Following Microsoft’s well-publicised Xbox One policy reversals in recent weeks it has been difficult to discern which of the originally-announced features have been ditched and which have endured and in what form.
Marc Whitten, chief product officer for Xbox, has today moved to clarify one of these queries as relates to the Home Sharing feature which allowed families to play each other’s games when logged into their own account.
The kerfuffle over DRM and required online check-ins meant the well-received ability to upload disc-based games for family sharing also perished in the conflict, will Microsoft had been ambiguous other whether the feature would endure for digital titles.
Thankfully, Microsoft has confirmed Home Sharing is still part of its plans and has even explained exactly how it will work.
Try and stay with us here, because things are about to get complicated. Ready?
Essentially, any digital game purchased by a member of the household on the Xbox One can be played on that console using anyone’s account, just like it could if loading a disc-based game into the drive.
To that end, Xbox One digital games will be tied to both the gamertag (enabling gamers to play tiles they have purchased on other machines) and the console itself so gamers will be able to build up a library of titles comprising of games purchased by themselves and other members of the household.
Beyond that, Whitten revealed that downloaded games will be available to play offline, while games purchased on another console will also be available on the buyer’s primary console for everyone in that household to use.
In a post on the Xbox Wire blog, Whitten also confirmed a new Xbox Live Home Gold feature that will allow any Xbox Live Gold member to share the benefits of their subscription with everyone in the home.
Due to this development each console will only require one user with an Xbox Live Gold account in order to access features like Game DVR, Skype, NFL on Xbox, multiplayer gaming and Internet Explorer.
Microsoft had previously come under the cosh for announcing it would be charging users to access those features, earlier this week, so today’s announcement should quieten the storm.
Although all of that sounds quite confusing right now, it’s clear that Microsoft is still committed to parts of its original vision for the console, to make the connected, shared experience central to the console, in and out of the users household.
You can read the full post on the Xbox Wire blog.
Via The Verge