What we think we know about the next generation Xbox has been turned on its head with new rumours which state that, while the console will always be connected, this won't be a requirement to play games.

Regular source of next generation information, VGLeaks, has posted the information, alleging that Microsoft plans to launch two new Xbox consoles: the next generation machine and a cheaper disc-less Xbox Mini.

The next-generation Xbox will always be online, much in the same way a PC or phone can be permanently connected to a network. But importantly this won't be a requirement for playing games, claims the report. In addition the console won't block used games.

Try to play an Xbox 360 title in the new Xbox and you'll be out of luck, however, but this is where the Xbox Mini comes in. The Mini is designed to be a disc-less media device to compete with Apple TV, but will also feature Xbox 360 gaming capabilities by downloading software over LIVE. However, connect the Mini to the next Xbox and disc-based Xbox 360 games will be playable.

The next Xbox will also feature the media capabilities of the Mini.

Existing Xbox 360 owners won't be able to connect this console to the next Xbox to enable backwards compatibility because of differences in the external interface.

The split functionality of the next Xbox and the Mini means Microsoft can price the units competitively, the Mini likely to retail under $149 whilst the next Xbox will be inline with the PS4.

The rumour concludes that all this will be announced by Microsoft in May or June, with the April date pushed back to ensure physical devices are ready to show.

If the next Xbox launches and doesn't require an always-online connection to play games, would this change your opinion of the console? Likewise, is the idea of buying an add-on to enable backwards compatibility appealing if it keeps the cost down?

Source: vgleaks