An always-on requirement for the next Xbox is now slightly-off the table, if rumours of the content of a Microsoft internal email are true. MS bosses are said to have told staff that the new machine should "just work" for the most part without any internet connection, putting some of our worst fears to bed.
The relevant chunk of the alleged internal message goes as follows:
"Durango is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet. There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."
The "watching live TV" part appears to confirm previous rumours that Durango is able to work as a TV box, but that just fills us with dread about US-only exclusives and a system that'll arrive in the UK with only patchwork coverage.
It's also a little odd that Microsoft's trying to pretend that being able to play games on your own offline is some sort of revelation or innovative feature users ought to be grateful for, but it does at least put an end to the nightmare scenario that is always requiring a web connection to boot up the machine. If it's true. [Ars]