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The single biggest complaint against the Xbox One so far has been its forced requirement for an Internet connection. In an interview with Spike TV at the ongoing E3, Xbox executive Don Mattrick has responded to these complaints in a rather unique way. The Redmond-based company has been facing a lot of grief over its decision to make the Xbox One need an Internet connection to function. The console is said to be smaller, slimmer (and quieter) than any previous iterations of the 360. The company, however, hasn’t revealed any solid release date for the redesigned Xbox 360 in India. Tags: console, console games, Console Gaming, E3 conference, Games, Gaming, Microsoft, Microsoft (Xbox), Microsoft Xbox One, Microsoft. Yu Yureka Review: Micromax delivers a good, affordable 4G-enabled phablet; Should Xiaomi worry?
Relying on a broadband internet connection for the next Xbox introduces so many challenges and caveats that I don't understand how the upside can counteract the negatives it would introduce.
This lack of competition has also slowed even basic broadband penetration to "remote" locations in the United States — assuming you think an hour north of Fresno, California is remote, that is. There is no meaningful, dedicated effort to aggressively develop that network infrastructure outside of limited pilot programs being undertaken by companies like Google, which will take years to build out. The prospect of always online also concerns people who live where internet access is available and stable — what if they move? In the past, I've defended the right of publishers and developers to offer online-only platforms, and I still think that there's nothing inherently wrong with games that require permanent internet connections. Once again, there's a point where I wonder how worth it it is to even be asking these questions. And speaking generally, I believe that consoles sell to an audience less likely to be permanently connected to the internet than a PC player, or one less motivated to connect their console to the internet. I also think console use is high in areas with spotty broadband penetration, and that we're nowhere near the point where always-online is sustainable for most of the country — just like I don't think we're ready for a digital distribution only present, which both Sony and Microsoft seem to realize.
We don't yet know what benefits the potential always-online nature discussed here could bring to Microsoft's upcoming platform.
WPDang recently reported that Microsoft are looking to unveil a discless 'Xbox One Mini' at a hardware press event in October. We know that the Lumia 950, Microsoft Band 2 and Surface Pro 4 are on a list of inevitable upcoming hardware announcements from Microsoft, but what of a revised Xbox One console?
Various prominent Microsoft writers have lent their weight to parts of the rumor but haven't lent credence to the discless Xbox One aspect - likely for good reason. If they are planning to launch a new Xbox One model this year, it would surely have been smarter to have announced it earlier than October, before the holiday purchasing rush. Even if the rumors of an October announcement don't pan out, I think a digital-only Xbox One SKU is something the company is exploring. At launch, the Xbox One caused an uproar, in part for its persistent online DRM checks in support of its game licensing model. Some of the benefits of this system include game library pooling for up to 10 people and a restriction on the prevalence of used game sales.
For this cloud licensing to work, Microsoft designed the Xbox One for a permanent internet connection. Whether or not WPDang's rumored 'Xbox One Mini' pans out, I'm pretty certain that Microsoft are exploring the idea of a discless SKU. Disregarding the ISP problems, retail discs are simply far cheaper than the Xbox Store counterparts in some territories.
Speaking anecdotally, I know many people who have gone 100% digital for this gen, and the Xbox One's digital sales do seem to be improving over time.
In the world where Windows is a service, the digital content Microsoft sells through its app stores is going to become increasingly important.
Microsoft has repeatedly said that developers can target Windows 10 universal apps at Xbox One (and HoloLens). Microsoft have been blurring the lines between console and PC with the Xbox One, and with Windows 10 it'll get even more fuzzy. Why bother spending ?700~ on a PC to game, surf and use social media if a discless Xbox One with Windows 10 supports a near-identical experience at a much lower price?
It's a vision that ties into Microsoft's screen-agnostic approach, which has spawned technologies like Continuum and Xbox One to PC game streaming.
Regardless of whether a discless Xbox One appeals to you or not, simply having a cheaper SKU out there should benefit the platform - providing buyers have the internet to run it. If we aren't all destroyed by global warming or nuclear war, high-speed internet connectivity will hopefully become ubiquitous.
