Microsoft Finally Clarifies Online and Used Games Policies, Xbox One Must Go Online Every 24 Hours

If there's anything that can be said to sum up the Xbox One reveal, it's that the whole ordeal was a bit of a bloody mess. Microsoft representatives were giving out conflicting answers when asked questions about the company's new used game and always-online policies, which have subsequently led to a lot of rumor mongering.

Using its newly launched Xbox Wire news service, Microsoft has finally done some PR damage control and elucidated its policies. As was already previously made clear, the Xbox One will not be an always-online console. However, it will require an Internet connection because the Xbox One must go online every 24 hours in order to "verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend." After the 24 hour period of being offline, users will no longer be able to play their games, but will continue to be able to use their Blu-Ray player and watch TV. Unfortunately, Microsoft may be alienating some of their customers by making the assumption that "every Xbox One owner has a broadband connection" and has the ability to log on every 24 hours.

Microsoft also confirmed that Xbox One games are operating on a licensing system. This means that while Xbox customers will continue to be able to buy game discs, they'll now serve the same function that discs do (for the most part) for PC games today: once you pop in the CD tray they'll be immediately installed and accessible via the Internet. Any games installed on a console can be accessed by anyone who logs onto a specific console and up to ten family members can be given access to an account member's games to be accessed at any time. Loaning out games to friends becomes a little more complicated, however. Games can only be loaned out to those on your friends list and only once for thirty days.

The Xbox One also leaves the used game market at the mercy of the publishers. "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." Of course, this means that publishers have the option to not allow their customers to trade in their games at all.

Essentially, with the new connection and licensing policies, Microsoft is trying to adapt to digital in favor of retail. While the model is similar to Valve's policies with Steam, Microsoft is catching a lot of extra flak for changing up the way the gaming market works on console and for having the rather unreasonable assumption that their customers will always have access to reliable Internet.

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  • gekko668
    Meh... I still like PC gaming better.
  • aggie1295
    I'm not a fanboy or hater for either Sony or Microsoft, although I've probably usually preferred my Xbox and Xbox 360 to my PS2 & PS3, but this Xbox One stuff is just becoming so stupid it is giving me a headache. They don't seem to understand the idea that you purchase a console and you purchase games, you don't purchase license. I don't even buy used games and I'm offended at their general attitude in which they seem to believe they are being generous by allowing you to share or trade in games on a limited basis and their DRM disguised as a 24 hour internet check. The stupidity in which they are both publicizing and coming up with these ideas is just mindboggling. Are they really so stupid to think that these nickel and dime requirements will make them enough money to make up for the loss of consumers passing on the new console. Right now I see no reason to purchase an Xbox One anytime in the near future, if ever. Between the Xbox One and the Windows 8 fiasco, if I owned Microsoft stock I would dump it in a heartbeat. Microsoft has become a suicidal company.
  • Immaculate
    no offline play? what a rip off. I thought that was a strong point for consoles, you and a friend could play each other w/o having the internet.
  • Other Comments
  • gekko668
    Meh... I still like PC gaming better.
  • Immaculate
    no offline play? what a rip off. I thought that was a strong point for consoles, you and a friend could play each other w/o having the internet.
  • hixbot
    Consoles will always have a spot in my home for local multiplayer games.
    I was hugely in favour of the 360 over PS3 but I'll be jumping to Sony for the next gen. 24 hour online DRM, give me a break... MS has XBoned us again.