Microsoft’s big Xbox Reveal event isn’t over yet, but some journalists who got an early look at the system before today’s event have jumped the gun and posted new info about the new system before Microsoft could properly reveal it themselves. Tech mag Wired was one of those outlets, and according to info given to them by Microsoft reps, the Xbox One will require mandatory installations and online registrations for all games.
According to Wired’s report, all Xbox One games will need to be installed to the harddrive and linked to a specific Xbox Live Account before they can be played. Once a game is installed and registered, you’ll be able to play the game from your harddrive without having to put the disc back into your system. Discs may be used by other users, but they’ll need to pay an additional activation fee before they can play. Once the second user pays the fee, they’ll also be able to play the game without the disc. It’s currently unknown how much this “used” activation fee will be. Microsoft declined to state whether users could play a game directly from the disc without paying the fee. This news seemingly confirms earlier rumors that stated the Xbox One would feature some sort of restriction designed to limit the sale and use of used games.
Microsoft has also confirmed that while most Xbox One games can be played offline, some Xbox One games will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing network to augment the system’s processing power, and those select games will consequently need to be online at all times.
Based on what I’ve seen so far (Microsoft’s press conference is still going on as I write this,) the Xbox One looks pretty cool and the system definitely has a lot of potential, but it remains to be seen whether gamers are willing to put it up with its mandatory installations (one of my biggest pet peeves with PS3 games,) and the restrictions on used games.
UPDATE – Microsoft is now saying that you’ll still be able to play used games without having to pay an additional fee, but they also added that “Xbox One’s support for used games and these other scenarios may not look like they have on previous console generations, and that’s what we’ll be explaining as soon as we’re able.” The Wired article that originally broke this news has since been amended.
No one really knows what Microsoft means by their most recent statement, but they really need to clarify their stance on used games soon, as the backlash to Xbox One’s possible used game restriction is getting pretty bad.