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This is for people who want to know more about the Xbox One.
Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.
For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.
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. 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.
So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.
These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.
We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. 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.
Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.
All info can be found here.
Offical statement from Microsoft about the change.
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 earlier today, 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,” Whitten told IGN. “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.”
When asked if the update can be downloaded via smartphone tethering for customers without broadband, Whitten confirmed “sure. Any way that you can get connectivity to the Live service would work to enable that to come down to the console.”
We asked Whitten about the decision to makes today’s changes and how Microsoft has responded to some of the reactions online.
“We love getting feedback from gamers. My ideal scenario is always that I’m working to build a product they love,” Whitten said. “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.”
Whitten also confirmed that, as Microsoft first said in May, 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.”
Given that Xbox One will no longer require a connection for all users or any kind of periodic check-in, we asked Whitten how this will impact games with always-online features such as Forza Motorsport 5 or EA’s Titanfall.
We believe that most people, frankly, are going to continue to take advantage of the connected state and all that comes with it.
“We believe that most people, frankly, are going to continue to take advantage of the connected state and all that comes with it,” he told us, “and that frankly it will be experiences like TitanFall taking unique advantage of the cloud, or Forza and drivatars that people are going to love and they’re going to use. And to take advantage of those features you’ll clearly have to be connected and online, just as if you were streaming video or playing multiplayer or any of the other things that require online. But that’s up to the game experience and sort of how they use those features.”
Given Xbox One’s digital features -- even with today’s changes -- we asked Whitten how Microsoft feels about physical media in general and if they would rather have left out an optical drive entirely.
“We actually think physical discs drive a lot of really positive things,” Whitten told us. “The truth is, games are really big, and the ability to get them down quickly and have them there and play them is key. The ability to go into a store and see a wall of games, to get people to tell you about which games are great and to be able to flip them over and understand them and browse is really great. So actually, we love physical discs. We love being able to use those.”
Whitten clarified that “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.
“So much of that still works exactly as we’ve been describing,” Whitten clarified. “You’ll instantly switch between the game that you’re playing, between television and apps, between Skype, you’ll be able to snap those and move between them effortlessly. Now, if you’re talking about disc-based games, because the disc does have to be in the tray to play, if you decide to switch to a disc-based game that’s not the current one in the drive, you’ll have to go get it.”
“And you’ll also, in the middle of your disc-based game, you’ll be flipping to the web browser because you want to do something or snapping to Skype or flipping over between live TV and then going back to the disc-based game,” he continued. “So that fast and fluid experience, which we think will define next-generation entertainment, is still a core part of how Xbox One works.”
Whitten also confirmed that the Smart Match functionality described at E3 is still very much a part of the console despite today’s changes.
We’ve just been absorbing what people love and, frankly, what they want to see changed.
“You’ll still be able to do all of those pieces of functionality,” he said. “Again, if you decided to Smart Match into one of your games that was on a physical disc, you’d have to make sure that was in the tray. The capability is still there, the ability to do some of those things asynchronously, all of those capabilities still exist because of the power of the cloud and the power of Xbox Live and how we built the architecture.”
Finally, we asked Whitten how long these changes have been in the works. Given Sony's bombshell announcement last week, were these changes made in response to the news at E3?
“If you think about the last three or four weeks, this has been our first chance to show our complete platform,” Whitten explained. “Everything from the Xbox unveil to showing the great games lineup at E3 last week was the time when we were able to get everybody to see our platform and get great feedback. We got tons of feedback on what people loved. They loved the games, they loved the vision of the platform, the unique things that were made possible by the architecture. But they also told us they want choice in these areas. We’ve been listening to the feedback, we’ve been reading the forums, we’ve been reading the comments since that time. So I think it’s been, thankfully for us, constant over the last week as we’ve just been absorbing what people love and, frankly, what they want to see changed.”