Updated: Xbox One Not “Always Online”, But Still Requires Internet Connection and Game Installation
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: 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’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.
@modronfixer No fee, correct – and they just got that information wrong. As soon as we saw, we contacted them to correct it. ^EM
— Xbox Support 3 (@XboxSupport3) May 21, 2013
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.”
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.