NEWS - Friday, May 3, 2013

(RUMOR) - Polygon: Always On May be optional for publishers

Sources close to gaming publication Polygon said that the next-generation Microsoft Xbox, colloquially known as the Xbox 720 but also referred to as the Next Xbox, may come with cross-platform achievements as a feature, as well as deeper integration with social networking and anti-piracy measures onboard.

According to Polygon’s sources, the Xbox 720/Next Xbox could allow developers to support game achievements across platforms, such as tablets and smartphones, where statistics can be viewed on applications supported by the other devices. It was also speculated that Microsoft would allow developers to add these statistics to games after they are actually released, without the need of downloadable content (DLC) or premium add-ons that require gamers to pay. Some of the new achievements speculated include the usual periodical challenges, as well as larger-scale achievements that involve a wider community of gamers.

Not only would it be possible for achievements to be shared from the Next Xbox to a mobile device – it would also be possible to share gameplay video on YouTube or other services, according to Polygon. The site claims that the next-gen console will come with a DVR-inspired feature that allows gamers to record their games on the device, or simply record headshots or challenging achievements. While this does allow for seamless video sharing, it may not allow online streaming of games like what Sony is offering on the PlayStation 4.

As for rumors of an “always on” feature, Polygon said the requirement may be implemented for both games and entertainment apps, and would serve as a deterrent to piracy. Microsoft may also allow developers to make the decision as to whether they would require an online connection in order to play a certain title. So while an online DRM may be supported, it probably won’t be a requirement to use the Xbox 720/Next Xbox.

Microsoft will be launching the Xbox 720/Next Xbox at a special press event on May 21, to be held at the company’s Redmond, Wash. campus.


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