Microsoft Outlines Full Used Game Plan and Xbox One's Draconian Online Requirements

By Gary Cutlack on at

Microsoft wanted to talk about TV integration at Xbox One launch event, but all we wanted was crystal clear clarification of its "always-on" internet requirements and what, if any, forms of DRM may be in place to restrict sales of used games. Now, after weeks of fuss and nonsense, we know. Everything's on the record.

In fact, a post up on the Xbox Wire official news service covers all three controversial Xbox One bases, explaining in detail how games licensing works on the console, the new Kinect's privacy features and the console's internet requirement, the latter of which is explained as being necessary as Xbox One is "A Modern, Connected Device."

First up, used games. Here are the two key paragraphs regarding trading and gifting. In short, you can gift games -- but only once and to someone who's been on your friend list for a month -- while previous reports suggesting shops have to sign up to a Microsoft scheme to enable trading would appear to be correct, as you'll only be able to trade in games at "participating retailers."

Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: 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.

Give your games to friends: 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.

As for the always-on hot potato, Microsoft again confirms what we sort of already knew, saying:

While a persistent connection is not required, Xbox One is designed to verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend. Games that are designed to take advantage of the cloud may require a connection.

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.

...which sounds a little more draconian. [Xbox Wire]