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The next Xbox and your cable box are about to become best friends

Xbox

The next Xbox is due to come out later this year, but we still don’t know a whole lot about ‘Durango’. One thing revealed today by The Verge is how the next Xbox is being positioned to completely become the center of your living room – for all things entertainment. The next Xbox will reportedly take over a TV through the cable box.

It will work in a similar fashion to Google TV. The next Xbox will work by taking a signal from a cable box via HDMI into the Xbox. Then the Xbox will overlay its own features and UI over that particular channel. The functionality will be basic at launch, but overtime roll out unique support for various cable services/channels.

Crazy cool right? We’re not done yet. In addition to the cable TV functionality above, sources to The Verge say that the next-generation Kinect will have an even larger role than it currently does. The next Kinect will be able to detect users with higher fidelity than it currently does. It will be able to tell the number of people in the room and to detect eye movement in order to pause the movie or TV show when a viewer looks away from the screen. While this probably won’t be active with multiple people in a room, it would certainly be handy for those solo binge sessions on Netflix.

Both are really interesting features for the next Xbox. I’m most excited about the potential for it to replace my cable box. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft would leverage that feature with SmartGlass. I’m picturing a scenario where you watch a sporting event through the Xbox and can have supplemental data about the game on a Surface or Windows Phone. For example, you could be watching the Lakers hobble into the playoffs on ESPN through your Xbox. On the TV screen you’ll get the typical ESPN feed, but through the Xbox’s UI. On your Surface you could see all the stats from the game, like how much work Kobe is doing to keep any playoff hopes alive (this season has been such a disappointment, you can tell I’m bitter).

Anyways, Microsoft is planning an event in May to announce and highlight some features of the next Xbox. There’s also E3 right around the corner. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the next Xbox and how it ties in with the larger Microsoft ecosystem. Oh yeah, and if you're curious about the expected specs for the next Xbox, get at them here

Source: The Verge

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Comments

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First, and always connected=no buy.  That best not be true.

Sam Sabri says:

Tell me why 'always-on' equals no buy? That's probably the dumbest thing I've been reading about on the internet the past week. 

Do you know that 'always-on' equals DRM? No. That's obviously the worst case scenario, but always on could mean a host of other things.

For example: always-on in a low power state (even when "off") so that the Xbox can get updates in the background and be ready with new content the second you 'turn it on'.

So when people automatically assume 'always on' is a bad thing, I want to slap them for making such absolute statements without knowing the whole picture. Especially since these are all rumors. Let's wait to see why Microsoft thinks an always-on device is worth while. 

There are a host of other devices you use that are 'always on' aka with an internet connect. Like your Windows Phone and PC. There are some things you can do 'offline', but a lot requires an internet connection. Anyways. 

inteller says:

I'd watch it Sam, you don't want to get added to the Always On meme. 
 
If always on is to check whether I am authorized to play a game, that is DRM plain and simple.  If always on is to check whether the game is mine or borrowed from a friend that is DRM.  Always connected is a slippery slope.  That's the crux of the matter.  If the Xbox freaks out every 3 minutes because the best you can get is a dodgy internet connection then always on is a NO SALE based on principle alone.

Always on/connected is creating a first world problem nobody wants. It is effectively saying that if you aren't fortunate to live in a country with perfectly managed infrastructure then FUCK YOU #dealwithit. This is not even counting the times when Xbox Live WILL be down, because it has happened plenty of times in the past. So Microsoft causes a problem and YOU can't use equipment that you bought and paid for? class action lawsuit waiting to happen.

tissotti says:

C'mon. 
If they fock it up, the of course people should be outraged, but steam has done this for years already on PC. I have been connected to net on all of my games for years and not able to sell any of my games in years. Do I cry about it? No, i have actually played more PC games than ever before, like so many others.
I don't buy used games anyways. If this means the first step of killing the mid hand and bringing more aggressive store front ont the net. I'm more than all for it. 
 
 
Granted because of the crappy internet in Canada, New Zealand, here in states and Australia compared to Europe and parts of Asia, i doubt we will see any kind of heavy solution.. if any. 

inteller says:

i do not use Steam for that exact reason.  It is a closed market and I can guarantee you that MS will not even come CLOSE to the deals that Steam offers for YEARS.  Steam prevents you from parting with content and reclaiming some of that value back.  XBL does the same thing which is why I will NEVER, EVER buy their games at full price and definitely won't buy content for a game I have no intentions of playing in the future.

evilrobot says:

You can go into offline mode with steam.

