Microsoft backtracks on Xbox One disc sharing, connection limitations

Since E3, a vocal majority of Internet users has been hating on the Xbox One. The console was criticized for its Internet connection requirements and the limitations it placed on game sharing, which were unlike those imposed by the PlayStation 4. The hate got so virulent that, according to TechSpot, Amazon wound up taking down a console popularity poll from its Facebook page after an overwhelming PS4 victory.

Today, Microsoft caved to pressure and announced that it will lift some of those controversial limitations. Here's the word straight from the official announcement:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

Prior to this change, the plan was for the Xbox One to support offline gaming only for a maximum of 24 hours. Also, Microsoft planned to allow family-wide game sharing, whereby one person could make his or her games available to as many as 10 family members. However, giving physical media to another user was only going to be possible once, and that user would have to be on the giver's friends list for at least 30 days.

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