An internal email that was sent to employees that are currently working on Microsoft’s upcoming next-generation Xbox  has revealed something that will cause gamers worldwide to breathe a sigh of relief: The console will not require a constant online connection to function.
Previous rumors have stated  that the console would feature a heavy-handed version of DRM in the form of requiring a constant connection to the internet to be able to play games. Many feared that this meant that single-player games would effectively be ruined due to not being able to play them when a connection is not available. Microsoft’s internal memo puts those fears to rest, at least for now, and reveals some other interesting tidbits:
“There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should ‘just work’ regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game.”
Besides confirming that singe-player games will be playable offline, the memo also lends credence to the rumors of a Blu-ray drive and the ability for the next Xbox to be used as a set -top box. Whether or not Microsoft has other plans in place for DRM, and how the connection requirement might make its way into other facets of the system is still unclear.
We’ll find out in just a few more weeks .
[via Ars Technica ]