Braumin says:

That's not true with Steam.  There is an offline mode which allows you to play games saved on your local PC.  That's why I use Steam - if I am on an airplaine I can still play Civ V.
I think Steam has nailed the model.  The DRM is there so I can't just copy games and give discs away, but I can play any game I bought on any computer I am logged in to, whether I am connected to the internet or not.  I'm not 100% against DRM, I am just against DRM that implements a use model that is unfair to the person spending the money.
For instance, I have played the Silent Hunter series from Ubisoft, but SH5 requires a constant connection to their servers, so they just lost a sale.  They can't guarantee that even their servers are always going to be up, let alone my internet connection.
If EA does the same thing with the next Dragon Age, I'll be passing on it.
Hopefully the Xbox is more like Steam.
Steam however has killed the used game market on the PC, but they balance it with good prices, lots of sales, and older games being available for less money.  I think that's why they have suceeded.

inteller says:

no not really.  I've looked for 10+ yo games on Steam and the 'sale' prices are a joke.  Same game can be picked up for half their sale prices at Gamestop.

tk-093 says:

Then you're looking wrong.  They have crazy sales all the time.

ScarletStar says:

That, or YOU are not looking outside of Steam

Both the Wii and Wii U were billed as "always on" consoles as well, and lol if anyone thinks Nintendo has DRM done right. The fact of the matter is you don't know what always on means and that's what Sam said in his post.

JPDVM2014 says:

But you don't know if any of those scenarios are true. That is what Sam was getting at. If it is confirmed to be impossible to play a game without having an internet connection, then there is cause for the uproar, but until that happens, the complaining is just annoying.

ikissfutebol says:

No one seems to complain about streaming services devices requiring "always on" (like Roku). If this device is being positioned to take over my cable/DVR box (also an always on device), I don't see that this will necessarily be forced DRM for games. Perhaps the always on rumor is correct, but it affecting game play is in correct.
While I've owned every SimCity game and refuse to buy this current one despite REALLY wanting to try it, I'd be completely open to an XBox acting like a cable box so long as it keeps allows on out of game play. I used to stalk Steam daily for games, but since Windows 8's launch, I've stalked the Windows Store instead.
If you want to create a meme for someone over saying "let's wait and see", that's really kind of sad. I think "let's wait and see" is a perfect thing to say considering the general public is clueless to these rumors, which is what they are until the device is announced. Just like going into the Surface announcement, up until hours before it launched, many people were gearing up for an XBox tablet or a host of other possibilities. I don't think anyone really saw Surface in its actual form this far out from the actual announcement...not even people that worked for the company.

Well then slap my face, cause I'm not too sure I'd like that feature.

*Sam jumps out of the bushes and slaps 'Trainwreck 0532' in the face*

ShortStuff says:

All sams saying is stop assuming that always online means u can do nothing without an internet connection. I mean seriously do u think Microsoft would be stupid enough to do that? They put a whole bunch of research into there products and I'm sure would know that not everyone has internet. People shut up and relax till we really know what's going on.

jgbstetson says:

In a graduate marketing class, our team came up with a concept for a new Xbox that was the center of entertainment and home automation. It could be expandable through hardware and software peripherals and apps, respectively. While I don't believe it will get to the level of whole home automation, I think that is the general direction they are heading; it's more than just games and entertainment, it's information and accessibility. Which, yes, would require constant connectivity.

RobbCab says:

Thank god someone other than me finally said this ^. Great explaination Sam, though I think this is the new troll meme for MS bashers, so your time was probably wasted on this one.

hellovaras says:

Hi Sam,
I appreciate your passion. However as the writer of the piece and the one we "can" go to for insight and know-how your delivery needs polishing. It is interesting to me how you write a concise article to then fall off the cliff in your replies to user comments. Comments by people, perhaps misinformed or perhaps not, who you need to have visit the site and read your articles.
Perhaps I am being to Pollyanna in my remarks. However i don't see how your reply will shift opinion, teach or otherwise informs us other than to show your display of poor customer communication skills.
IMHO, of course.

Sam Sabri says:

I would never actually slap someone. I just think it's silly how everyone jumped on the 'always on = DRM' bandwagon without anyone knowing for sure that's what it means. 

Too late, if you read a couple of comments ahead, you jumped out of some bushes earlier and slapped 'Trainwreck' guy in the face...

Hahaha best comment yet thank you for the laugh!

Reflexx says:

People like to complain, whine, and assume.

"Always on" doesn't necessarily mean DRM.

I for one would welcome a feature where all my updates are applied while I soundly sleep or while I'm at work. I hate when I turn on my XBOX to play a game and see that I have to apply an update... and wait.

Heck, your cable box is "always on". If the XBOX is going to be controlling the feed from that, it makes sense that it's always on also. It would suck if you had your DVR set to record a show, but it didn't because you forgot to turn on your XBOX.

It's not a fad in any way Sam. While it's very true that always-online can mean a host of things, and actually make for some very cool features, the problem everyone is having with it is that up until now, rumors have been circulating from several sources that the always online thing will also make for a means of instituting a very restrictive form of DRM akin to SimCity. That's what people are referring to I imagine when they rally against the idea of always online.

iSeeiSheep says:

@Sam,
Do you even have a clue how DRM works? It is NOT an ALWAYS on technology, so quit already with that statement unless you can technically prove it.
DRM can be cached just like XBOX subscription services on your PC / XBOX. With downloaded content, I can have NO network connectivity and my music still plays fine, and it's DRM protected...
ALWAYS ON??? HUH???

