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Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

Microsoft Confirms Xbox One's Phone Home Requirement, Game Resale Rules 581

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
Following the confusion surrounding Microsoft's announcement of the Xbox One, the company has now clarified many of the hot-button issues in a set of posts on their official site. First, they confirmed that the console will need to phone home in order to continue playing games. On your primary console, you'd need to connect to the internet and check in once every 24 hours. They also announced that you'll be able to access and play any of your games by logging in on somebody else's console, but the internet connection will be required every hour to keep playing that way. Other media don't require the connection. Microsoft also explained how game licensing will work. On the upside, anyone using your console will be able to play your games, and you can share your games with up to 10 members of your family for free. The downside is the news about used games; Microsoft says they've "designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers." The key word there is can, which implies that you can't without the publisher's express permission. Finally, the company made a set of statements about how Kinect's audio and video sensors will collect and share your data. "When Xbox One is on and you're simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded." They also say data gathered during normal use won't leave the console without your explicit permission.
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Microsoft Confirms Xbox One's Phone Home Requirement, Game Resale Rules

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  • Deal breaker (Score:5, Insightful)

    by senorpoco (1396603) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:49AM (#43934883)
    Well that just saved me the equivalent of whatever the new console would cost. Thanks microsoft for making purchasing decisions easier.
    • Re: Deal breaker (Score:5, Informative)

      by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:55AM (#43934957)
      Yep, good thing the Wii U does 1080p, has mature content, has effectively the same controller setup, doesn't have a monthly subscription, and doesn't require me to put up with ANY of this bullshit.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'll just keep my PC and not waste any money on consoles. I need a PC for work, communications, information, music, photos and films anyhow. It doesn't make any sense to split gaming off from that into a separate device.
      • by PRMan (959735) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:48AM (#43935505)
        Yeah, now it just needs some games...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Narishma (822073)

        The WiiU does 1080p the same way current Xbox 360 and PS3 do. While it's technically possible, in practice the console isn't powerful enough to do it on anything but the most graphically simple games.

        • by DeanCubed (814869)

          That is incorrect. All Wii U games are 1080p standard unless the developer just makes a lazy 360 port. Nintendo's published titles will all be 1080p standard.

    • Re:Deal breaker (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrDoh! (71235) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:57AM (#43934967) Homepage Journal
      Sony must be loving this. And even Ouya! Then there's the PRISM spying thing going on, with Microsoft being the first to roll over and expose it's belly to the Gov. And now they want to sell us a machine that's got to be left online with a mic/camera in the device? Nice try, but no chance. XBox1984
      • Re:Deal breaker (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xest (935314) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:34AM (#43935325)

        Why would Sony be loving it? If history is anything to go by then Sony will be at least as worse, the difference is that unlike Microsoft they're just not being open about it. If anything it seems more like Microsoft is testing the waters to see what they can get away with, if there really is just way too much negative feedback they'll likely losen the restrictions somewhat. In contrast Sony's business model is, as always, keep quiet and just dump it on the user saying nothing and hope no one notices.

        I don't really like any of it (though at least the ability to share games with family members is a step forward, because that's better than most DRM/unlock codes on existing platforms where you're expected to buy a copy per family member) but pretending Sony is going to be some magical saviour is sad. We saw the Sony fanboys spreading the exact same FUD and doing the exact same thing last console round and look how that ended up. Removed features etc.

        Anyone pretending Sony is going to be a saviour right now given that we've not even seen a picture of their fucking device yet let alone had any real concrete information about it is having a laugh, especially when track records are taken into account.

        • by wbr1 (2538558) on Friday June 07, 2013 @10:05AM (#43935711)

          If anything it seems more like Microsoft is testing the waters to see what they can get away with, if there really is just way too much negative feedback they'll likely losen the restrictions somewhat.

          Kind of like they did with the metro interface?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Sony must be loving this.

        Let's be realistic for a minute. Any same person would agree, but this is Sony we're talking about. The company that makes a cock-up of almost everything when it comes to the consumer year after year. Look at how they fucked up the Vita, but no one knew the anti-customer crap they had until it launched. Once people knew, the console flopped.

        Sony are making noises they're not doing the XBone crap, but they have also confirmed that it's all built in to the PS4 already, and i will be up to the publishers wheth

    • Re:Deal breaker (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shemmie (909181) on Friday June 07, 2013 @10:16AM (#43935827)

      I totally agree. Owned (and loved owning) two 360's, but I won't be touching the One with a barge pole. Microsoft seems to have taken the relative success of the 360 as a "Well, now we can do what the fuck we like".

