Xbox 720 internal memo clarifies always-on net

Have you made your mind up yet on whether to purchase Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console? The system is finally going to be unveiled at a high-profile event on May 21, but in the meantime we have one last bombshell to share with you on the never-ending always on internet rumors that continue to trickle out on a daily basis.

To recap what we’ve heard so far, one of the more interesting rumors that we have heard, is that the next Xbox will come with an always-online connection requirement for games, but that it will be up to individual publishers on whether they want to enforce it with their games or not, rather than Microsoft.

Now, an article published over at Ars Technica is suggesting that the next console will not have always-on internet for playing games. They are even treating it as fact, based on an internal email that Microsoft has apparently sent out to employees, clarifying the situation to staff as they presumably prepare for sales training.

The company has again namedropped Durango as the internal name for the system and the following message is fairly important if true, so we’ll go ahead and post the key part of the email for you to get a full idea of what has allegedly been said to employees:

“There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should ‘just work’ regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game.”

Obviously, the vital part of that statement is that users will be able to play single-player games after all, without any internet barriers that check for a connection, getting in the way. It also seemingly confirms another massive feature of the next Xbox – Blu-Ray disc support at all.

However, it also falls in line with another recent report, suggesting that the next Xbox won’t be available until 2014, due to an exclusive licensing agreement that Sony has on the Blu-Ray format. Live TV is also mentioned above, which suggests that the system will also be supporting HDMI outputs and all kinds of set top boxes to be used alongside the console as well.

With all of this in mind, there is still one potential headache for gamers that could become a reality. Microsoft states above that single-player games will work, but what about if a one-time activation is needed upon purchase and then offline play is enabled? That’s something to take in consideration as you study the statement above.

Remember, this is still rumor until confirmed. Give us your thoughts on this revelation below.

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