In a post on the Xbox website, President of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Don Mattrick revealed a number of changes regarding Xbox One’s previously-announced online requirements, in response to the sheer volume of user complaints based on speculation of what Microsoft’s seemingly restrictive new approach to “always on” would mean for game ownership.
The specific changes are:
- New Xbox Ones require a one-time online setup, but after that you can run offline. No 24-hour check-ins, just like on the Xbox 360.
- You can sell, rent, and lend disc-based games to other people, just like on the Xbox 360.
- Downloaded games can be played offline, just like on the Xbox 360.
- No regional restrictions. All Xbox One games are playable on all Xbox One consoles. Actually, an improvement from the Xbox 360.
So, apart from the region-free improvement, an Xbox One will function very similar to an Xbox 360. Good on Microsoft for listening to their customers. Hopefully they can recover from the PR heat they’ve been taking and move some consoles.
Unfortunately, for some who thought they had an idea of what Microsoft was trying to do with their proposed “strict” online requirements, this change may rule some of those benefits out for the future. See this editorial on Kotaku for some additional insight into what may have been lost in Microsoft’s capitulation.