Xbox One

Last night Microsoft unveiled its Xbox One, aka the Xbox 720 and successor to the Xbox 360. Prior to its announcement the Xbox One was rumoured to demand an always-on internet connection, and much of the games console's new functionality does indeed require you to be online. But does the Xbox One have to be online at all times? See Xbox One launch: as it happened.

For certain activities, such as single-player gaming, and watching Blu-ray movies and live TV, the Xbox One does not need to be connected to the internet. However, the Xbox One does require an internet connection for several of its new features, plus any downloads and updates that occur behind the scenes. See Digital Home Advisor.

"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," said Microsoft. See also New Xbox One release date, specs, features and price in UK.

When does the Xbox One need to go online?

No longer a simple games console, the Xbox One is your complete entertainment hub. It combines live TV and games with online content such as social media, apps, web browsing, Skype and more. Microsoft promises the Xbox One will keep on getting better, too, with new content delivered through the cloud. 

For multiplayer gaming sessions there's innovative Smart Match technology, which pairs players from around the world based on skill, language and reputation. 

According to Microsoft, by connecting the Xbox One you will benefit from automatic system and game updates, and gain the ability to pick up where you left off in a game, movie or TV programme on any Xbox One. You can chat, share content and play games with friends, stream movies and TV, and take advantage of a home screen that's tailored to your preferences.

How often must the Xbox One go online? 

Rather than it being a simple case of hooking up the Xbox One only when you want to enjoy the online features or allow it to download updates, a conversation that took place yesterday between Phil Harrison, Microsoft's corporate vice-president of interactive entertainment, and gaming website Kotaku suggests the Xbox One may need to connect to the internet once every 24 hours. Microsoft has refused to confirm Harrison's comment, however.