Xbox One Reportedly Won’t Charge Used-Games Fee; New Controller Buttons Explained

May 24, 2013 by  

Xbox One Used Games Fee Controller

It might have taken days of conflicting statements from Microsoft and decibels of outspoken wariness from gamers, but a concrete image finally appears to be solidifying regarding the Xbox One‘s policy on charging fees for the playing of used games.

It appears that GameStop can breath a sigh of relief.

According to a new report from Polygon, the Xbox One will not require an extraneous monetary fee in order to play games purchased secondhand. Instead, the console will leverage its pathology of requiring a persistent Internet connection to perform periodic authentication checks on discs in the tray.

The concept is similar to technology we reported on earlier this year rumored to be a feature of the Xbox One’s “Durango” dev-kits. And it’s rather simple: Each Blu-Ray disc for an Xbox One game is embedded with an encryption code that’s read by the console. Xbox One installs a game, code-and-console information uploads to a Microsoft database, and the database checks in automatically from time to time to confirm that the game hasn’t exchanged hands.

When it does — when a disk being installed is “used” — the game simply deauthenticates itself on the original owner’s console and conforms it to its new home. Polygon claims that no additional fee will be part of the process, and that Microsoft referred them to a recent statement made by Director of Programming Larry Hyrb.

“The ability to trade in and resell games is important to gamers and to Xbox. Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games. Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future.”

The latest report, and Microsoft’s official stance, comes far from resolving the matter — how Microsoft seemed so unprepared to address what’s been a longstanding debate point among gamers is equally confusing — but it does shift the tone in a better direction from the Xbox One’s May 21 reveal.

Greater clarification arrived today pertaining to the Xbox One controller’s pair of brand new buttons — two tiny dots affixed to the center where the Start and Menu buttons once resided. IGN quoted a Microsoft representative who stated that the buttons are called  “View” (left) and “Menu” (right).

Xbox One Controller Buttons Used Games

The rep explained that the View button will “change views or provide more information in games and apps. The function of the View button will be driven by developers. Possible uses of the View button include viewing a map during a role playing game, displaying a leaderboard in a first person shooter, and enhancing the navigation of the console’s user interface.”

Menu, meanwhile, “will bring up context-specific menus which game and app developers can design to enhance the user experience. The Menu button could be used in scenarios such as bringing up in-game menus, showing video playback options, and accessing commands on the console’s user interface.

Beyond its “vibrating impulse triggers” and slightly minimized size, the View and Menu buttons represent the only discernible aesthetic differences between the Xbox One controller and its Xbox 360 predecessor. The real change is on the inside, with Microsoft claiming to have completely overhauled the technology fueling its new gamepads “to deliver a new generation of experiences for both games and entertainment.

Ranters, what are your thoughts on the new Xbox One controllers? And speaking of pushing buttons, how do you feel about the way the company is handling the details regarding Xbox One’s used-game policy.

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Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Sources: Polygon, IGN

54 Comments

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  1. Wait “Instead, the console will leverage its pathology of requiring a persistent Internet connection to perform periodic authentication checks on discs in the tray.” That doesn’t sound good at all. Didn’t they say there wasn’t going to be an always online DRM scheme with the Xbox One?

    • MS could say that there wasn’t going to be DRM and it still wouldn’t matter. Only the gullible would believe a simple statement refuting DRMs inclusion than from screen shots and multiple sources within the actual development community. Frankly I don’t care how anybody words it but it wasn’t rumored to be in the Dev kits, It Was in the dev kits and in a sense it still is.

    • You have to connect to the internet periodically. Which isnt a bad thing.

      • Every 24 hours it is mandatory to connect. It’s basically an always on console which is a really bad thing. People that don’t realise how bad this actually is fail to see why, so let me explain. Basically what happens if you take an always on console and put in in a situation where let’s say you’re internet goes out it means that you’re fucked basically. The device will cease to work “Well I have extremely fast and reliable internet, that shouldn’t be a problem for me” well no. Since this will basically be an always on console that means that microsoft’s servers will have a heavier workload than if it wasn’t, over 30% of xbox 360 owners rarely connect to the internet, so they can manage the workload of it, but what happens if everyone is required to connect at the same time? Go look up at what happened with diablo 3 and simcity. Every situation where always online was implemented ended in disaster and just damaged the game, how bad do you think it’s going to be if it’s the console and not the game? TL;DR Always on is NEVER going to be a good thing, the cons heavily outweigh the pros and it will always be the same way until the end of time.

