Microsoft has confirmed that a day one update will be required for Xbox One. In response to the reversal of Xbox One’s used game and internet policies, Microsoft spoke to Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten about how this changes the policies previously announced for the new console.
“There was always going to be a day one update on the console, and that’s frankly just a difference in manufacturing schedules versus software schedules”, said Whitten. “We just wanted to be clear that that hasn’t changed, that you have to go online to get the software update for day one, then you wouldn’t have to be connected after that”.
You can get connectivity to the Xbox Live service even via smartphone tethering for customers without broadband.
Regarding the huge amount of feedback from gamers on the new “DRM policies” and on the always-on connection requirement Whitten said: “We love getting feedback from gamers. My ideal scenario is always that I’m working to build a product they love. We still believe in how games and entertainment are transformed by being connected and powered by the cloud, and frankly you’re going to see us really innovate against that experience. But as part of making the changes to allow you to use physical discs the way that you do today, what’s going to happen is your online games and your physical games will work like they do today. That does mean that features like Family Sharing won’t be there. Another example that we think is awesome is that when you move to any Xbox One, the ability to see all of your games in your Games Library. While you’ll clearly only see the ones that you downloaded online, you’d have to bring your physical discs for the other ones”.
Xbox One will still require the Kinect sensor (which is included in the box) in order to play games.
“We still believe Kinect is a really critical part of the architecture”, Whitten explained. “We think it changes the way you can interact with your experiences, being able to control the box with your voice or with gestures, being able to do Skype. And we want game and interactive entertainment creators to be able to know they can take advantage of it, and we want it to be completely consistent for our users. So we still are very committed to how Kinect transforms that experience”.
“You’ll still install games to the hard drive. Obviously if you download them from online that’s the way it works. If you put a disc in, it will install it to the hard drive. You will have to have the disc in the tray in order to play. One of the cool features that actually comes with that, as an example, because we built on all this infrastructure around Xbox One, is if I went to your house with my disc-based game and we played for a while, and obviously I’d installed and we played, and then I left with my disc, you could instantly buy that game with no downloads”.
The instant game switching that Microsoft showed off at E3 will also still function, though players will of course need to change physical discs if they’re swapping between hard copies of games.
For more on Xbox One’s policies be sure to see Microsoft’s announcements regarding the always-on internet connection, used games and region lock.