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:49AM (#43934889) Journal

    So, apparently Microsoft think that they're not selling you games. Given that a similar case was difinitively lost in Germany recently, it'll be interesting to see how this one pans out.

  • Worse than Thought (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Traciatim (1856872) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:50AM (#43934901)
    So, in other words, all of the hyperbole and hand waving from users on forums that was washed aside saying it couldn't possibly be that bad... instead it turns out it's worse.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      So, in other words, all of the hyperbole and hand waving from users on forums that was washed aside saying it couldn't possibly be that bad... instead it turns out it's worse.

      they're trying to put the blame back on ea after ea put it on them.. (regarding used games).

      fucking clusterfuckup it is. so they finally got xbox360 model to be profitable and decide to crash everything.

  • Steam Vs XBox One (Score:5, Informative)

    by blarkon (1712194) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:50AM (#43934903)
    This article on Penny Arcade Report provides some detail that the OP lacks: http://penny-arcade.com/report/article/microsoft-outlines-their-system-for-used-games-licenses-and-family-sharing [penny-arcade.com]
    • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:13AM (#43935119)

      The difference between Steam and XBox One is only a matter of degree. Steam doesn't allow you to buy or sell used games. Steam needs to phone home every three months or so instead of every day, but it still locks you out after that.

      So basically, if you want to play games from the major publishers, your only choice is who to bend over for. Steam uses Vaseline, Microsoft doesn't. Perhaps Sony will choose not to bugger customers at all -- I'm not really keeping up with the PS4 rumors.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:52AM (#43934921)

    Well I guess I am getting a PS4. That was an easy decision.

  • by selectspec (74651) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:53AM (#43934939)

    I love that part. You mean I can still watch TV without "checking in", just as I could if I hadn't bought the stupid fucking box in the first place?

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday June 07, 2013 @08:54AM (#43934943) Homepage

    Seriously, the need to phone home once/day is a deal breaker. Not being able to take a game over to a friends place without signing into my account is a deal breaker. Telling me how I can sell or giveaway my used games is a deal breaker.

    There's nothing about this that I'm interested in. I don't play games online, my XBox isn't connected to a network because they started putting ads into the games, and I refuse to give them a channel for it.

    So, my single purchase (or non-purchase) is insignificant, and Microsoft won't care. But of the people I know who own an XBox, pretty much all of them have said they don't want this either.

    There's nothing about this new platform that sounds good for the consumer, and it certainly doesn't leave them much choice.

    So whatever the first next-generation console is which can be ran entirely offline without any network connection over its lifetime stands a pretty good chance of getting bought. But Microsoft can eat shit if they think I'll pay them for the privilege of owning one of these (which I'm sure the EULA says we don't own anyway).

    Either I and people like myself will pretty much be irrelevant, which is fine, or there's going to be a huge consumer backlash against this, and Microsoft is going to find themselves holding the bag on a gaming platform nobody wants.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by shigutso (2932389)

      So whatever the first next-generation console is which can be ran entirely offline without any network connection over its lifetime stands a pretty good chance of getting bought.

      The Nintendo Wii U.

  • by Formorian (1111751) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:00AM (#43935007)

    I owned a XBOX 1 and Xbox 360. I liked them better then Sony/Nintendo offerings. But this whole used game thing along with phone home. I haven't had my 360 plugged into the internet for 8 months now. I play most console games offline. If I want to play online with friends, that's what my PC is for.

    So I had bought 3 xbox 360's, I won't be buying 1 One.

  • ...just like I'm sure the Obama Administration would never obtain the phone and email records for every American! [pcworld.com]

    What?

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:02AM (#43935021) Homepage
    the act of pedaling Redmond into the earth takes careful planning. Some very important people have to get up very early in the morning and make some very poor decisions. if the selling points are 'only every hour' connections and 'wont record your private conversations' then id hate to see the downsides of the product.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:07AM (#43935071)

    Think about what happens after this generation is over, in 10-15 years. Eventually, the XBO servers will be taken down, and none of the games will work.

    It won't be like you pulling out your Dreamcast or SNES to relive fond gaming memories--this literally won't be an option. Now starts the time when gaming history eventually fades into nothing.

