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:-
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.
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.
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.