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46 million gamers potentially already use an always on Xbox

48 Million Xbox Live subscribers are already connected to a potentially always online service.

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ShadesMoolah1268d ago

While I am online the majority of the time, there's occassions where ISP's screw you over and have errors, as well as LIVE's own occassional hiccups. Always-on for DRM/digital content might be fine, I expect to be able to plonk my game discs in and play offline though.

Xaphy1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

Do they even realize that not everyone has a stable internet connection? I live in paraguay and even though I can play online games it is not always that I have a stable internet connection.

vet_medic1268d ago

discs are rumored to be used only for game installations and useless after that

bakasora1268d ago

If 46 million people were online all at the same time. The server would already crashed.

Thatlalala1268d ago

Sure, but you are the minority now. Time to adapt, not the other way around. Sorry.

Xaphy1268d ago

the minority? I bet you are American who has no idea how the outside world functions. Theres a difference between having a fast internet connection and a stable internet connection. Most people dont have stable internet connections.

gaffyh1268d ago

@Thatlalala - What do you expect him to do? Dig the roads and plant his own telephone cables?

How narrow-minded can you be? There are plenty of people in the world tat don't have stable internet connections. They are NOT the minority, in fact it's more likely that they are the majority. Hell, I live in UK, and some times our internet goes down as well. There is no such ting as a bullet-proof internet service, because they always go down at some point.

GrieverSoul1268d ago

Let me tell you my situation.
I live in a place where I have a very good internet connection. But every weekend, I go to my family house in a more rural area. They dont have internet there. However, I take my Xbox or PS3 to play somes games with my family. Mainly Buzz, PES/Fifa or some racing games offline.

With this always ON crap I wont buy the nextbox because I wont be able to enjoy it there.

Even in the city, my ISP sometimes has downtime due to maintance or other factors.
Hell, I have Diablo 3 on PC, and believe me, it is not good to have a always ON game. Specially if you loose progress on a certain dificcult area of the game and your internet gets a lag spike.

Tdmd1268d ago

@Xaphy
Brazil. Same situation.

TronEOL1268d ago

This is not just exclusive to places like that either. There are places throughout Canada and the United States (surely the UK has the same problem) that are much smaller and have some of the worst internet I've ever seen, yet people still play lots of video games there.

I pretty much have my PS3 (WiiU atm) with me where ever I go for work, and more often than not the internet is horrible and can't hold a stable connection, yet alone run a proper Youtube video at 720p.

Internet is NOT mandatory to play video games, and it shouldn't start being mandatory.

Xaphy1268d ago

@DMD Im living in ciudad del este at the borders. I spend half my time in Brasil as well.

darthv721268d ago

always online in regards to actually playing a game online (aka multiplayer) and verifying legitimacy of a game (aka key checking).

If their system does a check to verify the game (which can take a few seconds) then is that so bad?

I know people will find fault in that thought process but it doesnt mean you are maintaining an internet connection from that verification process on.

F-it...im getting the next box no matter what because I like gaming too much to up and quit. Its an addiction for me, a fever. And the only thing that can cure me is more cow bell.

Gamer-Z1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

@Thatlalala

You're retarded, i know a lot of people who have xbox's that don't have internet access and i live in downtown SD California, they rather just use their phones to access their social media or they just don't care about online gaming thus have no need to pay for a isp. I even have a friend who has never updated his xbox so he still uses the old 360 dashboard ^_^

Snookies121268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

@Xaphy - Pay no mind to Thatlalala, his comment was one of the dumbest things I've read in a while. You and everyone else have every right to play games offline. You shouldn't NEED to have a stable connection to play games. That is simply ridiculous and unfair to those that don't have them.

NeoTribe1267d ago

No need to bring up what piece of dirt he happened to take his first breath on. Theres ignorant people across the globe, not just america. Would if i said the only thing people in paraguay can comprehend is a soccer ball? Would that be a correct assumption or a blind hateful stab at your people?

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sengoku1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

Thats exactly what M$ looks at.
last time i checked they sold how many?? 70+ Million.
so thats about half of there users right?
in the words of the now infamous Francis SCREW THEM right?

of those 46 million how many have intermittent disconnections occur, hard to tell right well let me enlighten you most of those users don't have 100% connections even live is not online 100% of the time so what are they supposed to do with there consoles when they have internment issues and want to play?? use it as a footbal??

stiggs1268d ago

Do you really think that a company that sold over 70 million units of their prior iteration would say "You know, let's only market to half of our previous customer base"?

