xboxRemember all that controversy over the reports of a required “always on” Internet connection in the new Xbox? First, reports surfaced that Microsoft would require a persistent Internet connection, then the word was that it wouldn’t.

Here’s the official word from a newly published FAQ from Microsoft.

Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?
A:    No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.

The FAQ goes on to explain the benefits of being connected to the cloud. Read the full text here.

No wonder everyone was so confused. I’m still here at the Xbox One launch event, and I’ll try to get more details.

Update: Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president in charge of Xbox hardware, offered this explanation in an interview.

“To authenticate you’re going to need an Internet connection, when you first log onto the console. But we realize that people’s Internet can stop working, and the box will still work. The issue is that many of the games will take advantage of having an Internet connection. You may not get the full experience. You may get such a deprecated experience it’s not worth it.”

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