Don Mattrick, Microsoft’s President of Interactive Entertainment Business, made the surprise announcement this afternoon on the official Xbox website saying the new policy will allow users to “play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360.”
According to Microsoft, the changes to the Xbox One’s policies are as follows:
- An internet connection will not be required to play offline games after a “one-time system set-up” is preformed online
- There is no longer any requirement to connection the console to Microsoft’s servers once every 24 hours
- There are no longer any limitations on using and sharing physical Xbox One game discs
- Used games, trade-ins, rentals, gifting, etc. will work exactly like it does now on the Xbox 360
- Games downloaded from Xbox Live will be playable offline
- There are no longer any region restrictions
- The game disc will be required to be in the tray in order for physical games to work
- Downloaded games can not be shared or resold
The small downside to today’s announcement is that these changes will “impact some of the scenarios” that were previously announced for the Xbox One console. Microsoft did not detail all of the changes, but the wording of the statement makes it appears as if the “family sharing” plan (where users can share games between 10 different accounts) may no longer be possible.
We have contacted Microsoft for clarification on the status of the “family sharing” plan, and will update this post with any additional information.[Update] Microsoft has since clarified that the family sharing plan will no longer happen.
Today’s announcement is a massive reversal for Microsoft’s DRM policies. Assuming these changes are set in stone, and not subject to another reversal at some point in the future, this represents a huge win for consumer rights as they relate to the future of console gaming. It also puts the Xbox One on much more equal footage as it goes toe-to-toe with the PlayStation 4 later this year — although the $100 price difference is still likely to put Microsoft’s console at a bit of a disadvantage.
Microsoft’s full announcement reversing the controversial used game DRM and online requirements for the Xbox One can be read in on the next page.