Sony unveiled the Playstation 4 last month and to the surprise of many, it turns out the new system won’t block used games or require players to always be connected to the Internet. So, obviously Microsoft is going to have to follow suit, right? They’d be handing Nintendo and Sony a huge competitive advantage if the next Xbox is the only next-gen console to block used games and/or require an Internet connection!
Well, it seems like Microsoft may be throwing caution and common sense to the wind and going for it anyways. A “hardware overview’ that comes with Xbox 720 development kits has been leaked, and it contains some, well, interesting tidbits…
– According to the document the next Xbox will “always maintain a network connection so the console software and games are always current.”
– The machine won’t play games directly from discs. Games will still be sold on Blu-rays, but the content from that disc will have to be installed on your Xbox’s hard drive before you can play it.
– There will be some sort of authorization system for disc-based games. In other words, Microsoft will be able to stop people from playing second-hand games on the system if they so desire.
– Kinect is required for the system to operate.
Of course Microsoft still has the opportunity to change their minds on some of these “features”. Given Sony’s decision to go with a more open system, and the recent disastrous SimCity launch you’d hope Microsoft might be second guessing some of this stuff, but then Microsoft’s hubris is force not to be underestimated.