A lot of people think the idea of an always connected console is a bad thing. They’re worried about DRM, being able to play offline and who knows what else. But in reality aren’t most devices ‘always on’ these days? Do you ever turn your computer off? I don’t. Do you ever turn your tablet or phone off? I doubt it. And these devices are most likely always connected to the internet as well (at least in the home).
An always online Xbox is a huge step forward. An Xbox not connected to the internet / Xbox Live is a very limited and nearly useless machine. The Xbox Live experience makes gaming a much better experience.
What I want from the next Xbox is live tiles.
If there’s one thing I LOVE about Windows 8, it’s live tiles. It’s a really cool concept for a homescreen. You can see your e-mails, Twitter and Facebook feeds at a glance. You have the weather forecast, sports scores and news headlines constantly scrolling on your start screen.
Imagine the next Xbox, always on. Just leave your TV on and you can see all this information in front of you or in the background. Imagine it having the snap screen feature, where you can open an app and snap it next to another app…..Watch TV on one side and play Call of Duty on the other side during commercials (simply ‘click’ the screen to bring it full screen).
The ESPN and MLB.tv apps already offer a glimpse of this. The ESPN app will show videos in the upper left corner which you can bring full screen or search through more highlights, news or live feeds using the rest of the screen. MLB.tv functions very similarly with the latest update.
This is exactly what Microsoft wants the next Xbox to be, an always on, always connected media device feeding you news (and advertisements of course) throughout the day. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a convenient thing.
I barely turn my Xbox off now, but the current homescreen is rather boring. A Windows 8 style live tile interface would be much more useful.