Xbox One’s Game Sharing Feature May Not Have Been Exactly That

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 26th, 2013 at 7:54 am,

Microsoft Xbox One Game Sharing Truth

Early yesterday afternoon Microsoft pulled a complete 180 on their Xbox One DRM plans, and in the process tossed their game-sharing feature by the wayside. It was a decision that was met with much fanfare, but some disappointment regarding the sharing of games.

Now that a full 24 hours has passed since that announcement, one Microsoft employee has come out (anonymously) to voice his displeasure over Microsoft’s DRM reversal. Additionally, he has provided some clarification on the game-sharing plan — clarification that actually makes the feature sound less appealing.

According to the unverifiable employee – who wrote a lengthy post on Pastebin – the game-sharing plan would have allowed gamers to highlight specific Xbox Live members as “family,” and share any of their uploaded games with them. It didn’t matter if that family member lived in the same house, across the street, or across the country, they would have access to any titles in the shared game library.

The one caveat — and a very big caveat it is — is that the family member could only play said shared game for less than an hour. In other words, it was more of a timed demo than a digital game-lending program. The Microsoft employee says that family members would have had access to the full game, or whatever they could get through in 15-45 minutes. After time expired, they would then be prompted with a “Buy Now” option.

The premise is simple and elegant, when you buy your games for Xbox One, you can set any of them to be part of your shared library. Anyone who you deem to be family had access to these games regardless of where they are in the world. There was never any catch to that, they didn’t have to share the same billing address or physical address it could be anyone. When your family member accesses any of your games, they’re placed into a special demo mode. This demo mode in most cases would be the full game with a 15-45 minute timer and in some cases an hour. This allowed the person to play the game, get familiar with it then make a purchase if they wanted to. When the time limit was up they would automatically be prompted to the Marketplace so that they may order it if liked the game.

It’s ironic that in a post about Microsoft’s inability to adequately communicate the utility of the Xbox One‘s feature set, that this individual reveals a feature we thought we understood was totally different. And, in the process, makes the loss of “game sharing” feel less like an actual loss.

Don Mattrick at the Xbox One Reveal

The idea of sharing a game as a demo is all well and good, but that’s not the idea gamers were being sold on. It’s unclear whether this idea was the full scope of Microsoft’s game sharing plan, which was said to support up to 9 family members, so we won’t fully judge a feature that might be a small part of a bigger plan. Either way, though, we’d venture to guess gamers that were pro-game sharing are less disappointed about the DRM reversal now then they were before. In fact, some gamers are more interested in the Xbox One now.

The employee also outlined a new social initiative with the Xbox One that would have seen the console replace Twitter, Facebook, and any other social network. In essence, the Xbox One and Xbox Live would become the social network.

Another feature that we didn’t speak out about was the fact we were building a natural social network with Xbox One in itself that didn’t require gamers to open their laptops/tablets to post to their other friends nor did they need to wrestle with keyboard add-ons. Each Xbox Live account would have a full “home space” in which they could post their highest scores, show off their best Game DVR moments, what they’ve watched via Xbox TV and leave messages for others to read and respond to. Kinect 2.0 and Xbox One work together and has robust voice to text capabilities. The entire notion of communicating with friends you met online would have been natural and seamless. No reliance on Facebook, or Twitter (though those are optional for those who want them). Everything is perfectly crafted for the Xbox One controller and Kinect 2.0 and given that shine that only Microsoft can provide.

Apparently, these social features will still come to Xbox One; they just might not reflect Microsoft’s original vision. And as far as game sharing goes, we may still see a shared library feature in the future, perhaps when games go all digital, but not at launch.

How do you feel about the loss of game sharing after finding out it was more a timed-demo plan? Will you take advantage of the Xbox One’s social features?

The Xbox One is set to hit store shelves this November.

Source: Pastebin

TAGS: Microsoft, Xbox Live, Xbox One

  • falcon4406

    I can still come up with these reasons why to get a PS4. . 1. PS4 has 40% more power, 2. $100 cheaper, 3. I did not have my master lie to me “more like say we sorry, just come on back and give us your money” 4. No spigate at all, 5. I can swap out MY hardrive, 6. still military friendly, 7. DO not need 24 hour checks for online games, 8. Much better exclusives, Better network, game deals, and onlining. 9. Dont have to pay to go online if i dont want to, If i choose to go pay to go online it will cost me $50 for a year and i have access to all content on a PS4, PS3, and PSP, Microsoft charges you $60 no matter what only for one console. 10. 100% NO restrictions with my games, “xbox still has some” even after yesterday. 11. Connect features only in america, 12. and you need a HD box no matter what.13. No contract saying i have to take them to court as a individual against the best lawyer in the world hired by microsoft if my system breaks. Yea, for some reason i will stay with the ps4. 14. PS4 is a gaming console FIRST, then a media device, and just buy a $5 app to do everything the xbone one can do. Fair enough? Xbox’s master just said this a week ago “we still have used games, it’s called a 360″ Does not sit well. 15. My PS4 still looks far better then that huge plain VCR from the 80’s.

