IGN recently posted an article (written by Ryan McCaffrey) that purports to weigh both the pros and cons of the possibility that the next Xbox will require an always online internet connection. You can see it here:
The ridiculous thing is, this article goes directly to the same absurd territory that every defense of an always online console does. Just like most vocal defenders of always online, Mr. McCaffrey immediately equates an always online requirement with always online capability.
It's like people forget that all three consoles of the past generation were "always online" in the sense that they connected automatically and stayed connected (yes, even the Wii). Things mentioned in the article like background downloads and automatically updating email and text messages can (and do) work fine on many existing devices without blocking functionality for features that don't need the internet when no connection is available.
Even more laughable is the assertion that "more people are embracing the internet". Well no shit, the internet is the future and no one is denying that. People that defend an always online console love to talk about the connected nature of the world as some sort justification for this requirement. It's like they think all the people against always online are in fact advocating for an always offline console instead. Just because we want the ability to use offline features when no connection is available doesn't mean we are against the idea of a connected device.
So, I put forth this question: Can anyone come up with even one positive benefit (to the consumer, not Microsoft) that a console with an always online requirement would provide? Again, not a benefit for a device with the capability to be online all the time, but one with a requirement to be online all the time. I don't think any exist, but I'd be interested to see if anyone can come up with one.