There are quite a few rumors floating around about the next Xbox, but most of them are just that- rumors. We don’t actually know what features the next Xbox will have, nor do we know much about the internal hardware. We do know one thing for sure, Microsoft is going to unveil the new console during the live event on May 21st.
One of the biggest rumors we keep hearing is that the new console will be connected to the internet at all times or “always on”. It has been said this is to allow for online DRM which is going to be implemented in most games.
According to Polygon, unknown sources have identified that the next Xbox console is going to include online requirements, but game publishers and developers will be able to decide how it relates to their product. In other words, game developers can pick if they want an active Internet connection being required to play their games. This also means that DRM is probably going to be different for each title, depending on what publisher releases the game.
In hindsight, if Microsoft does adopt this idea for the new Xbox than it won’t be much different than the current PC gaming market. There are actually quite a few PC games that take advantage of online DRM while others have none whatsoever.
Polygon also reports that Microsoft is working on a system feature that will allow users to capture video content directly on the device. If you paid attention during the Playstation 4 unveil, Sony is doing the same exact thing with the Playstation 4. Video of gameplay is automatically recorded in the background and players can preserve individual moments as well as share them via social networks.
Even better, developers will now have the option to add in-game achievements after launch through game updates. With the Xbox 360, developers are only allowed to add a maximum of 50 achievements per game. Additional achievements are generally released with DLC or extra game content packs. It’s unclear whether or not Microsoft will still try to restrict the maximum number of achievements or not, but this news is still pretty awesome. With this new model, developers can now add achievements to games based on player behavior or gameplay patterns that emerge long after release.
Pretty cool stuff! Even though, I am a little weary about the DRM rumors, but I feel much better knowing that the implementation such security measures will probably be optional.