Sam Sabri says:

Can you read? The biggest complaint people have had with the rumors of an 'always on' Xbox stem from not being able to play games without an internet connection. 

tk-093 says:

I don't think you read his comment correctly.

woodbane says:

Well said Sam.
I seriously don't understand this mentality of always connected being a BAD thing?! The crazy thingis - how many of these people bleating about it are currently using an XBox 360 with a Gold Membership which....wait for it.......REQUIRES an internet connection to be on for it to work. No internet connection = no signing in to Live or multiplayer. Does that sound suspiciously like 'always connected'? It does to me.
Without people knowing what the hell it really means for the next XBox to be always on I find these statements people are making to be simply ludicrous. Perhaps let's wait until we know the whole picture hmmmmm?

Whodaboss says:

Because everyone does not have CABLE! How is that so difficult to understand. I have an Xbox and I only use it to play games (absolutely NOTHING online) and watch DVDs. Plain and simple.

Yep that's the problem I have with these people saying not to worry about always on. For a lot of people there isn't an option of ever being on. I personally am not one of them but my brother is he never plays anything online. Now could all of this amount to nothing in the end of course but until then I completely understand some people being upset over what it could be.

Once more info comes out on what this will mean, I will weigh my decision then, as for now, this could be a really great thing (as stated with updates etc), or it could be negative. Eg, I watch the fights with a lot of ny friends, they all chip in and pay a bit to help cover the cost. If this new Kinect feature can detect everyone in the room, who's to say it wouldn't start charging more cause of my occupancy? Just my 2 cents. But like I said, once more info is available I will decide whether I like the idea, but for now I remain cautious. And it was nice to see that somebody saw my face slap comment as a joke and not trolling ;)

I don't like trolls...I throw them in the same category as ogres and orks....

David Best says:

the trouble with having something always connected means that it will be using bandwidth to do things from downloading updates to just refeshing the home screen which i dont have a problem with, but i live in england and have no bandwidth limits but i know many users in the usa dont have unlimited or very fast internet, so having the xbox always conneceted is a bad thing in regards to bandwidth.....but this is just my point of view and i could be wrong 

dkp23 says:

I think people are interpreting this always on thing differently then how it actually will be. 
 
My opinion, i dont think think ms would be dumb enough to require an internet connection to play games or use the box. 
 
The ones that are causing an uproar are the ones that think everybody that gets an xbox NEEDS to have an internet connection to use the xbox PERIOD!. 
 
Realistically, What MS is saying, you need an internet connection to use certain features that REQUIRE an internet connection like getting your cable box to stream to the xbox. 
 
So simply, if you want to play a game new or used offline and can't afford internet, you are fine.  Assuming the xbox has a dvd drive or bluray drive, no internet connect?  sure watch a movie.  If you want to use your xbox as a t.v setup like  to stream t.v from cable, you will need an internet connection. 
 
Two different things
 
Not having an internet connection doesnt mean your xbox 720 or whatever it is becomes a paperweight. 
 
I think the MS guy was still obnoxious anyway, he made the situation worse. 

Sam Sabri says:

I like you. 

dkp23 says:

You complete me

WinFan1 says:

whoa whats going on here? i think i like it lol :D

Rndomuser says:

Well, the rumors so far contradict your assumption. According to them, all games will refuse to run or stop playing if your XBox will lose the connection:
"If there isn't a connection, no games or apps can be started. If the connection is interrupted then after a period of time - currently three minutes, if I remember correctly - the game/app is suspended and the network troubleshooter started," 
THIS is what pissing off the majority of people, not the "omg, DRM!!!" which is irrelevant on consoles (MS already have access to your account info and credit card info). 

NIST says:

It sounds awesome. I have no problem always being on.

MastrMeatWad says:

Sam is correct. People are stupid with this. None of this is anything but rumor at this point, and what "always on" means is unknown.

jimitndiaye says:

According to the original article from the Verge it may be for the interactive entertainment services and not necessarily for gaming.

digitalsyrup says:

Always On doesn't mean DRM. I don't know why people can't get this through their heads. Unless Microsoft says, yeah, it's DRM #dealwithit, THEN and ONLY THEN will I say I won't be buying it. Until then, lets just get over the Always On argument.

You are in the minority. 12 year old boys don't give a shit, it isn't their money anyway.

onysi says:

this whining is similar to the first Gen Xbox with, broadband gaming only leaving out 56k dial up users. Well we know how that turned out. 100+ million Xbox live users. I embrace always on, like my cell phone, like my PC. I play steam games. I'd also adapt to download only or stream gaming like OnLive. Get your ass in the future. We don't play cartridge games anymore. Technology is growing at a very fast rate. Adapt or gtfo.

dalydose says:

My main concern would be if the device failed to operate if the connection is lost. Lets remember the ambition to take over the TV. If my Internet is out will I not be able to even watch TV?

