Xbox One policy change means loss of family sharing, disc-free gaming

Microsoft's sudden reversal today of its 24-hour check-in policy and how it will handle used games means the loss of some features that the company had touted as important features for the new console.

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Microsoft's sudden reversal today of its 24-hour check-in policy and how it will handle used games is obviously good news for those happy with the Xbox 360 status quo. But the change also means the loss of some features that the company had touted as important features for the new console.

Sharing your game library with 10 family members no longer viable because users are no longer required to store their games online, Xbox Live VP Marc Whitten told Polygon. Users will also not be able to play their game at a friend's house without a copy of the disk, since the installed game will not be stored digitally with your Xbox Live account.

"While we are adding in the ability to use physical discs, we still believe in the power of a digital and cloud-powered future played out at launch and rolled out over time. You are going to see us invest a ton in all of the ways digital builds experiences," he said, adding that digital versions of games will be available day-and-date with retail copies.

Cloud-powered processing is something the company still believes in, but now that an Xbox One needn't necessarily ever go online after setup, it'll be tougher to use. Third-party publishers will need to decide whether they want to require going online for a game, should they hope to use cloud processing or other online features, Whitten said.

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  • reply
    June 19, 2013 2:30 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Xbox One policy change means loss of family sharing, disc-free gaming.

    Microsoft's sudden reversal today of its 24-hour check-in policy and how it will handle used games means the loss of some features that the company had touted as important features for the new console.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:34 PM

      Ultra sad face. I live in a two console home and I have two kids. And I'm always online, 24/7. This was gonna be really good for me (but probably really shitty for a LOT of other people).

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:40 PM

      More games sales.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:40 PM

      I hope everyone's happy now.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 4:59 PM

        hell yeah. I'm happy.

        A disc free future is coming. MS simply tried to force it instead of waiting for it to evolve.

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 5:04 PM

          The disc free future is already here. Valve started that a decade ago, and Netflix brought us the rest of the way.

          Apple only sells a single machine with a disk drive now, and it's the non-Retina Macbook Pro, ie: the only machine in their line-up that nobody should ever buy, ever.

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            June 19, 2013 8:03 PM

            I disagree that it's here, it's available if you want to but there are still a lot of people like myself who want that actual disc, including Netflix. I have a Netflix account and I only use the disc service, I don't use the online streaming, I want to be able to watch a movie if I am in an area with no wifi or not at home, which on my weekend job is a constant. I enjoy having the discs of movies and games, and Microsoft forcing that was just wrong. Now that they have decided to follow Sony is good for everyone, you can still get your games digitally if you wish and I can get my games on disc if I wish, plus if I want to loan a game to my friends or brother I can do so and be able to get my game back. Granted I am not planning on getting an Xbox One anytime soon if ever, but now that their dumb policies are gone I might consider buying one when before there was zero chance of that happening. So yes I am very happy, thanks. :)

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:06 PM

        As someone who was never going to buy it, I'm indifferent :/

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 8:09 PM

        I want it back the way it was :(

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:43 PM

      Why not make those available to people that are connected? I don't get it.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 4:45 PM

        I can only hope it will become a feature of Gold for digitally purchased games.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:01 PM

        They're probably scrambling to rewrite a lot of the backend software for this, I'm guessing they just went with the simplest solution.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 8:31 PM

        You can't for disc-based games if you also allow disc-based games to work without online connectivity. If you could "online folks" would buy games, tie it to their account, and then sell the disc on to "offline folks" who would play with the disc in the box.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:43 PM

      lol, now MS gets a negative news article on every site about the features they had to pull in order to put everything back the way people wanted. they're just getting hammered over this.

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 7:14 AM

        Shacknews. It's why we can't have nice things.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:48 PM

      i don't see why they can't support both... why does it have to be one way or the other?

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 7:16 AM

        Because if it works both ways, you buy a disc and it stores your license to the game in the cloud once you install it, you could just buy a disc, install it, then play it forever and give it to a friend to play who decides to never connect to Live so he can own a free game.

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      June 19, 2013 4:51 PM

      wow so now we get a glorified 360 instead of an xbox one this BS would happen right after i pre ordered why would i want a system that goes backwards instead of forward people adapt to changes gonna get another 10 years of unfinished crap games now

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 4:55 PM

        Just cancelled my preorder and 360 order, heh.

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 1:12 PM

        What the hell does this have to do with the development of games? 10 years of unfinished crap games? What's wrong with you?

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:56 PM

      Don't see why this can't be maintained for digital releases...

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:58 PM



      You can still share a game with a family member

      You can still buy and play games without a disc. (Buy digital)

      Just not in the way it was originally detailed.