Back in 2013, Microsoft's plans for Xbox One were rather different than the system we know today. The original plan for Microsoft's console involved requiring the system to be online in order to operate, with games and hardware alike calling home frequently to register with the network. Microsoft put on a brave face at the start, trying to convince the world that Xbox One's debut event wasn't the disaster most painted it as. The end result should be more or less analogous to the cloud-based scalability Microsoft was promising three years ago. My suspicion, however, is that this doesn't represent a massive change in Microsoft's plans so much as it does the application of a dose of reality to some impossible promises. I was always skeptical of the Xbox One cloud scheme as it was pitched to me back at the system's unveiling, but I would love to have seen it pan out as promised. If I am paying for incremental upgrades, I may as well just update my PC components and enjoy the numerous benefits PC gaming has over these closed console ecosystems. Many people have spoken out against the console because in many parts of the world, a stable Internet connection is simply not possible to have, with reasons ranging from availability to money. The latest iteration of the gaming console was made available in US markets shortly after the unveiling and could be expected to hit the Indian shores very soon. Looking strictly at North America, which I believe to be Microsoft's biggest market, there are serious, systemic problems with our broadband infrastructure.
There are large parts of New York City that don't have reliable internet connections, whether we're talking about uptime or dependable speeds.
In these areas, satellite internet coverage is presented as a valid alternative by people who have in all likelihood not been forced to rely on it. Put more simply, it will be years before the majority of the United States is ready for an always-online future. Well, obviously, there will be a large group of people for whom Durango is not a practical option if they must be permanently attached to the internet to play anything on it.

Microsoft is asking for a thought exercise before the console is even purchased, in addition to deciding to spend as much money as the system will likely cost.
My read on Microsoft's audience, or at least, the audience of more passionate players who are likely to jump into hardware early, are not as likely to be the highly connected consumers that are buying iPhones and iPads and even new Android phones on day one. Just looking at Canada, another huge market for Microsoft, there are enormous parts of the country that have no reliable broadband internet solution. I've said before that my main concern when my internet connection is down is just that — the status of my internet connection. They're not responsible for the shoddy network infrastructure of the United States, or the complicated bureaucracy and business model shenanigans all over North America and Europe. Microsoft announced the Xbox One Elite controller, and indeed the Xbox One itself, well in advance of the holiday season. Developers are increasingly designing their games with forced multiplayer aspects and micro-transactions due to the squeeze of the re-sale market. It would phone-home at regular intervals to check whether the current Xbox One user had the necessary licenses to play the games installed on their Xbox.
The former Xbox head Don Mattrick famously stated that if gamers want a console that isn't always online, they should pick up an Xbox 360.
As revenues from console digital sales increase, it seems entirely likely that console gamers will accept a digital future as inevitable as well.
Microsoft have to pay a fee to use the Blu-ray format, and it's undoubtedly contributing to the cost of the current box, or at the very least decreasing Microsoft's margins. As mentioned previously, many of us don't have 150Mbps unlimited fiber connections to download those huge games. This fact is particularly true in the UK, where games are often up to ?20 cheaper to buy physically from Amazon. Of course, if we didn't have powerful physical retail consortiums, digital licenses would be cheaper still.
We know that Windows 10 is heading to Xbox One, but we don't truly know what form it will take. However, getting your apps onto the Xbox One at the moment is almost impossible unless you're as big as Netflix or YouTube.
Imagine if Microsoft did put out a cheaper, discless Xbox One that promised high-end gaming in addition to affordable, casual computing. Why bother hunching over a ?400 iPad in the living room if you can use the same apps on your TV with a wireless keyboard and trackpad combo? Discless or not, the Xbox One with Windows 10 could bring casual computing to the living room in a big way.
Server-based computations seen in Crackdown 3 could become commonplace, and entire PCs will live in the cloud, accessible from any screen via biometric log-in.
It was, quite clearly, an attempt to curtail piracy paired with a larger corporate drive to turn the Xbox brand into the hub of a connected household and a media empire that expanded well beyond gaming. Eventually, the withering hatred of the gaming community won the day, and the Xbox One marketing plan changed — as did that odious always-online connection requirement. This fall, Microsoft will be releasing the Xbox One S; unlike slim hardware iterations of the past, though, the S won't simply be a more compact rendition of the existing model.
