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Microsoft offers to reprieve Xbox One 'Family Sharing' feature

by Mark Tyson on 16 July 2013, 11:15

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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It is getting on for a month ago that Microsoft made a big U-turn and tore up the unpopular DRM policies which would debut with the Xbox One. The main thrust of the changes means that, when the new Xbox One comes out, you will be able to "trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today” with your Xbox 360 system.

At the time of the DRM policy U-turn we noticed that the move wasn't 100 per cent positive for end users. Under the new Xbox 360 style policy buyers of disc based games would have to keep the disc in the drive tray whenever they played that game title and also "Microsoft is doing away with the policy of allowing up to 10 family members to share disc-based games even if they didn't have the disc in their console,"  noted CNet.

Now it seems like Microsoft is willing to bring back the 'Family Sharing' benefits, according to a recent interview IGN had with Xbox One chief Marc Whitten. In the interview Whitten said "If it's something that people are really excited about and want, we're going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back". Whitten went on to explain his feeling about Family Sharing of games "We believe really strongly in how you build a great experience on Xbox One for me as an individual, but also for my family. Family Sharing is a great example of how you do that with content. I think you're going to see us, both with examples like that and with other things, keep pushing on how that's something great."

Removing Family Sharing wasn't a knee-jerk reaction

When asked about why Family Sharing was removed Whitten said "...taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about 'we're going to take our toys and go home' or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of 'how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?"

So the Xbox One policies will continue to evolve until November it seems and maybe even after that, to continuously improve user experiences. Audience members at EVO 2013 booed for 30 seconds at the mere mention of Microsoft's next-gen console last week, positive PR is definitely required.

Kinect costs "almost as much" to make as the Xbox One

A Microsoft employee has informed people via Reddit that the new Kinect sensor costs "almost as much" to manufacture as the Xbox One console itself. The bundling of the Kinect sensor was a big decision by Microsoft and it will play a big part in it being fully utilised by the writers of software for the new console. It is to be an "integral part of the Xbox One experience."

Interestingly the anonymous Microsoft insider also said that "the success of the Kinect carries much more weight" for Microsoft than the Xbox One. This must be to do with the box being utilised as a couch potato media consumption device by members of a household.

HEXUS Forums :: 16 Comments

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The so called ‘Lads Night’ would be ruined if you couldn't bring your games round to your friends house. A night of drinking, FIFA and FPS games would go straight out of the window. I for one wouldn't be very pleased with that!
That red light looks awfully familiar…
Power to the people, and kudos to them for actually doing something about it (not that they have a choice).

I don't think every decision made while they developed it has been a malicious “let's screw these gullible suckers” attack on the consumer - the media has definitely enjoyed covering it like that.

That said, some of the policies were bad ideas and they'll pay the price of a PR disaster for quite some time - to Sony's profit I imagine.
You could do that even with the DRM in place, you'd just have to log your own user name into your mate's Xbox. But Microsoft do listen to what their customers want, we will end up pleased with their new console, we just don't see it yet
“Kinect costs ”almost as much“ to make as the Xbox One”

Microsoft's problems in a single sentence and why I'll never buy it.

Casual gaming, set top box pile of crap with second rate GPU/RAM, all to pay for that POS Kinnect.