Many functions on my phone require internet, but the device doesn't stop working without it. My old Lumia 900 is but a fancy MP3 player now that usually isn't connected. My computer still lets me write in Word when not connected.

I'm with Sam though. We need to wait for official details before declaring doom and gloom.

RommelS says:

Ok, here is the deal with always on / always on connected Internet. This feature is not for gaming. As the article stated, it is about Xbox gaming console becoming your next cable box as well. Even though Microsoft sold mediaroom to Ericsson, it is most likely MS will still utilize IPTV for television programming, and if you utlize this feature, your Xbox must remain On and connected to the Internet to record television programming.

I am currently using my Xbox 360 as an extra cable box with my U-verse (IPTV) service, and I use the Xbox like it is my regular cable box. And since this always on / connection to the Internet is being throw the last few weeks, I can only point out that the next Xbox will have the ability to store recorded show.

zeke009 says:

Does nobody here own a TiVo or use a cable box? They are always on devices. Heck no internet renders the TiVo useless or requires something called a "land line". If the Xbox is going to replace a cable box, maybe it requires it to be on all the time to cache tv content (pause, rewind) and download program data. I can put TiVo to sleep and it will record scheduled programming, but it won't cache content. Meaning if I like the show that is on when I turn on the tv, I can't rewind to catch what I missed. TiVo always updates overnight with programming data.
Calm down on the "always on" RUMOR until you hear the purpose and driver behind it, if it is true

CommonBlob says:

Yes! I would love this

Quin 2013 says:

I wonder if this going to be exclusively through say xfinity or if this going to work with any tv provider.

The obvious assumption would be to say that yes, it would be cable as in xfinity(etc).

I just hope I'm not let down by limitations of providers for Xbox.

Hopefully this works with my direct TV.

KyleStef says:

Seems pointless. Why have your Xbox and cable box on at the same time? Idk maybe it's just me.

Sam Sabri says:

Because you still need the cable box to get the content from your cable provider. But the Xbox could provide

  • a better UI 
  • a better overall experience (in theory). 
  • Some kickass SmartGlass functionality we know nothing about

bguy_1986 says:

I'll have to see it.  I don't see it working out so well.  It sounds like the XBOX can take the video from the cable box and lay something on top of it.  A better UI is great, but if it can't change channels on the cable box, it isn't near as useful. 
Does it detect what channel you are on? Can it change channels?  I don't think it's possible, but hopefully I'm wrong.
 
I'd love it if it had a tuner on board or a cable card and could act as a DVR and all that.

ncxcstud says:

I'm assuming it would be exactly what Media Center in Windows Vista/7/8 are able to do - which is exactly just that.
It puts in a MUCH better UI, allows you to change channels, etc... when I lived in an apartment while on internship in Huntsville, AL I used my Media Center and XBOX as my cable box for local TV...

bguy_1986 says:

Can you send a command to change channels over an HDMI cable?  The xbox has to let the cable box know to change the channel if I'm understaning this all correctly?  How does it do that?

Cleavitt76 says:

Yes, you actually can forward device commands over HDMI if the device supports CEC (or some variation with a differnt marketing name).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#CEC
However, typically this is done using an "IR blaster".  Basically an IR blaster is just a wire with an IR emitter (like on a cable box remote) on the end and it is used to mimick a remote control signal.  This has been done on media center PCs for many years.  The new xbox would just be adding media center PC functionality to it's list of features.

RyanAMG says:

That's cool but I would think Microsoft would have a cable card slot on the new Xbox. IMO that would be the best way to do it :)

Aaron M says:

Yes, exactly.  That would let customers actually ditch their cable box (and the monthly rental fee).  I care much more about that then having a new UI overlay.  Not doing this seems like a missed oppurtunity to me.  But whatever, I ditched cable ages ago for Netflix anyways.  It would take a tiny miracle to make me go back to spending $$$$$ on 250 channels I don't watch.

RyanAMG says:

The only thing that I'm concerned about is ISP's limiting us on usage if it becomes internet tv. TWC tried that in Texas. It didn't work but if all ISP's are on board we are F***ed.

Aaron M says:

Yeah that may happen.  But more likely, I think as more people rely on internet TV, it will become harder for the ISP's to enact caps without facing major public backlash.  I'm a free market conservative, but I have to admit I'd probably be one of the first people screaming for government regulation if all the ISP's in my area enacted data caps.

Bartdog says:

Even if you ditch the cable box, the cable company will charge you for renting the card(s).

Erickson187 says:

That is not true they have to give you a cable card at no cost. I had one for years on Comcast without paying.

That is why most TVs do not have them anymore because it pissed off the cable companies, my older HDTV had a slot but when it broke I had to get a new tv that did not have a slot since they stopped making then with the slots.

camaroguy says:

Absolutely not true.  You don't own the card, just like you don't own the box.  They can and do charge you for it monthly but its A LOT less than what they charge for the box.

