The Average Gamer

Xbox One Backtrack for Always Online/Preowned

Xbox One Logo

Microsoft have completely rescinded their policy for always-online and pre-owned policies for the Xbox One. In the wake of E3 and Sony’s brilliant parody marketing, Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will no longer be required to check in every day and that preowned gaming will work just as it does today. You will need to verify your games online once before playing, as currently happens with Steam, Origin and other PC online services.

This does mean that we’re returning to the days of needing discs in the console tray, to verify that we’re not running filthy pirate versions. We also won’t be able to share games across household accounts – i.e. between Xbox Ones.

Mattrick also announced that the Xbox One will be region-free.

Of course, there was no mention of a price drop, so at £429 it’s still a whopping £80 more than the PS4 at £349. They’ve also not addressed the ongoing concerns over Kinect privacy – that the device is constantly listening out for commands even while your Xbox is supposedly off.

This is very much a victory for gamers. Yes, we’re back to swapping discs per game but I can live with that. I just hope they design this properly so there’s none of that swapping discs during an installed game, as with Mass Effect 3.

From the Xbox website:

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that 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.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.
Don Mattrick, Your Feedback Matters,