I've been seeing rumours about the always online requirement for the past year, and at first I thought it was absolutely absurd and in no way true, but more and more insider sources are confirming it and I'm beginning to believe it may be true. It's just hard to believe that MS could be so pigheaded in pushing for this and believing it's viable while there's going to an an offline competitor. The only way it could work is if MS is willing to radically undersell the PS4 the way the 360 did the PS3, but considering that both consoles are supposed to be using similar hardware, it's difficult to see how MS could manage that again.
I have a 360, but I'm really temped to jump back to the PS4 next gen because of Microsoft's greed in charging for most services on Xbox Live. An always online requirement would guarantee me making the switch.