        • If thats the case, then Microsoft can change that policy with a console update, easy as that.

          • Interesting. The key word there being “can.”

            Thanks to Robert for the clarity! I concur. Though I wonder why yer naughty language didn’t get flagged… I’m not offended in the least, but I just got moderator flagged and the worst thing I said was “E.D.”. That’s a medical term, so I am at a loss. Maybe the moderators just really want to read my comments…

        • Yea I don’t like the sounds of this at all though. I just want to be able to play games and if I want to let friends borrow them I can do that and have no problems when I get it back. Wouldn’t your data get deleted if your disk is used in another console? Or will you be able to play without the disk after you use it once? Either way, at the reveal Microsoft said they were going from 15,000 servers right now to 300,000 servers by the end of the year so I would be really surprised if they had server problems like Sim City and Diablo.

          • Even with that many servers there is no guarantee that this system isn’t going to have some of the same problems as Diablo and Sim City. Microsoft has already said they intend to sell up to a billion Xbox One’s (which I know is not going to happen) if they were to sell anywhere near that they will have a problem.

            If they have millions of Xbox’s trying to send all of this data to their servers at once they a few hundred thousand servers are not going to be able to handle that. Especially if used games have to send data to them several times during the day like they’ve suggested.

          • MS never said 1 billion Xboxes would be sold. He was talking about next-gen consoles as a whole.

        • I believe they mentioned that they were up-gearing their server space. Some say this is a lie as well. Who knows at this point? Whether this is actually true or not is another matter. I own a PS3 and 360 now (like most people) and I still prefer the gaming experience on my xbox to the (very) small (and honestly boring) handful of exclusive PS3 titles.

          I think I will wait till E3 and/or I have a controller in my hand before I make a final judgement call on XBOX1 one but I highly doubt that your account is going to be frozen or your games will cease to work if you don’t have an authentication code update on a daily basis. My windows 8 laptop runs just fine for days and days when it isn’t subject to a regular win-update because I am “offline”. People just like to find a reason to go Ham on stuff without knowing all the facts.

          • The thing is when people say the constant 24 hour thing it was a MS Executive that said it. I hope tings have been said that way they can judge response and change accordingly.

        • First of all the idea that you have to connect once a day was in a specific scenario (if you’ve been playing a single player game for 24 hours straight and have not connected to the net, the console will do so in the background -if internet is available – to update information and check for game updates – if there isn’t internet available, you can just keep playing. Either way it doesn’t interupt the ability to use th console).

          Secondly, even if it were the case that you had to connect to the net every 24 hours or the console would stop working, this is not an always on internet connection. always on, as the name suggests, means you are always connected – if the console is on, then you are connected. So you saying that the 360 is an always on console because it might have to connect once a day is a false equivalence.

          Thirdly, if the console doesn’t have an internet connection it will not “cease to work” as you say. It simply will be unable to update information and provide all the features that require internet. Due to the information above about requiring authentication of new games on servers, it is likely that new games will not work if not connected to the internet, but previously installed games most likely will.

          Fourthly, requiring an online check once every 24 hours does not produce a huge amount of network traffic (I am a programmer and have experience with net code and networking in general, so I can say this with some certainty – especially if non-essential updates are not automatically downloaded) because this means that it’s highly unlikely that all xbox one’s will perform their daily check at the same time as you suggest: “what happens if everyone is required to connect at the same time”. Also, Microsoft has 15 000 servers for the 360, at launch they will have 300 000 for the xbox one. It’s unlikely they’ll have traffic issues.

          By the way, diablo 3 and simcity didn’t end in disaster as you say. They are currently running fine and each have millions of people playing them on a daily basis. In fact diablo 3 did so well it’s now coming to ps3. And guess what? Both games still require an always online internet connection. Your assertion that every always online game failed is rubbish as the two you mention yourself have been quite succesful. Admittedly their launches were terrible, but within a week or two the problems were fixed. If you won’t buy a console because it might not work for two weeks of what is likely to be an 8 to 10 year life cycle, I think you may want to check your priorities.