    • Toa Freak

      1. And the PS3 was even more powerful than the Xbox 360. However, neither Sony nor most developers/publishers, knew how to take advantage of that extra power. Microsoft has proven time and time again that it can squeeze a lot more out of inferior tech than Sony can with superior tech.

      2. Due to the Kinect, and the reason the Kinect is included is to allow developers to take advantage of it. At least when Microsoft decided to join the motion control bandwagon, they didn’t rip off the Wii.

      3. What? I don’t even understand what you’re saying here.

      4. The Kinect doesn’t spy on users. Where do people get this? The Kinect can be disabled when the Xbox is on, and turned off completely with the Xbox.

      5. Can’t really argue with that.

      6. Don’t see how the XB1 is less “military friendly” now that it’s dropped the 24 hour check.

      7. As I just said, Microsoft just dropped this policy.

      8. Better in your opinion, just as Microsoft’s are better in mine. Better network? I highly doubt it, especially if the recent generation is any indication. Better deals? By what standards? I would have said PS+, but as of E3, there is virtually no different between that and XBL Gold.

      9. It will cost you $60. Did you pay attention at the E3 Sony Conference? $5 a month = $60 a year. And again, as of E3, there is virtually no different between Sony and Microsoft’s respective services. Even before than, Microsoft had a much better infrastructure and community.

      10. What restrictions? They dropped and sort of region restriction, reverted to the current model for used games, and, again, dropped their previous DRM policies for the current ones.

      11. Which ones, specifically? Some are yes, as North America is Microsoft’s biggest market.

      12. And you don’t with Sony? Last I checked, PS4 uses HDMI or Component. Standard S-Video and composite are gone.

      13. No idea what you’re talking about here.

      14. They bill it as such, but it has just as much focus on entertainment as Microsoft. The different is that Microsoft choose to show their system’s “other” features first, at the reveal (and Microsoft even said that the reveal wasn’t going to focus on gaming), and used E3 to reveal it’s games. The entertainment aspect wasn’t even mentioned. On the other hand, you barely even know what the PS4 can do outside of gaming.

      15. Have fun with your parallelogram. It’s literally a slanted box. Virtually no different than the XB1.

      I’m looking forward to both systems, but it’s fanboyism from the Playstation side that initially drove me away from Playstation at the start of the last generation.

      • 1wildgamerchild

        Thank you for explaining that. The ps4 is shaped like a door stop. But I wanted to point out that even tho the PS4 has 8GB of GDDR5 RAM providing 176GB/s of bandwidth to GPU and CPU and the Xbox One has only 8GB of DDR3 of RAM providing 102Gb/s of bandwidth….2 things the GDDR5 that Sony uses could have slightly longer latency and also the Xbox One has the additional 32 SRAM to recover bandwidth which will make it around 168-170GB/s of bandwidth. Tech experts are saying that it is virtually the same and all about how they’re utilized to their full potential. That’s not including the cloud processing that Microsoft is working with via 300,000 servers. The PS3 was “so much more powerful” than the 360 too according to the specs on paper but the 360 played games better with less drop frame rates. Many of the same games looked better on the 360 in side by side comparisons. Some people were scratching their heads like “how they do that”? PS4 is like a car with a big engine and the Xbox one is like a car with a better driver. People see numbers but don’t understand it’s all in the design.

        • buddy

          AMEN! From the people who have actually been developing on it are saying that you wont notice a difference at the beginning. But a few years in XB1s cloud computation servers are gonna be a big factor especially as internet speeds get better on average. Im gonna buy both but im getting XB1 first because it has all the same features and than some the hardware is virtually the same and its got better exclusives. $100 more doesent bother me with everything more that i get from it (including Kinect/HDMI pass-thru for TV). Ill get PS4 when the price drops on it because they do have some great exclusives. Cant wait to see what Naughty Dog is doing for next gen.

      • Andrew

        Oh boy. Some of the policies Microsoft tried to pull on us were downright anti consumer from the moment some accountant in a boardroom came up with them, the only reason they backtracked was because they’d lose X amount of money (yes, X), so already it’s obvious they’ll fling whatever they can in your way to make as much money as possible at you and your friends expense. Like adverts on the dashboard even though you already pay for LIVE, that’s just them dipping their toe in the water to see if you accept that kind of treatment and if they can take it further, and it looks like you do! I’m not saying Sony aren’t out to make money, but think back to the 360’s blade dashboard layout and how it’s changed for one example, it’s only going to get worse.

        Thinking maybe developers won’t be able to get to grips with the Ps4’s 40% more power like with the Ps3 sounds like the same wishful thinking Microsoft had when developing the One. If Sony haven’t done everything possible to make it simpler for developers, the developers would have come out and said something like last time. And they haven’t said a thing. And in terms of games, AAA games aren’t exactly innovative nowadays, and they seem to be the only area the Xbox one is worried about games wise, that and kinect app games not suitable for landfill, you’re missing out on a LOT of indie games and ideas.

