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Posted by Chuck Corbin on Jun 19, 2013

Microsoft Reverses Controversial Xbox One Policies

Well, this was a little unexpected. In a surprise announcement yesterday, Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business division let it be known that most of the controversial policies of the Xbox One have been reversed. While anger at the company, and thus lost revenue surely had something to do with this announcement, it still takes a big man to get up on stage and say “I’m wrong”.

There are two big changes to their Xbox One policy in particular. The first one is that an internet connection will no longer be required to play offline Xbox One games. That means there are no 24 hour connection checks required for the system, and any offline game (disc or digital) can be played without a connection to the internet.

The second big change is that there is now no limitations to what you can do with your disc-based games. Sony got big points last week for announcing how PS4 games would work like PS3 games, and now Microsoft is doing the exact same thing. This is perhaps an even bigger deal than the 24 hour check issue, as now you’ll be able to do what you see fit with your disc-based games.

Sadly, these changes mean that some features that actually seemed good on the Xbox One will now be going away. Microsoft had outlined how a user could have up to 10 people as part of their “family”, and anybody in that “family” would be able to play anybody else’s games. With the change to how games work, however, that is no longer the case as “downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold.”

I applaud Microsoft for making the decision to back off from those policies, but there’s more that they can do. While an internet connection isn’t required to play games or use the system, it was revealed that it will still be required for a one-time setup, meaning that if you live in an area without internet you still can’t use the console. At least in this scenario you can set it up at a friends house, and take it back home with you. Another major problem they failed to address was the fact that the new Kinect is still mandatory. After the revelations came out that the NSA has been collection any data they can, many folks are wary of putting up a camera setup in their living room that can be used to snoop into your house.

In the end though, these changes are for the better. This next generation of consoles is going to be interesting, because now it actually looks like a proper competition!

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