An internet connection and AMD - more details of Xbox 720 surface

Xbox 720 always-online internet connection may be required
Xbox 720 may put the live in Xbox Live

Microsoft's new Xbox may require a constant internet connection, according to the growing drumbeat of rumors about the company's next console.

"It actually says 'Must be internet connected to use,'" reported Paul Thurrott, who blogs about Windows and said he received information about the subject.

"That's in the notes. And that's all I have, but it does say that."

Thurrott admitted "I don't know what that means" in his weekly What The Tech podcast. However, the always-online Xbox 720 rumors have riled gamers regardless.

Rumors about the Xbox 720 being "expensive" are already putting a damper on Microsoft's next console, even before the company has made an official announcement.

Having the new Xbox rely on an internet connection to function could take away gamers' ability to play the new console offline.

Thurrott echoed a previous rumor, which speculated that the Xbox 720 would stop working if the console was disconnected for more than three minutes.

While Thurrott and his podcast co-host Andrew Zarian don't see this as a big problem, there are plenty of gamers out there who don't log into services like Xbox Live to play games or watch movies.

Even those who do hate the idea of having to rely on their ISP or Microsoft on the back-end to keep that connection alive, and they've made that known in forums and comments around the web.

Although Thurrott repeated his "I don't know what that means" comment twice in the podcast, it could very well mean that these angry video game consumers could look more closely at Sony's PS4 console instead.

Xbox 720 specs may include AMD

While Microsoft has yet to lay out official Xbox 720 specs, the company is said to have chosen AMD for the system's processor.

An AMD Jaguar x86 system-on-a-chip will replace the IBM PowerPC processor and Nvidia graphics card behind its current Xbox 360 console, according to Bloomberg.

This is great news for AMD, which is also powering both the PlayStation 4 CPU and GPU, even though rivals like Nvidia compared its specs to a "low-end CPU."

However, it's a disappointing indicator for gamers who were hoping to see Xbox 720 be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games.

Circling back to Thurrott, he said that Microsoft plans to release an affordable US$99 Xbox 360 model codenamed Stingray that could offset this disappointment.

With a May 21 Xbox 720 launch event rumored, gamers should know whether or not the next Xbox will be backwards compatible and if they'll have to deal with an always-online console.

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Matt Swider