Confusion reigns over Xbox 720 "always-on" internet rumors, Xbox Mini may be on the horizon

A number of reports circulating over the past few weeks have claimed that Microsoft’s upcoming 720 (Next) console will require an “always-on” Internet connection for games to load.

However, VGLeaks is disputing the above-mentioned claims, noting that games can in fact be played without an active Internet connection. Plus, says VGLeaks, pre-owned software will not be blocked.

According to the site, the above-mentioned rumor was sparked by the advent of a second Xbox console that will be launched the same time as Next.

Dubbed the Xbox Mini by the site, the second console will purportedly be launched alongside the Xbox 720, and offer backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360, albeit without an optical drive.

In addition, the Xbox Mini – which requires an always-on Internet connection – will run Xbox 360 games downloaded over Xbox Live. The Mini, says VGLeaks, was designed as a TV and could potentially compete with Apple TV.

Now here’s the interesting part – the Xbox Mini will apparently link up with the 720 to offer digital backwards compatibility. When connected, both devices will supposedly function on a single display, with navigation enabled via a single controller.

“Putting in an Xbox 360 disc into Durango will prompt the user to attach the supporting device that is sold separately. By separating the two devices and their functions it will ensure price competitiveness for both pieces of hardware,” VGLeaks claimed.

Although Redmond has yet to officially confirm console specs, the Xbox 720 Next is widely expected to be powered by an AMD 8-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics platform and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.