After being pestered for weeks, Microsoft has finally come out and detailed how exactly the Xbox One handles used games, always-online, and your privacy. I’ll just get this out of the way right now, it’s exactly what we all feared. First off, is the fact that used games will work on the console but come with a number of restrictions. Microsoft says that they won’t charge you a fee for playing a used game, but that publishers “may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers.”
Essentially, a company like EA will get to decide if they want to enable their games to be traditionally resold or not. Realistically speaking, it’s very unlikely publishers will even want their games resold when they’ve been the biggest opponents of the used game market for years. When it comes to giving away a game to a friend, there’s even more restrictions. While there is no transfer fee in this process, “you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.” It also appears that this feature will be controlled by publishers on a game by game basis. As for loaning and renting games, Microsoft says that this feature “won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.”
The good news from all of this is that Microsoft will allow you to have a number of freedoms with how you buy and share games. All games will be sold on disc and through Xbox Live on the day of release. In addition, your games will always be in the cloud and be downloaded and played on any other console that you login to. Similar to the Xbox 360, the One will also enable anyone in your house to access all of your games on your console, regardless if you’re logged in or not. You can even designate up to ten family members that you can share all of your games with, and they can do so from any Xbox One. Of course, you need to be connected for any of this to work.
Microsoft has now made it clear that the system will require mandatory 24 hour check-ins in order to play your games, and 1 hour check-ins if you are on someone else’s console.
“With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies.”
Their justification for this change is their belief that, “every Xbox One owner has a broadband connection” and those in areas with little or no internet can “connect using mobile broadband.” We shall see if this assertion turns out to be correct, but I can already see many customers having a big problem with this new requirement.
Finally, Microsoft says that our privacy is very important. When talking near the new Kinect, our conversations are “not being recorded or uploaded.” The sensor will also only listen to the words “Xbox On” while the system is off, but that feature can also be disabled. And Microsoft stresses that data collected “such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more” will not leave your Xbox One console “ without your explicit permission.”
And there you have it, all the key things you wanted to know about the Xbox One. The question is, knowing all of this are you still going to buy one? Let us know in the comments.