It’s time to wave goodbye to all those rumors. Microsoft has set the record straight, providing details on some of the console’s most controversial features. We’ve got some good news and some bad news: The next-gen Xbox won’t require an internet connection or block used games, but it unfortunately isn’t backwards compatible with all those Xbox 360 gems you’ve accumulated over the years.
Worried about offline play? Reporters at The Verge have you covered:
[quote]“One of the big rumors leading up to the new Xbox One announcement was the possibility of Microsoft forcing gamers to keep the console connected to the internet. Microsoft says that while the Xbox One requires an internet connection, “it does not have to be always connected.” The difference means that Xbox One players won’t be restricted from gaming if a connection drops. “We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection,” says Microsoft.”[/quote]
Luckily for GameStop, The Verge has also reported that used games will still run rampant on Microsoft’s next console.
[quote]Despite the system not requiring it, developers will be able to create games that will not play offline. Wired reports that games will be able to hook into Microsoft’s Azure cloud services with a lack of offline support, but there is no requirement for them to do so yet. A second part to the always online rumor was some type of activation system that prevents used games. Microsoft says it’s “designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games,” and promises to offer more details in future. Wired has some additional details, noting that secondary use of a game disc will require a fee so that it will be marked and owned and can be played without the disc — something the Xbox One supports natively.[/quote]
The biggest drawback seems to be the system’s disregard for backwards compatibility. Since the Xbox One can’t play last-gen games, you might have to hang on to your 360 if you ever want to replay Alan Wake or Arkham City.
Boston-based writer, artist, designer, critic, loser & storyteller. Focused on the intersection of games, culture, narrative, and art. KillerStrokes on XBL, Steam, PSN. @Wherbit on Twitter. http://willpowerarts.com/