Rumor: Next Xbox Gives Publishers Control Over Always-Online Features

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Microsoft’s next-gen console, which will be revealed on May 21, will reportedly allow achievements to be added after a game’s release without DLC.

Just two days ago, Microsoft announced that it would unveil its successor to the Xbox 360 on May 21. Though the next Xbox reveal is just weeks away, that hasn’t stopped rumors about the console from rolling in. The latest report comes from Polygon, whose sources have some interesting information about the long-rumored always-online functionality. According to the sources, the console will indeed have always-online functionality, but individual publishers can decide how to use it. That means “the decision of whether a game will require an internet connection to work and if that is a one-time authentication or a constant connection” could vary from game to game, instead of the console forcing gamers to stay connected at all times.

Publishers will also have more control over the next Xbox’s achievement system if Polygon’s report is true. When the next-gen Microsoft console launches, game makers will be able to add more achievements to a game without adding DLC, possibly to encourage players to get past tough parts of games, find secrets and hidden items, or participate in special events.

Additionally, the cap on the number of Xbox Live friends you can have may be going away, and gamers can choose to “follow” each other, instead of requiring a two-way friendship. This is part of Microsoft’s attempt to make Xbox Live more like social networks like Twitter and Facebook, according to Polygon.

Hopefully at least some of these rumors will be confirmed or denied on May 21; it would be nice to stop speculating and actually have some concrete information. It won’t be long before the Next Xbox (with a real name) is official; whether gamers like what they hear when Microsoft finally confirms the console’s existence remains to be seen.

Source: Polygon

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