Really?

You think they said "Screw them, we don't need their business"?

Really, that's what you think? OK...

I'm not sure what the Always On/Block Used Game component really means (if it exists). But I do know that it would be commercial suicide for one company to implement a plan like this while the other does not. Do you know who else knows this? Microsoft and Sony.

clintos591268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

stiggs

@ sengoku
Do you really think that a company that sold over 70 million units of their prior iteration would say "You know, let's only market to half of our previous customer base"?

Really?

You think they said "Screw them, we don't need their business"?

Really, that's what you think? OK...

Actually microsoft has already answered that question for u. While those 46 million people are paying for xbl the rest are left out to dry & cant experience the full potential of their games because they dont want to pay extra for something that should be free so basically, "Yes" microsoft is screwing the rest of the fanbase.

Edit: Actually all of the fanbase is screwed because even the ones who payed had to pay lol.

stiggs1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

I think you (and it seems like a lot of others) misunderstand my point. The "screw the customer" is not the relevant point.

I am saying that MS would only be hurting themselves if they were the only company to insist on "always on/block used games". Why would they do that if there is nothing to gain and everything to lose? I'm guessing that they wouldn't and it's not out of the goodness of their hearts.

People please THINK. A company like MS is not going to say "screw them" and intentionally cut out half of their user base unless that action benefits them in some way.

If they do move forward in this direction (and Sony does not) then I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong. I just can't envision that scenario coming to fruition.

sengoku1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

@clintos59

Look there not stupid right??
well then riddle me this..

why are we still talking about this??
it's been leaked by many sources for a very long time and it doesn't die,
new sources keep popping up every week.
The creative director currently working at M$ probably on x720 is trying to defend this feature.

what could this be?
IT'S DRM... A.k.A. always online

M$ have not been able to get a solid DRM on the system, the console gets out the door and it's hacked on the way to the store.

The only way for M$ to get a lid on pirating is to have always online DRM it's about the MONEY.
why do you get a Dorito add every time you login while you pay for a monthly sub?

IT's About MONEY,

and yes if they can make more MONEY from 40 million user because they add more Doritos and have better DRM and force KINECT 2.0 To Count heads so you pay per person watching netflix or playing games, then thats what they will do.

It's all about money..

they even have you pay live subs for 2,3 accounts on the same console why?? they don't care.
M$ doesn't make money on the consoles, the thing is sold at a loss.
the amount of repairs they had to pay for because of rrod issue made it even worse..

they want the real money and that, my friend is in the contend, subs and DRM A.k.A. always online

stiggs1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

"It's about money."

Well, thank you for the succinct explanation of a successful business model in a capitalist society, Mr. Buffet. Do you mean to tell me that the primary concern of a major corporation like Microsoft is money? No, really...are you sure?

You do know that you are essentially agreeing with me. As I said "MS is not going to eliminate half of their customer base" because it will affect their bottom line. The only reason for MS to implement the online/DRM system is if it somehow generates more income. I really can't see how that is possible. As you so simply put it, "it's about money". Just as it is with EVERY business entity.

Unless you think that other companies, let's say Sony for example, are exempt from this "appalling" desire to turn a profit. Not those guys...never...they're your friends. They care about you. Right?

bangshi1268d ago

Around 30% of Xbox consoles sold have never been connected. That was from Microsoft themselves.

So it isn't half, but quite a big percentage nevertheless.

However, don't forget not all of that 30% will be scenarios where it isn't possible to connect the Xbox to Xbox LIVE.

So for example a console in a childs bedroom would likely have no need to go online, so the parent would not set up Xbox LIVE on the console.

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thechosenone1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

but if for whatever reason I choose to disconnect from PSN or Live I'll still be able to play SP campaigns, right?

Hufandpuf1268d ago

I play a lot of fighting games. So if I can't practice offline, then I don't see me ever buying the next Xbox if this is true.

