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).
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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