The one factor of which Microsoft is absolutely clear, regarding the Xbox One’s internet connectivity requirements, is that not every feature of the system will require a constant connection. Microsoft vice president Phil Harrison has been adamant that some of the console’s functionality, such as its ability to play games in single-player, will persist even without an internet connection.
But for how long?
In an interview with Kotaku, Harrison indicates that the Xbox One will have to periodically “check in” to make sure it’s still online (which might be tied to the console’s game ownership strategy), essentially integrating a passive form of DRM into the device as a whole. When pressed on how frequent this connection requirement will be, Harrison responded that he believed it was 24 hours. If that is the case, it sounds like the Xbox One will in some way lock players out after one day without an internet connection, presumably until it reestablishes a link.
Microsoft representatives, though, have been quick to backpedal on this strong statement from Harrison. They’re categorizing what he said as a “potential scenario,” assuring everyone that the Xbox one is designed “to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail.”
Right now is when Microsoft most needs to come forth with clear answers. It’s unsettling that, instead of having a single, unified perspective, they seem to be scattered, talking out of both ends at once.