As you should have heard by now, Microsoft is now dumping two of its more controversial policies after experiencing backlash from gamers (and, obviously, being humiliated by Sony after it publicly announced that it was doing the opposite of what Microsoft proposed). The company will no longer impose a 24 hour connection requirement, and you can do whatever you want with the games you purchase just like today.
“After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360,” Xbox Chief Don Mattrick said in a blog post.
“There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360,” he also added.
The previous policy would have seen the Xbox One connect back to Microsoft’s servers every 24 hours (or every hour if you were playing on a different console but with your Xbox Live account). It will also mean that gamers would be limited in giving away their used games – with developers having the option to ban used sales of their games entirely.
There is a caveat, however. In order to work with the new policies, game sharing will now be disc-based and they are dumping the cloud-based 10-person family library feature. Downloaded titles will no longer be able to be shared or resold – which is similar to what it is today. In addition, all disc-based games will now require the disc (so you will need to still have it when playing the game once installed on the hard drive).
Ultimately, the big thing is the games. As Sony said back in its E3 announcements – you should be able to do whatever you want with your game once you have purchased it. You should be able to give it to your friends without limits, or sell it once you have no use for it. It’s like giving distributors a mechanism to limit resale of DVDs – it would be a massive headache.
The internet connection backflip was also likely due to the very contentious comments made by Mattrick when he said that you should use the Xbox 360 instead of the one if you don’t have a decent internet connection. While I see the need for such a check for online gameplay, I still didn’t understand why you would need the check in order to play offline. And the fact that the Xbox One will not let me play offline games? Really, Microsoft, really?
Some of the new features – such as the cloud library for families – should have definitely been kept (and reworked with the new policies – it is entirely possible). However, the fact that we should be able to do what we want with the games we purchased has now been restored – I’m pretty happy about that.