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Multiplayer's popularity is one reason Microsoft thinks always online is OK

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Microsoft says most gamers play online anyway

The popularity of online games is one of the reasons Microsoft officials think that the Xbox One's connectivity requirement won't be a problem, according to the VP at Microsoft Game Studios, Phil Spencer.

In an interview with Spencer, Polygon asked whether Microsoft was concerned that the online authentication requirements of the Xbox One would restrict its audience, particularly those who are living in areas that don't have access to the internet like rural and remote communities. He told Polygon that the connectivity requirement isn't a concern because of the current prominence of online gaming and, while there are great single-player games out there, most players are playing online with their friends.

"What we're seeing in games ... is online community gaming is becoming a predominant way that people play," he said.

"You see so many of these large games that are out there that rely on and are kind of made by the connection people have with their friends, and how they play cooperatively and competitively with the millions of people on Xbox Live and other ecosystems," he said. "It's a predominant form of gaming today."

Spencer also said that the Xbox One's connected state isn't a stretch from how people currently interact with music and games on other platforms, such as iTunes, Xbox Music and Steam. By having content associated with a user's identity stored in the cloud, it ensures that once a player has "installed the game, [it] makes it always available to you and instantly available to you." However, if a player is disconnected from the internet outside the 24-hour authentication period, they will not be able to access their game library.

Microsoft detailed the Xbox One's always-online requirements last week.