June 7, 2013
You Can Share Your Xbox One Games (Sort Of)
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
We´ve come a long way from the days of Atari and Nintendo gaming. The graphics have greatly improved, titles are released with the fanfare normally reserved for summer blockbusters, and consoles have taken on multiple roles to serve as entertainment hubs rather than a single-use device. Microsoft´s new Xbox One is a prime example of how advanced game consoles have become. Yet as Microsoft takes gaming into the future, they´re also applying seemingly arbitrary restrictions on their games. While gamers will be allowed to trade-in and resell their disc-based games, (it had been previously rumored this would be banned) Microsoft is leaving this practice in the hands of the game developers. In an article explaining these new policies, Microsoft also said gamers could give their disc-based games to friends, but only those friends Microsoft approves of.
The Xbox One allows users to play games in one of two ways. First, users can buy a physical disc online or from a brick-and-mortar store in the same way it´s always been done up to this point. Gamers can also buy digital copies of these games and have them instantly installed on their One´s hard drive. This combination allows gamers to play their games without switching discs. This also allows players to sign in on a friend´s console and play their purchased games, even if their friend hasn´t bought the title.
From the looks of it, this is about as close as Microsoft will get to allowing friends the ability to share their games with one another.
Though the company says they won´t charge a fee for those who want to sell or trade their disc-based games, they have left it up to the developers to decide if trading or selling will be permitted.
“Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit,” reads Microsoft´s explanation of these new policies.
“We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.”
Microsoft has made their own decision concerning giving the games away. Gamers with an Xbox One and a generous heart will only be able to give their disc-based games to those who have been on their friends list for 30 days or more. Additionally, these games can only be given once, though it´s not entirely clear if this means the transaction can only occur once between friends or if the game itself can only change hands one time.
In other words, Microsoft will allow you to give away a disc-based game, but only once and only to those they believe are true friends.
It would have been nigh impossible to enforce this kind of restriction on previous consoles, but the One´s “always on” behavior acts as a tattletale for those who try to circumvent these policies. Though earlier rumors claimed the new Xbox needed to connect to the Internet and report back to Microsoft´s servers, the company has said the One only needs to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours. If a console doesn´t communicate with home base by this time, it will not perform it´s primary objective; playing games.
“Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies,” said Microsoft in a statement.
Microsoft will allow users to share their games with ten friends, but this is about as close as it gets to the old days of freely swapping and selling cartridges and discs.