Xbox 720: Always Online Fiasco Might Not Be What It Seems (Opinion)

By Vamien McKalin | Apr 09, 2013 03:29 PM EDT

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Microsoft and its Xbox 720 next-generation console are taking a lot of heat from journalists and gamers alike, due to the "always online" rumors. The question is, are these rumors correct, or could there be something else to do with this "always online" fiasco?

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Here's the thing: Microsoft could go along with making the Xbox 720 have an "always online" component and no one would care, but it depends on the implementation. It is highly possible for the Xbox 720 to require an "always online" connection, but the most likely scenario here is that it probably won't be mandatory for games. By making this thing mandatory for video games, Microsoft would be shooting itself in both kneecaps, which would see Sony running away with the next-generation title prematurely.

Microsoft would likely consider that not everyone has a stable Internet connection, so instead of making "always online" mandatory, the choice would have been left up to the developers to make themselves. So while Microsoft might not push for a mandatory "always online" Internet connection, there will be those developers who will make it so for their games. In this case, you'll have three choices: you can either buy the game, don't buy it, or go on the vast amount of Internet forums and have a childlike tantrum.

The other aspect of "always online" has to do with the rumored DVR feature and TV component in the Xbox 720. The Xbox 720 would replace the DVR setup you already have, and for that to work, it has to be connected to the Internet at all times. If you're not quite sure what I'm saying, just think of your DirecTV or Dish Network DVR, you'll get it.

If you don' want to use the DVR and TV component feature, we're guessing you could simply turn it off and not have it always connected.

What Microsoft could be up to here, is trying to make the Xbox 720 the one-stop for entertainment, including video games, Internet and TV. It's not a bad thing; who would want to spend a potential $400 on a console, only to have it limited to playing games.

All in all, let's all be calm and stop taking all these rumors out of context, along with spreading rumors on the Internet, while making them sound like facts. Consider that there are many gamers who believe everything they read, a foolish and immature action for sure. However, (not to be offensive here) many gamers who roam the Internet are like that, they tend to gravitate toward rumors without thinking it through beforehand.

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