    Don't get me wrong, any disc based game eventually will be in the same boat--as these discs will eventually decay. Whereas cartridge based game systems may work, no problem, in 100 years or more if kept in a dry place.

  • The last straw (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aerokii (1001189) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:16AM (#43935157)
    It's been fun, Xbox, but this is where we part ways. None of these things are technically even huge issues for me- I have a stable internet connection and wouldn't want to bring the console to a cabin or anything. I never sell my games, since I like collecting them- and hell, I'm sure that in 15 years when they take the servers down they'll probably just gut the DRM or lock the games to a specific console and remove the online requirement or do SOMETHING to make sure our games don't become fancy, expensive coasters.

    But it's a matter of principle. I don't want a console that treats me like I'm a thief, needing to check up on me once a day to make sure I'm not smoking pot or something. If I fall on hard times and need to sell somethings to get by, I want to know that for the 60 dollar game I bought that there's an option to do so and potentially feed myself for a week. I don't want to worry what will happen to my favorite titles in fifteen years, if I'll be able to play them- that's nothing someone SHOULD have to worry about (And honestly I still prefer Halo 2 to any of the later games anyway...)

    I hope the generation that follows this learns from the mistakes being made here. Until then, I'll see you on the PC/Wii U.
  • by LordYUK (552359) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [128thgirwffej]> on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:17AM (#43935167)

    Cause you take One look at it then turn around 360 degrees and walk away.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:20AM (#43935193)

    They also have a "We may also cease to offer certain services or products for similar reasons." clause. So even if you like a feature (like sharing a game with up to 10 family members), you might find that feature suddenly removed or altered in such a way as to make it useless.

    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:56AM (#43935597) Homepage Journal

      I'm sorry.. the "sharing up to 10" 'feature' is just as bad.

      My family doesn't use the vaginas of the females like clown cars and I would never hit the limit, but this is total bullshit. If I buy a game the family should be able to play it, whether it is 2 or 2 dozen. It's just as bad as the other DRM 'features.'

      Yeah, Microsoft doesn't care about one missed sale, but if anyone that knows what DRM is refuses to buy it then it has to hurt sometime.

  • by BenJeremy (181303) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:20AM (#43935199)

    I think the bigger issue missed here is that rentals are simply no longer possible with Xbox One.

    Microsoft has killed the game rental market in one fell swoop.

    Personally, I think this is a dumb move... I've bought many games after trying them out as rentals; I doubt I am alone with that practice. That is a lot of potential marketing tossed down the toilet.

    Even if the used game market survives (though I doubt it will ever be a factor again), the rental market is gone, gone,gone.

    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      I think the bigger issue missed here is that rentals are simply no longer possible with Xbox One.

      Microsoft has killed the game rental market in one fell swoop.

      Personally, I think this is a dumb move... I've bought many games after trying them out as rentals; I doubt I am alone with that practice. That is a lot of potential marketing tossed down the toilet.

      Even if the used game market survives (though I doubt it will ever be a factor again), the rental market is gone, gone,gone.

      Not as long as there's still 360's on ebay, and clever people with soldering irons willing to fix them up when they start to die...

      I seriously hope they hear crickets on launch day with this...this abomination. This on top of the whole Windows 8 fiasco...I haven't seen a company try so hard to self destruct in a very, very long time.

  • by hammyhew (2729501) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:21AM (#43935203)

    What if I get banned from Xbox Live? Does this 24-hour check-in fail? Am I no longer allowed to play my single player games?

  • Uh huh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bmo (77928) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:24AM (#43935237)

    "When Xbox One is on and you're simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded."

    Considering the stories about the NSA datamining in both the telecom and computing services industries, I have two words to say:

    "Likely story."

    It will be turned on to record, to find "terrorists."

    This gets a big "nope."

    http://www.humorgas.com/image/1359731250348625995.JPG [humorgas.com]

    --
    BMO

  • by Harald Paulsen (621759) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:24AM (#43935239) Homepage

    Just like publishers of e-books CAN allow you to lend out a kindle-book to someone.

    They don't though.

    Granted, I haven't bought many kindle books, but as far as I can see none of my books are lendable.

  • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:28AM (#43935271) Homepage

    What exactly does the always-on (okay, "on at least once every 24 hours") requirement serve?

