A leaked internal memo reportedly sent to all Microsoft employees working on the console seems to have confirmed the next Xbox will NOT require users to be constantly online.
However, in good news for gamers, the email sent out to Xbox staffers seems to have confirmed this won't be the case after all
The memo, obtained by Ars Technica read: "Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet.
"There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."
As well as confirming that constant connectivity will not be required, the memo also confirms two more heavily-rumoured specs; the Blu-ray player and the integration with cable TV boxes.
The latter is expected to allow users to connect their Sky, Virgin or BT boxes, for example, via HDMI and watch live television directly through the Xbox.
This will allow users to perform a universal search for content on television and across the range of entertainment applications like Netflix, Lovefilm and YouTube.
With regards to the offline access to features on the console, it's still not sure how much of the functionality users will be able to access without connecting to the web.
Much of the speculation in the build-up to launch has suggested constant online connectivity was being included as a DRM tool, while it could also block the use of used games. We'll find out for sure on May 21. Just two weeks now.
Source Ars Technica