With E3 just around the corner, Microsoft knows it has to make up ground after poor reception to their press conference in May. They are slowly but surely trying to highlight the fact that what people are complaining about might not be as bad as it seems. One of the biggest complaints plaguing the company has to do with the way they plan to handle games in the future.
For one, purchasing a game no longer means you own the physical copy of the game: you are now paying for a license to play the game as well and must register it online. This isn’t a friendly Club Nintendo registration, either, as the game will be permanently linked to your Xbox account. That means even if you want to sell it, that person needs to pay for a new license. Microsoft is now saying that there might be more to this plan then simply getting people to pay more. For one, they’ll be joining Sony and Nintendo in offering digital downloads of their games the day they release. During the download, you will even be able to begin playing before it fully installs. That means if you plan on buying an Xbox One for Call of Duty Ghosts and choose the download option, you could be creating your character before the full game is even ready.
The good news about the game being downloaded and linked is that the game goes to the Cloud, meaning you can be at a friend’s house who does not own the game and play there alongside them. As long as you are logged in, all the games you previously purchased will be playable at your friend’s house too. Essentially, apart from taking the game with you, it also means loaning a game now means loaning out your Xbox account, so be ready to change passwords frequently. If you have a small family, though, that may not be a problem at all, as you will be able to register ten names as family members. Each of these people will have full access to your library as well, creating a shared library. Presumably, the Kinect will be involved during this registration process, so it may not be as easy as entering Xbox One user names.
The other issue Microsoft has raised is the systems need for constant online connectivity. The good news is that the Xbox One does not need a constant stream of online interactions, but it does need to connect at least once in a twenty-four hour period. That means offline play will be possible in limited amounts. Interestingly enough though, it is not the machine that is tracking the online connection, but your Xbox account. If it’s verified to be playing online for one hour or more, say at a friend’s house, your Xbox One won’t be mad at you. Instead it will enter a standby mode for any connections or commands from online or from the user.
Microsoft should clear up any other problems fans have at E3 this week, and hopefully they only bring good news.