If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Yesterday after a rumor began circulating (again) that Microsoft's next console, code named "Durango", will require a persistent internet connection to be able to play games. This was met with mixed reaction from fans, most of which was negative. Later in the day a creative director at Microsoft, Adam Orth, took to twitter to basically tell people to get over it. Now Microsoft has released this statement,
We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.
Beware the ides of Microsoft... Obviously they had to make some sort of statement otherwise the entirety of the internet (OK maybe .035%) would be up in flames over this. There is no question that Orth was in the wrong. Taking such a "well fuck what you want" opinion towards this sort of thing is really bad choice to make, and taking such an opinion to the internet is a horrendous choice to make. Yet what does this say about the Durango? Just because Mictosoft didn't mention the always online connectivity doesn't really mean anything. Even if the console doesn't require such a persistent internet connection if Microsoft had addressed the issue it would mean a PR nightmare for them. Suddenly people would be berating them non-stop for any little piece of info about the Durango simply because they let that tiny piece get out there. So the smartest choice is the one they made. Say nothing.
Now to acknowledge the initial rumor itself. The current state of the Durango most likely does require a persistent internet connection, but that doesn't mean the final console will. Right now the only people who should have a Durango are Microsoft employees and game developing studios. Having those console require an internet connection to work means that they can track where each one is and know who has it. That way if a Durango somehow got out into the wild it would not be able to function offline, and when it does connect they know exactly where it is. All I'm trying to say is we know absolutely nothing other than random speculation and people claiming to have a source. Any fears about whether or not the Durango will require an internet connection are completely unfounded until we hear something official from Microsoft. Which may be in the coming weeks so please refrain from raging until then.
Would a persistent internet connection requirement prevent you from buying the next Xbox? How do you think Microsoft should have handled this situation? What would it mean for Microsoft if the Durango was always online? Let your thought be known in the comments below.