I also totally agree that its worthless to make me pay for the cablebox, the xbox, probably xbox live gold, and God knows what else, just to use these "cool" new features. It needs to have a cable card slot and replace my cable box, or I am not interested.

pmich says:

exactly... better UI and being able to use Kinect for controls and using SmartGlass to see relevant data on your mobile devices.
It's a nice direction!

inteller says:

that's great because I'm still waiting for the kickass smartglass functionality we ARE supposed to know about.

RommelS says:

In addition, you can avoid paying your cable provider a montly rental fee (if applicable) if you use it as a second box. I do this now with my U-verse subscribtion. I just select the U-verse app, and then I get to watch what U-verse is offering.

tbonenga says:

+1 why not do what TiVo does. Just eliminate the cable box all together and also make the Xbox a DVR. I pay $7.99 a month for my HD boxes and $15.99 for my DVR. I'd buy 5 new consoles asap.

kossdust says:

I agree. Would be great if they took what is left of Windows Media Center and expanded it onto the XBOX. Add a slot for a cable card or maybe an add-on (hate add-ons but in this case anything is better than cable company)
 

Mr. Brown says:

I think the Xbox may replace the cable box all together.

onysi says:

Yeah, have you seen the Time Warner cable UI?!

Was hoping this was the route they'd go! Expecially since they have Xfinity as a TV provider, so that should work for me I'd think. Very exciting! Can't wait to see more info about all the new stuff.

deadwrong03 says:

I got Comcast too that's what im hoping for to have my Xbox replace my DVR box

Lol I'm sorry Sam, but I need your Lakers to fail as much as possible for the remainder of the season...I'm a Dallas Mavericks fan if you understand lol.

Sam Sabri says:

YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH!!! (<3)

I will shut my mouth Sam! Only because my mouth being open is not needed for typing ;)

Reflexx says:

Isn't Dallas pretty much in a hopeless position right now? The Lakers AND Utah would have to crash and burn while Dallas kicks butt for these last few games.

I see Utah losing the Memphis game and I cam see them split with the TWolves.

Lakers against Portland tonight worries me.

Fan is short for Fanatic, therefore, as long as I can smell hope, I'm in!

I don't know you, but suddenly it felt like I have known you for years....lol Go MAVS

Element D says:

Lets go Mavericks!!!!

You my friend have been added to the 'cool' list....that's right, I still use the word "cool"!.............and I still say cool beans....

Not liking this route. I was hoping they would go the route of bypassing the cable companies and going straight to the networks. offer us a way to cut the cord, not an extra box. This isn't nay different than what they do now with UVerse of FIOS. Microsoft needs to start working to replace cable companies, not support them. I'm sick of the cable companies. They all need to die. At least on the TV side of things.

Tjalsma says:

I agree and would really rather bypass cable companies.  However, the cable/internet companies would just block access to the feeds (like Time Warner did to ESPN for instance).  I think MS took this into consideration - hence, implementating these features instead of trying to replace them.

evilrobot says:

I use OTA with windows media center, if they kill of WMC extender in the next xbox then I won't be buying the next xbox.  Same goes for always on.
 

Tjalsma says:

With their past reliability issues, all of these rumors scare the hell out of me.  Unless they provide thorough documentation in regards to the issues they've taken to ensure that the first generation "Durango's" will be reliable, I won't touch it.

Sam Sabri says:

Yeah, the Xbox 360 had a rough start with their RRoD issues. But that was back in 2005 that it launched! There will always be issues plauging the first round of any hardware issue (every iPhone has had launch issues, Lumia 920 resets, etc), but I'll still be picking up the next-generation Xbox on day one. I don't think they'll have any problem as big as the RRoD. 

We can only heed your advice Sam...

P.S. Everytime I type Sam I think about Sam the Hobbitt, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.....

Sam Sabri says:

I do go to town on some lembas bread from time to time. 

PeterFnet says:

So the plan is to keep the DVR features on the cable box? Wonder how this works with Media Center. I think I already know the depressing answer. Media Center had the potential to have a satellite tv tuner and now has multiple companies selling MCard Cable Card Tuners. If they support media center, it would be nice. Likely it will be left behind. In order to make use of the new tools, I will have to rent a damn DVR box.
/rant
I try not to get too upset, but we've all been disappointed so much over the years.
I should also add, that I'm using an antenna as my television source.

+1 Basic channels are free....even if they stink lol.

If they are going to do this, I say go all the way and allow people to install cable cards right in the Xbox. Remove the cable box from the equation entirely.

PeterFnet says:

Yes. Absolutely.

pmich says:

+1 for this.. (though this would never happen in Canada. We don't even allow cable card systems. )

Aaron M says:

Yes! Saving people from the monthly cable box rental fee would be a massive incentive. My hope was that they were going to go this route.

zeke009 says:

Cable companies aren't that nice. I don't pay for a cable box, now I pay a "outlet" fee per cable card in my TiVo's. They'll get their money one way or another.

