MS Support Chat that Showed Backward Compatibility is Real, but Wrong
Earlier today, an image surfaced on Reddit’s r/gaming subreddit purporting to be of a chat log between a customer and Xbox Support Chat.
The customer made a number of inquiries to the support technician regarding the Xbox One about backwards compatibility on the device and used games. The customer also inquired as to whether Microsoft would allow its customers to play their games offline even if the console remained offline for weeks.
Previously, Microsoft announced that players would be required to connect to Xbox Live once every 24 hours as a sort of ‘heartbeat’ to the server that allows them to play games. Without connecting to the service, players would be unable to access their games—even those meant for offline, single-player play.
The information provided by the support technician was contrary to everything we’ve been told by Microsoft’s higher-ups and PR staff, which lead us to wonder whether the picture on reddit was either a) doctored, or b) contained false information.
Not content with simply speculating, we reached out directly to Microsoft for comment about the image. They’ve since gotten back to us. This is what they had to say:
“This is a real customer support chat session, and unfortunately the representative provided inaccurate information. For more information about Xbox One connectivity and licensing, please visit Xbox blog.”
The relevant excerpt (cleaned up for clarity) from the image is as follows:
[Customer]: I am in the process of canceling [sic] my life account. When I began this process the agent said something I believe to be inaccurate and I just wanted to clarify
Lyca: Yes [Customer] Let me know what the agent have told you?
[Customer]: When I said I wanted to cancel due to the [sic] DRM being implemented they said that 360 games would be playable on Xbox One without authentication. I was under the impression that the Xbox One was NOT backwards compatible. So is it?
Lyca: [Customer] Do you mean that they told you that the DRM is not applicable for Xbox One? That if you buy the new Console and transfer the games from your old Console it will not require licenses to be transferred?
[Customer]: No. I mean would my 360 games be playable on Xbox One?
[Customer]: The ones I have now.
[Customer]: Can I just play them like I would on a 360?
Lyca: Yes, indeed [Customer].
Lyca: Yes [Customer] Same thing will apply however you need to Transfer the licenses for the games from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One for you to play it.
[Customer]: OK, so you mean my downloads will work.
[Customer]: Will my disc based games?
Lyca: Yes it will too [Customer].
Lyca: Yes, it will work.
[Customer] OK. You guys should really advertise that more. B ackwards compatibility is a big deal for a lot of people. If the One is compatible with 360-based media then it has been under-reported in the extreme.
[Customer] I had one more question if that’s OK.
[Customer] The online check. Is it waved if the disc is in the drive?
[Customer] I know that you have to authenticate games that are installed every 24 hours, but if you have the disc in the drive do you still have to authenticate installed games?
Lyca: Not anymore, [Customer]. Just make sure that it is the original one as Microsoft supports original games only. Playing pirate games can cause your Console being banned.
[Customer] OK, so are you saying that if the disc is in the drive it doesn’t need to be online every 24 hours?
[Customer] I could theoretically keep my Xbox One offline for weeks and as long as I had the disc in the drive I could keep playing my games?
Lyca: Sir let me check this.
Lyca: Hold on please.
[Customer] OK thank you.
Lyca: [Customer], Yes you can do that. As long as you have the disc you can still play the games.
[Customer] Are you positive? IF that’s true then you should know that people don’t know it.
Lyca: There are a lot of rumors coming out right now for Xbox One, [Customer].
The picture in question can be seen below:
So there you have it. The picture is real, but the information within is false. Equally crucial is the fact that you will need to connect to Microsoft’s servers every 24 hours regardless of whether or not you possess the disc in order to play games. Other services may be available to you, but games will require you to authenticate online for it is how the system’s DRM functions. Here’s the relevant bit of information, which we pulled directly from the Microsoft blog concerning the matter:
With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies.
While a persistent connection is not required, Xbox One is designed to verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend. Games that are designed to take advantage of the cloud may require a connection.