Microsoft changing Xbox One policies

Xbox maker does away with all used game restrictions and 24-hour online check-ins; region-locks also no longer in place.

Microsoft today confirmed that it is changing the controversial Xbox One policies as a result of consumer feedback.

"As a result of feedback from the Xbox community, we have changed certain policies for Xbox One," Microsoft wrote on its blog, adding that past policies are "no longer accurate."

Xbox boss Don Mattrick penned an blog post on the matter titled "Your Feedback matters." In the note, he said Microsoft "believes in the benefits of a connected, digital future," and thanked gamers for their assistance in helping Microsoft "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," Mattrick said. "Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world."

"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," he continued.

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.

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.

"We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity," Mattrick said. "While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds."

This change is a dramatic reversal of policy for Microsoft, which spent much of last week at E3 discussing with media why its policies were in place to begin with.

The Xbox One launches in November at $500, a full $100 above the PlayStation 4, which will sell for $400 this holiday. The PS4 features no online requirements or used games restrictions, something Sony pointed out during its E3 briefing last week.

The Xbox One's controversial policies most recently drew the ire of independent military magazine Navy Times, which laid out numerous reasons why the system would be a bad choice for those on active duty.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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8273 comments
gamerboy100
gamerboy100

A few reasons why I'm still not buying the Xbox One:

1. The damage has already been done.

2. They still need a connection to activate it? Why couldn't they remove it? What about the gamers who don't have Internet and therefore can't protest this online?

3. They seriously expect me to pay an extra $100 over their competition, despite the many similarities?

4. How can we be sure they won't attempt something like this again in the future after they pushed very hard for it this time?

5. Why the hell can't the system function without the Kinect attached? Does this mean gamers are fucked if it breaks?

explicator2
explicator2

@gamerboy100 Great. Hoping you follow up with five reasons why you are never going to post on Gamespot ever again. Seriously.

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@explicator2 What a troll response...

Irondiesel58
Irondiesel58

Everryone should of understood that if Microsoft charged $10.00 for a used copy of a game that it would only effect the reseller of that game "Gamestop" not the buyer/player. It would of off set raising prices on Xbox live. Well now you have what you've been yelling for More money to gamestop and less to Microsoft to off set the higher price of running the biggest server network in the world twice over. Expect to see live go through the roof in price. Starting with Xbox One were it will now cost you $59.99 a year and only the first year. Nice work! Gamestop sells a used game for $49.99 no charge to use it at home. Now Microsoft wants $10.00 of that $49.99 so Gamestop has to now sell the same game for $39.99 if they want used games to be bought. Why would they think that any player would buy a used game for $49.99 plus needing a $10.00 user license from Microsoft totaling $59.99 the price of a new game. You just caused the price of online to be picked up by Us the players because you did not understand. Thank you soooo much.

SoulxReaperx366
SoulxReaperx366

what happened to the xbox gold free game every 1st and 15th? I haven't checked today but there wasn't anything yesterday, are they really pulling something like that in the position they're already in?

Sniggih
Sniggih

Worrying part is that if MS is willing to change that quickly to secure sales for the Xbox One what guarantee does anyone have that they wont switch back in time for the next update.

mjswooosh
mjswooosh

MS is trying to make non-gamers care about gaming consoles. The problem is, the only people who care about gaming consoles are, uh, GAMERS. Go figure. Convincing non-gamers to buy a $500 "all in one" (that isn't really an "all in one" at all) because it has voice control is a tough sell, especially when most middle class families already have a million and one devices in their households that do everything else the One does, only better/cheaper/more efficiently. Rokus/iPads/smart-phones/stereo receivers/etc...all pretty much fill every function of the One. I can't for the life of me figure out how MS thinks average consumer/non-gamers are going to buy this thing when it costs $500. The sweet spot price for impulse buy mass adoption in electronics is at least $200 cheaper, whether we are talking about consoles or blue ray/dvd players. Other than early adopters, most people just don't buy this kind of stuff until it hits the $300 or less price-point. Historical fact.

Muehlbasher
Muehlbasher

I am skeptical, the policies "shifted".  When will the policies "shift" back, the first round of OS upgrades?

I believe they understand the the millions of dollars they will lose if they continue with their stupid half baked policies.  I think that Microsoft has to remember that they really rely on North American Sales and we LOVE our Used games or getting something for trading in our Old!

agsviper
agsviper

i dont trust psn ive ordered 1000 xbones

trebor-1000
trebor-1000

I don't trust them - have ordered a ps4 now

buffaloblitz85
buffaloblitz85

'OHHH I'm gonna tear down the wallll. I may not be here when you call, so best be giving me your all.'

