The lights are on
Following today's big announcement that Microsoft has changed its mind on used game restrictions and online check-ins to refresh licenses, we spoke with Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten. We discussed pricing, changes to digital titles, and how Microsoft is positioned following E3 last week.
We started off by clarifying a comment made in an earlier interview with Kotaku. According to that story, the Xbox One needs an always online patch to enable offline play. This isn't entirely accurate, Whitten explained.
"There's always been a plan to have a day one update for Xbox One," Whitten told us "It's just the difference between the hardware schedules and the software schedules. We're just being clear that it still exists." In other words, you'll need to connect the Xbox One once in order to get it up and running.
One of the biggest negative changes in the DRM and online connection shift is that users will no longer be able to share their digitally-purchased games with nine family members. Whitten explained that the original plan was to apply policies to games regardless of purchase mechanism, hence the sweeping change.
We spoke with Microsoft about the mood after the Sony press conference at E3. Whitten told us that despite Sony's clear jabs at Microsoft and the $100 price difference the team "had a really great day." Whitten continued, "I knew we were going to get a ton of feedback. What we heard is that people love our games, but there were a couple of areas where they want more choice."
When we asked about the two remaining differentials, price and the mandatory use of Kinect, Whitten was clear: "[$499] is our price for Xbox One."
"We believe in the value that we're delivering, not just for day one, but for the system to grow and evolve," Whitten explained. "To us, things like Kinect are part of that. It's a toolset for game creators that has never existed before. Users are just going to have a better experience."
As for pre-orders following a week of feedback that was often inhospitable, Whitten told us simply, "We're excited." We asked if the same sentiment was shared by publishing partners.
Whitten chuckled. "I've been on the phone all day and haven't had a chance to see how it's landing online yet," he said.
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So it's still set up to be like it was and you have to get online once to change the software in the update. This still screws people who have no internet connection and it would only take another system update for them to change it all back. No thanks. Trust has been lost.
if they would of explained or demonstrated how game sharing would work instead of jus saying heres the new xbox one n heres all the games coming n thank you for coming bye.no they split there presentation in two one for media audience n the other week later for gamers leaving more questions then answers. what i heard was that 9 members on a list could share games.it could have been awesome if we can all play at the same time with jus one game purchase. we could of went halfers on a game, 60 bucks jus 6 ways thats 10 bucks each, but no they didnt explain how it worked maybe you were not able to even play at the same time, who knows. poor preparation n presentation...maybe they will do it on there next console when i lost interest in console gaming n the matrix hits ...
The interview shown here is incomplete. The full interview is on Kotaku. He also answers if any of the cool features we actually liked are completely off the table now or just be implemented later down the line after release. GI should REALY have a link for it here.
If kinect is still part of the deal i'm out. Get rid of the Must have kinect!!!!
I;m still gonna get the Xbox One regardless, but it's pretty reassuring to see MS swallow their pride and do what it's best for gamers everywhere, even though I STILL don't get the major backlash.
I'm curious. For those that wished that Microsoft didn't change these policies, tell me what was so special that Microsoft could have done with a 24 hour check in and their previous used game policies that they can't do now?
Now if they got rid of the mandatory Kinect, made a $399 SKU and allowed indies to self publish, I'd possibly consider getting one. After the PS4. And IF there's a killer game I can't get on PC.
There has never been a console made that pleases everyone. From a business standpoint, you want to make a console that will please the majority. More people didn't like the policies than liked them. Therefore, huge turnaround.
They may have reversed the decision but the tech is still in the console that can be bait and switched at any time with a patch. I wouldn't trust them considering how buddy buddy they are with the NSA.....they could go back on their reversal any time down the road cause they can....
i was considering buying one even before these changes because i was curious about the hype of microsoft but that price is kind of killing it for me
The reason for the reversal was simple: Nobody but the most dedicated Xbox fanboys wanted the thing.
Hell, I still don't want it. Regardless, I'm not planning to buy either console this year. By the time they launch, the Wii U will be seeing it's first major releases--which is typically how console generations work. I'll be getting those instead.
The most eye opening thing for me about this reversal is that Microsoft apparently feels that it has to be one way or the other. Why can't we have both the ability to play, lend and share disc based games as we do now along with the ability to share digitally purchased games with others via an optional online check-in process. In that scenario, if you didn't check-in, you would have access to the shared online library.
It doesn't seem like it would have been that hard to implement, but they seem to think that we can only handle one way or the other. There seems to be no allowance for a middle ground.
I'm actually FOR having the KInect on day one. Too much potential held in it.