Aaron M says:

True, same with Cox and Verizon here.  But the cable card is like $3 a month while their settop boxes range from $10 to $20 depending on HD or DVR features.

Tahiti Bob says:

It's a great idea but wouldn't justify being unable to play any game offline. I hope the always on is just a feature and not a requirement.

Agreed. Some people, like my brother live in the sticks. He can't/doesn't have reliable internet or cable/satellite. His 360 is his home entertainment, really. Without this being a feature, rather than requirement, I don't see this next gen Xbox selling quite as well.

Rndomuser says:

Yeap. I can't believe that MS and other people instantly assume that every habitable place has a perfect broadband connection... I remember renting out a house in upstate NY few years ago, during winter, with friends - someone brought in their XBox there and even with no Internet at all we could play every single-player game we had.

This is already the case with the 360, you can use your Xbox as a settop box with Telus IPTV

Rndomuser says:

Unless the XBox will have a slot for CableCard - it will never replace cable box... The best it can do is to become a redundant "remote control" device with some fancy on-screen overlays with redundant info (if I want any statistics related to the NBA game I'm watching - I can just pick up my tablet and type in "nba.com" in its browser field). Pretty lame if this is the only thing MS will use to differentiate themselves from PS4 (aside from "Kinect" gimmick)...
Anyway, not really interested in any of them - my PC provides me with majority of entertainment I need, for the rest the "regular" cable box and Blu-ray player work just perfectly...

iSingBass says:

Hmm. I'm still waiting for something from U-verse. The other providers aren't around here and I was looking forward to all the fancy features when I got my Xbox last year.

Oh, and Thunder Up! :)

Jazmac says:

Sounds like a welcome use going forward. Bring it big M

aerosmillie says:

Always on = on standby. Like your tv, cable box, laptop, surface etc If this allows background updates then even better. What is the issue here?

inteller says:

the propoganda machine is already muddling the message.  always on != to always connected that the furor started about last week.  There is also the 'mandatory' part that is getting edited out of the message.  If I have the CHOICE for always on in order to get updates and such that is one thing, if I am FORCED to that is quite another.

ncxcstud says:

But, you're the one doing the assuming correct? You assume that the way in which MS would implement it would be the worst way possible.  We don't know that.  No matter how many 'leaks' or 'rumors' there are, we don't know ANYTHING until MS comes forth with that info - which will be in May...

inteller says:

i'm not assuming either direction, I'm just saying what those directions look like.

I can tell you without any doubt in my mind they have sat behind closed doors and considered it, and it is even possible that the course had to be altered when Sony showed their hand. MS and the cabal of greedy game houses (EA, Ubisoft, et al) would love nothing better than to crush the used games market so they can keep shafting people with $70 games.

ncxcstud says:

For all those who complain about always on, isn't the PS3 already an 'always on' device, especially if you have Playstation+?

Not really. The PlayStation Plus automatic update feature only checks for updates to games, downloads trailers (which mine has never done, actually), and backs up your gamesave data once every 48 hours, and only during a two hour time window that you specify.

ncxcstud says:

I was under the impression that it downoads the updates (for the system and games) and then lets you install them once you turn the system back 'on.'  At least that is how I remember it after being given a free trial of Playstation+ for a few months..

I know for sure that game patches are downloaded and installed without any required user input. I think PS+ downloads firmware updates and requires you to install them the next time you use the system, but I don't recall for sure. Usually I hear about a firmware update before Plus even checks so I update myself.

Mooncow27 says:

I work for Charter cable and since most boxes are similar. I can honestly say the UI is stuck in the early 90's. It can seriously use some Microsoft love.

Consoles need this approach to survive, games only boxes are a thing of the past, and will tank, take Vita for example.
While I don't think every SKU will be online only, just the boxed which is supposedly be sold through subscription (a-la smartphone contract), I have no problems with it, my 360 is *always* online, I cannot conceive unlocking Achievements without the timestamp.

JohnGalt1717 says:

This story has it wrong. It won't do HDMI pass thru. What it will do is use DLNA DTCP.

PGWP says:

This would have been better if they used cablecards instead of bulky cable box.  This allows you to get rid of the cable box and save a few dollars on the rental.  Here I pay about $8 per month for an hd cable box, the cablecard would cost $2 per month.
One benefit is the xbox can now record tv directly to it so if you pay for a dvr service with your cable company you can get rid of that extra cost and just use the xbox to do your dvd/recording.
The issue with cable cards is the ability to not have pay-per-view and on demand.

JohnGalt1717 says:

First Cablecard is free by law and can stream up to 6 hd shows at the same time....

mr_808 says:

I live in Kansas City, KS and am about to get Google Fiber over the summer.  Yeah, I wonder how good of friends that new Xbox and my Fiber box will actually become.
 

Vb2012 says:

Yu don't sound like a Microsoft fan -_-

mr_808 says:

I'm actually a very big fan of MS.  I just know that Google and MS haven't been playing nicely together lately. 