          Lastly, don’t make assertions that something will always be the same until the end of time. I doubt you’ve been to the end of time, in fact you haven’t even been to tomorrow yet, so you have no authority to predict what will happen in 100 years with such certainty. The number of people gaining internet access is increasing relative to the increase in global population, as is the reliability of internet connections. Therefore I can say with some surety that at some point always on will be a viable and incredibly common occurrence in software and that that requirement will likely improve the software for everyone except pirates.

          Being from South Africa, a country with literally one of the top 10 worst internet services in the world I agree that always on is silly. However twisting information about the xbox one to force my opinion is also silly.

          TL;DR – Roberts argument is full of fallacies, the xbox one doesn’t have an always on internet requirement and if it did it would work better than diablo 3 and simcity did at launch, also always on internet is silly.

        • At last!! The voice of reason!!

      • It IS a bad thing. Some places don’t have internet available period. Sometimes after an accident, areas can have internet go out for weeks. The US military liked to use Xbox 360′s during leisure time while shipped out. They can’t do that with Xbox One.

        • Great point! Perhaps they will modify units to provide to the military, or offer an update that fixes it for them. I hope they accommodate the troops!

    • It is required that your system connect to the internet at least once a day for authenticating and updates.

    • They said persistent, not constant.

  2. Hah. This is why nobody visits this garbage site, get out of here.

    Just kidding! I love Rainbows and Butterflies!

    • If it’s such garbage, why are you here?

      • Yeah, he should look up “irony.”. That might give him a laugh.

    • Hey, at least this is not IGN.

      • …and that’s as pro-corporate as you could get…

    • Wow talk about an elitist comment. So you think you need be rich to enjoy the new X-Box? I’m a middle-class single dad (full time single dad) and can easily afford the new x-box. However, I live in the middle of the city and happen to be in an area where my only option is DSL and my DSL provider maxes out at 1.5 mbps due to the quality of THEIR lines. It sometimes takes hours to download updates on my 360, and I don’t have time for that to happen EVERYDAY. I would upgrade to a better connection if it was possible, but I can’t and so what your saying is tough luck? I should just accept that the single player games I like to play require an internet connection and constant validation because Microsoft wants total control of piracy and marketing. Its all about money and Microsoft is going to lose mine.

      Also the used game thing is a valid argument. I borrow 360 games from my buddy and he borrows from me. X-box fans deserve a better answer than what Microsoft is giving. Hold corporate America accountable and stop being a sheep.

      • Hopefully the updates will run in the background. Xbox updates and downloads way faster than Playstation. As a person who has both I know this for sure. So you better off getting something dependable as far as any internet connection or issues are concerned.

        • Xbox 360 downloads faster than Playstation 3 you mean.

          There’s no telling yet with the new consoles, and Sony said during the reveal that improving the speed of everything on the console was an important area of focus.

        • @Ryuhza. Yeah that’s exactly what I meant. I doubt Playstation designs a better architecture than Xbox dealing with networking. Microsoft specializes in that department because of their experience with PCs. They understand anything dealing with the internet.

  3. I knew there wasn’t going to be a big issue playing used games on the Xbox One. I knew those few websites posting rumors of fees didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. I gotta get one like all my friends will. Xbox One gonna dominate the new gen consoles, especially with the Illumiroom. I try to support American companies anyway.

    • The “fees” quote came from a Microsoft employee talking to press after the reveal.

  4. This is still as clear as mud in the middle of an oil spill. So basically anyone without an internet connection at all, will never be able to use this device, between the “activation code” for the game that has to be registered at least once before you can even play a game, and now if you buy a used game, it will continuously check and recheck the code on the disk, basically meaning it will need to always be online, while you play a game. Is it really too much to expect of Microsoft to give us one clear and concise explanation of what the hell is going on with this system?

    • Exactly ;)

      MS is currently still in damage control that’s why nobody can’t seem to get a clear cut answer on anything. Look at it this way, Damn near every answer they’ve(MS execs) given has created an uproar leading them to refute the statements and change their minds on their original plan. The more uproar the better…

    • #dealwithit

  5. My understanding of the xbox one used games policy is that u can sell ur game to gamestop and they will wipe the game of ur profile and then who ever buys it will pay what ever xtr charge at the point of purchase and get an activation code on the receipt. That means no lending games and no renting games. lmao @ microduche

    • No, you’ve just merged to worst parts of both rumors. Nothing has really been 100% confirmed and they still have months until release, which gives them plenty of time to change their plans.

