Rumor: Xbox 720 Will Require Constant Online Connection and Activation Codes
More potential bad news for the second hand market, as rumors continue to emerge about next-gen consoles. This time, EDGE, claiming sources with "first hand experience of Microsoft's next-gen console," is reporting that the Xbox 720 will always require an online connection to function and might even go so far as to require an activation code as well.
While online play is becoming more and more prevalent, the idea that it would be required at all time just to play is absurd. It also leads one to think that Microsoft would be doing away with physical copies of games, and would go towards just downloading them instead. However, this doesn't seem to be the case. EDGE reports that Microsoft will still have physical games available, in the form of 50GB Blu-ray discs. The discs would ship with activation codes, which will "have no value beyond the initial user," essentially destroying any used game market.
Given the backlash Sony when they were rumored to be doing something similar for their new console, I can't imagine Microsoft allowing this to come to pass.
It's also suspected that Microsoft is ramping up a new version of Xbox Live for the new console, as well as an improved version of Kinect. As for actual hardware, an ex-Ubisoft employee supposedly leaked some specs for the system, reporting that it has an eight core CPU, 8800 series GPU, 8 GB of memory, a 640 GB hard drive, and uses Windows 8 as a system kernel.
As far as rumors go, this one seems a bit out there, given audience reaction, but nothing is confirmed until Microsoft gives the official word that the console is a go. Other rumors for the new console so far have run the gammut, including everything from augmented reality glasses, to upgradable parts. And don't even get me started on the names...
Whatever the new consoles are using to run, and what kind of tech they'll feature, we'll all find out whenever either company decides to finally break their silence and formally announce their specific consoles, whether it's at their own promotional show, or E3, as most seem to expect.