    • Ziz legacy 10 years
      reply
      June 19, 2013 4:59 PM

      First Windows 8 now this.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 4:59 PM

      Petty, childish, ultra-douchebag Microsoft. What's stopping them from keeping family sharing with digital purchases?

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:09 PM

        Because there's no way they were serious about enhancing the service qualities of digital games. It was a bluff, an attempt to stifle the backlash and maybe they would have eaten the cost of it if it worked. But it was not important to them at all.

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 6:04 PM

          My thought too, give them something to chew while we rob them then remove it

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 7:44 PM

          Yawn. You have nothing to support this.

          • reply
            June 19, 2013 7:59 PM

            And neither does MS... which would be my issue. I don't give blind trust to a company that's come out with such gems as GFWL and Win 8.

            • reply
              June 19, 2013 8:08 PM

              I have win8 on my laptop. Lenovo ultra book. Runs great. Have you used it on touch hardware ?

            • reply
              June 20, 2013 7:17 AM

              Or a rootkit? Or retroactive EULAs after getting pwned?

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:11 PM

        Publishers would be my guess.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:11 PM

        I've posted this a couple times today, but I think most people don't realize the family sharing was on a per-game basis, which means it would never really happen. It was just a marketing point.

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 6:22 PM

          that's a mighty big assumption you're making, especially considering they had already confirmed it would be available on all first-party games. For third-party games, I think disabling those features for specific games would have been a risky move for publishers. Not that it matters anyway. Now that they aren't given a chance to implement it, we'll never find out what would have been.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 8:33 PM

        Physics?

        You can't prevent doubling-up on a disc if you don't require either online checks, or that the disc is in the drive while playing.

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 11:33 PM

          Did you miss the part where I said digital purchases? Try reading next time - it really works. Add online checks as a requirement for advanced features like the family plan and leave the rest of the damn games alone.

          easy fucking peasy

          • reply
            June 20, 2013 7:55 AM

            They might add it later. It's probably not a much a technical thing, but would be confusing for the average doofus and might have been a quid pro quo deal with publishers - ie they get stricter checks for their games, in return we'll do the sharing thing for consumers.

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              June 20, 2013 8:18 AM

              There is no doubt in my mind that they will add draconian DRM and online checks later. But they gotta sell the consoles first.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 5:06 PM

      Still confused. So I can't buy my games digitally now? Or is this headline sensational?

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:11 PM

        You can buy digital games, but the discs no longer register as digital. You have to have the disc in at all times to play those games (as of now), only your digital purchases will follow you around do different consoles.

        The family share plan also appears to have fallen victim to this announcement as well.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:13 PM

        You can buy them digitally still. The headline is a bit misleading. Originally when you bought the game with a disc and installed it you no longer needed the disc. Now if you buy the disc version you still require it. Digital is no different from today.

        • Ziz legacy 10 years
          reply
          June 19, 2013 5:34 PM

          They'd of still been 24 hour login even for digital games I wonder.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:39 PM

        Now the Xbone will behave just like a 360 does today.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 5:12 PM

      Microsoft responds to consumer confusion by continuing to confuse consumers.

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 8:18 AM

        Consumers who can't understand simple concepts

        • reply
          June 20, 2013 1:14 PM

          So the majority of consumers who don't understand any of this

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 5:13 PM

      Fast switching is dead too for disc based games - no more playing single player game X while you wait for matchmaking in multiplayer game Y (presumably still works if you go with a digital library)

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:18 PM

        Yea, so much of this that they showed off was tied to the fact that all your games were digital and on the hard-drive.

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          June 19, 2013 5:33 PM

          All of these digital only features make me think of one thing: You'll probably have to buy the HDD's MS wants you to use much like how it was with the 360. Frankly, I'd rather have cheap as dirt used games on Amazon way down the line than their proposed system.

          Now there's no reason why they can't have both. There is a way to pave the way for people to take a digital based DRM system with open arms. Valve has done this by giving competitive prices with their market place. People ignore the DRM or the fact that their entire game library is essentially held hostage by a single service which can go south any time it wants. Why? Because they paid $5-$20 for most of their games.

          MS shouldn't force their users to adopt their way with rope and chain. Just leave the honey pot where they can find it and they'll come willingly.

          • reply
            June 19, 2013 5:43 PM

            you can add more storage space with any USB hard drive

            • reply
              June 19, 2013 5:44 PM

              there are caveats to how you use that storage on the 360. i remember i was choked when i couldn't install the BF3 high-res texture pack on my USB drive.

