The newly announced Xbox One will not require a constant Internet connection for single-player gaming as was previously rumored, Microsoft announced today
While an "Always On" function isn't a requirement, a connection is still necessary for streaming and accessing multiplayer through the new console.
"Gamers can calm down," said Microsoft's Don Mattrick during today's event, "we got you covered."
However, Xbox One will offer game developers the ability to use its Azure cloud computing service throughout development, according to Wired. This way developers can rely on the cloud — as opposed to the Xbox One hardware — when necessary. Doing so would indeed result in the need for an online connection.
Prior to Microsoft's official announcement of the next-generation Xbox, reports indicated that the console would be "always on" in order to support internet-enabled applications, like streaming video services, and defend against piracy. According to previous reports, whether a game will require an internet connection to function — either through a one-time authentication or constant connection — will be up to a game's publisher.
A reportedly leaked internal memo from Microsoft detailed a number of next-gen Xbox functions "that our users expect to work without an Internet connection" including playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live television and playing a single-player game.