Quite in spite of the fact that E3 this year was mostly about a lot of games, games, and games, outraged commentary about the Xbox One’s controversial used game policy and its online connectivity requirement has dominated the majority of talk about the expo.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether restrictions on lending games and signing in to Xbox LIVE every 24 hours really matters, but in the meantime, keep in mind that the rules could change. It’s just that this is how things are for now.
“We wanted to set our definitive policy in black and white terms on Xbox Wire, which we did last week. That’s our policy,” Microsoft’s Phil Spencer told CVG.
“Through the life of 360 there have been policy changes and Marketplace changes that have responded to consumer demand, creator demand and what’s happening in the marketplace.
“We will be as attentive to that feedback on Xbox One as we were through 360. So what Larry [Hyrb, Xbox director] is saying is that these systems evolve. We’re a software company. If you think about the amount of times we changed the operating system on 360 – it was a number of times.
“But we wanted to set our policy as it is for Xbox One in clear terms so that there wasn’t ambiguity in what our stance was. That was our intent.”
Part of the reason that Microsoft has implemented this policy is because the console doesn’t require a physical disc to play a game, and licenses to play a game are tied to user accounts instead – in much the same way, for example, that Steam on PC works.
“I think there are some distinct advantages of the ecosystem that we wanted to bring to console; I can go to my friend’s house and my library comes with me,” Spencer explained. “The content’s not locked to the disc, in fact if the disc got scratched or I lost it, the content’s on my hard drive and the license to that content is associated with your account on Xbox Live. There are advantages to that: your whole family can play all of the games that are in your library, regardless of wherever you’re home or not or what machine they’re on.”