After one of the more confusing and divisive tech launches of recent times, Microsoft have finally clarified their stance on the next-gen Xbox One console’s used game policies and internet requirements.
Used game transfer fees will indeed be used, but they will not be mandatory. Rather they will be an option given to publishers to include in their games. And considering the potential for added revenue they will give, we expect it to be a widely adopted option.
“We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers,” Microsoft explained on its official site.
“Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.”
“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.”
Loaning a game out to a pal is potentially a far stricter affair too. Two main restrictions govern passing a game around with friends. Firstly, a game can only be given to someone who has been a friend on Xbox Live for at least 30 days. More restrictively, a game can only be loaned once. Publishers have the option to limit this even further if they choose too.
Loaning games using this process won’t be available at launch Microsoft have confirmed, nor will the ability to rent games. Those with a family that share a console will be pleased to hear however that up to ten family members will be able to access a shared games library from any Xbox One, though it’s not yet fully detailed how this will work. Perhaps there is an opportunity to bypass Microsoft’s strict loaning process here for enterprising gamers?
The always-on internet requirements have also been finally set in stone. Each Xbox One console will have to access the internet once every 24 hours in order for a player to access games offline. If you’re accessing your account and library of games from another console and location, that number drops to just one hour.
“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,” Microsoft explained.
“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.”
It’s a very different system to what gamers have been used to, and one that certainly serves publishers and Microsoft more keenly than it does videogame fans. Microsoft with the Xbox One are being labelled the next-gen bad guys due to the measures, but it has to be noted that we don’t yet know if Sony’s PS4 will follow similar restrictions. It’s going to be one heck of an E3 either way, which kicks off next week.