Overnight there was considerable confusion, backtracking and badly managed PR from Microsoft, fresh after revealing its brand new Xbox One console. The main source of confusion revolved around whether or not you could lend or sell on Xbox One game disks, something glossed over until after the show, when Microsoft execs were let loose among the press.
Whilst Sony’s carefully managed, carefully selected post-show resulted in a little vagueness, it was nothing compared to the hugely negative PR Microsoft attracted last night.
But the facts seem to be that you can trade-in Xbox One games, but there’s a price to pay for whoever picks up that game, and that price appears to be the full price of the game. Yep, whilst it’s technically possible to sell on your bought games, chances are there won’t be a retailer out there that’ll let you, because nobody will buy them off them.
Here’s how it works, from what I can gather.
When you buy a game for the Xbox One, you’ll need to install it. This is a requirement, and there’s no getting around it. If you then play the game with the disk in, all will be fine. If you want to play the game without the disk in, the console will ping Xbox Live and ensure that you’re the registered owner. It’ll do this once every twenty four hours, as a minimum.
The game will play on that registered console for any user of that console, locally.
If you then lend or sell on that game, or take it around to a friends’ house, only your profile will be allowed to play on it. It’ll run (with the disk in, of course) and you (and only you) can play it. If anyone else wants to play it, they’ll need to pay a fee which – according to Phil Harrison – is the full cost of the game. Once that fee is paid, everyone on the console can use it, as before.
That twenty-four hour thing works back the other way too, with Xbox Live constantly checking which console you’re logging into to ensure that the licenses are always up to date. Basically it seems that if you have the disk and you’re the one supposed to be using it you can use that disk anywhere, but you’ll need to ensure that the original console is also connected to Live on a regular basis (with your credentials) or you’ll get locked out after a day.
This obviously stops you lending a game to someone and them signing out of Live to play it indefinitely – after 24 hours it simply won’t work: they either pay the full fee or it just locks.
Is that right? I think so.