Speranza318
Speranza318

TL;DR: We know that our original policies would lead to less sales.  Therefore, we will do what you want to sell our products, then change back to our original intentions after you already purchase our product.  Don Mattrick does exactly what his name says: "trick"

hitmonkong
hitmonkong

Win? I didn't win and I just cancelled my Day One pre-order.  Yes I have 1st world problems, but what this means to me:

1.) I cannot have my entire game library in the cloud; I will always have to have scratch free disc with me all the time to play

2.) I cannot share my games with family and friends across the country

3.) No change to the GameStop business model: I will not see Steam-like discounts in the near future because GameStop is the only one who makes money on used games

4.) Game Piracy will still be a problem and that means more expensive hardware/software  as developers and Microsoft continue to try to combat that problem

With digital distribution on the way and always connected internet already here in the 1st world, the Original Xbox One with 24 hour check-in is the system that I wanted

MaxDisco74
MaxDisco74

I was JUST getting ready to put an anti MS rant on my gamertag about how I wouldn't be touching the Xbone, then this news came along. I still think the company is corrupt and greedy, but it was a relief to hear they made a turn-a-round because I really would like to get the new system. yaye!

nathangray
nathangray

Shows what happens when gamers put their money where their mouths are. See what happens when you exercise self-control, people?

dadkwashere
dadkwashere

They are only doing this because their sales were only 1/4 of the PS4. Its technically feedback, but they weren't actually listening, more just seeing.

In the end, we did win...for now. There is nothing that could stop them from adding their restrictions after release, but they would have to be stupid to do that. They wouldn't do that. Right? Right?!

tipsyfreelancer
tipsyfreelancer

It's a victory for gamers and consumers in general. Think how many corporate practices are designed to fleece consumers or water down products...imagine if people stood up to bank/cellphone fees, substandard internet speeds, and crap in our food and water?  Nice work.

I'm still leaning towards PS4 (even though I've been an xbox, xbox 360 owner).  I feel like the PS4 has had better exclusives that I missed out on. 

thequickshooter
thequickshooter

wait a second, now that they are saying the Xone will be region free shouldn't the xbox 360 get a firmware update to be region free too?

please reply

NickPunt636
NickPunt636

"Your Feedback matters." - BULLSHIT!!!

Almost every single bit of feedback since these "restrictions" were RUMOURED LAST YEAR has been very negative and outspoken, yet they did it anyway! THEN, PS4 pointed out a lack of said restrictions and suddenly their tune changed VERY quickly.


So, ACTUALLY, our feedback doesn't mean a GD THING!!! Getting raped by PS4 means a hell of a lot. 

Plataea
Plataea

Wow.  I would never have imagined myself saying this, but good on you, Microsoft!

Batosai001
Batosai001

All they need do now is allow us to use any hard drive we want (so i can put in an ssd) and it's all good. Secondly - not to interested in the kenect 2 also. I sit way to close for the first one and also have no interest in using it (no space to really move around for kenect games either. A drop in price wouldn't help either...

mjswooosh
mjswooosh

MS still needs to offer a SKU *without* the Kinect 2.0 requirement for $100 less.  I might consider purchasing a One if they did that, and I know a lot of other gamers feel the same way. As it stands now, they are going to get killed on price-point.

I own 5 Xbox 360s, but will not let a Kinect 2.0 in my household as a matter of principle. Why should I be forced to pay for a totally useless peripheral? I have a Kinect 1.0 and the most use it gets is my girlfriend playing Fruit Ninja once every couple weeks. There's not one top-shelf "Kinect game" available for purchase and the highest rated game is The Gunstringer, which is rated a 7.7 on Metacritic. The Kinect 1.0 is one of the most over-hyped busts in gaming peripheral history. I have no reason to believe the 2.0 version will offer any gaming experiences which are worth the expense.

In short, it's a waste of $100 I'd rather spend on another game and a second controller.

emarati999
emarati999

yah that good xbox ur ding the right thing

natedogg661
natedogg661

A good start.  Now get rid of the Kinect 2.0 and drop the price by $100

tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

Meh. Aside from Halo, I've never been a big fan of Xbox. PlayStation and Nintendo are my consoles of choice.

bobtheonlybob
bobtheonlybob

 Anyone else notice how the newest post in a thread is usually someone being positive of MS, kind of as if MS lackeys wait for the thread to be over and then post something.  And usually it's positive but with a small criticism so it doesn't look fake (although the username usually is so generic that it looks fake).  Just something to think about.

