Next Xbox Rumors – Always-Online DRM Up To Publishers, DVR-Like Capabilities, and More

Rumors suggest the next Xbox, which we recently learned would be unveiled this May 21, will indeed support online-always DRM, but not specifically for video games. It is said to also include DVR-like capabilities, new ways to interact with friends, and new ways to earn achievements.

According to unnamed sources speaking with Polygon, the decision of requiring an internet connection to play video games on the next Xbox will be left up to the publisher. They will also choose whether or not a one-time authentication will be required to play their games. As for the console itself, sources say it will still require an always-online connection to support certain non-gaming applications as well as to support anti-piracy measures.

Allegedly, the next Xbox will act as if it were a DVR, giving users the ability to select highlights from a previously recorded catalogue of footage to share via social media. According to sources, it can be turned on or off, or can be set up to automatically record certain in-game events like earning achievements or getting a head shot in an FPS. This auto-capture feature will only be available on next-gen games and the footage captured can be shared on websites like YouTube.

This seems likely and could almost be expected considering the importance placed on the ability to share video footage online amongst fellow gamers. Look at the direction games like Call of Duty and Halo have been headed in with their built-in theater modes, for example. The new “share” button was also major highlight of Sony’s PlayStation 4 reveal back in February.

The next Xbox is also said to allow greater flexibility when it comes to Achievements. Developers will be given the ability to add Achievements to a title post-launch without having to be included within downloadable content. This means, through data collection and player feedback, developers can tailer player behavior by enticing gamers to visit undiscovered areas in-game or use neglected items/weapons, for example.

It may also be an attempt to entice players to play multiple games or use different devices, as some achievements may become cross-title or cross-platform. One Achievement, for example, may have you play Halo 4 on the Xbox 360, update your profile on a companion website or app, and then play Halo 5 on the next Xbox. Achievements could even extend to large, in-game events like, say, a Double XP weekend.

Lastly, it appears Microsoft will change the way you interact with friends. Instead of allowing only a certain number of friends on your friends list, you’ll be able to “follow” friends much like you do on Twitter. This would essentially remove the 100 friend capacity that currently exists on the Xbox 360 and allow users to decide who they interact with.

In a response to Polygon with regards to these features, a Microsoft spokesperson stated, “we’re excited to share more about the new generation of games, TV and entertainment on May 21, but have nothing further to share at this time.”

What do you guys think about these rumored features so far? Are you happy to hear always-online DRM may be left up to the publisher, instead of being a requirement 100% of the time to play games? Where do you sit on the idea of cross-title or cross-platform Achievements? Let’s hear it in the comments below!

Remember to stay tuned on May 21 when Microsoft will officially unveil the next Xbox.

  • Huh, the achievements thing in paragraph 5 sounds interesting. It could make for more replay value if used right.

  • If this is true, then it is quite genius. Make the publishers be the “bad guys” while they play innocent. Looks like I’ll most likely continue my stretch of Xbox purchases.

    • NeT-ShatterZ

      Lol No…

      • How is that not genius? They enhanced the capabilities of the console, but left a loophole in the feature to make the publishers take the blame if they wanted to take advantage of it.

        • NeT-ShatterZ

          It’s not right to just put all of it on the devs and M$ doesn’t care about coustemers.

          • Who uses the console more, game devs or Microsoft/Sony? Game devs. Game devs want that kind of control over their games anyway.

  • Well Microsoft just dug their own grave.

    • Jason Davis

      What was negative about this article to suggest that? To me it was a breath of fresh air!

      • Thatbeastlytaco

        I really like the sound of the new friends list and the achievements. I also hope the DVR capability isn’t limited to 15 minutes like the PS4.

        • FYI the DVR was put in there for FPS(online) witch takes about 10 to 15 mins per game. Thats why I bought a PVR;)

          • DanDustEmOff

            The only potential limitations are the disk size

      • DanDustEmOff

        Yup all good at camp xbox for now just need to know whats going in to the machine now

      • NeT-ShatterZ

        Fuck Micro$oft

        • Ride My Swaggercopter

          Nice and eloquent argument there, oh wise one.

          • MrLadyfingers

            The irony is that I’ve yet to see yours, sir.

            • What kind of rebuttal can be made to “fuck Microsoft”? That kind of sites you the direction that the argument would take, where people call each other names and cuss incessantly. You know what also ironic? The overuse of any form of the word irony.

            • NeT-ShatterZ

              Well micro$oft hasn’t done anything worth SHIT

            • Ah, even better argument. I am now convinced that I must go buy a PS or PC.

            • MrLadyfingers

              I don’t like mushrooms. Do I feel obligated to give you a “nice and eloquent” argument as to why I have formed that opinion? No. Does that make my opinion invalid? No.