Christopher1268d ago

Being an Xbox live member does not denote a person who is always on or plays the majority of their games online. Many of these people could have it for the sole purpose of using Netflix and similar services. It doesn't mean that they are always online or that they are okay with a game that will require an Internet connection to play offline.

Aceman181268d ago

Im not paying someone else to use a service im already paying for, especially when said service can be used on so many other devices for FREE.

i have a 360 but i refuse to be robbed out of my own money for something that should be FREE.

fei-hung1268d ago

The important thing here is, at the moment, XBOX gamers have an option, whether they will have one tomorrow is a different story.

The question is, do XBOX gamers mind not having an option?

dead_eye1268d ago

You can't ask that question yet. MS haven't told them what to think yet ;)

Good_Guy_Jamal1268d ago

Nope. Just cause I have an xbox account doesn't mean it's online every time I game. In fact, its offline most of the time.

Count me as a no, Microsoft. No thank you!

popup1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

Once the MS knows that every customer has an always on connection, the temptation to throw in or sell advertising or draw stats from users to use to sell to the advertisers must also become a reality?

Knight_Crawler1268d ago

The people asking what will happen when my internet is down...dont you think that MS has already asked the same question and has a way to avoid this.

Hicken1267d ago

No, I don't think they have. I think they don't give a damn. Don't know what would make you believe otherwise, if they were considering this in the first place.

RM-TatoTiburon1268d ago

well i live in Colombia and i always on, i have a good 4mb internet connection and only a few times go down....but i want to play all the time even without internet

JokesOnYou1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

I highly doubt that Microsoft is going to introduce an "always on" type functionality for their next console that will be implemented in such a way that unless you have a active internet connection throughout gameplay that you will NOT be able to play a game you've already paid for. Sure you may need a internet connection as some sort of sign in/DRM but I don't think it will be anymore than that. Microsoft is very smart, the xbox division is making them tons of cash so I'm sure a lot of thought is going into how to best implement this without alienating the vast majority of their fan base.

I have dealt with quite a lot of people from those who are doing pretty well financially to those who are barely making ends meet, so maybe I'm crazy but who doesn't have the internet?...or more revelant who owns a xbox now and does not at least have internet? I mean speaking purely from my work experience along with my own personal experience over the last 2 years I honestly can't think of anybody I know of who does not have some sort of internet connection. I know that as of June 2012 about 80% of Americans were at least using the internet, plus most of xbox sales come for places like Europe/UK, Canada and Australia which have over 60% internet penetration. http://www.internetworldsta...
The better news is that the internet penentration percentage is much higher among those who actually own a gaming console. As for those who cant afford or don't live in areas where internet is NOT available well I doubt these gamers are really a big part of Microsofts plans for their next console, if you hate the idea of needing a internet connection just to play then just buy a ps4 and forget about xbox, I'm sure despite all of the "OMG this is the end for xbox", Microsoft's next console will still have huge sales and the games will be great for the rest of us.

Veneno1267d ago

Lots of good people don't have access to Internet because they cant afford it. My ex girlfriend is a single mom and she is a hardcore xbox gamer. She gets to still enjoy online but she is lucky that a neighbor in her apt building lets her use the wi fi for free. I myself wasnt gaming online with my Xbox 360 for a very long time until I was out of college and could finally afford paying for internet.

But you are stil right in that times have changed and internet is pretty much everywhere, but doesnt it bother you that with this always online stuff you will never ever own any of the games you buy because of being at the mercy of microsoft? Imagine if old school NES had this online roadblock. You couldnt play any of the games you have in your collection, as im certain Nintendo would not be supporting such an old console. But we PAID for those games. We have a right to PLAY what we payed for.

People like you who are turning a blind eye to this have a very narrow vision, or are in denial. This problem goes way beyond just finding Internet to play your console. It's also about owning your games and being able to play them at any time you wish.

JokesOnYou1265d ago (Edited 1265d ago )

huh? I'm not sure what you mean, you will still own the games you buy however you would just be required to use the internet when you boot up the game(I'm assuming this is likely what they mean by always on). -We literally know nothing about how this work and surely this could be a one time type of DRM unlock per console, so who's to say you wont be able to play your old games with no connection, logic tells me Microsoft has this well thought out for all the what if's like that. As for those who cant afford or live in rural areas without internet connection, they are a small minority of current 360 owners, that's life tech moves forward Microsoft should not limit their vision of future consoles based on the few....so if their plans don't suit you and your girlfriend just buy a ps4, wii-u, or game on pc and let those not bothered enjoy what they choose to buy, I mean its not like Microsoft is going to lie, get you to buy the next xbox and THEN say, "ha ha you need internet to play". lol

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dedicatedtogamers1268d ago

Stop making excuses. There's a difference between "I use my internet a lot" and "always on is required to play games", which is a form of DRM.

