Well, this comes as a bit of surprise. A report this afternoon from Ars Technica seems to be dispelling some of the more pervasive and polarizing rumors surrounding Microsoft's next-gen console.

The Xbox -720/Durango was center stage last month regarding the consoles purported 'always online' function. Requiring owners of the new console to have a constant connection to the Internet in order to function spiked gaming rage to dangerous, mutinous levels. Not helping the situation, now former, creative director at Microsoft Games, Adam Orth took to Twitter to tell gamers to #dealwithit. We all know how that turned out for Orth. 

According to an internal Microsoft e-mail sent to all full-time employees working on the next Xbox, "Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet." It continues, "There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."

After Orth's comments Microsoft backed away from the controversial Tweet. Orth shortly resigned after the non-scandal scandal. All of this is encouraging, but we're going to have to wait till Microsoft's big reveal on May 21.

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[via Ars Technica]