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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