Let's say I'm a BlOps2 junkie. Oh, darn. My internet is down, or there's server maintenance, or XBL is acting funny, or something like that. Darn, I can't get online! Oh well, I guess I'll play through the campaign or play Fez or something.

But "always on required" is something completely different. Let's say my internet is down, or server maintenance, or whatever, and I can't get online. Well then my always-on Xbox pops up a warning and says "please connect to the internet to verify your game library". Wait. What? So then I put the game disc into the drive, the game disc that I purchased from the store. The disc spins up. I load it. The same warning pops up. "Please connect to the internet to verify your game library".

What I'm describing is nothing new at all. In fact, what I just described is something that has been very common amongst PC games for the last half-decade.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1268d ago

I just want to go online for free.

wenaldy1268d ago

You're on the wrong console.

NastyLeftHook01268d ago

or what if you have slow internet and you want to use netflix on your pc AND play a offline game but you have to be online, its little things like that. And what you said also.

Ezz20131268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

@dedicatedtogamers

as you can see ...the USA media start the Damage control early
somehow they think "i play online when i want"
is the same as "you need online to play games"

StrawHatPatriot1268d ago

Yeah exactly, or say there's a popular game, and the servers crash, or they shut down servers for a specific game that's like more than 2 years old, or there's a SimCity situation all over again. No games, no nothing.

It's why Cloud Gaming was looked down upon, why OnLive was looked down upon, etc.

nix1268d ago

true. even my PS3 is always connected but it doesn't mean i can't play games if the internet is down. i can already feel how frustrating it is going to be when you need to be always online because on PS3 you need to be logged on to PSN just to watch Youtube videos through the app. if i'm disconnected from PSN, the app stops playing the videos. pretty stupid if you ask me.

now if you take that issue when playing games... woah! it's gonna piss off lot's of people. imagine you're about to make that final kill on the big boss on Dark Souls 2 and you get internet error.

i didn't buy Diablo 3 not because i heard it was worse than D2 but because i heard about the always online policy.

KrisButtar1268d ago

I don't have internet offered in my home, only while I'm at work I have it. So even though I want a nextbox I wouldn't be able to play it unless I was at work :/

BanBrother1268d ago

@dedicated

Well said. I am connected to the internet all the time on my Xbox, whether I am playing single player or not. Howefer, for that to be a requirement is a big no-no for me. Will not be getting a 720 110% if it requires always online. The amount of trouble I have had with my ISP is ridiculous. Plus, I don't have unlimited usage.

Then again, Microsoft have only ever cared about the U.S.A only anyway. Oh well, I suppose I can get $400-$600 worth of PS4 games instead. What a shame :( /s

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bunt-custardly1268d ago

Everyone assumes Microsoft doesn't have a clue around here. I suspect they will have something much more complex and user friendly than what many are suggesting to combat the issues you guys have raised.

dedicatedtogamers1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

And yet a lot of people assume Microsoft knows exactly what they're doing, when they might not. RRoD, anyone? Games for Windows Live, anyone? Windows Vista, anyone? Microsoft can make mistakes just like any company, and the glut of rumors are indicating that Microsoft is doing their usual greedy, restrictive nonsense like they always have. It's really nothing new. They required you to go online and re-verify the games on your hard drive with Xbox Live if you plugged it into a new 360.

EA should have learned their lesson with DRM when Spore launched years ago. Yet, they keep trying over and over again, SimCity being the most recent example. Ubisoft is another company that SHOULD know better, but they keep messing up with DRM. Rock* games on PC are miserable because of the DRM. Every once in a while, a perfectly functional game gets f'd up by Steam because of Steam's DRM. You would think these companies SHOULD know better, but they keep making the same mistakes.

