UPDATED – Xbox One Does Have To Be Online, Just Not All The Time


UPDATED – After delving a little deeper, we now understand that an Internet connection is near enough mandatory to play games on the Xbox One, single player or otherwise.

The system works like this:

  1. You put the game disc in the Xbox One
  2. Xbox One connects or attempts to connect to the Internet
  3. The game is tied to your account
  4. Mandatory install is done

Like we said originally, doesn’t fall too far from the original rumours of the system being always online. The whole procedure and process is quite similar to purchasing/playing PC games via Steam. However, that platform does have an offline mode, allowing you to play certain titles without an Internet connection. Perhaps the whole “you can still play games if you lose your connection” is part of Microsoft’s plan to have something similar in relation to the Xbox One. Either way,  the plot thickens.

ORIGINAL – The Xbox One doesn’t require an always on Internet connection, but does have to be online. Confused? Yeah, we’re kind of with you there.

It’s one of the first questions on the official FAQ website, but the answer given by Microsoft isn’t particularly clear. The answer states:

No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.

So the Xbox One doesn’t have to be always connected, but does require a connection. “What the hell does that mean?”, we hear you ask. Well, Kotaku spoke to Microsoft president Phil Harrison at the event today and he clarified the situation a little.

“There are many devices in your life that require the Internet to function. Xbox One is no different in that it requires, at some point in the beginning and at various times through its on state, to connect to our cloud and to our Internet. That is to deliver Xbox Live functionality, that is to deliver download content to you, that is to deliver some of the innovations around TV and entertainment that we showed today. But it doesn’t require it to be online all the time.”

Okay, that’s still slightly confusing though, right? He doesn’t say exactly when and how many times does the Xbox One need to connect to the Internet. Again, Harrison tries to answer that question with the following response:

“Depends on the experience. For single-player games that don’t require connectivity to Xbox Live, you should be able to play those without interruption should your Internet connection go down. Blu-ray movies and other downloaded entertainment should be accessible when your Internet connection may be interrupted. But the device is fundamentally designed to be expanded and extended by the Internet as many devices are today.”

Right, so that sounds slightly better. However, it gets worse as Kotaku ask Harrison exactly when do they need to connect or go online if they’re playing a single player game. His response:

“I believe it’s 24 hours.”

That’s right, folks. Even if you’re playing a single player you need to connect or go online once every day. Harrison doesn’t tell Kotaku what would happen if you don’t connect to the Internet when expected, but the information he has stated doesn’t really fall far from the always online rumours that were going around before the reveal event.

What are your thoughts regarding this particular topic? Let us know via the comments section below.

Joint Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful place. Over 10 years of games industry experience on all sides of the fence and more! Huge Metal Gear fan and all-round geek.


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