Xbox One

Microsoft has recently launched a website called news.xbox.com focused on information on its upcoming next gen Xbox One console, and on that site the company has addressed many of the key issues that have all but divided the gaming community.

These hotly debated issues include the Xbox One’s always-online requirement and the policies surrounded used game sales to name a few–and Microsoft has answered the call with a few new updates.

The updates, of course, are written in Microsoft’s signature confusing prose that blends information with advertising, continuing the company’s trend on not always delivering clear-cut answers.

Nonetheless, Microsoft has published three new pages of information: a page that touches upon the Xbox One’s licensing policies regarding used games and game ownership, a second on the Xbox One’s connectivity requirements, and the final piece discusses the Kinect and the privacy policies.

The most daunting of the news has to be the confirmation that the Xbox One requires online re-connects every 24 hours. The console doesn’t require a “persistent connection”, however, and Microsoft has given the following information regarding the restrictions:

“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.  

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.”

If that wasn’t enough to instill doubt across the gaming community, Microsoft goes on step further in their licensing update, where game publishers are apparently given discretion on the resale policies of used 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.”

XB1

Microsoft also reveals that the publishers will be able to opt out of “resale” and that they have the option to charge “transfer fees” as well:

“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.”

This move is centered on the publishers themselves, who are paid nothing every time one of their games is sold via a secondhand shop, and this will give said companies a means of receiving adequate payment for their content.

The policies may do more harm than good, however, as approval ratings for publishers and Microsoft may plummet in regard to these new stipulations, and it feels like Microsoft has set up an intricate webwork to find new and inventive ways to earn a profit from gamers and make it harder for them to enjoy their games.

This may adversely affect the used game market and may go in lengths to effectively shut down third-party gaming stores, replacing them with GameStops and online retailers–but this is nothing new, of course.

The advent of next-gen consoles shouldn’t be overly complicated to the point where gamers are so heavily restricted that they can barely do the things they want to do, however the Xbox One does offer a wide array of features–but sadly many of those said features seem to be bundled with stipulations and possible fees.

Xbox1

Despite the troubling reveals, Microsoft focuses on the usage of its dynamic cloud to provide services like allowing gamers play their games on any Xbox One console or even give family members access to their entire digital library:

“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.

 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.”

Hopefully the family features won’t require extra fees, as they seem quite too good to be true, and just because you “can” do something doesn’t mean that it won’t cost money–especially if they don’t specifically point out that there are “no fees”.

In any case, it seems that Microsoft has shaken up the gaming community even more with their “explanations” that bring even more daunting implications, and gamers may be realizing that Microsoft’s new console has come with a price tag that takes a equal parts out of their wallets and their patience.

Via News Xbox.com