Microsoft on loaning and gifting digital Xbox One games -- "We totally believe in that future"

Xbox boss Phil Spencer says Microsoft is now "fully heads down" in working to introduce new marketplace functionality to the Xbox One.

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Microsoft is committed to expanding the Xbox One's digital marketplace functionality with new features like loaning and gifting downloaded titles, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GameSpot in a new interview. Speaking with us from the 2014 Game Developers Conference last week in San Francisco, Spencer made it clear that digital will be a focus going forward.

"We believe in a digital future on our box," Spencer said, making sure to point out that retail is important to the company as well. Spencer says Microsoft can maintain its business with traditional retailers while simultaneously beefing up its own digital initiatives.

"On the digital space, and the things that we've talked about, what that opens up...like we understand what games you own and who you are and how you move around and who you might want to loan rights to your games or gift your games to," Spencer said. "We totally believe in that future. And any other marketplace you play in, these kind of mechanisms are out there."

Indeed, Valve's Steam marketplace currently allows its 65 million users to gift games to friends. The company also recently introduced a Family Sharing program that lets users play one another's games and even earn their own achievements and save progress via the cloud.

"We are now fully heads down on thinking about and building out the future of our digital marketplace to enable what people would expect, and hopefully some things that will delight them beyond their expectations" -- Spencer

Microsoft originally planned to offer its own Family Sharing plan for Xbox One, which would have allowed users to share their titles with up to ten others from any console, but the company ditched this feature after it reversed a number of controversial Xbox One policies in June.

This functionality, and other new features, appear to be ready for a comeback.

"We are now fully heads down on thinking about and building out the future of our digital marketplace to enable what people would expect, and hopefully some things that will delight them beyond their expectations," Spencer said.

Finally, Spencer yet again addressed the controversial few months Microsoft endured following the Xbox One announcement in May and its the policy reversals a month later after E3 last June.

"I know when I say this I always get beat up, but I think some of what we were trying to say last summer was right," Spencer said. That said, Spencer made it clear that Microsoft could have done a better job in communicating the value of its since-reversed digital initiatives.

This isn't the first time Spencer has addressed last summer's Xbox One controversy. Speaking at SXSW this month, Spencer said, "when you're going to say something to a consumer that might put them off, it's better to just be direct and honest, rather than trying to sugar-coat something that might be controversial."

Also in our interview, Spencer talked about Microsoft's competition with Sony's PlayStation 4, saying "We are in this to win."

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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19James89

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How can you push digital with a device with a miserly 500GB HD and makes it very difficult to upgrade?

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tomservo51

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<< LINK REMOVED >> simple, youre an asshole company.

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19James89

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<< LINK REMOVED >> If Microsoft wanted to push digital like Nintendo they should have put at least a 1TB HD into their consoles.

32GB and 500GB is not enough and I don't see why people should be forced to go out and buy an external HD which costs them even more money. It's a joke.

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PosiTVEMinD355

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Dude, a 2tb portable HDD is at least $96 on Amazon. Considering the X1 will allow games to run off that Portable HDD via usb3.0 is pretty awesome. I can do the same for the Wii U even though it doesn't support usb3.0


That said, 1tb isn't even enough these days. I bought my 1tb Hybrid drive for a couple dollars more than that 2tb Portable and its only a Sata2 so the full potential of the drive will never really be seen. Just small increases in speed.


Here's the thing: What happens if your PS4 goes to shit? PS3 was a complete nightmare when I got YLOD and if you didn't back that thing up beforehand, you were screwed. And now, Sony isn't even doing that nor will they support external storage (I'm certain they will in the future).


So the real question is, what will happen to your data if the PS4 bites the dust?

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sammoth

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It will be cheaper than replacing the internal one off the PS4 and you lose the installed 500gb you paid for when you bought the console.

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sladakrobot

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<< LINK REMOVED >> What is so difficult to plug a HDD into the usb slot(coming soon).?

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LancerPower

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I'm guessing.... getting up and actually having to plug it in?

