No gaming with Xbox One if your broadband breaks
The big console war is building up and we now know that the Sony PS4 will retail for £349 in the UK and the Xbox One will sell for £429. A good chunk of the difference in price being down to the inclusion of the kinect camera for the Xbox One, where as motion sensing is an add-on for the PS4.
The Sony PS4 launch made a lot of noise about the ability to share video from a game and the online abilities of the console and to a great extent the same applies to the Xbox One, where the devices diverge is how connected to your broadband connection they both need to be.
The XBox One appears to have a requirement that even if you are playing an off-line game that the console needs to see the Xbox Live service every 24 hours, or just one hour if you signed on at another console that has subsequently gone offline. This means that if you suffer a broadband outage lasting more than a day the Xbox One will stop playing games.
The speed of broadband connection for an Xbox One that is recommended for an optimal experience is 1.5 Mbps, but no mention of how symmetric this needs to be. We suspect that for many of the eye candy features in the presentations that a connection of much faster speeds is needed, it would be interesting to see an Xbox One put through its paces on a slow broadband connection alongside one that is more in line with the UK average. The ultimate experience of uploading video of gameplay while playing, seamless switching between user profiles and libraries of games is going to be a driver for take-up of super fast broadband services.
When the online element of the next generation consoles was rumoured, we ran a poll which suggests that Microsoft may be taking a gamble with the need to be online once every 24 hours to play games, as 56.6% of those in our poll said that having to be online for a single player game would put them off buying that console. The response from Microsoft is will of course be that the vast majority have their console connected and yes our poll supports this, but with 7% currently not always having their console online and a further 3% not connected at all, Microsoft may be decimating its market share.