News Article

Microsoft Confirms Xbox One Policies

Posted by Ken Barnes

Preowned, privacy, network details confirmed!

Microsoft has confirmed details on several policies that the new Xbox One system will follow.

It was rumoured that the device wouldn't boot properly without an active network connection, that preowned games would be blocked, and that Kinect would watch you night and day. Other rumours have flown around for the last few weeks also, but finally, Microsoft themselves have released information.

Here are the facts, as confirmed by Microsoft:-

Networking
1. Your Xbox One has the ability to connect to the network when on "standby" (which Microsoft calls a "low power, connected state"), in order to download updates for your games and apps.

2. All games that are registered against your account, are accessible anytime you sign in to your account, anywhere. Got a copy of Forza 5 installed at home and want to show it off to your friend when you're at his or her house? Just sign into your account, and you can play.

3. All games will be available for download from day one, as digital releases.

4. The Xbox one uses 802.11n across the 5GHz wireless band, which eliminates a lot of interference from other home devices that use the same protocol. Two wireless antennas are in play, meaning a greater range and sustained performance.

5. Wi-Fi Direct allows the Xbox One to interact with your smartphone or tablet.

6. 300,000 Xbox Live and Windows Azure servers are on hand in Microsoft's cloud.

7. A broadband connection of 1.5Mbps is recommended, which is below the global average internet connection speed (tested by Gaikai) of 2.9Mbps. You can connect using mobile broadband if required.

8. A persistent connection is not required, but your console must be able to "check in" every 24 hours. After 24 hours, your games will NOT be able to be played, whether they are offline or online-based titles. You can still watch DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and live TV, though.

Game Licensing
1. ANYONE that is logged in to your console, can play your games. Your friends, your family, it doesn't matter. If they're on your primary console, they can play your games, and you don't need to be logged in.

2. UP TO TEN MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY WILL BE ABLE TO PLAY YOUR GAMES ON OTHER CONSOLES. If you are playing the game yourself, one member of your family can still access your games. So effectively, if you have kids that want to play Forza 5 at the same as you, you need only buy one copy. That's a HUGE boon for families.

3. Microsoft will not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for transferring your games from your account to another. Game publishers "can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers" - so it doesn't mean that EA or Activision (just an example) will not charge you to transfer a licence.

4. You can give your games to your friends. If a friend has been a member of your friends list for 30 days or more, you can give them your game. The only limitation is that each game can only be given once. Again, publishers have to enable this feature, so expect some to charge for it.

Kinect/Privacy
1. You are in complete control of what Kinect can see and hear. You can set up automatic or manual sign in based on detection, and nothing you say is recorded or uploaded.

2. Kinect sensing can be turned on or off, and you can even pause it. When the system is off, Kinect is only listening for "Xbox On" and nothing else.

3. Data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission. Applications that use videos, photos, facial expressions, etc, will have to tell you if they want to upload your data.

4. Your controller, smart devices, or a remote control can be used to navigate through the system. Kinect does not HAVE to be used to change TV channels, for example.

So, there you have it. Good, bad? What do you think? We reckon that the systems don't sound anything like as Draconian as was being mooted, but there are still points to clear up. Can we loan a game to a friend and then get it back, or can we only give the game away once for free, but then get charged if we want to play it again - and that's just for a kick-off. How about those publisher-instigated licence changes? Will each box be marked clearly to say that we can transfer licences with this title, or if a publisher rejects the notion and says you can't pass it on, will that be stamped on the back of the case?

We'll have to wait and see, but until then, we can all breathe a little easier.

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User Comments (11)

HeatBombastic

#1

HeatBombastic said:

I'm glad these finally got confirmed, but not sure I get the whole 24 hours thing. I guess it still works for those who have a low internet connection and play offline, though.

HeatBombastic

#3

HeatBombastic said:

@VincentV If it does it in stand-by mode, I don't think it'll affect people who have slow internet, but rather people who have unreliable internet that doesn't always stay connected. That means there's a lot of pausing downloads for those people.

Chunky_Droid

#4

Chunky_Droid said:

To clarify.

This pretty much sucks for anyone who wants to go back to playing their Xbox One years into the future, unless they update its firmware.

Also sucks for many families who don't have much in the ways of internet (think mobile internet) and won't be able to use this very well, if at all.

SuperKMxAdmin

#5

SuperKMx said:

@Chunky_Droid How will it affect a family with mobile internet? The console checks in once every 24 hours, then they can play their disc-based games. It can do that check using mobile internet just fine.

But you're right about the years into the future thing.

Gamer83

#6

Gamer83 said:

I know this is an Xbox centric site but we have to call bs for what it is and this is complete and total bs. It will also be confusing as hell for some and to do what? Kill something that always existed and is NOT a problem so some slimeballs in suits at EA, MS and other big publishers get more $ in their pockets while controlling how people who spent their hard earned cash use a product. I'm annoyed with the direction this industry is headed and I'm really annoyed that NO gaming journalists (not so much the ones here and PushSquare but at big websites that get a crapton of traffic like IGN, EGM, Game Informer and Gamespot) are taking these scumbags to task.

#7

said:

This is about as bad as things could have got

Here are some of my concerns:

1. I want to play my games I paid good money for when, where and how I want. I cant do this with xbone
2. Letting publishers dictate the value of used games and attempting to influence market forces/ supply and demand is an aberration. Who are they to say what something is worth. An item is worth what someone is willing to pay for it - not what a publisher decides. This is price fixing plain and simple and surely is illegal in the EU.
3. There are too many complicated restrictions when all I want to do is play games.
4. What if I want to sell my xbone console? what then? Am I allowed to? Whats the deal with drm on this? It all unclear.

This is the first generation where so many pointless restrictions apply. Its not modern. its not forward thinking. Its just plain dumb.
Buy console, buy game, play game. Done.

I wont be buying an xbone and im disappointed cos ive been waiting for this for almost a decade.

Damn you Microsoft. damn you.

Gamer83

#8

Gamer83 said:

@szchifo

The problem is you don't have the mind of a scummy exec who banks tons of cash of other people's work like the people at MS, EA, Activision, Sony and other big publishers. To them all this stupid crap somehow makes sense. And worse, thanks to the dumba$$ North American public they'll probably get away with this.

#9

said:

Microsoft must be worried. Windows 8 is ****, windows phone is **** and now xbox has been ruined.
the venom on the public backlash against this drm is unprecedented.
Sony are likely to go the same way and there will be no 3rd option or no competition.
Ill be bolstering my pc this gen and spend most of my time laughing at the saps who cant play xbox one when the servers get hacked or go down.
gamers need to stand up and fight this. Im not kidding. If Microsoft can get this in then what next? Frightening times...

hydeks

#10

hydeks said:

I can see that being a huge problem with the area I live in, especially the internet connection thing. I live in a area that is just now getting high speed -_- Alot of gamers haven't updated around here, there still on dial-up cause they don't see a point to playing with people NOT with them in person, and high speed internet is usually receiver transffered, so it's more expensive than it would be in the city where it's just hooked directly to your house.

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