...and that's what Microsoft wants.
The old adage: "No publicity is bad publicity" rings true for Microsoft as a result of the latest round of rumours regarding the next Xbox requiring an internet connection in order to play.
Microsoft, without having spent a dime on a flashy presentation (or actual technology), have gotten the entire gaming world talking about the successor to the Xbox 360. Someone in Microsoft's marketing department is going to be getting a big raise real soon... The recent bad press stems from rumours of the next Xbox being "always online". In the aftermath of Sims 3, it's no wonder Microsoft have caused a s***storm over this recent rumour.
Evidence of this s***storm can be seen on the main page of N4G and the N4G forums. At the time of writing, all 5 hottest stories are regarding the next Xbox. On the forums, it's the same situation. All this talk and we don't even know if another Xbox even exists. Obviously, after the huge pre-announcement backlash, Microsoft will not be fully committing to "always online". I see two potential scenarios:
1) They reveal the Xbox as NOT requiring online connectivity.
2) They reveal that the next Xbox will have some modified form of "always online", but it will be different than what rumours suggest.
In both option 1 and 2, Microsoft is the good guy for not requiring online connectivity, when compared to the rumours. They are the heroes for not following the what appears to be new industry standard. Additionally and more importantly, they can build on this momentum with an Xbox reveal which will drive the Xbox hype to levels definitely not seen so far with the PS4.
And that's what it is all about. Microsoft want the limelight for themselves. By letting these rumours go without confirming or denying, the hype continues to center around the Xbox and moves away from the PS4. N4G, though a small sample, proves this. Remember that ZERO is actually known about the next Xbox since NOTHING is known about it. All of this is rumour.
When Microsoft does announce the next Xbox (if they do?), N4G will explode. This is what they want. We on N4G are sheeps of marketing. Because of this, I cannot wait for an announcement so the end of the "rumours" and "leaks" can finally stop.