Both news blogs cited an internal memo that was circulated among Microsoft employees currently working on the next-gen console, which stated that “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”.
Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, but the above quote seems to suggest that users will not have to be connected to the internet to make use of certain features of the upcoming console. It also stands in stark contrast to initial rumors that the console would have to be connected to the internet at all times to remain functional. Not to mention, it seems like a pretty sympathetic one following the condescending response of ex-Microsoft Creative Director Adam Orth to the ire of fans regarding these rumors.
More information concerning the next Xbox console will be revealed on May 21st.