Microsoft Reverses Internet Requirement & Sharing Policy on the Xbox One

It seems the voice of gamers have finally reached the ears of Microsoft as they have decided to reverse the always online  and sharing policies of the Xbox One.

It has been almost a month since the Xbox One reveal conference and a week and a bit after their E3 appearance. Both meetings were met with angry gamers who voiced their opinions on the consoles features, especially two features that were deemed unfair by bloggers, gamers and critics alike. The console, dubbed the XBone, originally required the owner to ‘sign-in’ every 24 hours before playing and would not allow the user to play if they did not have an internet connection. This was not well received since it meant that it would defeat the console’s original purpose, if your internet cut or if you lived in an area where you could not receive a good net service.

Another issue which has been changed is that of the Sharing and trading of games. The Xbone originally would restrict the sharing of used games between different people by asking the new user to pay a fee to unlock the content. This restriction annoyed a lot of users who thought it was unfair that they had to pay 60$ (or more depending on your location) for a game and would not be able to share the game with their friends or family. Critics, such as Jim Sterling from the Escapist Magazine show the ‘Jimquistion’  and Youtuber Joe Vargas of the ‘Angry Joe Show‘, commented that this meant that Gamers did not own their own games but were merely renting them and this was simply not right. The restriction was also seen as Microsoft trying to kill the second-hand market.

However today, (June 19th) a post was released on the Xbox News website by Don Mattrick, the President of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. He states:

“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. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world. “

According to the website this means:

  • 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.

With this news hitting the web, is this just Microsoft’s way of telling its customers that it is sorry, or just trying save it own bacon?

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