Tons of New Xbox One Info: The Good, Bad & WTF

Well, well well! What an interesting Thursday this has become for anyone who’s been paying attention to the deluge of confusion and worry created by the initial unveiling of Microsoft’s Xbox One back on May 21 (which seems like it was about nine years ago).

Microsoft today published quite a bit of information to attempt to clear up some of the confusion about used games, sharing, always-on connectivity and more.

So, how’d Microsoft do? It’s a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, we’ve got some good news to share. On the other … there were a couple disappointing answers, and more confusing ones.

We’ve broken the most salient bits of information down into three buckets for you: Good, Bad and WTF. Read on for a breakdown of how the Xbox One is shaping up.

NOTE: You can read all of this information for yourself here, here and here.

The Good


Control the thing with other devices via wi-fi

“With Wi-Fi Direct, Xbox One can speak directly to smart wireless devices and connect to them through the cloud. This means your smartphone or tablet will interact with Xbox One seamlessly.”

Neat. As Xbox 360 players can do now with Microsoft’s SmartGlass app, you’ll be able to use your smartphone to whip through menus on the Xbox One. It’s a handy feature that will probably be even more useful.


Buy all games digitally at launch.

“You’ll be able to buy disc-based games at traditional retailers or online through Xbox Live, on day of release. Discs will continue to be a great way to install your games quickly.”

Digital games on launch day: excellent, as terms of convenience. Saw it coming. Surprised it took a major console manufacturer this long.


Play games in your library remotely through the cloud.

“Access your entire games library from any Xbox One — no discs required: After signing in and installing, you can play any of your games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of your game is stored on your console and in the cloud. So, for example, while you are logged in at your friend’s house, you can play your games.

This is arguably the coolest thing we’re hearing about today. Using the cloud to access and play games from your library on any Xbox One sounds great, and it seems as though you’ll be able to skip installing at a friend’s house. Surprising we didn’t hear about it until now, although it raises some questions about taking games to locations where the Internet connectivity isn’t as strong.


Kinect does have privacy options.

“You are in control of your personal data: You can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more, but this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission. Here are a few examples of potential future scenarios:

A fitness game could measure heart rate data to provide you with improved feedback on your workout, allow you to track your progress, or even measure calories burned.
A card game could allow you to bluff your virtual opponent using your facial expressions.”

Good. It sounds like the Kinect 2 will have buttons you can push to control privacy settings, although we still have a lot of questions on this front, though — read our breakdown of the new privacy info.

The Bad


Sell your old games, no fee from Microsoft.

“Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.”

So, the Xbox One’s default state is “no used games,” but publishers can allow them if they’d like, as we noted in our used game breakdown. And the used game market will be completely controlled by publishers and their retail partners, which eliminates any market competition. This is basically what we all feared.


Always-on connectivity requirement

“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.

This is a big one, and it’s true. So that’s it. You can’t game unless it connects to Internet once every 24 hours. It is a Gremlin that needs Internet to survive. You must feed it.

WTF?


Share games in your house.

“Your friends and family, your guests and acquaintances get unlimited access to all of your games. Anyone can play your games on your console–regardless of whether you are logged in or their relationship to you.”

This is a WTF, because it’s a bit funny this is listed seemingly expecting applause. I can share games with people in my own house, on my own console! That’s amazing, I’m preordering mine right now!


The Kinect won’t spy on you.

“You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear: By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.”

Thanks guys! ‘Preciate you not secretly recording my converations.


Give games to friends.

“Give your games to friends: Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.”

Confusing. What? You can only give games to BFFs, guys. Also, it’s designed so publishers can allow this, which, again, means you don’t actually own the games you buy, nor can you do what you want with them.


Publishers can charge fees for used games.

“In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.”

Game rentals, and loans, are not available at launch. Bam. Furthermore, publishers can charge fees for used games if they want, so Microsoft’s position here almost doesn’t matter. They won’t charge you for used games, but Capcom might, for instance. Again, this is a huge blow to used games and consumer rights. Read our breakdown about sharing and trading for more.


Family sharing.

“Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games. You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.”

So, “family members” can access your game library remotely, which is potentially cool. But how does it know what profiles are owned by my family members? Is there a “family group” function that allows you to build a list of profiles owned by family members? Furthermore, what’s to stop me from saying Ross Lincoln is my brother, so he can access my library remotely? And also — only one family member can play family games at a time? Potentially a bit of a bummer.

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14 Comments on Tons of New Xbox One Info: The Good, Bad & WTF

Heru

On June 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm

The more i read about the Xbox1 the less and less i want it. When i pay for a hard copy of a game, that copy of that game is MINE to do with as i please, period. The sooner that simple fact is enshrined in U.S. law the better it will be for gamers everywhere.

NE0182

On June 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

completely agree.

i think its funny that some weeks ago microsoft held all the cards and right now with these news confirmed they pretty much said what everybody didn’t want to hear. i actually think right now the xbox one could have the better games at E3 and still look like the lesser console.

i don’t know, but sony must be the happiest company in the world right now. even if they just announce that they are continuing to let people rent teir games whitout restriction or give away free full games every other month like they do right now, they can sit back and watch the customers turn.

