After Microsoft received a flood of criticism for its Xbox One policies — including requiring that Xbox One consoles have an Internet connection to check in at least once a day with Microsoft servers, and placing limits on the use, sharing and trading of used games — it has reversed course.
In a blog post, Don Mattrick, Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment President, writes:
* 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.
After its Xbox One reveal last week, Microsoft had taken a bunch of flak, especially for its requirement that the consoles connect to Microsoft at least once every 24 hours in order to play any games. The Army Times, in a headline, even referred to that decision as “a sin against all service members.”
In his blog post today, Mattrick writes that: “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.”
This reversal means that those playing disc-based games will be able to do so offline without any connection requirement (after the initial set-up), Mattrick detailed. Those who play downloaded games will also be able to play them offline without the every-24-hour check-in.
It also means that those who buy games on discs can continue to share, sell or trade their discs. Those who download games from Xbox Live, though, will not be able to share or resell them.
The reason Microsoft had initially required the online connectivity and placed limits on used game sales was that “we’ve been focused with Xbox One on how to take advantage of new capabilities and, frankly, to build for the future,” Marc Whitten, chief product officer for Xbox, said in an interview.
The Xbox team had been excited about what digital and cloud power meant for changes to gaming and entertainment. “It was something we really wanted to build a platform around,” he said.
“What we’ve been building toward is telling this story of where the future is going,” he said. “What we heard back is that while people like a lot of these scenarios, they need the flexibility” to be able to play offline and to be able to share, trade or sell their discs as they will.