        But as long as you enjoy it I suppose, there’s gonna be a lot more people on PSN but I’m sure Call of Duty servers will be packed, what with such marvelous timed DLC and fish that move. Speaking of fish, even Phil Fish hates the Xbox One, he’s actually been out a**holed by Cliffy B, that guy who reps the Xbox One and said forced DRM was good. Have fun with that guy. You’re literally siding with him and his opinions. That should put it into perspective.

        Also 9. Xbox Live had a better community? Imma need to lie down after that one once I’ve finished crying tears of immeasureable disbelief

        • buddy

          If you believe that Sony and MS arent going to both implement DRM and go all digital by the end of the next gen cycle your kidding yourself. MS at least came out laid it out was honest about it and ‘tried’ (failed miserably) to get their message across that this was the future. It is the future its always been headed that way. I do believe this is a step backwards but maybe they just didnt give enough for what they were taking. I myself was totally fine with the setup. The majority was not and they got their way. Its going to start happening slowly though. Starts with Day One Digital Downloads. Than youll see price drops on digital purchases matching or undercutting GameStop new and sometimes used game prices, than comes the digital trade ins, some added benefits and than they will bring the hammer down. Of course they will wait for the majority of people to start buying all digital before they finally hit the last nail in the physical disc coffin. They both will do this. The decision people need to make is what system is going to offer them the better overall experience. Gaming mainly of course but consoles have evolved into so much more than that now. What systems games did you like better at E3? What console has better features for you? Is $100 a big deal to you? There should be no talk of privacy, DRM, or online connections AT ALL anymore. Now its down to the nitty gritty whos consoles better for YOU nobody else just YOU. Sure arguing the facts is fun but people really need to stop bringing up things that are gone now and the tin foil hat people need to stop freaking out that XB1 comes with a camera lol. Thats my two cents take it or leave it.

      • DarKnightsyer

        #9) PS Plus is $49.99 a year, according to the PSN price currently.And Xbox live Gold offer $9.99 a month if you brought it monthly instead of annually.

        • buddy

          Xbox Live is $49.99 a year too. LOL. I get mine for $39.99 because of a sale they had which they do all the time. Also get 1600 MS Points and its been recurring like that for the last 2 years. But they are the same price as each other.

      • buddy

        just had to jump in on this for a second just a few of the OPs points i want to add to.

        1. See 1wildgamerchilds comment below
        8. PS4 – 7 Exclusives XB1 – 15 Exclusives.. PS4 IMO showed only 2-3 really good games unless your an Indie Addict. XB1 blew my mind at E3 with their games PS4s conference i was literally falling asleep. XBL Gold is much better than PS+. You can go ahead and give me the “hey we get free games” well guess what so do we now. The only thing PS does better with its online service is that you actually dont need it to use netflix and paid subscription apps. XBL has better connection, faster connection, better UI, bigger online community, and better features (apps/services). PSN is cluttered ugly UI constant lag disconnects upgrades that brick your system terrible security (got hacked offline for 3 weeks). In all my years with both consoles (XBox is my most used) XBL has never given me a single issue, i think ive been disconnected once for maybe an hour. Ive been disconnected and lagged out probably about once or twice a week for the last 6 years not to mention when everything was hacked. My internet connection is great never have network problems. Im sorry but your point here is horrible and dishonest. As far as “game deals” go both the PS Store and XBLMP suck ass and are priced the same. Neither is better than the other they both have decent sales and are overpriced the rest of the time lol.
        13. I know what your talking about here and there are ways around it. MS pretty much assigns a mediator outside of the company to settle disputes. Doesent mean CALS are not possible. Its a rediculous thing to even bring up because nothings gonna happen where this would even come into play.

        As for the other numbers the first commenter responded to them very well and theres no need to go through any of them.

  • PolarBear

    No loss at all. Even if the real purpose of game sharing had been properly communicated, I would still prefer the donload Demo option in xboxlive, wich allows me to play the same demo for as long as I want, or the game rental option, which would give me (and my friends and family) at least 5 days of “game trial”… No loss at all…

  • Uhh
  • Gamer4life

    There are enough devices that are capable of connecting to any social site I chose. I want my console to play video games Period! All of this “connectivity” is well and good but do not forget the reason for gaming!

  • 1wildgamerchild

    Anthony T. you’re alright with me. Good job on giving us something to rant about. Keep it up!

    • Anthony Taormina

      Thanks wildgamerchild! I’ll always give someone something to rant about! :)

  • buddy

    This was a hoax. Marc Whitten came out and confirmed that this Pastbin post was a fake and that the Family Shared Plan was exactly what we originally thought it would be. BTW for the undecided people below is a link to a comparison chart for the XB1 and PS4 it was updated after the DRM reversal. Worth a look if your undecided or on the edge.

    • Androol

      Marc Whitten can say whatever he wants about it now that it’s not happening.