Rumour: New Xbox "Always-On" DRM Decision is Down to the Publishers

By Gary Cutlack on at

A new collection of rumours regarding what we may see at Microsoft's May 21st Xbox launch appeared over the weekend, with sources claiming the new home console will see Microsoft update the Achievements system, add video sharing and leave the hot potato always-on internet connection decision down to the game makers.

Sources quoted by Polygon claim we'll see Microsoft offer a video capture and sharing system similar to the big new feature inside Sony's rival PS4, with Microsoft's software apparently saving your play to hard drive and letting you build your own highlight reels from the footage. And if the idea of rooting through nine hours of Call of Duty action for your one exciting kill doesn't sound too thrilling a concept, the UI should automatically create a personal highlights reel based around completions, kills and the unlocking of Achievements.

Also, more news has emerged regarding the controversial "always-on" requirement. It's said the decision to enable online DRM checks on software authenticity will be left down to the individual publishers to decide whether to activate it or not, with the console supporting both one-time activation checks and the option to specifically require a constant connection in order for the game to play.

Also, the Achievements system is set for a big rework in the next Xbox. Publishers will be able to alter a game's Achievements after release, with new ones able to be added on the fly. Currently that's not possible on the Xbox 360, with new Achievements only appearing in the form of extras inside downloadable content. There may also be cross-platform Achievements too, with players unlocking magical pretend bonus points for playing via an app, mobile version of a game, web site or even returning to an older Xbox title.

Finally, the bonkers Illumiroom concept could well be part of the new Xbox. The Verge spotted recent claims that the bizarre lighting system is geared up for use with a "next-generation gaming console" and we doubt that means PS4 or... Wii U. [Polygon]