Latest Next-Gen Xbox Dev Kit Leak Suggests 'Always Online' Console

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According to a new report for Microsoft's next-gen Xbox (Xbox 720, Durango, whatever), the upcoming console will apparently require an 'always on' internet connection. Codenamed Durango in documentation obtained by VGLeaks, pertaining to the console dev kit or XDK (Xbox Development Kit), there's details revealing a required permament web connection.

Not only could this permament online connection enable a used games lock on the machine, but it would also keep games updated by automatically installing patches. "The console will be ready instantly when users want to play, and will always maintain a network connection so that console software and games are always current," an image of the hardware overview from VGLeaks states.

"With this 'Always On, Always Connected' design, users will quickly and easily enjoy their connected entertainment experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install updates."

Discs will reportedly install games to the console, but beyond this initial installation, the disc will no longer be used afterwards. This could tie-in with reports that Microsoft could be considering anti-piracy and anti-used games tech for Xbox 720, which would prevent the resale of old games.

"Every Durango console will have a hard drive, although its exact capacity has not been chosen. It will be large enough, however, to hold a large number of games. All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported," the leaked documentation states.

"Durango consoles will have a Blu-ray Disc drive. Disc media will be used for distribution, but during gameplay games will not use content from the optical disc. An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed on the hard drive rather than waiting until installation is complete."

Of course, none of this has been confirmed, and there's every chance the leaked design document could be false. Of course, a block on used games would be unwelcome for games retailers, and the fact that Sony's PS4 has no such restrictions could be of severe detriment to the next Xbox.

However, as the leaked overview itself states: "This documentation is preliminary and subject to change." That means that even if the design document is the 'Real McCoy', chances are nothing is set in stone as yet.

Rumours persist that Microsoft will be showing its next-generation hand sometime in April.

[Via MCV]


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