The mechanism for scaling software design, however, falls well short of those early claims. Xbox One has made use of the cloud enhancements Microsoft talked about before launch, but rarely, and in a way that leaves the impression that the tech had decidedly limited applications. But it's a far cry from the never-obsolete, ever-growing console that Microsoft executives implied it would be. Instead, it looks like console makers are looking to the mobile phone model, which perhaps not coincidentally places the burden of keeping up with the console race's bleeding edge on consumers rather than on corporate infrastructure.
If they adopted the phone method entirely, complete with the option to subscribe and upgrade as you go, I might be up for that.
Maybe this will all be fine and it's not till the Xbox One S + or PS4 New Neo that my hardware starts to feel old.
Most people who have waited this long are probably content to wait another year for the hotrodded model.
The massive backlash to MS's announced policies forced a complete change in direction for the platform. Realtime interaction will always be better handled by local hardware compared to anything dependent on two-way communication over a network connection.
Microsoft has also promised to support the ageing console in the days ahead with many upcoming game releases.
As you move further away from urban areas that should theoretically have well developed internet infrastructures that don't, you get to suburban and then exurban areas that don't even have that excuse. Coverage is spotty in good weather, problematic in poor weather, and quality of service varies wildly. Even if the infrastructure was there for this scenario, the economic realities of broadband internet access are still deeply problematic. With SimCity or Diablo 3, there are other titles on the PC platform that can pick up the slack.
Yes, social discovery is incredibly important to the success of any platform, and Xbox Live and the migratory patterns that players established using their friends lists and activity feeds were key to developing buying patterns on the Xbox 360.
Let's expand that same issue to quite a bit of Europe, where I expect Microsoft will be fighting the hardest next-generation if they manage to retain their dominant position in North America (which is not at all assured). But I see times where I would want to play without it, in theory, and it seems strange to me that I would absolutely need it. But requiring those things for the console — in addition to whatever the next generation of Xbox Live will cost — associates the anxiety and ill-will those problems bear with Microsoft's system. But I believe there is a group of users tens of millions strong that this decision will turn away, and I don't know who else will sign on for the release of a new video game console. To simply announce a new Xbox One model in the middle of the holiday rush could create some hefty consumer confusion. If you wanted to re-sell an already used disc, you'd have to do so at a 'participating retailer', who'd have access to a system to unlock discs for resale.
Some fans found this scenario alarming, especially as many of us still get subjected to data caps and intermittent connectivity. This comment didn't sit too well with consumers at large, as it appeared to dismiss arrogantly those who don't have solid internet connections. Creating a discless Xbox One would reduce production costs, savings Microsoft would pass on to its retail price to help boost adoption. Any savings a British consumer would make on a cheaper discless Xbox One would be rapidly washed away by having to pay ?60 for games instead of ?40 - even when you don't factor in used games.

The company simply isn't accepting apps developed independently into the Xbox One's app library yet, but hopefully this is set to change with Windows 10. TV DVR, OneGuide, mouse and keyboard support, Microsoft Edge, and the full Windows 10 app, music and media store.
Driving costs down further by removing the disc tray could make the Xbox One with Windows 10 an affordable computing scenario, even for people not interested in games. Before Microsoft gave into the inevitable, though, their central justification for the Xbox One's forced Internet connection had to do with the promise of the cloud. It will offer modest graphical gains for games, and its video player will support 4K discs. Rather than creating a future-proof console with Xbox One, Microsoft simply gave us one that won't go obsolete as quickly — hardly the same thing. The biggest uses of the cloud appeared in Titanfall and Forza 6, with next year's Crackdown slated to put those servers to use as well. On the contrary, the use of external servers to offload shared multiplayer elements onto was a handy but hardly revolutionary trick; PC games, especially MMO RPGs, have been doing it for years.
While both Scorpio and PlayStation 4 Neo sound promising, they also represent a significant new frontier in gaming's ongoing race to nickel-and-dime consumers. I just hope that if Nintendo joins this race they use their amazing naming scheme of just adding New over and over again. We will never know how far along the cloud-based plans were behind the scenes, but that vision was over regardless once MS gave up the always-online requirement. You will be able to play games on Xbox One without any sort of online check-in requirement. Speaking solely for Polygon staff, there are a number of employees in highly developed urban areas who have internet connections that cut out for hours at a time with no warning.
