More light shed on Xbox One’s “always online” requirement

By Gary | | 1205 |

After the post-event raucous centred around Microsoft’s plans to make the Xbox One an “always online” console, we take a look at what this actually means to the average user.

Initial reports suggested that the console would constantly poll it’s Xbox Live service, as a form of DRM and to keep track of your usage in order to provide a more personalised service, and to offer enhanced social integration with your Xbox Live buddies.

In an interview with Kotaku, Microsoft’s vice president Phil Harrison explained that whilst the console does not require constant online access, it will need to connect to Xbox Live at least once every 24 hours, even for offline play.

Apparently the exact time period isn’t quite set in stone yet, and Microsoft are exploring all options. There have also been rumours that certain “unusual” gaming circumstances may be exempt entirely from the check – such as active soldiers based in areas without an internet connection.

It is reported that encryption built in to each game disc will be authenticated against the console’s hard drive, and then periodically verified online. It’s certainly a contentious way of getting around game piracy, but one that will probably become the norm in years to come.

Once checked, if the game hasn’t been verified with the console and Xbox Live, the user may be unable to continue playing.

Are you bothered by the invasive nature of always online, or are you happy to embrace the future of console connectivity if it helps prevent piracy? Let us know in the comments.