At their initial reveal, Microsoft gave conflicting reports on how often the Xbox One would need to be online, and if consumers could play Xbox One games second hand. Their was also major concern over the what Kinect would be listening to. Would it be recording everything we do or just waiting for certain keywords? Can we turn it off? Finally Microsoft has given us some concrete answers.
In a press release today, Microsoft said the following: “With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. 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.” This falls right in line with what VP Phil Harrison had said at the reveal. The console will also require at least a 1.5mps download connection. This may take many military bases and rural communities out of the Xbox One’s purchasing base.
Microsoft also spoke about trading in and reselling games on the Xbox One. “Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. 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.” The claim of no fee is suspicious though, as they will still charge you if you just had a game disk from a library, for example.
The Xbox one will allow you to give games to a friend though, one single friend only. “Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.”. This would appear to be a permanent one time transfer as well, so basically you now cannot just lend you friend your disk to play. They would need your account, and I doubt that you are able to transfer your account very often between Xbox’s.
They also spoke about Kinect, and it’s privacy concerns, and not much has changed. The Xbox One will not record any conversations you are having, and when off will only listen for one phrase “Xbox On.”. You can also “pause” Kinect while you are playing games or watching media, thereby it will not react to any words you say.
Well, now that it’s confirmed, does this change your opinion of the Xbox One at all? Will it’s frequent online requirement be a deterrent for you?
This reporter’s take: Well, we basically knew this was happening. It’s just hard to hear in all honesty. The ability to bring a game over to a friends house are likely coming to an end. I like that fact that Kinect can be paused, but my inner-Orwellian has fears about it. The sheer fact that it’s listening at all is kinda scary to me. The online requirement will be quite fun to watch if Xbox Live goes down for a long period of time, and many users will be able to just not use their console. If I had to bet money on it, I’m sure some people on the internet will try cough*4chan*cough.
By, Bobby Marquardt