many potential scenarios around games on Xbox One, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail," a Microsoft rep said. "There have been reports of a specific time period those were discussions of potential scenarios, but we have not confirmed any details today, nor will we be."

Ben Lippincott
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Actually, I cannot think of a single device that requires an internet connection to function. Even a wireless router can be used to make a LAN for printers. Sure, there are plenty of devices that ramp up their usefulness when connected to the internet, but none of them that I can think of require it to function at all.

Aaron Brande
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There is not really any user functional difference between a 24 connectivity requirement, and being "always on".

Joachim Tresoor
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Well, that's not really true. The 24 hour period keeps you playing through modem resets and ISP outages (they rarely last longer than a few hours, at least over here), where always-on wouldn't.

But I agree it's almost as bad. I just hope PS4 doesn't follow suit.

Andrew Quesenberry
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"There are many devices in your life that require the Internet to function,"

I started to think about this. Now I can't actually name one. My cell phone, tablet, iPod Touch and Computer all allow me to use their programs without being connected to the internet at all, unless I needed to download the game of course. Basic functionality, however, is not impeded if I have no connection.

So I actually challenge them to name one. Name one device whose entire functionality is completely and totally non-functional without the internet.

Adam Rebika
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This whole interview reeks of damage control and lack of preparation...

Lihim Sidhe
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"This may be a tough pill for many Xbox players to swallow, such as those in the military and in more rural areas where internet connectivity remains behind the technological curve."

I am currently active duty Army and this statement is absolutely true. Video games are significant portion of military culture. Especially when we are deployed. This singular aspect of the XBox One will all but assure that the PS4 dominates our ranks until Xbox removes this ridiculous imposition.

I really want to say more about this but I honestly can't even believe it.

Titi Naburu
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So, if it needs to connect once a day, the machine will have to connect to a specific server. Which mean, Microsoft can decide to shut down those servers in a few years, which would mean that all Xbox One machines would be shut down forever.

Walter Verburg
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Well, they might patch out the need to connect in some sort of "final update," but then again they might not. It's unappealing either way.

Ron Dippold
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Think of it as nudging you to buy the XBox Two

William Barnes
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Might is a very big word... one can also substitute Might NOT for a similar meaning (although on the negative side of the IF)

Philip Minchin
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Unless there's some sort of kiosk mode that can lock the console down to just playing (which you'd think parents would want, so that's not out of the question) this also makes it very unlikely that public libraries will be able to buy XBox Ones for their patrons to play on - which means that one substantial point of access where non-early adopters can get a free taste of the console is gone.

That sounds superficially like libraries would be bad for retail sales. In fact, libraries are good for sales. For instance, they have supported the book business (library users are substantially more likely to buy more books - and a wider range of books - for both themselves and others). Likewise, when I was working in public libraries, there were numerous families who I saw being tipped into buying a console because the kids had been able to try it out and decide that they loved games X and Y - and just as importantly, the parents had been able to come along and try/get used to the console as well. It's the same economic logic as the demo, or iD releasing episode one of a series free and the rest as shareware.

But mandatory online connectivity combined with multifunctionality (especially web browsing) makes this deeply problematic in a public, child-friendly space... so future library support will depend heavily on how possible/easy it is to restrict the console to just being a games console.

William Barnes
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'"There are many devices in your life that require the Internet to function," Harrison explains, repeating the rationale shared by Microsoft representatives past.'


I know of no device that requires an Internet connection to have at least SOME functionality. I see this only hurting the dominance they want with the new hardware platform (All the hated Windows 8 based.) They got lucky the RROD scenario didn't hurt them worse than it did... now they wish to really hurt themselves.


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Does this mean IF I were to invest hard earned money into it, AND have a decent amount of games... IF I were to move and the XBOne would have to be powered down completely I could lose a relatively large investment until I paid them the extortion money of a "used" game reactivation code? What if a weird event and Internet is lost for more than 24 hours? (i.e. forgot to pay the bill, and then had to wait to next payday to reactivate it.)


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