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Rumour: next gen Xbox will include mandatory online connection, pre-owned block

Edge source claims that leaked specs are on the money

You're not going to like this. According to an Edge source with "first-hand experience" of the console, the next Xbox will require an internet connection in order to function. Edge suggests that this means the end of second-hand gaming on Xbox, as all next gen Xbox games will ship with one-time-use online activation codes. Thumbs down.

The source also claims that recently rumoured specifications for the machine are "entirely accurate". That's to say, it'll offer an AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

As has been claimed by other sources, the Xbox will allegedly launch alongside a new and improved version of Kinect, and will support 50 GB Blu-ray discs. It'll play host to the largest hard drive Microsoft has ever built into a console, Edge's contact claims.

Zoom

Take all this with a pinch of salt, as ever. From where we're sitting, walling-out pre-owned and insisting on a broadband connection would be madness - broadband penetration isn't nearly comprehensive enough to justify such a move, and "requiring" consumers to do anything is a fine way to ensure they take their custom elsewhere.

Anti-pre-owned measures for the next generation Xbox have been rumoured in the past. Developers and publishers are divided over the idea - according to Crytek's director of creative development, such a feature would be "absolutely awesome from a business perspective", but Saber Interactive boss Matthew Karch isn't so sure.

"As long as games are distributed on physical medium as physical goods, players should have the right to buy and sell them," he observed in February. Hear, hear.

Comment has been requested from Microsoft. While you wait, Jonty's written a few thoughts about why pretty much all of the above is cobblers.

Update: The manufacturer has responded to our mails. "Microsoft does not comment on rumours or speculation," reads the statement. "We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don't have anything further to share at this time."

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