Then again, in the defence of the Next Xbox, you do have delicious children. If you wake up every morning with backache and haven’t heard all the rumblings about the ‘Xbox 720’ voraciously needing to gobble up your internet ALL THE TIME, then there’s an excellent chance you live under a rock. Whilst here at Respawn we invite any social class to join in the conversation, we’re not permitted to actively encourage rock-dwelling, as it comes with some serious health ramifications. Still, congratulations are in order for managing to connect to the internet irrespective of your peculiar living arrangements. Well done.
So anyway, the long and short of the situation is this: with the PS4’s parts flapping obtusely in the free breeze of the day, and Microsoft keeping their cards close to their chest whilst shooting twitchy glances over at Sony with wild, reddened eyes, the rumour mill has churned into life over the last couple of months and started spitting out some shiny new aneurisms for us all to copulate over. Ahem.
The most frontal of said rumours, was that one about the new Xbox’s requirement for a constant internet connection. We won’t get into the ‘always-on’, DRM and anti-piracy/preowned measures right now, but it’s safe to say that skin-tight, nonsensical restrictions aren’t exactly the kind of things we bounce off the sofa in excitement over, and not being able to play games we’ve bought just because BT is ran by a flock of geese who can’t maintain a coherent dialogue with a customer, never mind an internet connection, doesn’t sound like fun at all. Above all, it simply doesn’t work. Ask Ubisoft. They know all about it.
Of course, when the rumour lands, the internet collectively eats its keyboard in a bizarre display of disgust that benefits no one. With everyone in a sort of half-arsed digital riot tearing Microsoft banners off their Tumblr accounts (can you put banners on your Tumblr page? I don’t have one… it seems like something you could do on there. On that Tumblr) and spluttering into their status boxes, Microsoft decided the best thing they could possibly do at this point was have a spokesperson muscle his way into the crowd and start systematically urinating on everyone.
Adam Orth, Microsoft Studios’ creative director tweeted this glorious platitude seen below, which as you can imagine, caused one or two Tweeters to politely tap him on the shoulder and explain how that kind of comment is not only inane and boisterously short-sighted, it’s also not cricket. I hope someone said that anyway.
He responded to these tweets with the tact and understanding of a spluttering gorging Nigel Farage at his slave trader’s Christmas Party. Orth supposedly resigned just days after the untold hysteria, which we suppose he’ll have to just ‘deal with’.
So as we approach 21st May, the announcement of the next Xbox, with a due sense of unmanageable dread, this week the rumour mill has presented the gaming community with a glimmer of HOPE.
The thing to remember at this stage really though, is if Microsoft DID make a home console that required an internet connection to play games at all, thus essentially swooping in and delivering a giant cockslap to their entire userbase, then they’d be hoisting the white flag before the battle had even begun. Massively alienating a sizeable chunk of your audience and severing ties to the people who can actually sell your systems and games for you ISN’T a business tactic. It’s just not. Essentially it’d be like them giving up from the off, thus, are they REALLY going to go through with something so brash and reckless? No. They’re not.
It will have some, if minimal functionality offline. Why? Because like The Mask, it’s gotta. The rumour mill spattered some more driblets our way today, claiming that in fact an internal memo at Microsoft has leaked, suggesting it WILL work offline. Shock. Horror. Let’s all go back to our tea.
We’re still eagerly anticipating the 21st May; it’s been a pretty exciting year so far, and with E3 now just around the corner wherein we’ll no doubt learn more about the PS4 and the unannounced next Xbox, not to mention Microsoft’s recent Illumiroom jibberings, we’re going to have ALL SORTS to talk about pretty soon. So keep those eyes and ears peeled chaps and girls! You ‘eard.