Next-gen Xbox dev kit points to 'always online'

Latest Durango leak suggests Kinect and game installs will be mandatory

Screenshots reportedly taken from a Durango software development kit appear to reinforce claims that Microsoft's next console will require an always online internet connection and block second hand games.


Images of the alleged Microsoft XDK documentation were posted on VGLeaks, one of the more reliable sources of next-gen information to date.

The docs suggest that current Durango development hardware features an "always on, always connected design" which will allow users to "quickly and easily enjoy their connected entertainment experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install updates".

Interestingly, the XDK also suggests that all games for the next Xbox will require installation, though play can begin during the install process.

The "hardware overview" documentation reads: "Every Durango console will have a hard drive, although its exact capacity has not been chosen. It will be large enough, however, to hold a large number of games. All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported.

"Durango consoles will have a Blu-ray disc drive. Disc media will be used for distribution, but during gameplay, games will not use content from the optical disc. An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed on the hard drive rather than waiting until installation is complete."

Microsoft's alleged intentions to make Xbox Live "integral" to its next-gen console were first reported last month by our colleagues at Edge.

The publication said: "Ultimately, Microsoft has asked itself a simple question: who wants to play games on a next-generation Xbox and yet doesn't have access to the internet? The answer: not enough to make a considerable difference."

The VG Leaks docs also state that every Durango will be sold with "a new high-fidelity Kinect sensor, which will be required for the system to operate," as has also been previously rumoured.

It continues: "The Durango controller will make the best-in-class Xbox 360 controller even better. It will have low-latency wireless connectivity to the console, and improved ergonomics. System interactions that use the controller will be simplified to make them easier for noncore gamers."

It has become a growing expectation in the industry that Microsoft will announce its next-generation Xbox platform at a special event in late April.

The next Xbox, codename Durango, is said to utilise an AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.