When Microsoft reversed its stance on mandatory daily check-ins for the Xbox One a week after E3 2013, it was heralded by most of the community as the right move. Unfortunately, one of the most appealing features of the plan was the ability to share games with family members. According to a new report, that might still happen.

Microsoft never fleshed out the details of the game-sharing plan, as it was put to bed early on. Now, head of Xbox Phil Spencer offers some hope that the program might resurface. 

“I haven't given up on those ideas," Spencer said to Gamer Tag Radio. "There's some complexity now that you've got these discs around that have DRM that you've got to figure out. But it's definitely part of our map with the overall product.”

Steam has executed on a similar feature with its family sharing plan. Once you activate your account on another computer, that user has access to your library until you start using it. 

A similar strategy would work for Xbox One digital purchases, but disc-based content is trickier. Even though discs fully install to the hard drive, DRM handshakes require the media to be in the drive.  

Microsoft has accelerated its update schedule for the Xbox One, moving from semi-annual major updates to monthly feature upgrades and additions. The company often references a “roadmap” for its engineering teams, and with sharing still part of those discussions, it could very well happen sometime down the road.

[Source: Gamer Tag Radio via IGN]


Our Take
Even if Microsoft were to restrict sharing to digitally purchased content, it would be a big step. For the most part, the community understood that family sharing was a necessary casualty of returning to the established model of game ownership. Bringing it back (at least in some form) would likely earn Microsoft a huge boost of good will from the community.