The bigwigs in Microsoft might be thinking exactly like this article thinks: hey, a ton of our users are online anyway, so let's require them to be online, okay?

TronEOL1268d ago

And that's why Microsoft is so confident with this Always-On thing. They KNOW they have a fanbase that will put up with almost anything they throw at them.

And even if they don't, Microsoft's rumoured move to included a TV tuner and make Kinect the main way of interacting with menus will DEFINITELY catch the TV watching/casual crowd (most HDPVR's are almost as expensive as consoles and include less space).

So they know if this Always-On deters gamers, they'll still manage high sales. Everyone knows Microsoft from their phones, almost every PC ever and their tablets. So now Microsoft is making an HDPVR that also plays video games and streams movies off netflix/etc? It'll get eaten up regardless of their gaming content, and the most stubborn "gamers" will still stay by their side with the one or two rehashed exclusives a year.

To gamers, what Microsoft is doing (if it's even true) is horrible and shouldn't be supported by any right-minded gamer. Buy a PS4 or Wii-U.

But to someone just looking to play a few videogames and doesn't mind paying all these extra fees, and mostly will use it as their central entertainment unit, it's a good deal. A fantastic deal, almost. Since instead of paying your cable company for cable, you'd be paying Microsoft with XboxLive.

But who really knows. Just be aware of what could possibly be, and what side you should be on depending on what you want from the gaming industry. So far, Sony is showing great promise when it comes to creating new things and working with developers to create even better things.

It's still Microsoft's move.

rainslacker1268d ago

@Tron

Did you know MS is one of the most untrusted companies in the consumer's eyes in the US? Do you know why this is? Decades of Windows supremacy has made them the giant that must be toppled, figuratively speaking. MS didn't get to it's current position because they loved the consumer, they got there because they made the right moves early on, and then dictated the market for over 30 years through ever increasing anti-consumer practices which many were forced to accept because Window's had the support.

What makes you think that people are going to look at Xbox as their all-in-one solution to their media serving needs, when typically the cable or phone company already provides all of that for them?

Outside of gaming, MS is almost universally despised from a consumer standpoint. People are skeptical of them. people don't trust them. They don't even make good hardware (although the 360 became good later in it's life), and many people have had crappy MS hardware, or have been a part of it's many many many many past failures.

You say they're known for their phones and tablets. MS doesn't make the phones that run Windows Phone OS(which I actually like), and surface has not been a major success. Food for thought.

DARK WITNESS1268d ago

Do not bank on it.... you would think MS are smart enough to know, but they really don't seem to have a clue, the last few years have shown us this.

DragonKnight1268d ago

"Everyone assumes Microsoft doesn't have a clue around here."

No. Everyone assumes that because Microsoft introduced microtransactions to consoles and also have the gall to charge gamers to access the online portion of their games that they already paid for, while throwing ads in their faces, that they don't have any scruples and are completely capable of doing something like this.

sengoku1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

Nope your wrong even considering this makes them the dumbest bunch of retard on the planet.

exsturminator011268d ago

Console manufacturers have come and gone before though. Once upon a time, I'll bet people thought Atari and Sega were smart enough to stay in the game, but they each banked on losing horses in the console races and were sunk. Big companies make mistakes all the time, and some of those mistakes are severe enough as to ruin them. I'm not saying an always-online Xbox is just such a mistake, but I wouldn't assume they've thought of every contingency either. It'll probably be more complex than what we're imagining, but I can guarantee it won't be as foolproof as they hope.

Jakens1268d ago

Even if they offer LIVE members an DRM free (always on or off) console it would not be cool.

I can't say I won't get it yet because of my collection of DLC packs.

rainslacker1268d ago

MS could have thought of every single possible scenario through years of think tanks on this exact issue, and they can address every single issue there is in this regard so that it does not affect the consumer negatively, but the past couple days has shown that it still isn't a good idea.

Will it succeed? hard to say. Is it advisable to take the risk? Again, that would depend on what MS hopes to achieve by doing so, which is really the true unknown right now.

All I know is that people in general take a very dim view on anything that can be construed as bad for them. Sometimes they don't realize what can be bad, and they latch onto it, but it appears the press isn't going to let that happen, which means MS will have to do a lot of marketing to make it seem desirable, or find a subversive way to get it into people's homes. Honestly, I'd prefer that kind of money be spent on making games...because you know it's a game console.

