While not yet officially confirmed like their rivals Nintendo and Sony, Microsoft’s planned eighth-generation games console is almost guaranteed to become a physical item on display at some point soon, with a new report suggesting that the fears of an ever-present online console could also be a reality.
The ‘new Xbox’ has been surrounded by rumours of patents that, if implemented, would force users to remain connected at all times (which is being considered as a way to block second-hand discs as well as pirate games), and it appears as though such a ‘feature’ might have further credibility following a report published by VG Leaks.
The system, expected to be called ‘Xbox 720′ but currently known by the codename ’Durango’, has seen its ‘development software information’ leaked by the industry rumours site, hinting that the console will be ’always on, always connected’.
The words will give the impression of a powerful feature, with the description going on to claim that users can ‘quickly and easily enjoy their connected entertainment experiences’. It is believed that the phrase will mean that the console (when plugged in) will always be at least in a ‘low power state’ using ‘minimal electricity’ when not fully switched on, with Microsoft’s documents claiming this means no restarting or update installation is required.
A negative side to the ‘installation’ debate, however, is that all games will be installed to the hard drive as a compulsory measure (delivered by a Blu-ray disc (the rumoured compatibility of which will be used only as a means to achieve that purpose, as opposed to film playback)), but will enable instant playing once the process is complete (even though that would be a feature of most systems of game installation).
A further ‘requirement’ for the console to work is the implementation of a ‘high-fidelity Kinect sensor’ with enhanced depth and a wider field of view, fitting alongside the other control means of an ‘improved ergonomics’ next-generation wireless controller with ‘low wireless latency’.
The report also confirms that the internet connection plans are being implemented to detect and block second-hand games, and while it is unconfirmed, the potentially unsavoury fact could be revealed next month, with the console’s much-rumoured reveal event still to occur. Will requiring constant connection for a ‘home’ games console be a key feature for the development of a ‘safer’ gaming experience, or is this an unnessecary addition that will be a component of the Xbox’s own undoing?