In a series of Xbox Wire posts, Microsoft has put paid to various misconceptions about the Xbox One – and confirmed other details. The first of these is that the console will need to go online every single day if you want to keep gaming. Microsoft justified this decision by pointing out the many advantages of a networked console, and said it is preparing for a “connected future”.
“While a persistent connection is not required, Xbox One is designed 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. Games that are designed to take advantage of the cloud may require a connection,” the platform holder said.
“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.”
Microsoft recommends a minimum broadband Internet speed of 1.5Mbps, which it rates well below Akami’s estimated average global Internet speed of 2.9 Mbps, and says is possible on mobile broadband.
Licensing, DRM and trade-ins
You’ll notice that one of the things the Xbox One does during its daily Internet check-ins is determine whether you’ve traded a game in; the console does indeed employ a licensing system for games.
“In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers,” Microsoft confirmed.
“Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.”
The licensing system has benefits; anybody using your console can access anything you’ve purchased for it, whether you or they are logged in, and you can also access any of your content on other Xbox One consoles – say, at a friend’s house – just by logging into your online profile.
Another interesting point of the licensing system is that it will allow you to give your games away to friends – but with some tight restrictions, assuming publishers allow it.
“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.”
Kinect – always on, but not watching
Finally, Microsoft addressed concerns over Kinect’s erie always-on listening, and the fact that it is theoretically capable of reporting whether you are watching a commercial, for example.
“You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear: By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup,” Microsoft said.
“When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.
“You are in control of when Kinect sensing is On, Off or Paused: If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say ‘Xbox Off.’ When the system is off, it’s only listening for the single voice command – ‘Xbox On,’ and you can even turn that feature off too.
“You are in control of your personal data: You can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more, but this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission.”
Microsoft gave a few examples of where that data might be used in games, and made no mention of advertising or similar exploitation of the data.
Xbox One will launch before the end of the year. We’re hoping for a release date and pricing details at E3 next week.
Here are our platform policies and capabilities for game licensing – all of which will be made available when Xbox One launches later this year:
•Buy the way you want—disc or digital—on the same day: You’ll be able to buy disc-based games at traditional retailers or online through Xbox Live, on day of release. Discs will continue to be a great way to install your games quickly.
•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.
•Share access to your games with everyone inside your home: Your friends and family, your guests and acquaintances get unlimited access to all of your games. Anyone can play your games on your console--regardless of whether you are logged in or their relationship to you.
•Give your family access to your entire games library anytime, anywhere: Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games. You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.
•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.
In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.
As we move into this new generation of games and entertainment, from time to time, Microsoft may change its policies, terms, products and services to reflect modifications and improvements to our services, feedback from customers and our business partners or changes in our business priorities and business models or for other reasons. We may also cease to offer certain services or products for similar reasons.
In the months ahead, we will continue to listen to your feedback as we meet with our partners in the ecosystem to bring additional detail about our policies.
We are excited about this new generation of games and entertainment and look forward to sharing more news with our fans.
Edited by nani17 - 6/6/13 at 4:27pm