Even before shipping to its end users, Microsoft's Xbox One has divided the gaming community. There are people who dig how it combines beloved features of the Apple TV with a full-fledged game console, and others who feel that Microsoft isn't going in the right direction, especially with how they are dealing with used games, and how some games will require an always-on internet connection for optimal performance.
Earlier today, we came across more information regarding the Xbox One's use of an always-on internet connection for certain games.
Microsoft mentioned in their Xbox One keynote that they have started work on expanding the number of available Xbox Live servers from 15,000 today to 300,000 by the time the One reaches consumers.
Besides being used for improving Xbox Live services, game developers will be allowed to harness the power of these servers to perform complex, latency-insensitive tasks such as rendering certain lighting effects like ambient occlusion, computing fluid dynamics and cloth physics etc.
This is all very much similar to how SimCity (2013) for the PC requires an always-on internet connection for "offloading heavier simulation tasks to EA's servers".
However, we know how that fared for SimCity. The game was plagued with bugs in its initial release, and just couldn't handle the load of hundreds of thousands of users. Thankfully, Microsoft is aware of such problems.
General Manager at Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, Matt Booty said, "[in case the internet connection drops] the game will have to intelligently handle [it]". Based on our own understanding, this could mean games relying on Xbox Live servers for heavy computation could have their graphics fidelity reduced until Xbox One and Xbox Live servers reconnect.
The gist of it all is: some games will rely on the cloud for heavy computations, but that doesn't mean you will need an always-on internet connection as these games will have ways of working offline too.
via Ars Technica