              P.S. You used the word twice while I only used it once. Super awkies

            • Oh the ironic irony that you can’t sense sarcasm. If you’re going to come into a discussion about mushrooms, then yes, you should have a reasoning for your dislike of mushrooms. I never said his opinion was invalid, I was just looking for some further explanation as to why he said “fuck Microsoft”.

            • Where Art Thou Romeo

              You cannot expect someone to be able to “detect” sarcasm over text. Seeing as most of the time cues as to whether someone is being sarcastic is given by the tone of their voice and facial expression, you cannot really say it’s ironic that they did not sense your sarcasm, as it is nearly impossible to do so.

            • Sarcasm alert! Jk man, it’s all good, just had to take a jab.

            • also

              Also, your use of the word “irony” was terrible.

            • Well isn’t that ironic…

          • NeT-ShatterZ

            Why thank you!

        • betosobreira

          Fuck $ony !!

          • NeT-ShatterZ

            Lol not hardly compared to MS

            • betosobreira

              Nevermind. I’m just trolling… haha

            • DanDustEmOff

              Thing is pal Sony are losing money lots of money they should take a leaf out of Micro$ofts book if they wanna be around in a few years time

      • WarBro

        Man you really are as naive as you look.

        • Clayton Johnson

          OK and what is his reason for being naive? I didn’t see anything completely negative about the article at all either?

      • Read again. “As for the console itself, sources say it will still require an always-online connection to support certain non-gaming applications as well as to support anti-piracy measures.” That just clearly said the console ITSELF requires an always-online connection.

        • Jason Davis

          “Certain non-gaming apps” you know, like Netflix, you tube, Crakle, Ie, and other apps that HAVE to have a connection to work in the first place you dumbass! Stop assuming everything and wait for the official word because when you assume you make an ASS out of U and ME! Lol 😉

          • Agreed. If I didn’t have a consistent internet connection, I wouldn’t have a gaming console or a Netflix account.

        • DanDustEmOff

          Did you really just say that. How do you expect YouTube, netflix and other streaming services to work without an internet connection I dont like to be rude but that was a really stupid comment certain apps on your ps3 and xbox 360 require an always online connection to work now, so of course some non gaming apps will require an internet connection otherwise it won’t work.

        • Clayton Johnson

          The density of this one. Can’t.Even.Lift!!

      • Does not sound good

        This stuff sounds to stupid for gaming. First the always online left up to publishers meaning 80% will use it to milk every dime from us with micro transactions and DLC not to mention to play there game. Second the DVR thing we all know how well that will turn out. Most peoples bandwidth is already strained as it is now all of are games are going to be recording although they did say you can disable it but most people will not know how. Third they are ruining the achievements and let me explain. This means completion whores like myself and many others want to 100% most of there games achievements now the developers will be adding time based achievements and new ones all the time making completing the list next to impossible. Its a small complaint but people who give a shit about them just want a solid list so we have time to complete them. Lastly the 360 left a bad taste in my mouth the last time because of the hardware issues. I am on my third Xbox 360 and I do not want to really go through that again. PS4 will be my next console unless the XBOX press conference blows me away.

        • DanDustEmOff

          I don’t think that publishers will be trying to push always on after sims and diablo 3. Using an xbox like a pvr to record game footage will be handled by the console and not use any bandwidth on your Internet connection until you decide to upload and you’re complaining about the achievement improvements before its even been layed out the devs may like it and use it they may not and as a fellow achievement whore I would welcome them to increase the amount of achievements post launch.

    • Nolifefanboys

      Why just WHY do these Sony fanboys exist?. what is the point of them they must relize that nobody took a blind bit of notice of them regarding the 360 BUT already they are trolling the next gen xbox before it even gets released !. PATHETIC.

  • kyuubi_clone

    achievements should actually translate into something useful! like free games or free unlocks for games. maybe they should take a page out of Ubisoft’s Uplay book.

    unfortunately it seems that instead they will offer stupid additional trophies to pad their own stats of popularity. like 50 gamerscore for pre-ordering and 100 points for playing the game on release day and whatnot. MAKE TROPHIES USEFUL TO GAMERS!!!!

    • DanDustEmOff

      Those decisions will be made by the devs ms are laying down the foundations for them. Its down to the devs to make the achievements useful

    • i would love this

  • dpg70

    Chance that EA is the first to take advantage of online DRM = 100%

    • Clayton Johnson

      Nah, EA already said they learned from Sim CIty that Online DRM is “failed dead end strategy”

      “DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it’s not a viable strategy for the gaming business. So what we tried to do creatively is build an online service in the SimCity universe and that’s what we sought to achieve.”

