Gamers using Xbox One will find new, and more restrictive, rules regarding selling used games when the console debuts later this year.
Microsoft will let game publishers set the rules for reselling games to retailers.
“We designed XBOX ONE so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers,” the company posted on the Xbox news Web site. “Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.”
The company doesn’t say, though, if those publishers will be able to take a fee from resales.
The company is also clamping down on the ability of gamers to share titles with friends. Microsoft said no fees will be charged when games are transferred to buddies. But gamers can only share games with people who have been on their friends list for at least 30 days. And each game can only be given once.
And while Microsoft isn’t requiring the Xbox One to be connected constantly, gamers will only be able to play offline for up to 24 hours on a primary console, or one hour if they are logged onto a separate console accessing their library of titles. At that point, offline gaming will be disabled until players re-establish a Web connection. Xbox One owners still will be able to watch live TV and play Blu-ray disks and standard DVDs with the device.
Connectivity and game resales have been the two biggest unanswered questions about Xbox One since Microsoft took the wraps off the device last month. Gamers worried that Microsoft would use Web connectivity in the console to check if gamers had acquired their discs legitimately.
Those concerns may well have been justified. The restrictions on game sales and sharing appear to benefit publishers who aren’t keen on having the games they’ve spent millions of dollars to produce resold while they receive nothing in return.
Microsoft also offered a few details about privacy settings in the Xbox One. The console includes the Kinect motion-sensing, voice-detecting controller. But that always-on speaker and camera might disturb some gamers who fear for their privacy. On the Xbox news site, Microsoft said that the system is “only listening for the single voice command — ‘Xbox On.'” But gamers can turn that feature off if they choose
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