Microsoft reverses Xbox One sharing policies
New console will now allow users to swap discs and trade in games
Gamers take a closer look at the Xbox One during E3 in Los Angeles. Photograph: Gus Ruelas/Reuters
Microsoft has bowed to pressure over its upcoming games console and reversed some of its controversial decisions restricting games on the Xbox One.
The company, which revealed its console at an event at its Seattle headquarters in May, had been the focus of much criticism after it announced plans that would require users to “check in” via an internet connection on a regular basis to play games offline, and restrict the sharing of physical games discs between friends and family.
The pressure intensified last week after Sony announced that it would not impose any restrictions on physical discs.
In a statement, Microsoft’s president of interative entertainment Don Mattrick said the company had listened to feedback from its potential customers, and the sharing of games would work the same way as it currently did.
“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,” he said.
“We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.”
However, the move may have implications for some of Microsoft’s other plans for the console.
“These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One,” Mr Mattrick said, although he did not provide further detail.
Under the original plans for Xbox One, games would be installed from the disc on to the console and tied to a user’s account, allowing them to play without the disc. That would have allowed users to access their games library from another console. However, the changes mean that games bought on disc will require that game to be in the console’s tray to play.
Other planned features, such as the ability to share games with designated family members, are also likely to be affected.