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Report: Next Xbox Will Be Always-On, Games Run off HDD

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 80 comments

Discs used only for installs. Sound familiar?

With videogame convention season underway with PAX East, it's rather unsurprising to see the rumors regarding Microsoft's next-gen console ramp up with renewed vigor.

VGLeaks, the same outlet that had leaked Durango's technical specifications, has published screenshots of the Xbox Development Kit (XDK). One of the screenshots is a Hardware Overview note to developers, which discusses Durango's different power states. "The console will be ready instantly when users want to play," it reads, "and will always maintain a network connection so that console software and games are always current. With this 'Always On, Always Connected' design, users will quickly and easily enjoy their connected experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install games."

What's left unwritten is that this "Always On, Always Connected" design could mean the Durango would block pre-owned games, as has been previously rumored. The document further goes on to specify that while the Durango's hard drive capacity is still left undetermined—perhaps it'll be of variable size, as with the Xbox 360—it "will be large enough, however, to load a large number of games. All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported." Essentially, though the Durango will have a blu-ray drive and physical games will still be available for purchase, the physical discs will immediately become useless once the game's been installed. It doesn't take a mental leap to imagine that each copy of the game would be tied to a product key that would need to be redeemed in order to install the game to the hard drive, making the disc worthless to resell.

Keep in mind though, none of this information has been verified. It could be possible that these screenshots are no longer accurate to the vision that Microsoft has for Project Durango. We can only know for sure when Microsoft finally decides to announce, hopefully, at this year's E3. 

The image of the Durango Hardware Overview is courtesy of VGLeaks.

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Top Comments
  • 37 Hide
    nforce4max , March 24, 2013 10:24 AM
    Not everyone wants a always on and always connected console.
  • 26 Hide
    samwelaye , March 24, 2013 10:40 AM
    just one more reason to buy a ps4 instead
  • 24 Hide
    jonyah , March 24, 2013 10:28 AM
    There was a time I bought everything that was "Blizzard". Now I won't give them another dime. This company can peddle their junk to someone else now.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    jcurry23 , March 24, 2013 10:05 AM
    Hope the harddrive is big enough to hold aall of the games you are going to install.
  • 5 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 24, 2013 10:17 AM
    Time to update the friends analogy (2nd page): http://www.dorkly.com/comic/42862/videogame-companies-are-your-friends
  • 37 Hide
    nforce4max , March 24, 2013 10:24 AM
    Not everyone wants a always on and always connected console.
  • 24 Hide
    jonyah , March 24, 2013 10:28 AM
    There was a time I bought everything that was "Blizzard". Now I won't give them another dime. This company can peddle their junk to someone else now.
  • 26 Hide
    samwelaye , March 24, 2013 10:40 AM
    just one more reason to buy a ps4 instead
  • 24 Hide
    falcompsx , March 24, 2013 10:40 AM
    the Wii U is looking more and more attractive.
  • 5 Hide
    falcompsx , March 24, 2013 10:42 AM
    samwelayejust one more reason to buy a ps4 instead


    ps4 is always online as well. There are rumors that it will be a purely digital content delivery system with no optical drive at all. They certainly didnt say anything in the press conference that would sound contrary to those rumors either, and their ability to download game and then stream them as they complete installation sure points to a similar system as this rumor.
  • 1 Hide
    kinggraves , March 24, 2013 11:05 AM
    renz496yes!! always online is the future.....btw i can see it some people might not be able to play their games on the weekend because the server will be hammered hard during such peak times. if they handle it like EA does with Sim City 5 maybe we can get free triple A games every week


    Who cares if we can't play any of them.

    To say this leads to blocking used games is speculating on a rumor, nothing concrete at all. A more substantial conclusion is that since the hard drive is large enough to hold "a lot of games", it will be a magnetic based hard drive. Using an SSD of great size would push the console's price range far over typical console pricing. Honestly I prefer Wii U's approach of a small SSD. Having a few games loaded at a time is no problem for me. I don't play 20 different games at a time. I play a few at most, so I can eventually switch them out and get better load times. This is what I do with my PC games, why wouldn't I want it on a console?

