Microsoft creative director Adam Orth, who angered the Twitterverse last week with a rant about always-on technology, is no longer working for the Redmond, Washington-based firm, Game Informer reported.
Citing anonymous sources, Game Informer said Orth left Microsoft after the micro-blogging debacle, but the site was unable to confirm whether the resignation was voluntary or forced.
Microsoft declined to comment on the issue; Orth did not immediately respond a request for comment.
Last month, leaked screen shots of a new Xbox console tipped an always-on, always-connected approach, though Microsoft has not confirmed any details about its next-gen console. In the wake of the disastrous SimCity launch, which also embraced always on, the blogosphere and Twitter were abuzz with commentary from those who were not pleased by the prospect of an "always on" Xbox.
Orth addressed those critics on Twitter. "I want every device to be 'always on,'" he wrote in a 4 April message. That garnered a response from user @TheonlyAlexW, who argued for those gamers without Internet access. "They would be screwed," he wrote to Orth.
"Those people should definitely get with the times and get the internet," Orth said. "It's awesome."
Orth's tweets are private, but Game Informer posted a screenshot of his exchanges, including one with user @manveerheir, who also defended players who don't have reliable web access.
"Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an 'always on' console. Every device now is 'always on'. That's the world we live in," Orth wrote last week, capping the tweet with the #dealwithit hashtag.
When another user brought up SimCity and similar troubles surrounding Diablo III, Orth countered by saying that electricity goes out, too. The conversation took an offensive turn, though, when the Twitter user pointed out that Orth has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle — "very connected places" — while plenty of Xbox users are playing games in Janesville, Wisconsin, or Blacksburg, Virginia, where broadband access can be spotty.
"Why on earth would I live there?" Orth retorted.
Once Orth's tweets were made public, Microsoft issued the following apology, posted on Game Informer:
"We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customers centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter."
Orth's comments may have cost him his job, but it's the closest Xbox fans have gotten to confirmation of new console features. The Verge reported that the new Xbox may include television integration. Users may be able to connect a cable box to the Xbox via HDMI, allowing Microsoft's machine to overlay a user interface on top of an existing TV channel, much like Google TV, the blog said.