Will Xbox 720 require an always-on internet connection? It’s possibly the biggest question in console gaming right now.
Some find it simply incredulous that Microsoft would make such a decision. But an alarming attack on always-on naysayers by Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth is arguably the biggest hint yet that all the rumours are right and a permanent net connection will indeed be needed for the new Xbox.
"Sorry, I don’t get the drama behind having an ‘always on’ console,” he said on Twitter shortly before locking his account. Every device is now ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in.
"Sometimes the electricity goes out. I will not purchase a vacuum cleaner. The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will not buy a mobile phone. These people should definitely get with the times and get the internet. It’s awesome."
He also used the hashtag ‘#dealwithit’.
Eurogamer reports that BioWare designer Manveer Heir engaged with Orth on Twitter, stating:"Did you learn nothing from Diablo 3 or SimCity? You know some people’s internet goes out, right? Deal with it is a shitty reason.
You should move to a NON-CITY for a period of time and tell me how your attitudes change. Gamers live in non urban areas too. You’ve lived in LA, SF, Seattle… very connected places. Try living in Janesville, WI or Blacksburg, VA.”
Orth’s response? "Why on earth would I live there?"
Orth, a veteran of titles such as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 and God of War 3, joined Microsoft just over a year ago to front an unconfirmed project
There’s certainly an argument for an always-on Xbox 360, not least from a publisher perspective. Requiring a permanent internet connection will be a big help in the fight against piracy and could, in theory, pave the way for the eradication of pre-owned.
Great for publishers, yes, but all of which is terrible for consumers. And should Microsoft confirm the rumours at its showcase at the end of the month it must surely be prepared for a colossal backlash online and in the press.
The most telling backlash, of course, will be if consumers choose to skip the machine in favour of PS4 when the pair likely arrive at the end of the year.