Connecting your Xbox 360 to the Internet has always been an optional feature for gamers. A new rumor report claims that the next Xbox will require you to always be connected to the Internet — an attempt that would greatly clamp down on piracy.
Most jarring in VG247's report is that the games will be required to always be connected to the Internet. We've detailed our thoughts on enforcing always online DRM before (Spoiler: we hate it).
In layman's terms, it's great for gamer publishers, but will be terrible for gamers. With an always-on connection, publishers will be able to sniff out who's playing pirated copies of its games.
For gamers, it means even if you want to play single-player games, you'll need to be online. If you don't have Internet or don't like having any online existence for your gaming experience, you might be SOL, as your games won't be able to load up without first pinging the game's servers.
Now, we don't know the extent to which Microsoft plans to implement this feature (we doubt they'll force everybody into a subscription for Xbox Live Gold), but it fits well with what we've been hearing about the company including some kind of "anti-used games" feature.
It could also be possible that Microsoft is planning a console-wide "online pass" system that'll effectively reduce the amount of used game sales, while at the same time increasing revenue for multiplayer pass codes.
It's also "confirmed" that the console will sport two GPUs and the CPU (rumored to be by AMD) will have "four to six cores," with one specifically reserved for Kinect, which will be built into the system.
According to one of its sources, "It's like two PCs taped together."
We're not sure what to make about the new rumors. We get that Microsoft's been a huge backer facilitating the importance of having a robust online network for the Xbox platform with Xbox Live, but this kind of back-stabbing DRM is only going to alienate gamers.