With the world still waiting to hear more about the Xbox 720, the most disconcerting rumors making the rounds say that Microsoft will require an Internet connection for the system to operate, and that the Xbox 720 won't play used games.
For comparison's sake, the Sony PS4 has already been confirmed to not require an online connection, and though there's some confusion about the exact nature of its used games support, it's expected that the PS4 will play second-hand games in some form (perhaps by having players pay fees). The Xbox 720, on the other hand, has been a bigger question mark.
Numerous reports have suggested that Microsoft is implementing an always-online requirement for the Xbox 720 (code-named Durango), and the latest speculation is the same.
"Unless something has changed recently, Durango consumer units must have an active internet connection to be used," an anonymous Kotaku source told the website.
"If there isn't a connection, no games or apps can be started," the source continued. "If the connection is interrupted then after a period of time--currently three minutes, if I remember correctly--the game/app is suspended and the network troubleshooter started."
Other Kotaku sources say they aren't sure whether Microsoft is implementing this requirement, or if it's perhaps only being used in Xbox 720 development kits. But according to Kotaku, its main sources for the information "have a perfect track record."
If true, it could mean that Microsoft plans to use the Internet to identify games themselves and block second-hand titles from functioning. Kotaku doesn't go into this possibility, so it may be that we simply don't know what Redmond has planned for used games on the Xbox 720.
Of course, the need for a constant Internet connection has many gamers and industry veterans worried.
"Every person we've talked to about the always-online connection, internally and externally, has been incredulous," Kotaku says. "They predict a fiasco. They detect hubris in a Microsoft riding high off of the Xbox 360's incredible post-Kinect sales performance."
How do you feel about a possible always-online requirement for the next Xbox, expected to release later this year? Let us know in the comments.