Microsoft made waves by announcing restrictive Xbox One DRM measures, then reversing them, but rumour has it that some proposed features could be coming back.
Think back to the beginning of June of this year. Summer was just beginning to spread it’s searing wings, the Xbox One was still fresh in everyone’s minds like the summer’s bloom and E3, the biggest gaming convention in the entire world, was starting to take place. In Los Angeles, Calif., Microsoft took to the stage at their annual E3 presser to explain the features and spread their marketing spiel about the Xbox One, the next generation games console that the company had announced just a few weeks before. Amongst these announcements was that the Xbox One would require a connection to the Internet (once every 24 hours) in order for it to work completely. This controversial security measure came with the benefit of family-wide game sharing, the possibility of reselling your digital titles as well as a lot of consumer backlash. As a result of the uproar and a huge dip in share prices, Microsoft backtracked, but after even more gamer fury about the removal of those features, they could all be making a comeback.
Speaking to IGN, Microsoft corporate vice president Marc Whitten has said that “Taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘[Microsoft are] going to take [their] toys and go home’ or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of ‘how do [Microsoft] get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do [the Microsoft team] make sure [they] can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?’” Clearly, the reason for considering bringing back the Family Sharing service simply comes down to gamer demand. Microsoft aren’t one to flim-flam until now, so it’s obvious that gamers are forcing their hand with this one and the vocal are getting exactly what they want.
What this means for gamers, should Family Sharing come back, is that the originally proposed idea could make a return. It was initially described as ‘any games you download are available to any of your family members with Xbox One accounts, provided that you’ve added them to your list’. This meant that your entire library would be accessible to10 family members (or friends, should you wish to add your peers too) and they wouldn’t have to pay a thing. Too, if Microsoft scrap region locking, these digital titles might even be playable by family members in other countries, or, you’d be able to play imported discs, both of which are two really great possibilities.
However, it was also rumoured that someone playing the Xbox One games from someone else’s account meant that they would only be able to access certain levels in the game, with a much more basic version offered to those who haven’t purchased it for themselves. Though with Microsoft acting on gamers’ whims, if their fanbase doesn’t like that, these restrictions could be thrown out too.
Should Microsoft formally reinstate Family Sharing, we’ll keep you posted.
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