Microsoft has updated its policies on the Xbox One regarding the always online requirement of the system, or rather, the 24 hour check. Along those lines the policies regarding trading, lending, and reselling of your physical games were confusing and unclear leading many consumers to wonder if they should invest in the $500 console. Today Microsoft listened in part and started to refine the system's features five months before release.
As was outlined before E3 2013 this year, any Xbox One game, physical or digital, would require a connection to the internet at least every 24 hours. Now that is no longer a requirement, though you will need to connect your Xbox One up to the internet for a one time setup and patch. The trade-off? Features like the family sharing of games, the gifting of games, and the "instant access" to your library are no longer on the table.
Speaking of trading and lending, Microsoft had this to say about the Xbox One.
Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
Microsoft also stated that digital games would be available on release date for every title.
There were no changes to the Kinect requirement, stance towards independent games or the price of the Xbox One, both of which have also been negative talking points in the news.
Microsoft's showing at E3 was, lets just say, could have been better. Sony's press conference directly attacked Microsoft's policies and hit home on every point gamers wanted to hear on. It was honestly the talk of the show, it was everywhere on the floor. People were shocked. Many went into E3 expecting a battle of the titans, but everything just felt deflated.
Honestly I'm a little surprised by Microsoft's change. Not that I didn't expect it to come, but I didn't expect it to come so quickly. It seems almost too reactionary. I'm still of the mindset we can have the best of both worlds. Digital games receive all the benefits Microsoft outlined before and they old the 24 hour check in requirement. Physical games use the "old policies."
The news seems to have had some positive effect at least, with the Xbox One Launch Day Edition reaching the #1 Spot on Amazon in Videogame Sales. It's a little ironic as well that news of an always online policy change brought the Xbox.com Blog website down. We've got five more months of this fun people, strap on in.