    But anyway, yeah the new XBox and likely the new PS too will be highly controlled, checked during an internet connection, and may block used games. Even though Sony said they won't, their tapdancing around the question leaves many people skeptical of whether they're giving the whole truth. It isn't a console dev's issue, it's a publisher's issue. I have a feeling there's a lot going on behind the scenes to pressure consoles to give publishers the same DRM options they have with PC. The ones Activision and EA, two of the strongest arms in video game publishing, seem to enjoy. Gamers buy consoles based on the titles available, not due to hardware. Players will flock to the system that has strong 3rd party support. Nintendo didn't implement always on and blocking used games, and they've gotten an unexplained cold shoulder from publishers outside of their usual stables.

    "With this 'Always On, Always Connected' design, users will quickly and easily enjoy their connected experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install games." This is, by the way, one of the most disgusting uses of publicity speak I've seen. Trying to twist this to be for the consumer? No, I'd still have to restart if I wanted to turn the console off and I could leave any console always on if I wanted to. I wouldn't have to wait to install games if I play them by disc, and I'll still have to wait if I download them to my hard drive. Microsoft, I don't WANT my system to go into idle mode when I turn it -off-, and I don't WANT things being automatically installed when I go online. I turn these "features" off on my PC. Trying to force people into things they don't want is why Windows 8 is tanking and dragging the entire industry down with it.
  • 14 Hide
    STravis , March 24, 2013 11:16 AM
    Always on you say? Awesome - the more devices are always on the more devices we can hack and add to our botnets.
  • 21 Hide
    janetonly42 , March 24, 2013 11:39 AM
    Go ahead MS blow off your foot, this crapbox will fail.
  • 16 Hide
    janetonly42 , March 24, 2013 11:40 AM
    falcompsxps4 is always online as well. There are rumors that it will be a purely digital content delivery system with no optical drive at all. They certainly didnt say anything in the press conference that would sound contrary to those rumors either, and their ability to download game and then stream them as they complete installation sure points to a similar system as this rumor.

    Well if thats true I'm keeping my PS3 until it dies then just buy a Blue Ray player and stick with PC Gaming only.
  • 0 Hide
    cjlindman , March 24, 2013 11:53 AM
    consoles will die after this gen, no question. sadly, i have to buy this because i'm a halo fanboy, but besides halo, this thing is going to languish.
  • 2 Hide
    DEVILVSANGEL00 , March 24, 2013 11:58 AM
    If M$ and Sony hasn't been paying attention to EA's always online required, overloaded servers, very badly designed DRM system and how very angry the consumers were over the problems they faced then i say its their own fault when their so called next gen consoles dont sell or get really bad feedback from the people that are not in the know how untill its to late, the poor countrys in the world barely have constant internet let alone able to download 10+ gig games lol, if they both follow this path they will both fail and the pc market will boom from all the console fanbase ditching consoles altogether,
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , March 24, 2013 12:02 PM
    Ha, and they wonder why analysts are predicting that consoles will die out, I'm PC all the way, and with mobiles and tablets becoming more and more powerful, we could see them become more popular for gaming
  • -4 Hide
    downhill911 , March 24, 2013 12:09 PM
    GOOD! Hope only total retards will buy it and then bitch cry I did not know that......
    Mummy can you buy me PS4 this one is broken?
  • 19 Hide
    meluvcookies , March 24, 2013 12:15 PM
    As a consumer, I believe in robust fair use laws and I absolutely refuse to contribute to the growing trend in digital media distribution: We are no longer considered owners of the end software product but rather a license to use such produce in only the specific ways outlined by corporate policies. This is unacceptable to me as a consumer.
  • 4 Hide
    meluvcookies , March 24, 2013 12:17 PM
    *products* even...sry
  • 19 Hide
    jezus53 , March 24, 2013 12:18 PM
    This always online crap is really starting to piss me off. I live in an area without high speed internet. My only options are satellite, dial up, or mobile hotspot. Two of those options are capped and the other is atrociously slow. So how am I supposed to play games I buy if I always need to be connected? You know, when I bought Homefront I didn't realize that it had a requirement to have steam and then proceeded to not let me play the game till over 5 gig of updates installed. Do you know how long that takes when you have to tether to your phone? I couldn't play my game for 2 weeks. All I wanted to do was go through the story mode. So I came to the conclusion that I will and not, and essentially can not buy any more games that require an internet connection. The whole industry has lost me as a customer essentially. And hopefully people follow.
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