After the reveal of the Xbox One, there were still a lot of questions floating around about exactly how Microsoft would be handling used games and whether it’d play Xbox 360 titles. Those questions were answered, in conflicting ways, and they’re “it’s complicated” and “no, no it will not.” Bummer.
As far as backward compatibility goes, that’s definitely off the table. The Xbox One, henceforth known as the Xbone, has a fancy new architecture that just doesn’t support the play of Xbox 360 games. This is a pattern with consoles of late, so it’s not all that surprising — just disappointing.
The more complicated issue going forward is the way in which the Xbox One will work with secondhand games. Initially, there was some confusion over some statements made by Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison where he basically told reporters that users would have to pay to use their own game on someone else’s hard drive. In short, they’d be buying a whole new game just to play it at their buddy’s house.
This made waves, obviously, and stems back to the fact that it appears that yes, all Xbox One games install to the hard drive, and yes, they are all associated with your account. You can download your profile to other systems and play the game. Want to use the game on a different account? You’re going to have to pay some money, though Microsoft’s also vaguely spoken about some sort of service to allow for the selling of used games. We’ll likely know more going forward, but it sounds like GameStop’s going to be none too happy about it.
Harrison also went on the record as telling Kotaku that the Xbox One would require an Internet connection every so often to keep going, and that certainly sounds like the always-on functionality that everyone was initially worried about. Even on a smaller scale, the idea of being forced to connect is not one that sits well with people. In response to questions from Polygon, Microsoft’s decried these as “potential scenarios” rather than absolute fact.
So, yeah, the whole thing’s a mess right now.
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