For a console that has yet to be released, the Xbox One is garnering a lot of negative press from the media and its once loyal fans. To make matters worse, Microsoft described a few new features slated for the upcoming console – and they don’t look very good. As a matter of fact, they give off an eerie Big Brother vibe that is most unwelcome.
Through an online post made available on Thursday, Microsoft made it clear that they are striving for an interconnected gaming experience. In other words, offline play is over, whether you like it or not. Much like how parents place restrictions on their children’s internet usage by setting maximum time limits, Microsoft is requiring Xbox One owners to connect to the web at least once every 24 hours, or else your gaming privileges are cut-off.
Microsoft went on to say that Xbox One account holders would be able to access their personalized media through other people’s consoles; but in this particular case, the user must confirm their identity each and every hour.
“Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection,” the software giant said in the statement. Luckily, these conditions will not extend to watching live TV or using the console’s built-in Blu-ray player to view movies.
The next big Xbox One announcement was targeted at second-hand game owners. Based on Microsoft’s new licensing model, publishers will be given the freedom to prevent the resale of used games, which means that reactivation fees will probably be the end result.
A related question was how the new Xbox would deal with direct disc transfers between friends. According to Microsoft, although there will be no fees associated with the transfer, there are still some limitations. The game can only be sent to individuals that have been formally listed as an Xbox friend for a minimum of 30 days, and each game can only be transferred once.
If there was any positive news regarding the Microsoft statement, it has to do with the Kinect feature. A lot of people held privacy concerns over the "always on" sensor, but Microsoft clarified that it will only be listening in on a single voice command – “Xbox On”. For those not completely convinced, Microsoft said that the feature can be easily disabled.