 Oh and for the record, nothing MS can do will erase "we have an alternative for those who can't connect, it's called the Xbox 360"(not an exact quote).  That is what MS really thinks of us.  Getting Titanfall for the PC, all other good games are multi so PS4, Wii U, or PC (which most games will be better on anyways).  

 PS, not an Sony fanboy, this gen: 360, PC, and Wii.  Just calling it like I see it.  MS you screwed up.  Let's hope Xbox TWO and Win9 are better.  Our collective wallets Dealtwithit

UziKill
UziKill

Well this is excellent news. The Xbox is back as my console choice. I've been a long time Xbox fan and I really was thinking of going PS4 this time. This changes everything. Thank you for listening to us.  [Insert happy gamer here] :)

invisigothz
invisigothz

one conclusion - they change it not because gamers ask for it... they change it because its business... and as we can clearly see, Xbox One wasn't selling... so they HAD to change the policy to sell... sorry gamers, its just business $$$

mjswooosh
mjswooosh

Well, it's official: MS screwed the pooch but good in how they handled the One's pre-launch. It's good they reversed (most of) the disastrous DRM restrictions, which should help improve their launch sales numbers to something north of "embarrassing". 

But, they still have a few other PR problems to overcome: the $100 higher price-point (due to mandatory Kinect 2.0), not allowing gamers to replace the small-ish internal hard-drive on the One, the notably inferior hardware (50% lower GPU shader/20% lower memory bandwidth with same API/SDK = long term problems), and still requiring an online "verification check" for each new game you buy (which still eliminates many potential buyers who don't have nor want to hook up their console to the 'net).

MS has some challenging days ahead with the One. In the end it will boil down to games, but it's never good to shoot oneself in the foot - several times - before the race has even begun.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

well thats good, but thats wont stop the ps4 runaway train.

stev69
stev69

They must have known it was never going to work, perhaps the back pedaling was premeditated anyway, they knew they had a bunch of "features" people were not going to be happy about. But by seemingly giving in by dropping some they can continue with the other unpopular policies, the kinect spyware addition (and having to pay for it in a bundle). That is something they should still address.

I will give them some kudos for appearing to take consumers reasonable demands into consideration, but I will still be suspicious of their motives for now. 

Rcr152
Rcr152

Whats important to making great next gen games? Is it graphics, game play, features, cost? Yes, but  most importantly (as MS found out the hard way) policy's that keep what we know, love and expect of our gaming experience intact. Because if it was up to them they would be milking us dry... The real hero here is sony for not following suit and jumping on  the money hungry band wagon. For that reason i would never by the new Xbox even if they did a Xbox "One-Eighty"...

fanirama
fanirama

Scumbags. They tried very hard, tried to stick to their bs and finally when they saw pre-orders dropping like a rock while PS4 was sold out everywhere, they claim to have seen the light. 

Money talks. This teaches us to band together and vote with our wallets. Collectively, we wield immense power. And we can bring about change. 

I hope this will make everyone not to dare the gamers again. 


It worked this time because MS added way too much into their restrictions (to appease their publisher friends). Next time they might do it via slow poison taking away features one by one over a period instead of at once. 

We need to realize that and fight these every single time vehemently. Next time Sony might not be there to bail us. 

Next stop should be - showing no monetary support for release-day DLC or expensive DLC for content that is also on disk but is just an unlock code.

razorgrin
razorgrin

Microsoft are probably thinking long term with the kinect technology advances. Yes, kinect is crap as a controller at the moment. But what about once VR headsets become mainstream? Occulus is taking the next big step, I doubt it will be too far away really. Kinect is the perfect complement to VR technology to create truly immersive digital worlds. There's a reason Bill Gates is such a rich bastard....

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

why is this story still at the top its kinda old news now and it there like its the latest story

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Generally speaking, the more ram a system has, the more future proof the system will be. PS4 has the edge with it's its unprecedented 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. Even the most expensive consumer-level PC graphics cards can't match this allocation. DDR3 will be easier for developers but only for short term. 

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Mobile phones and laptops don't have RGB camera's in them like Kinects biometric monitor in XBOX ONE, People need to stop comparing like this. MS are working there way in to peoples homes not just via Console or Entertainment Box but soon Kinect will be used in PC's as well. 


Kinect reads heart-rates being discerned by fluctuations in the blood flow in the user's face.
, support for six skeletons, each with 25 joints, and understands muscular activity around the body along with impact strengths from punches or kicks. 

The sensor is said to be able to measure blood flow around the face, read a person's expression and memories the emotions.
 On top of that, it memorizes Skeleton face bones which are then uploaded and reg on one of MS 300.000 servers so even if a person grew a bunch of facial hair the Kinect can still register and know who you are if you are using another XBOX ONE like a friends.