The lack of a competitive broadband environment in the United States has resulted in a woefully underdeveloped system that struggles to provide basic internet functionality, at prices that make broadband a monthly luxury item in most parts of the country.
Government definitions of broadband availability are skewed towards an appearance of access that doesn't pass the smell test — and while this does impact the poor more severely, it is as much a geographic consideration as an economic one. With the prospect of specific online-only titles on PS4 or Durango, there are other games to play. There's also Latin America, which is poised to be a progressively more important territory for both Microsoft and Sony.
And I'm also paying approximately $150 monthly for an absurdly fast internet connection, because I can afford to do that (and because it's my job). I believe that not only will an always-online console practically alienate millions of consumers who are otherwise primed to buy their console, the emotional reaction to always-online will hurt them with early adopters as well. Suddenly the Xbox One seems less like a dedicated gaming console and more like an affordable all-in-one media and computing solution. This in turn doubled as a counterargument against the PlayStation 4: Yes, Sony's new console would be more powerful than Xbox One, but Microsoft's console would have the ability to tap into Microsoft's massive server array of 300,000 computers to help with computations! Instead, the console will be beefing up the old-fashioned way: With hardware, not connectivity. Full 4K support will arrive a year later with the model Microsoft has dubbed Project Scorpio, which is practically a new console speaking strictly in terms of processing power.
What those three games have in common is that they all feature shared, online, multiplayer spaces. If anything about Xbox One is revolutionary, it's that the upcoming hardware revisions work more along the lines of mobile phone revisions rather than as traditional console revamps and generational leaps; heck, the name Xbox One S lifts Apple's iPhone naming nomenclature verbatim. I'm honestly not convinced we'll have internet competitive with the rest of the world at any point in time seeing as most of the country has only 1 broadband service in their area.
But if Microsoft's console does require an internet connection, then the only alternative to not playing anything at all is to play on another console entirely. Having said that, after Phil Spencer announced backward compatibility, I almost feel like the company is capable of all sorts of left field surprises. Xbox One needed to be permanently online in order to make the most of games, and that mandatory internet connection would enhance the console and allow its software to scale beyond the basic capabilities of the hardware itself.
But this model will also break with the past by existing as an advanced model of the Xbox One rather than a replacement; its support for original Xbox One games won't be a matter of backward compatibility in the traditional sense. And, correspondingly, all three used (or will use) cloud enhancements not to boost graphics or anything like that, but rather to process elements within the shared space.
And even then, that's not precisely a revolution, since Sony straight-up said they're doing the same thing with PlayStation 4. You will have to connect to Xbox Live once, to download a patch that will remove the previous DRM policy, but after that you'll never be forced to connect again.
Your Xbox Live Gold account, along with your current subscription, will carry over to Xbox One.
Instead, software will simply scale according to hardware, offering better performance on Scorpio but nevertheless running on Xbox One as well.
In Titanfall and Forza, the cloud powered artificial intelligence bots; in Crackdown, it will handle the physics and management of the game's highly destructible interactive environments. It will be the same account. What About Gamerscore and Achievements, Will They Transfer Too?Yes. Zombies Garden Warfare are just some of them so far).Will Xbox One Play Blu Ray Movies?Yep!
Your Gamerscore and all of the Achievements will carry over toe Xbox One.Will Xbox One Be Backward Compatible With Xbox 360 Games?Originally the answer to this question was no, but in November 2015 Xbox 360 backward compatibility was added to the Xbox One! Since the Xbox One is not backward compatible with Xbox 360, it kind of makes sense (even if it sucks) that you won't be able to use X360 accessories. Every Xbox One system will come with a headset so you can talk with people online in multiplayer or party chat.Will the New Kinect Come With Every Xbox One?Originally, yes, but in the first half of 2014 Microsoft decided to offer the option of systems without Kinect.
It will also have a host of privacy options so you'll always be in control over what it sees or hears as well as what (if any) data it collects when it is plugged in. Many of the best features of Xbox One are built around using Kinect, though, so we think you'll want to use it.
It is nice that the option to not use it at all is there, though.How Much Will Xbox One Cost?Currently systems and bundles range from $299 up to $500.

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