Xbox One confirmed not always-on, except when it’s always-on


In the interview immediately following the Xbox One event yesterday, Geoff Keighley managed to ask Don Mattrick about the always-online nature of the Xbox One.

Geoff Keighley: “Is this an always-on machine? I mean, if I want to play a single player game, am I going to have to be connected to the internet to do it?”

Don Mattrick: “No, you don’t always have to be connected. But a lot of things like multiplayer gaming or streaming content from the internet, you’re gonna need an internet connection. That’s the world we live in!”

Keighley: “Alright, so gamers can calm down a little bit.”

Mattrick: “The gamers can calm down. We’ve got you covered!”

Mattrick seems to clear up all of the confusion around the internet-connnected nature of the console, until a statement on Xbox Wire, the company’s media relations and information site, posted this in their FAQs about the console:

Q:    Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?
A:    No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.

Wait, what?

So you’re saying the console doesn’t have to always be connected but it does require a connection? So, a one-minute long connection is sufficient for the system to get going and then I can take it to my remote cabin and not worry about it ever not working?

Realistically, no.

The Xbox One requires a connection at certain points during its use, but if it loses its connection, it’s not the end of the world. Phil Harrison, Microsoft corporate vice president, stated that the console requires a connection to the internet once every 24-hour period.

We’re not entirely worried about this because we can’t think of many instances in which the console would be outside of range of a WiFi access point of some sort. However, it does make us a little hesitant on the status of Xbox Live’s servers as they become the hinge upon which even offline-console play functions. If Xbox Live were to go down in the same way that the PSN went down back in 2010, no one would even be able to use the console in an offline state.

The statement, secured by Kotaku, also doesn’t address whether or not playing a Blu-ray or listening to music on the hard drive makes the console subject to the same online verification process.

Time will tell if the console requires a connection for offline tasks such as consuming movie and music content, and we expect to hear much more at E3 when we have the chance to interview some of the key people at Microsoft about it all!