Got Xbox One questions?
Of course you do. Microsoft's messaging since its console unveiling has been a confusing mess. Does Xbox One require an internet connection to play offline? Does it block used games? Can the all-seeing eye of the Kinect be turned off?
Last week, Microsoft assured us that it was listening to our concerns and today has released a FAQ addressing some of the more pressing issues. Let's paw through it and see if it gives us the warm and fuzzies towards purchasing the console when it launches this fall.
Do you have broadband internet access? You damn well better because "while a persistent connection is not required," you are going to need one if you expect to play beyond day 1.
"With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies."
But that's not a problem, is it? After all, as Microsoft says at the top of the FAQ, "every Xbox One owner has a broadband connection" and surely, nothing like the hacker attack that took the PSN down for over three weeks could ever happen to Microsoft, right?
Three decades later, I can still play games on my Atari 7800. How long will Microsoft allow us to play Xbox One games?
Yes. Maybe. I think…
"We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers."
Does that mean game publishers can disable your ability to trade in games? Why yes. Yes it does.
"Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers."
And what about the "participating retailers" part? Will we be able to sell our old games in a garage sale or only at "participating retailers"? What about services like Ebay or Craigslist?
Used Games Fee?
"Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games."
But, as mentioned above, "third party publishers may… set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers."
Any bets on what EA is going to do?
"Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners."
Sorry Gamefly. Sorry Redbox. Sorry friends I might otherwise loan one of my games to.
Giving Games to Friends?
"Third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends."
So yes, if the publisher allows it, you can give your game to a friend.
BUT… "you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once."
Does this mean your friend can't give it to someone else? Can he/she give it back? What if I want to donate some of my old games to charity?
Can Kinect Be Turned Off?
"When the system is off, it’s only listening for the single voice command — “Xbox On,” and you can even turn that feature off too."
Additionally, Microsoft stresses the importance of privacy and guarantees that games that "use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more… this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission… When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded."
So, there you go. Those are the highlights but a lot more details can be found right here. I suppose the biggest question of all is…
Do you want One?
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen