Updated: Xbox One Not “Always Online”, But Still Requires Internet Connection and Game Installation

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Update 2:  Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet

According to a Q&A listed on the press site for the new Xbox, Microsoft engaged the long-debated rumor of their system potentially requiring an “always-on” Internet connection. Microsoft actually answers the question… but with very suspicious and indirect wording:

“No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet.”

Kotaku spent a few minutes with Xbox’s Phil Harrison after the Xbox reveal event this morning. To help clarify the confusing wording, Kotaku posed a potential consumer scenario to Harrison:

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.

Harrison’s explanation for this? He says it “depends on the experience.”

“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.”

And that, my dear reader, is where the chips have fallen.

Update: The Fees Were a Lie… Maybe?

After speaking with Polygon regarding the matter, it turns out that the Xbox One is supportive of used game playing and Microsoft denies the use of fees associated with the sharing of games with others. The Xbox Support Twitter feed responded to user TouchTheRobotButt and clarified that there’s no fee for used game use — contradicting the reports from Wired this morning.

Wired has since updated their article to mention the above information, but still claims that a fee is required to transfer a game’s rights to a second console/individual. So… the specifics are still a tad fuzzy, you see.

Microsoft released a small statement to Polygon ensuring that we’ll hear more about this new policy soon, though:

“Xbox One’s support for used games and these other scenarios may not look like they have on previous console generations, and that’s what we’ll be explaining as soon as we’re able.”

Original Story

The newly announced console from Microsoft and successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, will not have always-on Internet requirements for users. Though rumors have run rampant over the months seemingly indicating otherwise, the Xbox One will only require an Internet connection for Internet-necessary activities like multiplayer gaming and online streaming – as it should be, I think we’d all agree.

“Gamers can calm down,” said Microsoft’s Don Mattrick during today’s event, “we got you covered.”

However, the console will require users to install every game they own to the internal 500GB hard drive. Once they are installed on the drive, the disc will no longer be necessary to play.

“On the new Xbox, all game discs are installed to the HDD to play,” a Microsoft representative told Wired. Individual games will be tied to Xbox Live accounts, meaning that games cannot be passed from friend-to-friend willy-nilly. If you’d like to let a friend borrow and install your game, a fee will need to be paid.

The Wired article elaborated further:

“Microsoft did say that if a disc was used with a second account, that owner would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc, which would then mean that the new account would also own the game and could play it without the disc.”

Microsoft did not elaborate on what sort of pricing structure would be applied to this particular system, but we imagine that details will surface between today’s reveal event and E3 2013 in less than twenty days.

But just for fun, let’s entertain the prospect that you’ll have to install every Xbox One game to your internal 500GB HDD, as Microsoft states. A typical Blu-ray disc can hold anywhere from 25GB, 50GB or 100GB of data in its multiple layers. While it depends what disc type Microsoft goes for as the standard for the Xbox One, let’s say they go for the smallest size — 25GB — and see how many games you can install before that lil’ HDD is fuller than a Thanksgiving turkey.

If you do a little math, that means you can have about 20 games (give or take) installed on your HDD at any one time. This is not including any Xbox Live Arcade games, movies or music you might purchase digitally, cloud-support notwithstanding. For now, we don’t know all the hearty details, but when we do, we’ll be sure to pump you full of ‘em.

For more Xbox One news coverage, check out our news hub.

[Source: Wired, Kotaku via CVGPolygon]

  1. This sounds absolutely awful, I’m not sure which I hate more at this point, the nextbox or the Ps4.

  2. The instillation part, well, anyone with the current xbox already installs games, it`s common sense, faster loading times and less wear on the optics, and not having to find your disks to play content already on the hdd is a very cool idea.

    Alas, the massive elephant in the room, having to cough it up a fee to lent people games is beyond stupid I kinda get it why they did it,, they were trying to find a way to sap some money from the used market for years now, but still, bad execution, regardless, I hope they have the decency of tying the game to a console ID and not just the account, because it would be the final nail to me if I had to pay a fee so other people in my house play our games in their accounts.

  3. Unless the cloud is going to have terabytes of personal space for everyone this isn’t feasible. Also the used game market will have an issue with this.

  4. This is stupid. If they PS4 lacks a feature like this, it’ll beat out the Xbox One with no contest. I like renting games, and I like buying games used, and with this new console I won’t be able to do either of those things. I might make the switch to PS4 if it doesn’t have any kind of anti-used-games feature.

  5. I’m seeing news that Microsoft is saying that there are no fees involved with used games after all? https://twitter.com/XboxSupport3/status/336937800702238722

    • Well, there has to be SOME kind of catch, seeing as how if it auto-installs everything to the point where you don’t need the disk, you can just go out and rent games from redbox for a dollar, install them to your Xbox, and basically have a new release for a tiny, tiny fraction of full price.

      Such is the issue with fully installing games from a disk. Unless it comes with a CD Key like PC games, Microsoft is going to run into major issues.

  6. Well it does make me feel a little more at ease with this news about the console.. though I am still not exactly happy that I will still need to go online with the console from time to time.. That is a minor thing though as long as I would still be capable of playing SP games and use it to watch movies without a connection.

    However I am still a bit concerned when it comes to used games as well as renting games. ( As well of course older games, IE Xbox,and Xbox360 games. ) The reason why I bring up backwards compatibility, as they really did not answer the question.. all they really said was that you could communicate with those using a 360. They also mentioned about how the new system will have a expanded friends list ( by a large amount ) however once again.. that has NOTHING to do with backwards compatibility… so they really did not answer that question..

    I will be honest, if the PS4 ends up not having issues with playing used games and/or rented games then I might end up just not getting the new Xbox console. As this is a big thing for me. ( I tend to rent a lot of games before I consider buying, very few I will buy outright. I admit I will sometimes buy used games from my rental service of choice but that is rare. ) Even if it is not backwards compatible, that would still be better for me. ( assuming, like I mentioned, that renting/used games are not an issue with it. )

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