      • Once again, Exactly

        The more people complain the better because it gives them ample time prior to release to change their minds on their original plans just like the whole Orth incident did.

      • True. Microsoft is gonna make the best decision. People forget that their marketing is some of the best. For the Xbox brand to even compete with Playstation is remarkable. Xbox came out after the Playstation had already been in stores with PS1 and PS2 for years. Now Xbox has is right up there as far as sales. That’s great marketing. The competition is like Android and Iphone. And also people talk about about the Xbox 360 getting the ring of death but they forget about all those Playstation 2 consoles that were malfunctioning. I bought 3 PS2 myself. I think that the 360 was strategically released early to beat PS3 for a release date. Now the newer versions play excellent. Now here we are.

        • Ive bought one ps2, an older (Big boxy version, not one of those stupid slim models) and never had a single issue. It’s worked through everything from Jack and Daxter (Precursor legacy, aka “the good one”) all the way up through today. I’ve also never heard of widespread PS2 issues, in fact I hear many people say its their favorite console yet.

          • There were plenty and I mean plenty of PS2 issues. It was mainly a disc read error especially reading the blue bottom games. You were one of the few lucky ones if you had no problems just like there were a few lucky 360 users with no problems. I would walk in people’s homes and see 2 PS2s cause one couldn’t read DVDs and the other one couldn’t read normal games. The v7 PS2 was the most reliable. My best friend was a manager a EBgames store (now GameStop) and we would talk about it all the time. He suggested the American console Xbox…the big heavy tank of a box that was damn near indestructible. I was very reluctant to switch over cause I was a PS2 fanboy but had bought 3 PS2s already. I gave it a try and it was pretty ok. Honestly I still preferred the PS2 even tho they had malfunctioned on me. But that first Xbox gave me no problems at all, it just had super big controllers with stiff buttons that I never did like. Thankfully they have improved the controllers a lot. I looked up the ps2 defect issues and there are plenty of blogs of people complaining about it. But hey I enjoyed the PS2 enough to buy 3 of them. I actually did like the PS2 over the PS3 and liked the 360 over the first Xbox.

            http://www.ign.com/faqs/2003/ps2-disc-read-error-faq-387912

            Just read that one part where it says “the dreaded PS2 disc read error”

        • PS2 malfunctions, even though I have never heard of that of had problems, doesn’t excuse the 360. It’s something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. I’ve never heard of the PS2 malfunctions but I bet it got its share of backlash.

  6. My old roommate purchased 3 PS2′s because of the exact issue you describe 1Wild. I’m on my fourth 360 due to the RROD. My original X-box still works to this day, and the friend I sold it to plays it constantly. I’m on my first PS3 and it still works great. I’m not a fanboy of either, I just like playing games exclusive to one or the other (Gears of War, Halo, Uncharted). I do find it interesting though how the life cycles of each machine turned out. I hope that the image of the X-Box One improves and the image of the PS4 doesn’t diminish by the time of release. I will buy both of them if I feel its worth it.

  7. They might not be charging a fee for me to get a used game but I still have to pay if I want to trade games with a friend which is just as frustrating. I like to trade games with friends to get a chance to properly try a game before going and buying it myself. Sure I can just log into their account to do it but what if I don’t feel like giving my account information out like that? Frankly why should I have to give it out just because microsoft wants to charge me for more money?

    Even if I stop trading games with friends and stick with used games to tryout new IP’s I am still going to run into trouble. Not only does the internet in my area suck normally but there are times when the weather knocks it out totally. What am I supposed to do then enjoy my new paper weight? I’d like to think that microsoft will change their plans but until they do I am going to hold off on getting their new system.

  8. The 2 “NEW” buttons are the same buttons as on any system. Start and Select as its always been. Can’t see how their new lol.

    • Yeah. You could argue that they are somehow more accessible to the baffled crowd of non-gamers, but they are needlessly renamed. Especiially considering that the functions were ALWAYS up to the developers. Maybe they were encouraged to make the start button pause the game, but they will still do exactly that, so in conclusion: duh.

