In an interview directly following Microsoft's presentation today, Don Mattrick confirmed that the newly announced Xbox One console won't require an always-on Internet connection. However, mandatory game installations tied to Xbox Live accounts are said to serve as the system's DRM.
"You don't always have to be connected," Mattrick told Geoff Keighley on Spike TV. "But for a lot of things like multiplayer gaming, streaming content from the Internet, you're going to need an Internet connection. That's the world we live in." Asked if that means gamers can relax, Mattrick said, "Gamers can calm down, we've got you covered."
Complicating matters, though, is the way games will actually work. Wired reports that a response from Microsoft indicates that installations to the harddrive will be mandatory, and each disc could be tied to a unique Xbox Live account to keep players from just sharing their disc. If a disc was used on a second account, the owner would reportedly be given the option to pay a fee to install the disc, then enabling them to play it without a disc. But Microsoft hasn't detailed what would happen if the second person wanted to play off the disc, without installing, or even without being connected.
Meanwhile, developers are able to create games that put certain tasks on the cloud, through Microsoft's Azure service, but it's not required. That means an always-on required game could vary on a case-by-case basis.