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"A source" (and we know how reliable those can sometimes be) says that the new box will require always-on internet just to function. Seems a bit outlandish to me. I'm sure MSFT thinks that every 360 they've ever sold has a broadband connection, 'cause they can't comprehend not using XBox Live - but is that really the case, worldwide? I doubt it.

Could be they mean it's just for new games, approximating most PC games' "you MUST be online the first time to activate it, then you can play offline" (with exceptions @ Ubisoft & Blizzard), as a bulwark against people <gasp> sharing games. But if that's true, and they think this is an effective measure that won't keep people from buying the new box (like always-online certainly would be), I can't imagine they've thought it through. If my XBox isn't online and never has been, each of those two measures (always-online and game-specific online activation) acts equally as a barrier to a consumer buying the thing.

Unless of course they've put an old-school RJ-11 modem plug on the thing that lets someone who only has dial-up get online in order to activate his new game. And wouldn't that be funny if they did?

guess we'll wait and see how they view those without broadband
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Microsoft said earlier this year that the Xbox is used more for streaming TV shows and movies than it is for gaming. In the year and a half I've owned my Xbox, they have really blown out the content apps available on the system. Their Xbox 720 (or whatever they call it) will clearly be designed as a home entertainment hub and perhaps that's even a bigger priority for Microsoft than the traditional gaming aspect of the console.
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I imagine a big part of it is publisher relations... they (3rd party pubs) will favor consoles with strong DRM vs. consoles without it, so unfortunately I can see it happening. I'm assuming that Sony is going the same way, I think a move like that will be from both or neither.

One thing odd about that latest NextBox rumor was the mention of an 8-core AMD CPU. Earlier rumors were that it would still be a Power architecture designed to spec by IBM & then licensed to manufacture by other fabrication companies. AMD's experience is primarily in x86, so not sure where this is going.

- Sri
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