      Now what got form that was, according to Frank GIbeau, is that SimCity never even had “online DRM” in that sense, but by making the game have internet connection required to play unlike other SIms titles, they were aiming to make it an MMO. In this respect then yeah I could understand it all as there is no MMO that doesn’t require internet. Well then why not state that to begin with?

      • EA learning? Yeah, I see that every year where they release a broken FIFA game which they never fix.

  • jonchr2

    even the idea that either microsoft or the publishers can require an always online connection is really bad. and all the apps and tv… it will only work properly for americans. microsoft are just giving away the rest of the world market to Sony and Nintendo.

    I think anything with an always online idea attached to it is a bad idea. Glad i’m a PS player.

    • DanDustEmOff

      You have apps on your ps 3 now that require an internet connection to work is you tube a bad idea is Netflix a bad idea. By trying to sound smart you have ended up saying the most idiotic comment on this page. Always online as bad as it seems now will be inevitable, games running of cloud servers is a real reality some of the things that can be done with cloud gaming are awesome. The ps 4 is going to stream games how do you think that’s gonna work without an Internet connection.

      • ty

        Apps are 1 thing a system that requires it to operate at all it another. Its like apple preventing you from playing your music on a ipod without the internet connection. Or a tv station not letting you turn the tv on at all.

        • DanDustEmOff

          I agree if it does require an internet connection to play everything which it won’t that would be bad but it clearly says apps not games that would be left to the publishers and would only be utilised by mmorg games.

  • NeT-ShatterZ

    Thumbs up for PS4

    • You left out the words “your butt” in between “up” and “for”

      • NeT-ShatterZ

        Lol a little Xbox fanboy how cute

        • You know, it really hurts my feelings when you down-vote all of my comments 🙁

          The only fanboy here is the guy sucking off the PS4 on an Xbox article.

          • NeT-ShatterZ

            Good I’m glad. And no i have every console and enjoy them all but Micro$oft is trying to appeal to way to many people NOT GAMERS

            • I was being sarcastic lol. If you’re going to talk shit about a company, then why but their product?

            • NeT-ShatterZ

              Because i wanted to try out a Xbox and when I did I wasn’t to impressed :/

            • It happens. PS is a good platform, I’ve just grown to like the Xbox more.

            • NeT-ShatterZ

              Yea I’ve grown up with PS all my life and I would buy the next Xbox if it had some more exclusives that were good besides Halo

            • That’s where the Xbox sucks. Only one good exclusive.

            • NeT-ShatterZ


            • Clayton Johnson

              Alan Wake was the most impressive new IP Microsoft and Remedy Entertainment came up with, great Stephen King inspired storytelling,a suspenseful horror with very chilling and moody atmosphere, nice graphics, loads of comic relief and not an overabundance of exploding setpieces I and a great theme of the power of light and darkness. This was a true underdog of a game, even more so than infamous(one of the least sold PS3 exclusives) but I’m glad to have played it and the American Nightmare followup. I can’t wait for the next game,

  • I think people need to realize Always-On DRM is so super awesome we should all cuddle up in it like a blanket.

    Like this:

  • Cam97

    Upon hearing the “Always Online ” Aspects I kind of felt a little saddened as I am 16 in September and moving out and my job will not allow me to afford internet and rent. Now in other news, the achievements Idea sounds kind of cool, I mean I am a huge fan of achievement hunting and I feel that this alone could keep me satisfied for ages.

  • anonymous hacker 1001

    Sony and microsoft need constant internet connection true fact. Sont isn’t free for ps4 you have to pay like what xbox has. Speeking of new xbox since I have had friends in microsoft what they told me is if u have dial up or dsl or wi fi you will not be able to get the new xbox by gettng rid of this it will fix the lag comp I’m buying 2 new xbox systems I’m supporting thier decision and you should as well

    • DanDustEmOff

      I do not believe you know anyone at ms I have great internet and even I think it would be a bad idea to have always online as a permanent requirement for the system to work. I do believe that it is inevitable but the internet isn’t
      there yet and they would alienate a huge part of the community. That being said it would be great for me personally no more noobs on crap Internet with a wireless connection does sound tempting.

  • lrishjake

    “…As for the console itself, sources say it will still require an always-online connection to support certain non-gaming applications as well as to support anti-piracy measures.”

    Always online DRM is just that.. you cannot even imagine that it will ONLY count for Netflix, because to do so would be a failure. If they have online DRM, then you can count your lucky stars it will be for xbox live in general. This way they can combat piracy. There is just no way that they would program it in there, and not use it.

  • Dag

    The PS4 may well fail and if it does I can’t see how Sony can survive.