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Microsoft director jumps into 'always-on connection' discussion [update]

by Andrew Yoon, Apr 05, 2013 8:30am PDT
Related Topics – Microsoft, Next Xbox

Updated with an official comment from Microsoft.

Will the next Xbox require an always-on internet connection to play games? The rumor has recently resurfaced, which has many gamers curious about what direction Microsoft will go in the coming generation.

Adam Orth, creative director at Microsoft's video game division, said on Twitter that "I want every device to be 'always on.'"

"I don't get the drama around having an 'always on' console," Orth said, adding "every device now is 'always on.' That's the world we live in." (Note: His tweets are now "protected" from public view.)

BioWare's Manveer Heir pointed out the recent troubled launches of SimCity and Diablo 3, noting that always-on requirements can be a detriment to the gaming experience. Ubisoft, for example, had to rescind its always-on policy on PC, after the backlash it received. Orth retorted that "electricity goes out too," and that people still buy electronics. "The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will not buy a mobile phone," he joked.

It's important to remember: while Orth's comments are insensitive to gamers with genuine concerns about always-on requirements, they do not necessarily reflect Microsoft as a whole. Orth is responding to the rumors of an always-on Xbox, not confirming that the console will be. Heir also pointed out that the two had gotten "NeoGAFed," referencing the forum that spotlighted Orth's comments in the first place.

"We're good friends and he was busting balls, forgetting it was online and public," he said. However, he does correctly point out that it "doesn't forgive the original sentiment at all."

Update: Microsoft issued the following official statement regarding Orth's comments:

We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.




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