Looks Like Microsoft Might Pull a 360 on Xbox One Features

Microsoft laments poor communication skills, announces plans to reinstate Family Sharing.

Microsoft laments poor communication skills, announces plans to reinstate Family Sharing.

It’s no secret: the Xbox One has had a rocky start.

When Microsoft first announced its plans for an always-online DRM policy, the immediate result from the community was outrage––so much so it had to pull DRM from its upcoming system altogether. But instead of being met with forgiveness and gratitude for listening to the fanbase, Microsoft was hit with something else altogether: a petition to return to some of their more exciting features that were lost with the removal of DRM, specifically Family Sharing.

In an interview with IGN, Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten says that a comeback for the features is planned.

“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…. We took some feedback and realized there was some stuff we needed to add to the program. To add [Family Sharing] to the program, we had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that work done. So 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?’”

In addition, Whitten feels the initially disappointed fan response to the Xbox One is mostly a result of poor communication. Lamenting the system’s controversial beginnings, he promises to focus on “engaging more with the community.”

“I think it’s pretty simple,” Whitten said. “We’ve got to just talk more, get people understanding what our system is.”

Although always-online DRM was quite apparently detested by the community at large, it’s true that the Xbox One did have some neat tricks up its sleeves. Let’s hope Microsoft can make good on its word this time, and maybe we can all put this contention behind us.

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