After the recent hints dropped by Microsoft's Adam Orth about next-gen Xbox's always-online requirement, Microsoft has issued a statement. The company claims that it does not have any announcements to make right now, but the statement doesn't deny what Orth said.
Here is Microsoft's statement, according to Major Nelson: "We apologise 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."
In the tweets, Orth talked about how just because some things aren’t completely reliable, they shouldn’t be unused. He used some analogies for this. “The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will not buy a mobile phone,” says one tweet. Another says “Sometimes the electricity goes out. I will not purchase a vacuum cleaner.”
A concept art of what the Durango may look like
Orth tweets, “I want every device to be 'always on'.” He follows up on this by saying that, “Those people should definitely get with the times and get the internet. It’s awesome.”
We contacted a Microsoft representative about the possibility of requiring a constant internet connection to play games on the next-gen Xbox, but the answer was a simple, “No comment.”
Some details on the next Xbox were revealed back in March through leaked documentation. The highlights of the Durango documentation include a low-powered mode, a low latency controller with "improved ergonomics", a Blu Ray drive and only digital out on the console.
The details that caught our attention were that 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.
The console will also require a Kinect to stay connected all the time. A Kinect will be bundled with the console and will have a wider field of view, better tracking and will have no motors. Thanks to the Blu Ray drive, games will have to be installed on the HDD. The console will not be able to stream data from the optical disc. It will have a system that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed to the HDD rather than having to wait till the installation is complete.