I am honestly surprised, and I am absolutely loving it. Microsoft has gone back on most of their listed requirements for both an internet connection and the ability to share or trade games between people.
What’s that? A total policy reversal?
The announcement comes on the heels of E3, where Sony formally announced to the world how the PS4 would not be following in Xbox One’s footsteps with an internet requirement or the difficulty in trading or playing used games. Polls taken after the event have shown a decided advantage, at least within the core gaming community, being given to Sony’s upcoming console over Microsoft’s. Further unsettling Microsoft fans came news of deployed servicemen who would be unable to play an Xbox One being suggested to just stick with their 360, implying Microsoft simply did not think they should be able to participate in the next generation of consoles.
The new announcement thanks all of Microsoft’s fans and supporters for the feedback they have given over the revealed information about the upcoming Xbox One. They note how much their supporters…
…loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.
They go on to list changes to the normal functionality of Xbox One. For starters, it will not ever require an internet connection for the sake of single-player games. This seems to apply to both digitally-downloaded games and to games owned on disc. This alone is a huge deal, as it means those deployed servicemen and people like me who are simply in complicated circumstances can plausibly use the console. The second major change is zero limitation on the ability to trade, rent, loan, and gift games owned on disc.
Good Guy Microsoft?
A part of me wants to applaud the changes made, but at the same time I recognize this is not something to truly applaud. Microsoft made their announcements, they obviously are not doing this because they think it is the right thing to do. This decision is based on the assessment of their potential profits and the negative feedback they were getting as a direct result of the choices they made with the direction of the console.
I am glad the Xbox One is not going to be so closed off, but it will take more than me being capable of using it at all before I will be likely to trust Microsoft is concerned about my personal best interests again.