Xbox One Round Up: Regional Restrictions, Backwards Compatibility, Cross-Platform Play & Fitness

Published 1 year ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 3:41 pm,

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Cross Platforming Kinect

It may have been a week since Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One during its May 21 press conference, but plenty of questions linger regarding its features, capabilities and, of course, limitations.

Take backwards compatibility: News broke on day one that it wouldn’t be a feature — nothing gamers didn’t expect after years rumors and the increasing digital emulation of older titles over PSN and Xbox Live.

Until now, though, support for its theoretical cousin, cross-platform play, has largely been up in the air. Ideally, the concept would see users playing a game on the Xbox One — say, Call of Duty: Ghosts — access and participate in the same multiplayer sessions as those playing it on Xbox 360. Speaking to Videogamer, however, Xbox UK marketing manager Harvey Eagle crossed-out, if you will, the utter possibility:

“[You] won’t be able to play the same game with someone on 360 and someone on Xbox One.

Because of the different architecture of the systems it’s not possible. Your Xbox Live account on 360 will carry over to Xbox One. That same account will work on both platforms. The multiplayer won’t.”

It might be for the better; Microsoft failed abysmally at uniting the PC/Xbox 360 player bases of its first-person shooter Shadowrun in 2007. Good luck getting the eight-year old console to synchronize with Xbox One if it couldn’t communicate with Vista.

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Cross Platforming Fitness

Other restrictions being defined for the Xbox One are proving how the law can be just as obstinate as outdated technology. Microsoft announced today that the Xbox One will be region locked, meaning it can only play games purchased in the same country of origin as the console itself. Here’s how a Microsoft representative explained the situation to Digital Trends:

“Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale. We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One.”

But who needs cross-platforming and cross-border merchandising when there’s cross training? Well, at least in the sense that Microsoft isn’t apt to abandon the fitness-game genre with the new and improved features of Xbox One’s Kinect. New domains have been registered by the company, as discovered by internet sleuth Superannuation, for the names XboxFitness.info, XboxFitness.biz, Kinect1.org and KinectOne.info.

Xbox One Kinect Fitness Game

The first two names could easily apply to a fitness-based Xbox One launch title or even a general Xbox One product line centered around fitness. Interestingly, though, the last two domains suggest that the newly designed Kinect sensors shipping with the console will be called Kinect One. We’ve always fancied the term “Kinect 2.0″ considering, you know, it’s the second version of Kinect. But then again with “One” already referring to the third iteration of a console, we’re long past the point of numbers being interpreted literally… or at all.

Ranters, we’ve likely just scratched the surface of everything there is to learn about the Xbox One; this week has provided us with equal parts insight, intrigue, and outright confusion. What you make of the way regional restrictions, cross-platforming eschewing and the ostensible fitness focus of the new Kinect are tying into the next-gen console’s broader future?

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Sources: Videogamer, Digital Trends [via Game Informer], Superannuation (1, 2)

TAGS: Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox 360, Xbox One

10 Comments

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  1. Dumb Xbox One Dumb Steve Jobs

    • What in the world does Steve Jobs have to do with anything about the Xbox One?

    • Do you mean bill gates Steve jobs is dead and created Apple.Bill gates isn’t even at the helm of the company anymore.

  2. I’m not clear on this. If this is based on international laws then why was the PlayStation 3, with the exception of a single game, able to be region-free for seven years?

  3. Microsoft likes the insides of a pine box.

  4. microsoft… how could you?

  5. Game Rant, I’d make a separate section for Xbox One news, called ‘Today, in complete failures’.

    I’d love to see some more Batman or Watch Dogs coverage!

    • New consoles rank among biggest news in tech and gaming in years and there are so many details (and unanswered) questions to cover!

      That being said, we’ve been covering Batman: Arkham Origins extensively here:
      http://gamerant.com/tag/batman-arkham-origins/

      And I traveled to New York a few weeks ago to demo Watch_Dogs and interview its producer – find those here:
      http://gamerant.com/tag/watch-dogs/

      Hope that helps!

      • Yeah, I know, you gotta cover this. Just I haven’t seen much new game news in a bit.

  6. Why did anyone assume that the 360 and One would be able to play the same game in a same online matchup? They games, even if they have the same name, have to be programmed differently due to the different hardware and the architecture of the hardware. Data is processed differently.

    Backward Compatibility is nice, but most people stop using the feature within 6 months since they are playing the new games that came out. And if there are good games, there is no time to play the old games again. Not only that, adding in the hardware to run the old games flawlessly would require a larger case than the current ONE case, and also a redesign for the airflow to keep the system cool. And plus that would add an additional $60 to $100 price tag onto the box. It wouldn’t be beneficial to most users. Maybe they can offer a custom system that includes the backward compatibility to be special ordered.

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