JPDVM2014 says:

I'm so jealous...I don't really care for Google, but I want that sweet, sweet Fiber...

mr_808 says:

I feel the same way.  Part of me really hates the idea of paying Google when I know they don't support MS products.  The other part of me says, shut up and take the Fiber you idiot.  I'll be doing the latter.

Luke Morris says:

I think the always online is bad because some may not have a steady internet connection. Some may be still on dial up or not even having internet. I thinks that's why most people are outraged by it. I'm confused to the always online does it mean you need to be permanently connected to the internet to play games etc? Or just for the online services which i can understand but for playing games that may not have MP then it is bad but we can only wait and see as we do not know enough to make a big deal out of it until Microsoft explains themselves. :)

jorge386 says:

Give me Fios, DVR for multiple channels, better Xbox video, music, Netflix, redbox, games, and extenders

onysi says:

exCited!!!

Hackthebone says:

I just don't want to get into a while Sim City fiasco on my console. Sure if it's a multiplayer game it obviously makes sense. However if I want to say play bioshock and I can't because there is an issue with live or my internet that would be a deal breaker.

wpguy says:

I sure hope eye-tracking can be disabled. There are plenty of reasons why I might look away from the screen, and none of them are a reason why I would want the movie paused... Is the dog ready to come in? Just spilled my popcorn and am picking it up. The phone rang and caller-ID says it's yet another annoying political survey. I've got the show on in the background while I do something mundane like fold laundry. Etc.

Sam Sabri says:

Speculation: Probably optional and maybe not 'instant'. For example detects nobody for 30 seconds and then will pause. 

lippidp says:

Windows Media Center was supposed to replace cable boxes, too, but ran into tech problems in this regard. I wonder if MS can pull it off this time. I don't really care as I hate TV, but as a tech it's kind of interesting.
I'm watching CNN at a fast food joint and am appalled at how it has become commentary instead of news. TV sucks.

marantaz says:

Don't you know? Opinions are news, as long as they are the right opinions. You want mild conservative rhetoric? Watch FOX. You want leftist liberal 'progressive' BS? Watch CNN, or the broadcast networks. But if you want the news reported honestly, well, you can just forget it... and turn yourself in for re-education.

WP95 says:

Now what if i dont have a cable box near my tv or xbox? i play in the basement and our cable box is upstairs.

Madmik303 says:

Anybody that's says they wont buy a next gen console for this or that reason, aren't thinking straight. When the first xbox machine launched i was a strict pc only person and never thought i would play online with a console. However since i brought my xbox i couldn't imagine not having it always connected just like my is.
Come on guys, always connected is the future whether you like it or not.

blushrts717 says:

It's not just the always connected part, but the fact that they are going to wipe out the used game market.

tendoboy1984 says:

How is that a "fact"? Rumors are rumors until confirmed by the company.

ladydias says:

I'm really excited to finally have a time frame for info about the next Xbox. Even though we have all of the current Gen systems, our Xbox stands pretty much heads and shoulders above the others for entertainment value. I do wish people would stop assuming always on means instant DRM though. It sounds like an asinine decision to make and, while MS isn't perfect, I don't think they would make such a disastrous choice. I honestly see it as more of what we get by having our pc on and connected, as in when we get updates and the like. Just my thoughts but we won't know until May.

cyber_k9 says:

The cable-box interaction sounds like an 'interesting' feature, and may add extra value... but I was more hoping for more IPTV channels and alternatives to cable-TV entirely.  Microsoft may still have those plans in the cards too of course, but the cable-box feature isn't a great selling point to me.

The other thing I'm leery of is the line "Kinect can tell how many people are in the room". That's... great?  Why?  That this is touted as a "feature" confuses me.  It shouldn't matter how many I have infront of my TV, and only makes me think of that patent Microsoft filed to enforce per-viewer charges and other licensing issues.  Content producers (TV, movies, etc.) will love it - I think many consumers will balk at the idea unless Microsoft is very careful about how they approach it.

marantaz says:

The Suns are hoping your Lakers blow it so they can get their first round pick. I say the Suns, not their few remaining fans, because the fans have no confidence that, even with two picks in the top eight, the Suns management will know what to do with them.
The greatest joy for Suns fans this year has been watching Kobe and his Lakers suck as much as the Suns do. Thanks for taking Nash... HAHAHAHAHHHAAAAA!

Sorry... No I'm not.

Sam Sabri says:

You make me cry. 

poiman says:

I don't care about watching TV or playing online. I want a console for great single player experiences and Sony can do that better than everyone else. The variety of its exclusives are just outstanding and one can see that Sony understands gaming better than any other company. That's why when it comes to gaming I choose PlayStation. Wish Sony could release an official PlayStation app for my WP8 but I know that is not going to happen.

ladydias says:

I was a Sony fangirl for the first two playstation systems but I do feel they've lost their way with the PS3. No matter how hard I try, I just can't love it over my Xbox. In all honestly, for me Nintendo is still king of games and my Xbox is a solid all around system for everything entertainment.

