Microsoft Clarifies Their Xbox One Policies

Microsoft Clarifies Their Xbox One Policies

There’s been a lot of conversation about how exactly the Xbox One will interact with consumers, most notably in the “always online” aspect, as well as DRM, disc-less gaming and the whole used games issue. Today, Microsoft clarified things by posting what is, for all intents and purposes, a fact sheet for their new system.

While I won’t go into great detail or list everything here, I will point out some highlights that many may be interested in. First off, Microsoft has now made their target audience perfectly clear by stating, “Every Xbox One owner has a broadband connection.” Yes, it’s 2013, but I still know quite a few people who have no broadband connection either by choice or by necessity (as in, it isn’t available where they live). I guess Microsoft doesn’t care about them.

Also of note is their use of the “cloud”. “Access your entire games library from any Xbox One—no discs required: After signing in and installing, you can play any of your games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of your game is stored on your console and in the cloud. So, for example, while you are logged in at your friend’s house, you can play your games.”

I suppose this does mean that you can let a friend “borrow” your game…if you’re either both together at their place or you just let him sign on to your account (which is likely expressly prohibited in the Xbox Live terms of service). It’s unlikely you can both play the same game at the same time, however.

Along with that, it’s interesting to note that you can share games with anyone in your home, which sort of makes sense. You can also give access to your entire games library to up to 10 different people…as long as they’re family members (supposedly residing in the same house). This includes when they go to their friends’ houses.

Finally, I will mention the whole “used games” fiasco. Microsoft finally settles it. I’ll quote this in full just so I don’t miss anything:

  • Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.

  • Give your games to friends: Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: 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.

Along with that note about reselling your disc-based games, Microsoft also stated that, as a game publisher, they will allow you to do this, however, it seems like they’re putting that responsibility (and thus, internet outrage) firmly on the shoulders of the publishers. Does it change things that the functionality is there for publishers to block you from trading, selling or giving away your used games?

It’s good to finally have some clarification on the above issues, as well as all the other points touched on my Microsoft in their new information dump today, perhaps this will quite at least some of the internet down going into E3, so they can firmly focus on the games.