news\ Jun 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Microsoft explains Xbox One game sharing and resale fees

Forza 5

Microsoft has attempted to clarify some issues surrounding games on the Xbox One, but some details are still confusing.

Gamers can play any title from any Xbox One after installing it since their console stores a digital copy both on the hard drive and in the cloud. And everyone in your household — up to 10 people, anyway — can play every game logged to your console no matter where they are.

"Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families," the post on Xbox Wire reads. "Up to 10 members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games. You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time."

Games will be available digitally and on disc from day one of release. You can only play offline for up to 24 hours. After that, you'll need to reestablish an Internet connection to continue gaming. Watching TV and movies is the exception.

As for selling games back to retailers, Microsoft wrote, "We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games."

The phrase "publishers can enable" came up a second time. "Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends," the post continues. "There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: 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."

So what we're learning is that while Microsoft has laid the guidelines, publishers can set the rules.

"Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers," the post reads.

"In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends" — which means that they can also deny gamers that freedom. "Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners."

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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