Ubisoft has done a lot in the past few years to really anger PC gamers with its always on Internet connection DRM. In essence, the DRM makes it so that the game has to be communicating with Ubisoft’s servers constantly while playing the game. If your connection goes out, the game kicks you out to the menu. It’s effective, but it’s the kind of DRM that treats legitimate customers like criminals while pirates just crack the DRM anyway. A rumor today says that Microsoft is considering that kind of DRM for its next console.
Speaking to trusted sources, VG24/7 is reporting some new details on the next Xbox codenamed “Durango.” Besides the new DRM, the sources also said that the console would use blu-ray discs. This is in direct conflict with previous reports that said the next Xbox would be getting rid of discs in favor of digital downloads or solid-state solutions.
In a more interesting twist, the sources also claim to know more about the power behind the console. They say that the next Xbox will be running two AMD 7000 series GPUs. It’s interesting, however, to note that the sources say they won’t be running in “CrossFire or SLI.” Instead, it’s rumored that the next Xbox will use both GPUs independently to “draw separate items simultaneously.” If true, that’s some impressive tech that would give the next Xbox a massive boost in performance and drawing speed.
In terms of the processor, it’s said the next Xbox would be using a quad or six-core processor. One of the processors would be reserved for Kinect so a six-core set up would make more sense. The current Xbox 360 has three cores and uses one of them for Kinect games thus limiting current games using the hardware. Speaking of Kinect, the hardware will be standard for Xbox 720 according to the sources.
The new always online DRM is the most interesting rumor to come out of all of this though. The past rumors for both the new Xbox and Orbis (PlayStation 4) have said the consoles will have some kind of anti-used game measures in place. The new always online DRM could be a response to the gamer outcry in regards to such a system. Always online DRM is terrible, but it’s not as bad as not being able to play used games. I still say Sony’s rumored system of having gamers pay a small fee to unlock used games is the best compromise between gamers wanting cheap used games and publishers wanting a cut from the multi-billion dollar business.
This is just the latest rumor in a long string of conflicting rumors though. Microsoft has also said that they won’t be showing the next Xbox at E3 this year. They could be lying, but we’ll have to wait until June to see.
Do you think the next Xbox would use always online DRM? Or is it just going to use the rumored anti-used game system? Let us know in the comments.