Microsoft re-thinks Xbox One policies

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Microsoft has done the unthinkable: the company has back-pedaled on many of the Xbox One’s features that had the internet ablaze with angry gamers, who complained about what they perceived as Microsoft’s anti-consumer policies with the Xbox One. The changes were outlined in a blog post on Xbox Wire by Xbox president, Don Mattrick.

Here are the specifics:

Microsoft is removing the requirement for a 24-hourly online check-in. This allows for 100% offline gaming, as well as the ability to play wherever your console is, with no requirement for an internet connection. All those local Xbox gamers living in areas where internet access is spotty, at best, and non-existent at worst can breathe a sigh of relief.

No longer will Xbox One games need to be registered to your Xbox Live account, and as a result, all physical Xbox One game discs can be sold, traded and rented exactly as they are now with the 360. Want to give a game to a friend? Easy, just give them the disc, and you’re done. No complicated online transfer of digital rights necessary. 

All games downloaded from Xbox Live can be played offline.

For South African gamers, perhaps the best news is that the Xbox One won’t have any regional restrictions, meaning we can buy games and consoles elsewhere and use them here and vice versa.

There are a few trade-offs, however:

Your games won’t follow you around anymore. The previously-announced scenario where all of your games will be available for you to play on a friend’s Xbox One when you sign in there, will no longer be possible.

Game discs will have to be in the drive in order to play the game, just like with the 360.

All downloaded games can no longer be traded or sold, as was the case under the original Xbox One vision.

Gone too is the idea that you can share your Xbox One games with up to nine family members. We’re not entirely sure how this was going to work, but we don’t think it’s a huge problem as sharing physical discs is now possible which pretty much achieves the same goal.

According to Mattrick, the changes came about as a direct result of all the “passionate” user feedback Microsoft has been receiving since the new console was announced back in May. 

We think it’s really because Sony curb-stomped them at E3.

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.