          • reply
            June 19, 2013 6:23 PM

            You are so wrong it hurts my head.
            The first games out on steam for the first two years or so were all $50 or over, to include HL2.. people waited for the day when games would be cheaper besides just valve games.
            Today it continues to be a mix of steam sales and full priced games.
            Just open steam and see for yourself??

            The real reason why people trust Valve with DRM over M$?.....
            you need only look at their company history and their practices. Valve has earned their customer base while M$ continues to attempt to exploit and take advantage of them.

            • reply
              June 19, 2013 7:30 PM

              Steam didn't get its momentum until after its first seasonal sale. When HL2 came out people opted in steam solely because of HL2 and nothing more.

              Years passed and people stayed for the sales only. Think people like Steam for the client? Fuck no. Steam was considered totaled shit on its arrival. People objected to it left and right. Valve had to win people's hearts and minds with sales.

            • reply
              June 19, 2013 7:34 PM

              and you are also forgetting a game that came out early on steam called RagDoll Kung Fu which was the first indy to come out on steam. This was not $50.

              Also Ubisoft was one of the first adopters of Steam. They immediately were selling their games at about $20-$30.

              I also don't see your point that just because there are full priced games on steam doesn't contradict the fact that Steam earned its success from bargain sales. At the time, getting games for under $10 was ridiculous. I remember Ubisoft sold HAWX and Far Cry 2 for $15 a pop on that first sale. Those games were less than 3 months old at the time.

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 5:39 PM

          I would assume that although you would need to have the disc in the tray to play a disc game you bought at retail, you can still install the game completely to the hard drive and "fast-swtich" between that game and a game that you own digitally. The problem would be if you want to fast-switch between two disc-based games...that's not going to happen.

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 6:02 PM

          So retarded. I can't believe they caved on this. Stupid stupid people.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:40 PM

        dont buy disc based games problem solved

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          June 19, 2013 6:29 PM

          Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. You can still buy the digital copy... and it should be mostly the same. Except that family sharing stuff I guess?

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 12:20 AM

        That was never going to happen. You'd be able to fast switch between a game and certain apps or system apps, but not between two prime time games. You can't fast switch two games that are using 5GB of RAM each when you only have...5GB RAM.

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 8:18 AM

        I'm pretty sure this is still in.

        The games are still going to install, the disc is in the drive only to act as the license

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 5:32 PM

      I wonder if they planned to digitally sign each disk, or it was just a code like on steam

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 5:41 PM

      SO MUCH HORSESHIT fuck all of you nerds for making this happen

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 5:57 PM

        xboner still dead to me and everyone else u can have it

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 7:46 PM

          Thanks for speaking for everyone else.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 6:06 PM

        the whiners won't even buy it anyway, between "NSA is spying on us via Kinect" and "MS hurt my tender feelings I'll never trust them again!", "Did they seriously name it Xboners ololol M$", gg gaming community

        it's still mostly Microsoft's fault for failing so spectacularly at messaging, but it sucks to see them give in to idiots just the same because now just about everyone loses. I see little reason to get an Xbox One over a PS4 now.

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 6:42 PM

          honestly, i wanted to see the system in action before coming to any final conclusion.

          • reply
            June 19, 2013 7:42 PM

            I've said it a few times but I think the core was a good idea and everyone will do it going forward. It was just a marketing disaster and needed some tweaks.

        • reply
          June 19, 2013 7:59 PM

          Get realistic here, do you really think they won't try and approach some kind of digital rights options in the future via firmware update? Games are going to go mostly digital in the next 2-5 years regardless, they'll have the policy / framework already half written up to go.

          I'd be surprised if you don't see the game sharing shit back on the system in some form in less than 12 months from today (not launch)

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 7:44 PM

        cool it McSweaterton

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 7:54 PM

        Well, I guess you should've pre-ordered like, 10K XBones.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 11:35 PM

        Did we expect that 1 single copy of a game would magically turn into 10 fully working copies you can share among your friends? That feature probably came with signifcant restrictions that were yet to be exposed.

        • reply
          June 20, 2013 12:11 AM

          Several people seem convinced of it.

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          June 20, 2013 12:15 AM

          We knew a few of the restrictions. Shared games had to have an online check every hour on the other systems, and only one person of the ten could play the shared game at any given time. They ditched the DRM before they could detail it any further.

          • reply
            June 20, 2013 12:20 AM

            they also did say someone would need to be on your friends list for 30 days before you could gift games to them, I'm sure that requirement would have been there for library sharing as well.

            • reply
              June 20, 2013 9:00 AM

              it wasn't even going to be implemented off the bat anyway because it was bullshit

          • reply
            June 20, 2013 12:21 AM

            They outlined the restrictions fairly well I imagine there would of been a few more to stop people gaming the system. But it still would of been neat for people who just wanted to use it as it was meant to be. Hopefully it'll resurface at some point even if it's in a different form.

