Microsoft has confimed reports that it’s doing a U-turn on its policies surrounding used Xbox games and the “always on” feature of the device. This follows gamers’ anger at the restrictions imposed.
In an official blog post today Don Mattrick, Interactive President of Microsoft, said “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”. Mr Mattrick said the company had “heard loud and clear” from its customers.
He continued by saying that an internet connection will no longer be required to play offline Xbox One games. A one-time connection is all that is required to setup a new Xbox One, after that gamers can play any disc-based game without going online again.
Microsoft are also doing away with their policy to ban certain types of trade-ins of disc-based games.
“There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360,” he wrote.
Originally, Microsoft set up the Xbox One to have a one-time lending policy for disc-based games, that would only be possible if the recipient was a friend on Xbox live for more than 30 days.
This change in policy only applies to disc-based games though and cannot be applied to downloaded titles ,which can’t be shared or resold.
Microsoft has also lifted regional restrictions. They had intended to region-lock games but this would have put importers and travellers outside the Xbox One supported countries.
There is a down-side to all of this though. Microsoft were planning to allow allow customers to trade downloaded games online in exchange for money off new titles but with these new policies in place, that will no longer happen.
Mattrick noted in his blog that consumers like the flexibility they have with disc-based games,along with the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.
“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.”
No dount Microsoft felt increased pressure with Sony releasing the PlayStation 4, which is not only slightly cheaper but also does not impose any new restrictions on the use of PS4 game discs.
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