Everyone's abuzz about Microsoft's latest statements regarding the Xbox One, which answer some of the questions folks had about online requirements and the state of used games.
While Xbox One doesn't always have to be online, it does need to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours. If it doesn't connect once in that period, offline gaming will not be possible until a connection is re-established. Live TV, Blu-rays, and DVDs will still work without the daily connection.
As for used games and licensing, Microsoft is leaving it up to individual publishers, but either way these concepts are not going to remain in the way we're used to thinking of them. "Game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers," Microsoft says, adding that they don't "charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games." Publishers, however, can opt out of this and set up transfer fees with retailers if they so desire.
Those worried about being able to loan games to friends got some quasi-relief from Microsoft, but it's still not ideal. You can give a game to a friend, but only if they've been on your Xbox Friends List for at least 30 days, and each game can only be transferred once. Otherwise there are no concrete plans in place to support loaning and renting games at launch.
Once a game has been purchased and installed to a console, everyone who uses said console will be able to access the game. The system's shared library also allows up to ten family members access to log in and play those games on different consoles.
On the bright side, all of this finally leads to Microsoft offering digital releases day and date with retail releases. On the other hand, well, this is pretty much our all-digital future here. Discs are nothing more than delivery methods for information that must be installed on your hard drive. The future is here, but is Microsoft's way the right way? We'll have to see how Sony counters Microsoft's bold but polarizing moves, and if Microsoft ends up swaying in either direction as E3 comes and goes and the actual launch of new consoles draws nearer.