Here we go again with the 'always connected' console rumors. With the Wii U on store shelves and the Playstation 4 officially revealed, all we have left to wonder about is the next Xbox, and that's what we're talking about today: Durango, often (and unofficially) referred to as the Xbox 720. We've talked about this rumor before, a few times in fact, and I've never believed it. But it's a persistent rumor and I'm starting to have doubts.
Kotaku seems to often be the source of these rumors, and that's the case this time too. The rumor is that the next Xbox requires an Internet connection, and can tolerate a break in service of only 3 minutes (presumably so that when your ISP blips your console won't shut down or lock up). Kotaku is pretty adamant about the veractiy of this rumor, saying "Our main sources for this story have a perfect track record in getting these kinds of things right."
Of course right after saying that, they remind us that other sources say they haven't heard anything about this requirement. So there's still a lot of speculation; some suggest that it's an idea Microsoft is experimenting with but that it won't be in shipping units, but Kotaku's source says that as recently as two weeks ago it was in place.
I have to admit my confidence is shaken somewhat; Kotaku seems willing to stake their reputation on this rumor. I just find it hard to wrap my mind around the idea that Microsoft would pull something like this, particularly after seeing the backlash that EA recently experienced over having a game (SimCity) require a connection.
If Microsoft does release a console that requires an Internet connection it could be a big boon for Sony; I still think there are plenty of places out there where people want to play video games and don't have an always-on Internet connection.
Anyway, Kotaku goes on (and on) about this rumor so if you're interested, head over there for further details.
But I'd love to hear from my readers who're console gamers: would an always-on requirement influence you?
Personally, I'm morally outraged at the idea, but practically speaking my consoles are connected all the time anyway. Give me a killer game that I really want to play and I'll probably cave and swallow that outrage. Maybe Microsoft is banking on everyone being as weak-willed as I am when it comes to our favorite video games.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.