            • reply
              June 20, 2013 8:10 AM

              Yea, I think it would be nice if you could somehow opt-in to these features. If it's just a bit tied to your profile, you might be able to see your friends who have also toggled this and get back [at least some of] this functionality.

              It could actually be a smart business move on Microsoft's part, because I would pay to have it if it really worked in the ways suggested.

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 12:11 AM

        I don't think the customers are to blame for microsofts fuck ups

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 12:12 AM

        I love Steam on my PC none of the restrictions would of affected me, agreed it does suck. Hopefully the digital stuff will still be worth it, rather than the digital stuff on the 360.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 6:39 PM

      You take the good, you take the bad...

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 7:47 PM

      Hey, remember when Sony allowed you to game share on up to five consoles, and then decided to just take that ability away? Thanks, I'll stick with my disc games.

      • reply
        June 19, 2013 7:58 PM

        To be fair that policy was ridiculous and people were just gaming the system to 'steal' games. It was never ever intended to be a sharing system the way people used it.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 7:56 PM

      haha great PR move. The equivalent of snarling "Fine!" Mega petulant. "You say you want this? We'll see how you like it!"

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 7:59 PM

      I can't help but feel ultimately this will be as shitty of a decision as it was to not include a HD with the original Xbox 360s.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 8:11 PM

      I wonder how hard it would be to announce they are offering... both. Can they? Then we'd really see how the numbers fall out. Everyone says they have been selling the xbox at a loss to get market share, so now they can offer multiple things like everyone else does. ipad and ipad mini style.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 8:56 PM

      I remember they tried something slightly similar on the PSN and developers got them to stop.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 10:20 PM

      The thing that killed the disc free aspect isn't that it was an idea before its time, but rather that their main competition wasn't on board with it. If such a plan were to survive, all the big players would have to do the same.

    • Zek legacy 10 years
      reply
      June 19, 2013 10:31 PM

      didn't care before, don't care now, none of this shit matters, i wonder which one will have the better games

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 10:39 PM

      All this has shown me is the "core" gamers really just love to complain about anything they can.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 10:53 PM

      They are still fucked. The bad PR has done a lot of damage to their image. Hardcore and casual gamer's alike have a firm hate for the Xbox One now.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        reply
        June 19, 2013 11:02 PM

        It's E3 six months before launch. You think anyone will care about this in a year? The PS3 was a disaster well into launch and look at it now.

    • reply
      June 19, 2013 11:16 PM

      Damn so if I buy digital now that can't be shared at all?

      • reply
        June 20, 2013 5:14 AM

        That wasn't the case beforehand either

        • reply
          June 20, 2013 5:27 AM

          With the family sharing and lending to come after launch, it was going to be. (in theory)

    • reply
      June 20, 2013 12:08 AM

      oh cool now I'll definitely get one instead of a PS4. Wait no.

    • reply
      June 20, 2013 12:18 AM

      Thats really sad. Their approach was really good, especially the family sharing.

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      June 20, 2013 5:20 AM

      if they axe family sharing because of 24hour internet babies, i'm going to be bummed. That was potentially the biggest improvement for console gaming. As it is I already have to buy multiple ONLINE passes for each game and sometimes 2 copies of the game so I can play with my boys.

    • reply
      June 20, 2013 5:29 AM

      Sad really - they should have stuck to their guns. They were about one generation early I guess.

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      June 20, 2013 6:16 AM

      shouldn't matter too much, its going to play just like your current system should be the messaging.

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      June 20, 2013 7:06 AM

      Still getting PS4.
      Pressure like this should have been applied to stupid DLC and paid "expansion packs" that are no more than free maps and new water gun.
      The monster only understands one language. MONEY
      MS saw the pre-order numbers and the all the people ready to let their gold memberships expire. I know everyone in my list of friends sent a "see you on PS4 message" and that's like 70 right there.

      Do the numbers.

    • reply
      June 20, 2013 3:00 PM

      This isn't enough. Microsoft needs to allow the same self-publishing model Sony and Steam allow.

      There's simply no reason to create these types of barriers for quality titles.

    • reply
      June 21, 2013 1:38 AM

      I was right, they put everything back the way it was before and people are mad about that too. They can't win.

    • reply
      June 23, 2013 9:16 PM

      Kinda lame, retail has the best deals for consoles so it would have been cool to be able to get games on sale and still not have to use the disc.

      Games on demand completely sucks ***, old games for full price.. Yeah, ok..

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