Xbox One digital sharing, Xbox Live explained

Microsoft confirms everyone in the same home can share digital games; Xbox Live Gold benefits can be extended to household and friends.


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Microsoft today gave new details regarding how Xbox One digital sharing and Xbox Live for the next-generation platform will work.

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In an Xbox Wire post, Microsoft chief product officer Marc Whitten said the company's ambition for the platform was to create a "highly personalized" console that is also social.

"It's about celebrating your individual tastes but also making it welcoming and easy for people to share," Whitten said.

Whitten said everyone in their home can share digital games with each other. Any person can sign in with their unique gamertag and play, even if the owner is not signed in. Similar to physical games, users can also play digital titles without being connected to the Internet or Xbox Live, though Whitten said the experience will be "best" when connected.

Whitten also reiterated that gamers can play digital titles before the entire game finishes downloading, a feature that competitor Sony also offers in the PlayStation 4.

When players travel to a friend's house, they can access their titles by signing into their console using their gamertag. Game purchases made on a friend's console will also be available on a user's home console.

Not only are Xbox One digital games sharable, but also Xbox Live itself. Through a new system called Home Gold, users can extend Xbox Live Gold benefits to others at no additional cost, Whitten said.

Features like Game DVR, SmartMatch, and entertainment apps like The NFL on Xbox and Skype are only available to Gold subscribers.

When at home, players can choose to set their Xbox One to allow any users to make use of Xbox Live Gold benefits. Similarly, when at a friend's house, users can log into their Xbox Live account and share these benefits.

Whitten also addressed the situation where players own an Xbox 360 and an Xbox One. He said all existing Xbox Live Gold memberships will "seamlessly" become an Xbox Live Gold account on Xbox One. Players will then have access to the suite of Gold-benefits on both consoles. Gamers can even be logged into the Xbox 360 and Xbox One at the same time, Whitten said.

The Xbox One launches in November for $500. For more, check out an unboxing video below.

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