    I doubt it's for checking game licensing issues. That is better done when the game is actually launched (and probably will be anyway). It's stupid otherwise; you slot in a CD for a game your buddy owns and a day later it informs you that there is a licensing issue (or alternately, if the default is "always deny", you buy a game and you aren't allowed to play until the next 24 hour check-in)? So it's not about the games.

    Anti-hack checks to ensure you haven't rooted your own hardware. It could compare the OS signature to some secure key on its servers. But that hardly seems workable; after all, if (when) the XBoxOne is hacked, that will be surely the first thing that is disabled.

    Advertising perhaps; after all, the recent Dashboard upgrades have focused on putting more and more advertisements on your screen. Microsoft is surely going to continue in this direction with its newest console. But does that really require an always-on connection?

    Maybe it's for uploading game or network metrics (or NSA monitoring, for the paranoid). But surely this is not such a necessary thing as to upset their customers to such a degree.

    So, honestly, what makes this "always on" requirement so important that Microsoft is willing to risk sales over its inclusion? Why (aside from the boneheaded stubbornness that prevents them from backing down on any of their dumb decisions like the Ribbon or Metro) does Microsoft feel this is something they /have/ to foist on the public? Better to make the console work like the 360; it will use a network connection if it finds one but otherwise it is not a requirement for operation (at least, not for the console; games may still require an internet connection to license, but we already see that with current games).

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:31AM (#43935295)
    Part of the reason people will buy a brand new release-day game is because they can hammer the shit out of it in a short time over a holiday break and sell it used to recoup some of the cost (over 50% for new titles, easily). If this isn't the case, the era of $60+ release-day console games is over.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:32AM (#43935305)

    We used to play video games while deployed on ship underway. No internet to connect to, and the XBOX360/PS3 were the consoles of choice in our rec-room. This completely screws the active duty military in a lot of places. Looks like more military will be using their PC's instead of the consoles, however this also happened when 'SPORE' came out on PC.... it required an internet connection to play and the people who bought it for deployment were many unhappy people.

  • How generous! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:36AM (#43935347) Homepage

    On the upside, anyone using your console will be able to play your games

    How nice of them not to implement biometric identification. Yet.

  • by Yer Mom (78107) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:52AM (#43935541) Homepage

    Having looked at the Xbox One page on Amazon UK, all I can say is this:

    NINETY QUID for a ****ing GAME?

    At that price, they can keep it.

  • Not recording? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alaffin (585965) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:58AM (#43935607) Journal

    > "When Xbox One is on and you're simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded."

    Says the company that jumped on board the PRISM train so happily and willingly....

  • by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Friday June 07, 2013 @10:45AM (#43936201)

    Calling home every 24 hours, restricting games to accounts (even sharable), etc, these all required a lot of extra work to implement. As this is a commercial product, somewhere a manager has signed off on the cost of this effort, believing that this will increase profits, customer goodwill, or some other marketable resource.

    Since these actually cripple existing functionality from a game-player perspective, make the product less attractive to game players, someone, somewhere must believe that some other 'customer' is going to pay more to make up the difference in lost sales, loyalty, and increased customer dissatisfaction.

    It's not the retail stores, which are being cut out almost entirely - gamestop, best buy, walmart, or large rental agencies like gamefly, who's entire business model is inapplicable for xbox one games. If you can play your games at a friend's house without bringing the disc that means digital distribution for everything.

    The only one that makes sense is the large game distributors, EA and their ilk.

    I'd like to see the math that says EA & etc will make more money off this than will be lost. Seems like a risky gamble to alienate end customers in order to lock down a distribution channel.

  • by Sheik Yerbouti (96423) on Friday June 07, 2013 @11:00AM (#43936399) Homepage

    Always on camera, every 24 hours license checks, you have to ask permission to resell your games. If you agree to this you're a chump full stop.

  • by future assassin (639396) on Friday June 07, 2013 @11:04AM (#43936463) Homepage

    MS failed in copying Apples hardware sucess so they're trying to out do Sony as the most anti consumer/propriatory system company.

  • Their description of Kinect privacy sounds an awful lot like the privacy policy on browser scraping in-game ads in PC games (disabled by blocking the application in the Windows firewall). In the case of the browser scraping, none of the data leaves your system, but if it looks like you're into skateboarding the game will fetch an ad for skateboard gear and show it in the game. That request for a skateboard gear ad DID leave the system. Maybe the same thing with Kinect? Hears you saying you'd like some pizza, fetches an ad for Pizza Hut, and hey none of your conversation was recorded or left the system right?

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.

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