  9. Okay’ the always on (sometimes) sounds really bad and dubious. The no fee for used games bit is good though. Best case, it sounds like maybe you could keep playing your game until it was actually bought used and installed by someone else. It does sound as if the discs will not be revisiting the tray after initial download. That is going to finally give us the Juke box ability to play anything anytime without going through stacks of game boxes. Cool! Plus, I doubt Microsoft wants to take away the ability to share games with friends, but a potentially cumbersome solution is that you keep your saved data when a game disc is detected elsewhere and then deleted off your console. Thereby when you get back home you need to reinstall it, causing a deletion on your friend’s system, and then you are back in business with all your files. Makes sense. Or you could have some greater leeway with people on your friend list, for example. (not a great solution.)

    I DO suspect that conflicting reports and a lack of clarity are strategic at this point. The idea for a used game fee was put out there by somebody before all the negative press forced a statement. I am hopeful that strong reactions NOW will prevent the worst things from coming to pass.

    • Perhaps a solution to the game saves situation will be a return to memory cards, in the form of flash drives. Microsoft did state that external memory could be added. Now how that would function as far as actual game saves, I’m not sure. I wouldn’t think it would delete your actual game progress, just perhaps the bit that shows the game registered on your system. Which in that case might cause you to have to reinstall the game after you loan/borrow a game from a friend, but with the play while it installs option it shouldn’t be that big of an issue, unless your internet connection is crappy of course. It would just be nice for them to nail down some concrete facts on the system and what we can expect regarding these issues, but I guess we will all have to wait for E3 or later.

  10. Here’s the biggest problem with all of this information coming out of MS. They’re making gaming way too complex with their box and how it works, which to me easily translates into the reality that they have built in so many restrictions beyond belief to the new X1!

    I’m passing on the X1 and moving over to Sony.

  11. I wonder if all of this confusion and angst was part of Microsoft’s marketing plans. I don’t understand why they’d be so shoddy on the details otherwise. They genuinely created more questions with their lack of detail and clarity and it’s around the most sensitive and controversial subjects.

    That E3 presentation will have to be the “killer app” of pro-game conferences.

  12. So since 1 disc can only exist in the world, and the unique code and xbox information is saved in a database, that could potentially stop pirating. Think about it, if you have to keep your xbox online, it constantly checks the codes, you cant even hack the game to remove the code because then the xbox would reject it, and if you did change the code to something else, xbox would still send the code to the database and be verified that its a fake and you get your xbox banned. That is a really interesting idea for them.

  13. It seems like it may be a pain if I were to borrow my buddy’s game for a bit. From what I understand from this article, it would have to deauthenticate from his machine while I’m playing it and then deauthenticate from my machine once I give it back…

  14. You guys forgetting all the bad luck microsoft has had with the 360 i already went through 3 xbox 360′s twice with the red ring of death. I had enough with microsoft im definitly not gonna rush to go get there xbox one console they have to prove to all of us they can have a machine that wont break down.

  15. I highly, highly, highly doubt that we’ll experience much (if at all) updates/downloads, if these companies stay true to their word, or at least Sony does to theirs (you know Xbox would follow), updates and download times are a thing of the past.

  16. Does that mean you can’t lend games to friends? Will it re register the game on there xbox then make problems when you try to play it on yours again?

  17. in my opinion this used games thing and the validation code thing to me is a way for them to put a end to pirated games on the xbox.

  18. MS is still fuzzy in alot of areas but they do have us talking about X1 alot more than the PS4. And the way I understand the used game issue is, I get a game new or used put it in the console it installs on my X1 and I assume registers to my XBL profile (If thats so will I be able to play the game without the disc in?). And if I let a friend barrow the game it will install on his X1 and make the game unplayable on my system untill I get the game and put it back in my X1, rendering it unplayable on his system. Just the same as when you let someone barrow a disc on the 360, you dont have it you cant play it. And if I sell the game to say gamestop I’m sure they will prolly have a way to tell MS the games been sold and I wont be able to play it on my system anymore.

    My hope is just that putting the disc in another system dosnt require alot of menus or downloads (after the inital install). Since I will eventually own 2 X1′s, one for the living room and one for the bedroom. I currently have 2 360′s and game on both daily and would like to be able to game with both without a lot of menues or downloads.

  19. Well I’m Not really thrilled about the fact that Microsoft has a right to sell you a console then say you aren’t aloud to use it without an active internet account. What if I don’t want an internet account. MS has too realize that some people cannot get high speed internet or yes still use dial up then the console will simply not work. Under the current MS policy this is sorta true they really need to change this or it’ll be the end of xbox.

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