Xbox One's Digital Sharing Will Return "When the Time is Right"
Speaking with GameSpot during PAX Prime, Microsoft executive Albert Penello discussed a digital future for the gaming industry, stating emphatically that a digital-only future will one day be realized. He pointed to whats happening with tablets, phones, music, and movies, as well as PC games with Steam, as evidence of this shift toward a digital-oriented future that the gaming industry will follow.
For now, Xbox One remains a disc-oriented system for games. It will have more of a digital presence than Xbox 360, with all games being made available digitally, but, as we already know, at launch it will lack some of the features Microsoft originally promised before bending to the will of outraged gamers. Things like being able to sell digital games and allow up to ten family members (who didnt actually have to be family members) to play your Xbox One games from any system went out the window with that shift, but Penello indicated the family sharing feature and others will be revisited.
Asked if Microsoft was interested in allowing gamers to resell their digital games, Penello responded, "Well, actually I think if you go back and you look at some of the things we said, that was one of the places that we were actually trying to pioneer. We were trying to implement the ability to trade [and] loan digital games with your friends which is something that no one else was doing.
"I believe, in retrospect that people have calmed down and gone back and actually looked at what we said, people are starting to understand, Wow, they did want actually to allow me to loan and trade which other digital ecosystems dont want to do. And so, yeah, I think we need to do that. That has to be part of the experience. Right now, were focused on launch and we switched the program back to discs, because thats what customers wanted.
Penello went on to say he receives frequent requests from fans to bring back the family sharing feature in particular. To those people, he said, "Wed love to figure out how to bring that back. I still think it was a good idea. Maybe it was a little too soon for some people, but I still think there were a lot of good ideas in there. And well bring it back when the time is right."
Following its decision to abandon the Xbox Ones Internet connection requirement, which will necessitate an update on launch day, Microsoft outlined how games and Xbox Live Gold can be shared on Xbox One last month. Games purchased on an Xbox One can be played by anyone on that system, and can also be played on other systems provided the owner is signed in to his or her Gamertag.
Xbox Ones release date was finally announced earlier today: it will be released on November 22 in 13 markets.