Following the Xbox One reveal on 21 May 2013, there was a conflicting message from Microsoft on how they would handle some important elements of the console, such as always-on Internet requirements, second-hand game selling and sharing games with friends, and privacy concerns around the Kinect.
Well, Microsoft seems to have finally pulled themselves together, and have put up a neat website clarifying all this.
Xbox One and the Internet
- Microsoft recommends a 1.5Mbps Internet connection for a reasonable experience.
- Apparently you can connect using mobile broadband, but Microsoft did not clarify if this is directly supported via the console, or simply makes use of a mobile broadband wireless hotspot.
- The Xbox One will need to use the Internet to call home once every 24-hours on your primary console.
- If you are accessing your games library on another console, you can remain offline for 1 hour before the console tries to call home.
- An Internet connection will not be required to use the TV and movie features of the Xbox One.
- Among other things, The Xbox One will use its Internet connection to check for updates, check if you have purchased new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend.
- The Xbox One will run in a low-power connected state to keep itself up to date when it is not being used.
Second hand games, game lending, and game licenses
- Games will apparently be available on Xbox Live on the same day as the retail launch.
- You can access your game library on any Xbox One console after signing in to Xbox Live.
- You can grant access to 10 family members to have access to your games library from any Xbox One console. It is not described how Microsoft will distinguish between family and friends, or how the permissions can be adjusted.
- Anyone can play games on your primary Xbox One console.
- You can share a game with a friend if the game publisher has allowed their game to be shared.
- 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.
Second-hand disc-based games
- Allowing second-hand game trade-in will a decision left up to the publisher of the game.
- 3rd-party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale, setting up the business terms or transfer fees.
- Microsoft as a publisher will allow gamers to give games to friends or trade in.
- Microsoft will not charge a fee to consumers, retailers or publishers for enabling transfer of second-hand games.
- Microsoft included a caveat saying they could change their mind about any of this when they feel like it.
Xbox One and privacy
- During setup, the Kinect will present numerous privacy options, such as automatic or manual sign-in, and clear notifications about how data is used.
- Microsoft clarified that “When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.”
- You can “pause” the Kinect sensor while playing games or watching TV.
- You can disable the voice-activation system, such as commands to turn the Xbox One off and on.
- For games and apps that require Kinect, it will have to be switched on.
- Some games and apps collect data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, and heart rate; Microsoft says this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission.
With a lot more clarity on these issues, now what do you think of the Xbox One and its next-gen approach to gaming? Let us know in the comments below and on the MyGaming forum.
We await E3 2013, which kicks off on 10 June, to learn more about the Xbox One game lineup.