K_lando says:

Honesly, I know some of the PS titles get great reviews and are very popular... at the same time I don't really care.  Maybe I'm missing out on something great, but it doesn't bother me.  I see images of Drakes Fortune and the like and nothing screams at me to go buy a PS3.
Obviously, as an Xbox owner I play a lot of 3rd party games, so the argument could be made that I'd be playing those exact same games on PS3... and even though I don't care about Ratchett and Clanks or the Jakk and Daxters, at least I could try them.    Its a valid argument that I can't deny, but at the same time... I dunno. I don't care.  I picked up an old PS2 off ebay a couple of years back to 'catch up' on games that people raved about and was kind of disappointed. God of War is one of the most overrated games ever, so that experience didn't really encourage me (funny how games w/ initials 'GOW' are overrated).

poiman says:

Can't argue with you about that. It's a personal taste, to each his own. But one thing is a fact, if you want creativity, new experiences, inovation you have to go with PlayStation. You will not find games like Heavy Rain, Journey, Beyond, etc on XBOX because those games are too risky! They might not sell well because they are so different. Microsoft goes for the safe bet, mostly shooters and not many new IPs. God, I can't even count how many new AAA IPs Sony developed just for this generation! That variety I can only find on PlayStation, that is a fact, now, many might not like it.

tendoboy1984 says:

True. Both Sony and Nintendo seem to be more open to creating and publishing new types of games (Heavy Rain, Journey, Wii Sports, Pushmo, Harmoknight, The Unfinished Swan, flOw, Flower, etc.).

WPmunkey says:

Cable is dying. Lets hope MS will preserve these features for a future proof medium.

WPmunkey says:

There are a couple reasons to get a PlayStation. Being better is not one of them.

tendoboy1984 says:

Sony has more first-party games. All Microsoft has is Halo, Fable, and Forza.

themopar says:

Hopefully they have some satellite love. I just signed up for DirecTV. I have Armstrong Cable -- IT IS HORRIBLE! I had to get out! Maybe this will be page 2 -- to the idea of DirecTV and Microsoft joining forces in 2006 that went nowhere.
 

BobcatRidge says:

^^^ This.  I live where there is no cable and very limited OTA TV.  Let's hope DirecTV and Microsoft work out something nice.

spaulagain says:

This is what I'm looking for. I hate my cable box. The more XBox replaces it, the happier I'll be.

aeschylus says:

Smartglass will continue to be worthless to me until the app takes less than ten seconds to open on my phone (Lumia 920). Even resuming the application via app switching requires it to reconnect to the Xbox. Such a pain in the ass!

I, unfortunately, have only Charter Communications in my area. They charge the most and give you the least. I can only bet they don't support this for one B.S. reason or another.

K_lando says:

What's a cable box? Is that a box you store all your cables in?  I dont need that crap.

absolutshame says:

Put a cable card slot in it.

dnmartin98 says:

I love the internet.  It makes it so easy for seemingly rational people to becoome totally hysterical over things that don't even exist/haven't been confirmed, for months.  I sometimes muse that tech forums are all secretly created by blood pressure  meds companies.

Zeroplanetz says:

I don't have cable. Only internet. I just want multi player games back on one console. I really dislike the way gaming is going.

slygamer says:

This appears to be yet another USA-centric design decision.  Cable TV is widespread in the USA, but not here in Australia.  Free to air TV is still the most common here, and most TVs have the digital tuner built in.  How is the Xbox supposed to insert itself into that setup?
Also, the TV consumes enough power itself without requiring the Xbox powered up as well just to watch TV.
This is going the same way as Xbox on Windows 8.  The emphasis is no longer on the game, but on the fluff that surrounds the game.  It takes longer to implement the fluff than the game itself nowadays.

blushrts717 says:

So you still have to rent a cable box? If so, no thanks.

henilp89 says:

im a big xbox fan.. i was 10 when the original xbox came out n bought xbox 360 n newer version but i wouldnt buy this if it wont play used games cuz i cant spend 60$ for every single game that i want to play or played.. i used my friends or RedBox! borrow it for a night or two n return it.. plus i heard the price is going to be $499.. knowing microsoft i know for sure its gonna be no less than 399$

MastrMeatWad says:

So with the next Kinect, so essentially it will pause a movie that you fall asleep in so you can finish it when you wake up. Cool if it does that.

yarkiebrown says:

Sounds proper shit

tendoboy1984 says:

As always, the internet is overreacting to rumors and speculation. "Always on" is not some evil form of DRM to block used games, it's simply an easier way to implement background updates. I'm actually tired of this whole push from Microsoft towards complete multimedia entertainment. Sure I love watching Hulu on my PS3, but I primarily bought it for video games. And I'm glad Sony hasn't forgotten that a game console's primary function is to *GASP* play games. PS4 FTW!