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sammoth

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Same can be done on the Xbox One then. Argument on both sides is irrelevant.

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redwin

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You can delete and download again for free. Just keep about 10 games in the hardrive at the time.

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pharoe777

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<< LINK REMOVED >> If you don't have one, then what's the problem, it clearly doesn't affect you in any way. Most people that do have an X1 don't mind or care, or they wouldn't of bought it.

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sladakrobot

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<< LINK REMOVED >> What will you do when your HDD is full?

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Flyincloud1116

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Crap all other the place.

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tomservo51

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I thought you asked? Now I'm confused.

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sladakrobot

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<< LINK REMOVED >> and that has to do with what?

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tomservo51

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> My PS4 has no devices dangling from it, Just a power cable and HDMI cable.

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sladakrobot

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<< LINK REMOVED >> are you nuts?

What about the ps4?


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tomservo51

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How many devices do you need coming out of your X1? Kinect? Powerbrick? External HDD? Gimme a break.

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Flyincloud1116

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DRM is coming.

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sammoth

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<< LINK REMOVED >> WTF do you think a disk check is moron ?

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repetitious

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<< LINK REMOVED >> your stupidity came

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Flyincloud1116

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Spoken like a true twisted machine.

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OldDadGamer

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DRM's been here for decades.....

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Flyincloud1116

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You know what I mean old man.

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tomservo51

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<< LINK REMOVED >> decades? lol

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sammoth

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> were*

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sammoth

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Floppy disks had disk based checks as well or product codes that had to be entered. Still DRM.

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sammoth

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You where right dimwit doesn't understand that decade = a period of 10 years.

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sammoth

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Yes decades. Periods of 10 years.

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tomservo51

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Floppys? You could still give your floppys to your friend! Not the same dude.

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IndremaLover

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@tomservo51 @olddadgamer I remember you! I think i bought some of those McGuyver VHS's

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OldDadGamer

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>Careful, dude. The FBI may be watching.

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enoughofthis

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> decades

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tomservo51

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I sold re-runs of McGuyver on VHS from my van for years.

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19James89

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<< LINK REMOVED >> DRM has been in existence for a long time. People think that when they buy a game it's their game! Wrong! You own the disc, you own the box and the manual, but you don't own the game data inside the disc, that's not yours.

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IndremaLover

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@LancerPower @tomservo51 @olddadgamer



Decades. I remember the days of copy protection on floppys.

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OldDadGamer

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>Well, maybe not decades. But the idea has been there. Copying any media has been illegal for decades. Technically, making mix tapes in the 80s was illegal. No one ever got prosecuted.


That happened later on. Ask the Napster dude.

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LancerPower

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> There has always been some sort of DRM. Just not as forceful as MS's was.

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tomservo51

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"when you're going to say something to a consumer that might put them off, it's better to just be direct and honest, rather than trying to sugar-coat something that might be controversial. At least that's what I told Adam Orth"

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youre_a_sheep

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Any form of digital sharing or gifting will be at the discretion of MS, Sony or whoever runs it. That's fine if you just want to play something through once and move on. If you want a game to be yours, buy a physical copy and don't ever accept any form of DRM.

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19James89

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<< LINK REMOVED >> But the data on the disc isn't yours. Just take MAG as an example.

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enoughofthis

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i don't understand why digital doesn't sell for 10-15 dollars less than retail, you pretty much cut everyone out of the costs of the game except the dev and xbox themselves

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repetitious

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<< LINK REMOVED >> becuase its the same as cuttin the retailers throats

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IndremaLover

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I always thought cheaper digital was going to be part of the deal.

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Darknight765

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> not until you get publishers out of the way.

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Darknight765

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<< LINK REMOVED >> publishers. disc cost $1-2. Its publisher trying to make money that drive the price up.

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nightsinner

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The problem with going digital only on consoles is that eliminates hard copies of used games. And that's the only real place to find a bargain. Unless you want to wait three years after the release and buy it on Xbox live.

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OldDadGamer

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Not if you can gift or sell the digital copy. Then it's the same thing, just without a disc.

