In a startling and unexpected twist Microsoft have today announced plans to change several of their key policies regarding the Xbox One, saying that they have listened to feedback and understand that gamers are not happy.
On their official Xbox news site Microsoft had this to say:
“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. 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.”
The first announcement was that the console no longer needs to connect to the Internet every 24-hours to check in with Microsoft. According the new policy the only time the Xbox One needs an Internet connection is when you first set it up, but after that you’re free to unplug it from the Internet entirely and carry on playing your games.
The second big announcement was that there will be no restrictions on sharing you games, so just like you can now you’ll be able to simply hand your friend a game and he or she will be able to play it. Microsoft also confirmed that new releases will be available to download on release day, and that downloaded games can played offline.
However, it’s not all good news as the company also revealed that these policy changes mean the loss of certain features, primarily the Family Plan, a system which allowed you to create a shared library for you and up to nine of your family members to access and play games from. Gone, too, is the ability to walk in to a friends house, log in to your Xbox account and then download any of your games from your library via Cloud. Sadly downloaded titles won’t be able to be shared or lent to a friend, either.
The loss of the shared library feature is quite sad indeed, but in return gamers are getting what they asked for, and in the process Microsoft have proven that they can, and do, listen to their fans. It may not be enough, though, as there’s still plenty of people planning on ignoring the Xbox One in favor of the PS4, on the basis that they feel it’s too late and the damage was already done, hurt by Microsoft’s initial attitude toward their reaction. Oddly enough there’s also a lot of people bemoaning the new policy, ignoring the changes that they wanted in favor of complaining loudly about how some of the sharing features have vanished, possibly proving that the Internet just likes to have stuff to hate.
The post is rounded off with Microsoft saying:
“We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. 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.”
So, is it too late for you to consider an Xbox One? Have these changes altered your stance in any way? Personally I’m now far more willing to consider the Xbox One, despite the high price and constant Kinect connection.