So far, the Xbox One has been a source of controversy among gamers. Many aspects of the system are fantastic in theory, but upon closer look could be a buzz kill for the console. Always on is a confusing topic, for example. Although the console does not need a consistent connection to the internet, it is probably safe to assume that most will remain logged in rather than connect every 24 hours manually.
The purchase of used games is another issue that many are upset about. What is the fee for installing a used game on the console? Will it be close to full retail? What will happen to businesses such as Gamefly?
Although there are many open questions, one has been remained fairly clear, yet many are unaware of it. What about games that you purchase brand new? In short, you will not “own” the games. Instead you license them, according to their policies governing game ownership, sharing and privacy. There is a lot of information to skim through in the link. In fact, it is not all in one place. Lucky for us, our friends over at Engadget compiled a list of the important details:
- You do not own the games you buy. You license them.
- Discs are only used to install and then license games and do not imply ownership.
- People can play games installed on your console whether you’re logged in or not.
- 10 people can be authorised to play these games on a different Xbox One via the cloud, but not at the same time, similar to iTunes authorised devices.
- Publishers decide whether you can trade in your games and may charge for this.
- Publishers decide whether you can give a game you own to someone for free, and this only works if they have been on your friends list for 30 days.
- Your account allows you to play the games you license on any console.
- Your Xbox One must connect to the internet every 24 hours to keep playing games.
- When playing on another Xbox One with your account, this is reduced to one hour.
- Live TV, Blu-ray and DVD movies are exempt from these internet requirements.
- Loaning and renting games will not be possible at launch, but Microsoft is “exploring the possibilities”.
- Microsoft may change these policies or discontinue them at any point.
Although it is pretty commonplace in most ToS, the last point is the most interesting. I have a feeling that all of the points prior to it will go through some sort of change over the course of its launch.
I find it utterly disappointing that I will not own the games that I spend a great deal of money on. Sure, I do not expect to own the content on the disk with every purchase, but the actual copy of the game should be mine to keep, trade, sell, etc. Now, I am a collector of consoles and games. So, I am not one to actually trade in or sell a game that I have already beaten. But, I do enjoy buying used copies. Especially rare games that I would not otherwise have found at launch. I feel that the Xbox One has taken the pride of owning a game from me. How do you feel about it?
At this point, I do not think I will purchase the Xbox One at launch. There are just too many extras on the console that I do not need at this time. I am also not sure I want to deal with paying to play a used game, or the hassle of installing a new game only to know that it is not actually mine to own. Of course, the concept of licensing a product is not new. In fact, it is fairly commonplace in the Microsoft world. Buy any software, such as Microsoft Office, and you are buying the license for it. Now, I am oddly okay with licensing software, but games don’t seem to fall into a licensing category for me. I guess it is because I look at a game the same as I look at a good book. The story builds, the characters evolve, and I can become part of the adventure. I don’t get that same feeling when compiling a spreadsheet.
What are your thoughts? Will you be buying at launch (assuming pricing is not an issue)? How would you feel if Nintendo or Sony implemented similar licensing policies?
Actually, looking over Nintendo and Sony’s licensing, it is interesting to note that both “license” the product to you, not actually “Sell” the product: