Along with a very disappointing announcement regarding used games on the Xbox One, and a somewhat comforting message about Kinect and privacy, Microsoft also revealed more details about the consoles purported Internet checks. And, while Microsoft went out of their way to say the console does not feature an always-online requirement, this announcement sounds more or less like one.
How long can gamers play on their Xbox One before a routine Internet check? 24 hours. 24 hours is all you can get out of Forza 5 or Quantum Break while in an offline state. After that, Microsoft will suspend the player’s session until they can bring their console back online.
But wait, there’s more. Those gamers that happen to be using a friend’s Xbox One console will only be allotted 1 hour of playtime before they must hop online. Clearly, they trust gamers more when they’re on their home console.
While the predominating theory coming out of Microsoft’s Xbox One presentation was an Internet check once every 30 days, this is much, much worse. In essence, if the console isn’t constantly connected to the Internet it will be useless as a gaming device. Players can still watch Blu-Ray discs or view various media, but they cannot play games.
As of this writing it’s unclear if there are any caveats to this 24-hour requirement, so it’s hard to definitively detail how it will work. Specifically, we don’t know how the console will react once the player passes their 24-hour limit, if they can prolong their time offline, or whether or not the console will still save game progress.
This also brings up some interesting questions regarding the next iteration of Xbox Live, and how that will factor into these Internet checks. Microsoft has barely spoken about that particular online service, so we’re going to hold the speculation until after E3.
For now, we’re going to assume the Xbox One must connect with Microsoft‘s servers at least once a day. That explains why they were boasting about having 300,000 servers in their arsenal, they’re going to need them.
So, while Microsoft’s used game policy sounds more like the publisher is making the first move — with Sony potentially following suit — this 24-hour online check may be the more damning announcement. Even Steam on the PC — a device that was designed for the Internet — has an offline mode. Granted, some publishers do require an Internet check through Steam, but those are on a case-by-case basis.
Clearly, there was a reason Microsoft cancelled their roundtable interviews after their E3 2013 Press Conference: because they were about to announce some very controversial policies, requirements, and features.
What do you think of the 24-hour Internet check for the Xbox One? In your mind, how does this feature compare to Microsoft’s used games policy?
The Xbox One should be out later this year.
Source: Major Nelson