There’s no getting away from it – Xbox One will change the way we play and buy games. Microsoft’s changes to the policy of game ownership, trade ins, online required and so on is complicated – and so this guide will help you understand how you play games on the Xbox One, trade games and even just play games around a friends house.
Buying Xbox One Games and then Playing them
1. You can buy the game one of two ways. The first being the traditional bricks and mortar retailer that you know and ‘love’. The second being digitally downloading via Xbox Live. We’re unsure if every title will be released using both methods, MS have yet to confirm. For those with slower internet connection, you’ll probably want to buy the retail copy of your Xbox One games where possible – it’s likely the games will be big.
2. Install the game onto the hard drive. This will be obviously done automatically if you’ve bought it via live, but disc games will need to be installed. The disc then won’t be needed to play that game. But don’t throw it away – it has uses (for what, read on!).
3. Use Xbox Live to register your game to the Xbox One console. Each and every game will require this – but remember, if your internet is not connected, you’ll be unable to play.
4. Connect to the internet at least once every 24 hours. That’s right – Xbox One REQUIRES you to be connected at least once a day. We don’t know how ‘stringent’ this will be if you can’t connect. More on this later.
Playing your Xbox One Games around a friends house.
1. You can either login using your account and then download the game, OR better still – use your disc to install it. Better that than waiting to download a large file. You’ll of course still need to obtain any title updates though (patches) that have been released.
2. His Xbox One will check to see if you’ve a ‘connection’ every hour.
I want to lend my Xbox One Games to my friend
1. You can offer to give / gift the game to him for free. You can give a game to ONE person, once. They must have been your friend for at least 30 days before you can do this.
2, You can authorize ten other people to play your games via the Xbox One cloud. They can download the game via live. They will not be able to play the game at the same time as you / someone else. So similar to how say a World of Warcraft (battle.net) account works. You could however, in theory rotate games between all of your friends giving you a huge collection of games. We’ll have to see how MS polices this.
3. You won’t be able to loan / rent games at launch. MS are yet to give a date when you’ll be able to do so.
4. Publishers can block you lending / trading games.
How do used / Trade-ins work with Xbox One
1. As mentioned above – trading won’t be available on Xbox One launch.
2. Microsoft don’t block the trading of games. That’s down to publishers / developers and can set this on a per title basis. MS have said they won’t be planning on blocking it with their own (first party) games. Pure speculation on my part – I’d not be surprised if it’s more common to see multi player games allowable to be traded because of their constant playability.
3. Publishers choose if you can trade in a game for cash / credit at a retail store. Similarly they also choose if you can gift the game to a friend.
4. Microsoft don’t charge you, the retailer OR the publisher to trade in games. They take no cut in it at all. They simply provide the service, and then wash their hands of it.
Remaining questions Microsoft haven’t answered about Xbox One
1. What happens if Microsoft decided in the future that the Xbox One is old technology / they won’t support it anymore. Will they simply cut the server off, and you lose access to all of your games? Remember, you are simply paying to license the game, NOT own the game. Or, will they release a console update which ‘prevents’ the system calling him. A lot of companies retire servers, the MMORPG industry is littered with the bones of now dead MMO’s, where player progress is deleted and the game no longer useable. EA have recently come under fire for closing down servers on some of its games too.
In reality, how long though can you expect a company to ‘maintain’ these servers though. MS have said that in theory, you’ll be able to access your games in 20 years time, as the Xbox One cloud will just evolve. People don’t want theory however, and would like an answer.
2, What happens to the prices of used games? Will they drop over time? It’s not like the bits of data on your drive can get scratched / damaged. So is it a case of the prices of used games holding their prices for longer, or will it be a case of ‘it’ll be controlled to go down in line with retail prices’.
3. What happens if a game is deleted by the retailer? For example, recently due to licensing disagreements Silicon Knights were ordered to recall various titles, because of an argument over the Unreal Engine with Epic. Several of its titles in development were scraped, and games like X-Men Destiny ordered to be recalled and destroyed.
In a scenario like this – what happens if a player has bought those games? I’m assuming it’d be down to the judge. But that doesn’t seem fair on players, does it, if you lose out a game because of a legal battle?
Live TV / Blu-Rays / DVD’s
1. All of these operate without the need for a constant internet requirement. You won’t need one to watch any of these listed.
2. Functionality should be there ‘right out of the box’ so to speak.