Microsoft axes Xbox One 24-hour online checks, used game policy

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 19, 2013
Updated • Jun 19, 2013

Both Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch new gaming systems later this year with Sony looking like the clear winner up until now because it did not make any significant changes to how the Playstation 4 operates.

Microsoft on the other hand announced several changes that turned the gaming world around for part of the company's audience. Among the features that Microsoft introduced were 24-hour online checks to play games and harsh used-game restrictions.

Today, the company announced that it has made the decision to axe several features as it listened to its audience who criticized them heavily ever since they were revealed.

Xbox One users can play offline games on the Microsoft system without Internet connection.

That is right, Microsoft has removed the restriction from its gaming system so that you do not need to connect the console to the Internet every 24 hours to continue playing games that require no Internet connection.

Lending, reselling, gifting, renting and trading-in works like today

This is the second big change as several of the options were either highly limited or not possible at all before. This levels the playing field with the Playstation 4 and gives users the same rights that they have today when it comes to these activities.

No regional restrictions

Another surprising change. Microsoft notes that Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console eliminating any regional restrictions.

Kotaku reports that several other features got removed from the system as a consequence as well, or at least won't be available on launch:

  • You cannot share your Xbox One games with up to nine friends or family members.
  • While you get access to games that you have downloaded everywhere you go, this is not the case for games that you bought as discs. Those won't be available on other systems that you log in which means that you need to take your discs with you if you want to play them (just like today).

The changes will be made available as a patch on launch according to the gaming mag which means that owners of an Xbox One need to connect it at least once to the Internet to download the patch.

Closing Words

It is rare to see a big company like Microsoft changing its way before product launch. A couple of factors have certainly played a role in the decision. First that Sony did not follow the company's used games policy or always online policy. Then certainly the criticism the company received after it made the announcements, not only on gaming sites but also mainstream news portals and newspapers.

Hats off to Microsoft for making the decision to reverse those policies but not for removing them. It should never have gotten that far in first place in my opinion.


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  1. anon said on June 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

    The beauty of competition. If only we have Sony PS4 equivalent on the OS space.

  2. no-one said on June 20, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Don’t be fooled. The DRM and quick about face were all planned to take advantage of the internet’s short attention span and distract people from Kinect spying on them for the CIA.

    1. Coyote said on June 20, 2013 at 9:14 am

      I agree, they probably won’t change anything at all. Sony said time and time again backwards compatibility was a feature they would support. Then as 2nd and 3rd release PS3’s came out the hardware disappeared then the software. Microshaft will just hide these away for awhile then when people are online and enough games have sold they will reactivate it.

      And as for the used games problem, it isn’t microsoft it’s the publishers. EA and others would love to see no more used games and a market that forces users to buy DLC. I wouldn’t be surprised that when the new consoles are released they still go ahead with it. it would be as simple as publishers switching to a Steam type distribution model for all their games. No disc to loan or sell, they will always find a loop-hole.

  3. ilev said on June 20, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Microsoft has read CVG poll :

    PS4 four times more popular than Xbox One. Sony console takes 71% of vote; Xbox One at 15%

    On Thursday CVG asked readers to declare whether they were intending to buy either Sony or Microsoft’s next-generation game consoles. By Monday morning, more than 5,000 responded, with a clear majority (71%) declaring their interest in PS4.

    By contrast, just 15 per cent of respondents said they were intending to buy an Xbox One. Six per cent said they intended to buy both machines…

    1. ilev said on June 20, 2013 at 2:46 am

      Or maybe the Amazon poll with 94.7% of users in favor or PS4

      PS4 Grabs 95% Of Consumer Votes After Amazon Ends Poll Early

      With nearly 95% of the vote (approximately 94.7% in favor of the PS4) Amazon has decided to end the user poll between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 early. Back on June 13th the marketplace giant ran a Facebook poll to see which one consumers were more interested in between Microsoft and Sony’s consoles and it appears that gamers have spoken quite loudly with their Facebook voting.

      For now, the final numbers read 38984 votes in favor of the PlayStation 4 with only 2162 votes in favor of the Xbox One. Does anyone know how many employees work at Microsoft?

      Originally, the poll was supposed to run for a week and end on June 20th, giving gamers plenty of time to cast a vote and comment in favor of the console they were most looking forward to. Unfortunately, Amazon cut the poll short after there was a massive and clearly lopsided showing of favoritism for one product over the other. This could also be an easy indicator for companies to use as a gauge for the potential purchasing habits of gamers and casual consumers alike for this fall. …

  4. Swapnil said on June 19, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Microsoft certainly values consumer feedback.
    1. Remember when Visual Studio 2012 Beta came out and it was announced it won’t support compiling for Windows XP. And the workaround offered by Microsoft was to use multi-targeting (use VS 2010 compiler, which means they can’t use the C++ 11 improvements in VS 2012). Many many developers asked for a way to target Windows XP while using C++ 11 in the comments. Microsoft then accepted the request announcing that it would be made available as part of a future update and then released it as part VS 2012 Update 1.
    2. When it was announced that Visual Studio Express would only support development of Modern apps, developers expressed their disappointment in comments. Then, a few weeks later it was announced that VS Express for desktop development would also be released.
    3. Windows 8.1 now includes Boot to desktop.

    However, in this case it hardly makes any difference. If I were to go somewhere without WiFi, I would use Internet sharing to use mobile data connection as WiFi.

    1. Lindsay said on June 20, 2013 at 6:32 am

      Not quite correct. What Microsoft values is good press.

      1. anon said on June 20, 2013 at 11:49 am

        Not quite correct, what MS value is money and they fear competition.

        Windows 8 didn’t exactly got good press and most positive article about it failed to mention any benefit for desktop space.

  5. Eli said on June 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    From this day forth you shall be known as XBox 180.

    1. Andrew said on June 20, 2013 at 4:48 am


  6. Stef said on June 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Not selling that many pre-orders are we?

  7. Nebulus said on June 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Microsoft listened to users’ complaints. That’s a refreshing change.

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