With the reveal of the Xbox One, the topic of using second-hand used games once again came into question, and after some confusing and conflicting reports came out, Microsoft executive Phil Harrison has explained the functionality of the Xbox One with second-hand games.
“So, think about how you use a disc that you own of an Xbox 360 game,” said Harrison. “If I buy the disc from a store, I use that disc in my machine, I can give that disc to my son and he can play it on his 360 in his room. We both can’t play at the same time, but the disc is the key to playing. I can go round to your house and give you that disc and you can play on that game as well.”
“What we’re doing with the digital permissions that we have for Xbox One is no different to that. If I am playing on that disc, which is installed to the hard drive on my Xbox One, everybody in my household who has permission to use my Xbox One can use that piece of content. [So] I can give that piece of content to my son and he can play it on the same system.”
So once a disc is installed it is tied to your account, and users can grant other Xbox One users permission to play the game; but how far does this extend?
Harrison then explained what the process is if you want to take the disc to a new machine, say, at a friend’s house.
“I can come to your house and I can put the disc into your machine and I can sign in as me and we can play the game,” he explained.
“The bits are on your hard drive. At the end of the play session, when I take my disc home – or even if I leave it with you – if you want to continue to play that game [on your profile] then you have to pay for it. The bits are already on your hard drive, so it’s just a question of going to our [online] store and buying the game, and then it’s instantly available to play.
“The bits that are on the disc, I can give to anybody else, but if we both want to play it at the same time, we both have to own it. That’s no different to how discs operate today.”
Okay, so gamers who aren’t part of your digital permission list have to pay for the game if they want to continue on their own profile.
And what about actually heading down to your local game store and trading in your game for something else or credit, how does that work?
“We will have a system where you can take that digital content and trade a previously played game at a retail store,” Harrison said. “We’re not announcing the details of that today, but we will have announced in due course.”
“Our goal is to make it really customer-centric, really simple and really understandable and we will announce those details in due course.”
Harrison’s statements do clarify a fair amount of the used game scenario, however, Microsoft still have a few things to confirm, such as how many permissions you’re allowed to grant, and how to separate the game from your account once you want to sell it.
Hopefully more will be revealed at E3 2013.