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Darknight765

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> not true steam gives you deals on game all the time that haven't been out for a year. screw gamestop they are just a greedy middle man

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Vodoo

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And both of those require credit cards as well, lol. If someone is lending you a $65 game you can bet your ass they want collateral in case you decide to keep it.

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Darknight765

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@EasyComeEasyGo No, their downfall was, for the price of two rentals from them, I could get unlimited movies for a month. Or like 9 movies at redbox which could be returned any where. Blockbuster like gamespot is a middle man that is no longer needed. the way both consoles indie programs are going you won't see too many publishers in 5 years

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delete-EasyComeEasyGo

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Trust me, I like BB back in the days but BB true problems was the Late Fees, way behind digital rentals, and if you want to rent a game, you need a credit card. Those were the downfall of BB. In the end, I use Netflix and sometimes Redbox.

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Darknight765

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@EasyComeEasyGo I don't hear you crying over Blockbuster as you use Netflix

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delete-EasyComeEasyGo

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In this Economy, it's not a good idea to shut down all Gamestop, massive Employees will lose jobs and that is not something we want to see. Gamestop talk about Digital plans for a while now to handle that problem without losing jobs.

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tomservo51

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I didn't think Microsoft loved me until now.

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Vodoo

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If this guy thinks they were right then he has no business being in charge of Xbox. The ONLY good thing out of their proposal was the family sharing and then took their ball and went home when they didn't get their way.

How the HELL could Microsoft go from designing a great console like the 360 to the half finished, abysmal mess that is the XB1? They never should've shuffled people around in the reorganization process. Because now you have people running divisions they know nothing about. I don't see how that makes the company stronger. If anything, it creates a big cluster-****.

FD (full disclosure), I own both next gens and play the XB1 more than the PS4. But the XB1 was obviously not finished at launch. I think Microsoft was gonna try to milk another year out of the 360 but launched a year earlier to match the PS4. How could a new console have LESS features than the one it's replacing?

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youre_a_sheep

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<< LINK REMOVED >> The level of mismanagement at MS was never more apparent than last year when a combination of hostile policies and open disdain for their customer base had put X1 on a path to disaster. They'd be in 3rd behind the Wii U had they gone through with their original plans.

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IndremaLover

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Same here. Both my PS3 and 360 do so much more than my PS4. I know they're both still updating their respective systems, but some day I'd like to not have to have 4 game consoles under my TV.


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Marcusraitor

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This is good. But not good enough. I like some guarantee that the games i buy digital i can have it and played it 10 years after. Even if Microsoft erase the games i bought from their servers. I would like that when Microsoft is going to erase the games i buy, they give me the option to move it from my console harddrive to a physical media. If they can do this. I can move 100% digital, streaming or whatever. I know its not going to happen. But if they can do this.

Digital or streaming games can kill physical media.

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repetitious

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<< LINK REMOVED >> why would they erad the game you bought? but still have support for physcial cd?..again why would they erase it?

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Marcusraitor

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When you bought games digital. You are not going to have acces to that games forever microsoft or Sony or other company erase the games so they can put new games. There are a lot of xbox 360 games that microsoft erase from the xbox marketplace. And you even if you bough it you are not going to have acces to it. Read the terms and conditions when you buy digital. Microsoft can do everything he wants with your digital games. You dont have control over your games.

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youre_a_sheep

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Exactly. They could decide on a whim they don't want to retain it for purchase anymore, or a license for in-game music or other content could expire and force them to take it down. If you could back it up on an external HD it wouldn't be an issue, but if the only copy left is on your console, you're a crash away from losing it forever.

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Marcusraitor

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Its not just microsoft. A lot of companies do that. Amazon, apple Google Steam Sony Nintendo Etc. Apple erase a lot of games i bought from the app store. Sony too Nintendo too. Thats the problem if you have it physical even if your console brakes. You have your games and can use it if you repair your console or buy another one. You have more control with physical over digital.

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OldDadGamer

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<< LINK REMOVED >> But it doesn't have to be that way. That's just MS's policy, not the tech.

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