The recent rumors of the Xbox 720 requiring an Internet connection to function have mostly been met with anger and vows by gamers not to buy the console. With Sony’s strong focus on social integration during the PlayStation 4 launch event yesterday, you’d be forgiven for thinking Sony’s machine also required an Internet connection to function. But it turns out it doesn’t.Shuhei Yoshida, head of Sony Worldwide Studios, has confirmed that you can play PS4 games offline if you wish. The new console has a slew of features that require an Internet connection, but importantly, every single one of them is optional. If you want to unplug from the ‘net, Sony won’t stop you.Such a feature will be welcomed by gamers everywhere, and suggests that certain games will be forced to relax their demands for constant access to the web. An example of that would be Diablo III, which has been confirmed as coming to the PS4 and requires such a connection on the PC version.Of course, Sony wants you to keep the PS4 connected as much as possible. That way updates can be applied silently in the background even when you’re not using the machine. It also means you can take advantage of Gaikai’s game streaming and there’s more chance of you spending money on downloadable content. But the most important thing is Sony has kept everything optional, and gamers, including me, will appreciate that.If the Xbox 720 does turn out to be an always-connected device, it will count as another feature in Sony’s favor. It also means Sony can cater to a larger audience as not everyone has access to a fast or reliable connection at home.