Microsoft's Phil Harrison seems to be on a different page than the rest of Microsoft – or at least his messaging was out of sync yesterday after Microsoft announced its new Xbox One console. First there was the whole dust-up over used games on Xbox One, and now there is some confusion on how long your Xbox One can be disconnected from the Internet…
In an Interview with Kotaku Harrison attempted to explain Microsoft's official line that the Xbox One does not require a constant connection but works best when connected to the Internet. Harrison said that the Xbox One requires the user to connect at startup.
"[Xbox One] requires, at some point in the beginning and at various times through its on state, to connect to our cloud and to our Internet," he told Kotaku. "That is to deliver Xbox Live functionality, that is to deliver download content to you, that is to deliver some of the innovations around TV and entertainment that we showed today."
He also said that the Xbox One requires a connection to the Internet depending on what experience you are trying to have on it, for example if you are watching a Bluray disc or playing a single game your "connection can be interrupted" and it won't matter.
But Harrison's seems to go off message when asked how long a user can go without being connected to the Internet:
"I believe it's 24 hours," he said.
In a different interview with Polygon, a Microsoft rep. told the publication that Harrison's 24-hour claim is simply a "potential scenario" for the Xbox One.
"While Phil [Harrison] discussed many potential scenarios around games on Xbox One, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail," said Microsoft. "There have been reports of a specific time period–those were discussions of potential scenarios, but we have not confirmed any details today, nor will we be."
Microsoft president Don Mattrick reiterated that players don't need to be always connected to play games on Xbox One. "No, you don't always have to be connected," he told GameSpot. "Gamers can calm down; we've got you covered."
So once again we get two different answers from three different sources at Microsoft. While it sounds like the Xbox One won't require a constant and steady connection, it sounds like Microsoft wants you to be connected to the Internet even when you are doing things that don't need a connection. Also it sounds like there maybe moments when you are required to connect to Microsoft's servers.
Of course some of this confusion can be chalked up to the fact that Microsoft has more details on Xbox Live that it doesn't plan on revealing until E3.