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Microsoft U-Turn to Remove Restrictive XBox One Internet Requirements

Thursday, Jun 20th, 2013 (7:52 am) - Score 641

A significant consumer backlash to the news that Microsoft’s new Xbox One video game and media centre console would be accompanied by strict internet connectivity and used game (pre-owned) requirements has forced the company to do a massive U-turn and lift two of its key restrictions.

Microsoft initially stated that its XBox One had been “designed from the ground up to be ready and connected“ and would “require an internet connection” (here). But only later did gamers find out that the console would only allow them to play offline for up to 24 hours on their primary console, which means no games after 24 hours unless you reconnect, or 1 hour if you’re logged on to a separate console accessing your library (here).

The company then spent the best part of two weeks telling people who didn’t have a broadband ISP connection not to buy the XBox One, which naturally caused some frustration among one of the internet’s most notoriously vocal communities. Not everybody has a broadband connection but even many of those who do might not be able to connect the console itself (e.g. limited wifi range etc.).

On top of that Microsoft then rubbed salt into the wound by saying that it would support used games and you’d be able to give your game(s) to friends, albeit only once (i.e. it can’t be shared to more than one other person) and only if you’ve known the friend through Xbox Live for more than a month. The firm also said that owners would be able to resell games but only if they signed up to Microsoft’s related scheme and some titles could still attract a transfer fee.

Thankfully they’ve had a change of heart on all this..

Microsoft’s New XBox One Policy Changes

• An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

• 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.

• In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.

However the changes do impact some of the scenarios that had previously been announced. For example, if you want to “share” a game with friends then you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way (i.e. lending them the original disc) and if you play a disc based game then the disc must be in the tray (blue-ray drive). It also means that downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold.

Microsoft said that it appreciated the “passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity” of its critics and had “listened” to the feedback. It’s a clear admission of defeat for the company but also perhaps a reflection of the fact that they weren’t willing to risk losing the forthcoming console war by playing the ignorant man in the room as its arch rival, Sony, laughed its way to the bank.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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