R.J.

On June 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm

So, most of the bad things people were saying after the announcement were pretty accurate. Some aren’t quite as bad as they sounded, but not by much. Sony has a real opportunity here. All they really need to do to win over a lot of people is to not follow MS’s example.

gasmaskangel

On June 6, 2013 at 10:55 pm

A small marketing tip for microsoft to remember in the future: Try not to do things that remind people of INGSOC. It only results in your face being photoshopped onto Hitler’s body and Sony executives rolling around naked in the giant piles of money that could have been yours.

I’m going to say it right now, I genuinely don’t care what games they bring to E3, the hassle isn’t worth it.

Matt

On June 6, 2013 at 11:07 pm

This stuff is terrible, I hope people are smart enough to boycott this crap. Makes me not even want to buy xbox 360 games now, I don’t wanna contribute to this nonsense.

Mr Glassback

On June 7, 2013 at 6:29 am

Interesting to see what move Sony make now. Either they go the opposite to MS and pick up a s**t load of new customers or (and this is waay more likely) they have a similar restriction happy console and the whole console industry takes a massive hit.
I like console gaming but I’m sick of these patronizing d**k heads. Share games in my house?? Since when did this kind of thing become a feature and not a given?
If Sony doesn’t impose all these restrictions, then not only will MS lose customers but they will lose them to their direct competitors. That’s bad business sense of the worst kind.

IzayoiKagemaru

On June 7, 2013 at 6:46 am

What a joke Microsoft turned into, I had no interest on getting a crapbox one but now I feel encouraged to make sure my friends and family interested in one know about all these details so they don’t get foobar’d by microsoft’s crappy business philosophy.

It’s a shame when we used to have great entertainment without being milked and pushed around by publishers and platform holders but now I don’t even feel like playing games any more, between this crap and all the nickel and dimming, drm and shoehorned dlc, I don’t know what’s worse.

R-man

On June 7, 2013 at 7:57 am

Wtf is wrong with businesses now-a-days? And what ever happened to the idea that if you pay for something, you own it, and that means you get to do whatever you want with it? I used to stick up for MS and the Xbox, but now all I want to do is talk crap about it every chance I get. I want to make sure no one I know ever gets sucked into this black hole of publisher greed, lack of privacy, and encroachment of consumer rights… Screw Microsoft. Sony has a real opportunity here (can’t believe I’d ever say that). And if Sony doesn’t follow the right path, I’m going straight to PC gaming.

The only thing Microsoft is still doing right, in my opinion, is the controller. It’s just too bad I probably won’t be using it, unless I can use it for the PC.

quicktooth

On June 7, 2013 at 8:46 am

This announcement confirms the formerly-uncertain orwellian and anti-consumer bullsh!t that Microsoft formerly announced WILL BE in the Xbone. So yeah. “An experiment in what consumers will be willing to endure”, eh? So it’s simply true that Microsoft doesn’t understand basic rules of buisness. It is THE CUSTOMER who decides what they will buy. If you try to attack them in any way, that automatically means they won’t buy your stuff. You have to COMPETE with other buisnesses to see who can PLEASE customers the MOST. Who wins at that, stays in buisness. Clear enough, Microsoft? I guess you guys are living in a fantasy land where you believe anything goes, but this is the Real World. Now all we have to wait for is to see which of us are addicted to Xbox products. I hope the number is small.

I find it almost too much to bear that people can so casually expect that they can abuse others and even to literally expect to be rewarded by their very victims. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that yes people really are “that” stupid (whatever you wish to disbelieve SOMEONE will have done it). It’d be nice if Gamefront can run some articles that affirm one’s faith in humanity too- like icanhascheezburger dot com ran a “restoring faith in humanity week”. I think I, for one, might need it.

oc31ot

On June 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

It’s safe to say that Xbox1 is not a video game console. It’s a PC with its own built in “Steam/Origin” like DRM. The features on Xbox1 are disappointing but these features have existed for quite some time now especially if your a PC gamer. No need to get an Xbox1 unless you’re into their exclusives. I will most likely not get it but if Forza turns out to be super ultra mega awesome then goodbye Xbox.

Bob

On June 8, 2013 at 7:42 am

Really, Microsoft? Really? How dare they give out this terrible “console”, I would never buy it! They focus more on watching tv, while gaming is practically ignored. I have nothing but hatred towards this piece of garbage, looks like Sony will be the primary gaming company from now on. Screw you, Microsoft.

xsaepp

On June 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm

ever since bill gates went on his 10 year vacation in 2008 xbox has been ing up

John

On June 16, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I’m actually quite excited about the Xbox One. I am looking forward to sharing my games with my distant family while skyping them. I don’t really care about the once a day connection because I’m always on. Also, the kinect doesn’t bother me. Another thing I’m fine with is the limits to selling my games. I keep my games as it is, so this doesn’t matter to me.

jmd

On September 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

What the xbox are retarded its like everyone had unlimited internet access and buy a console to go online you’re dumb if i want to buy online i buy it on my computer and i play on my ing computer !!!!