The Xbox One official reveal is now over, and it showed off some interesting features. What it did not do was actually address most of the questions people were asking about the console with worried glances at the rumors we have been hearing. Among the rumors I have been most curious to get an answer for is whether it requires an internet connection or not. Thankfully the press on hand were able to get those questions answered.
The answer is no. Sort of.
While some of the quotes have been a bit confusing, the general idea seems to be Xbox One supporting cloud saving, but not requiring it. This would mean it is possible to release a game for the console requiring a constant connection to play, but that the console itself would not mandate it.
This sounds like a reasonable step in the direction towards always-online without immediately requiring it, but it has the potential to be a sort of bait-and-switch if the majority of games start using cloud saving and/or Microsoft starts offering incentives to games that do.
In addition, it does seem as if the console will require an occasional connection specifically for the purpose of linking a person’s games to their Xbox Live account, though the specifics on what the console actually will need a connection for, exactly, are still fairly sketchy.