news\ Jul 15, 2013 at 11:59 am

Xbox One's Family Sharing feature could eventually return, Microsoft suggests


The Xbox One's Family Sharing feature, which was canceled as a result of Microsoft's policy change in DRM restrictions, could return to the console post-launch, Microsoft suggested.

“If it’s something that people are really excited about and want, we’re going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back,” Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten told IGN.

The technology was originally intended to allow up to 10 designated "family members" to share each other's library of digital games, though Microsoft was never 100% clear on how this feature would work. The feature ended up being scrapped as a result of Microsoft's reversal on its digital content sharing policies, which also did away with the system's 24-hour check-in requirement and restrictions on second-hand games. Despite the changes made to appeal to the masses, there were still quite a few gamers who were supportive of the Xbox One's technology and saddened to see the removal of Family Sharing.

When asked about a "road map" for the feature's return, Whitten was noncommittal.

"A 'road map' sort of implies more like 'on date X it's back' than I think exists, but we believe really strongly in how you build a great experience on Xbox One for me as an individual, but also for my family. Family Sharing is a great example of how you do that with content."

So if there could be plans to bring the feature back, why remove it to begin with?

“We had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that [Xbox One policy reversal] work done. So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘we’re going to take our toys and go home’ or something like that.

"It was just sort of the logistics of ‘how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?’"

"In the future I think you’re going to see the ways that we change how you discover, how you consume, share, play. To me, this is the magic of digital," Whitten left off. "You know, if there’s anything I think that Xbox 360 has proven, it’s that we’re super committed to this constant cycle of improving the experience and the software, and it’s what we’ve been doing for 360 for the past seven years, and it’s certainly where we’re going to go with Xbox One.”

Would you like to see Microsoft bring back the Xbox One's Family Sharing feature?


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