Microsoft has updated the Xbox One this week to offer game trials, something it had been lacking and was frequently requested by Xbox One users. On Xbox 360 you can download trials of Xbox Live Arcade titles and play them to decide whether you want to buy them. This simple feature has not been available on Xbox one until now. Users have complained in the past that some ID@Xbox releases have been denied a larger spot on the Xbox One store, only visible at launch in the New Releases section.
"When Xbox One launched you could do game demos and you could do games. But we didn't have the functionality that was on Xbox 360 – that 'trial' experience where you could download a demo and then convert it [to a full version]," Microsoft's ID@Xbox boss Chris Charla has told Eurogamer.
"But now we do. In the same way that we update the Xbox One OS every month, they update the development system every month – or regularly, anyway. So that's something that we recently turned on. I don't think we've seen any ID@Xbox games yet that have shipped with trials, but we may well in the future. It's something that's open to everybody."
Microsoft is also considering ways of making ID@Xbox titles easier to find.
"At the beginning of the day and the end of the day, on Xbox One a game is a game is a game," Charla said – a qualifier that Microsoft has given in the past to explain why there are no filters for finding specific types of games. "They won't be segregated in any way at all."
"Saying that, we have had a lot of player requests for some way to specifically find the ID@Xbox games," he admitted, "so we have talked about adding some functionality so that people can do a search for just the ID@Xbox games."
"But anything we did like that would be in addition to our core values which are that they are in the store with everything else."
ID@Xbox releases now seems to be coming out in regular intervals too. In June four titles launched in one week, including Sixty Second Shooter Prime and Outlast. Charla said that plenty more are on the way:
"You can expect lots more games coming," he said. "There are literally hundreds of ID@Xbox games in development right now." Many will be out this year, but still more have been locked in for release further in the future. "There a lot in development for 2015, and some for 2016, too."
It's promising news – although questions around the Xbox One's dev kit and launch parity game policies remain.