Xbox One will not require an always-on internet connection, will not restrict used games and will not be region locked.
All the features that made you hate Microsoft are gone. Will it work? Is it enough to regain your respect and love? Only you can decide; when it comes to vote with your wallet.
“After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again”, Microsoft wrote. “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”.
Like on Xbox 360, “playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray”.
Xbox One will also no longer restrict used games, and will instead allow discs to be exchanged in the same way they are on Xbox 360. There will be no additional restrictions for trade-ins or lending games to friends. The system will also no longer be region locked and all downloaded games will function the same way whether your console is connected or not. You can always choose to buy an actual disc-based copy of your new game or you can directly download it from Xbox Live the day of the release. No restrictions or limitations.
“Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback”, Microsoft’s Don Mattrick wrote. “I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to 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. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world”.
“These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One”, Mattrick noted. “The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold”.
“We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity,” Mattrick concluded. “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”.
At E3 last week, Sony announced similar policies for PlayStation 4, which will not require an internet connection or periodic authentication and does not restrict used games.
Now there are less differences between the next generation consoles, and with the regained freedom of using a product we bought as we like the decision between the two is a little harder. Or not?