Faced with mounting criticism, Microsoft today quickly reversed course on some of the more draconian aspects of its coming Xbox One entertainment console. The firm will no longer require an always-on Internet connection and using and sharing games will work just as it does today on the Xbox 360.
Obviously, it pays to complain. These two changes were among the suggestions I made just days ago in How Microsoft Can Fix Xbox One. The question, of course, is whether this will silence the critics.
“Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback,” Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business wrote in a new post to the Xbox Wire blog. “I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.”
Here’s what’s changing.
Always-on Internet connection no longer required. Whileyou will need to be online during the initial set up of the Xbox One, you then 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,” the post notes. This suggests that those with always-on broadband connections will still be able to silently download updates in the background while the console is “off,” and that those who purchase games electronically will need to connect online at least some of the time.
Game trade-ins, lending, reselling, gifting, and renting. Those who purchase disc-based games will be able to trade them in, lend them, resell them, gift them to others, or rent them just as they do today with Xbox 360 games. “There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360,” Mattrick notes.
Electronic game purchases. If you choose to purchase games electronically,you will be able to play them offline just like you do today (after the game is fully downloaded). But downloaded game titles cannot be shared or resold.
Disc-based games. Those who purchase disc-based games will need to keep that game disc the tray, as is the case today with Xbox 360.
No region locking. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console, Microsoft says. There will be no regional restrictions.
These are some major changes. Personally, I preferred the original approach, but Microsoft was right to meet customers in the middle and provide a more well-rounded strategy that meets all needs.
What have they missed? (I mean, besides a $100 price decrease of course.)