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xboxGamers have been up in arms over reports that Microsoft would require an Internet connection to use the next Xbox even in situations when it wouldn’t normally make sense to have one. A Microsoft Studios creative director found himself in hot water, and ultimately left the company, after he implicitly defended the strategy on Twitter.

But it looks like the policy is dead even before it arrived. A new report by Ars Technica’s Peter Bright cites an internal memo to Xbox employees saying that the next version of the console won’t require a persistent connection, after all.

Ars Technica quotes the memo saying, “Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today’s Internet.”

The memo continues, “There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should ‘just work’ regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game.”

The company isn’t commenting on the report. Microsoft is expected to unveil the next generation of the Xbox on May 21.

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