Godmars2901268d ago

Or something that appeals to a majority while outright ignoring a minority.

I've said it before this "rumor" blew up to the levels it now has: MS is going to works and appeal to general consumers with their system as a cable box and sell it with cable/internet package deals. Likely expand their install base while allowing them to ignore the segment of gamers w/o internet.

Aceman181268d ago

I already have cable and internet, all i want from these companies are games consoles.

i didnt ask my cable company to be a games player so i didn't ask these companies to become cables boxes i just want them to play games.

Igniter1268d ago

For over a year now I have thought that the next Xbox would be available from cable providers. And in one way I hope it happens.
You would eliminate a modem and a router from the set up. This would help to reduce latency. Now I can set up a router and modem to work correctly but a lot of people can't and don't. More gamers on direct connected units would mean less lag in MP games.

An always on, direct connected console appeals to me. I could start enjoying MP again without so many laggy idiots.

Godmars2901268d ago

Really doubt MS will be providing a modem or router with the system. You'll still have to use the ones your cable/internet provider provides.

Igniter1268d ago

@Godmars
No separate modem or router needed. I'm talking about direct connection like cable boxes are now. Coax cable straight to the console. Internally a console could have a cable/networking card that handles TV and internet. No modem no router less lag!

rainslacker1268d ago

@Igniter

That's highly unlikely to happen. The cable coming into your house is split into different frequencies to provide for TV service and internet service. It can be carried on the same line, but it's impractical to make the Xbox into a modem, not to mention use it for a wireless or wired switch/router for your whole home.

This would also increase the cost to the Xbox by quite a lot, and I'm sure MS would much prefer to save a bit on those technologies and just allow the ISP continue to provide it. Also given the current dispute that MS has with Motorola, they aren't going to be pushing any of that in their nextBox.

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RaidensRising1268d ago

DRM sucks but until theres some factual info from MS I will reserve judgement.

profgerbik1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

http://n4g.com/news/1225967...

The recent blowout of a Microsoft employee defending this whole debacle seems to say this might very well be true.

It was pretty ass, he just made it seem like everyone should have internet at this point and just because he doesn't always have power, it doesn't stop him from buying a vacuum or just because he doesn't have good reception, he doesn't stop himself from buying a cell phone..

Why the fuck would you buy a cell phone if you know you never get a good reception? Why the fuck would you buy a vacuum when you can barely ever use it without electricity. His points were beyond arrogant about the whole thing and really made no sense.

Then at the end of his rant he just says "I want every device to be always on". What a selfish prick.

bangshi1268d ago

You could argue that you are being selfish - but we don't yet know why they want always-online.

They wouldn't do it just to annoy people, so there must be something good they think they can do with it.

So by saying they shouldn't have it you are preventing those that do have a stable internet that cool new feature - which is selfish.

'I can't have it so you can't either' is not a very good attitude to take.

Also, I get his point on vacuum cleaners and mobile phones.

You'd still buy the phone because even though you may lose coverage for a brief period of time it will be the best available to you. You still buy the vacuum cleaner even though you may have a power cut because it is better than no vacuum at all.

So what Microsoft would have to do in order to convince those with unstable connections is show them why even though for brief periods of time it will be inoperable you really need to get this device because of what it can do that the other consoles can't.

Please note, I am not saying always online is a good idea.

And they would of course never be able to convince someone who has, and could never have, access to the internet entirely.

Baka-akaB1268d ago

Pure BS , almost no one is constantly online without the occasional disconnects and issues from ISP .

When that happens to me you're going to tell me to start over my level or to just wait or it to be back ? Well you can wait for me to purchase your console too

ShadesMoolah1268d ago

It was only the other night where I got disconnected for a few hours for no apparent reason, it was back up and running hours later fine though - a rare occassion though it is.

It's annoying when that happens now, could you imagine being invested in a single-player game such as Skyrim or BioShock and your connection drops. At that point my box would likely be mid-air and heading for the wall. Regardless of rumours from so-so credible sources, I still can't see it happening for the simple reason - that I wouldn't buy one.

I'm sure it's just something that's being "considered", and purposefully leaked now just so they can get a general reaction before implementing such a feature.