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Microsoft Officially Answers Many XBox One Questions

June 6, 2013

You Can't Handle The Truth

On their official Xbox site, Microsoft has released answers to almost all of the big and frightening questions regarding their next generation machine, The Xbox One.  Hit the jump for details and links.  (This post is stickied.)

The New Xbox Live

Smart Match, Game DVR, Living Games, Expanded Achievements, Xbox SmartGlass

State of Connection

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. 

Kinect and Privacy

You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear:
You are in control of when Kinect sensing is On, Off or Paused:
You are in control of your personal data
You can use other inputs to control your games, TV and entertainment experiences

Games Licensing

The New Controller

Immersive, precise, comfortable

Editor’s note: This answers in a positive way, many of our urgent questions, the issue of privacy being the most important.  It is basically all good news for a community who wants to stay together.  For those who might say I should have relaxed from the beginning, who knows to what extent Microsoft was “testing the waters”, and their policy was adjusted to accommodate the legitimate, outspoken concerns raised in many gamer blogs and news sites, including our little place here.  Having said that, I still have four more concerns: the family pack, region issues, hardware availability for me in Japan, and pricing.

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33 Comments
  1. June 6, 2013 6:24 pm

    I’m still bumbed that it’s Not backwards compatible. Is it that hard to make it so? I’m asking a question. Is it?

    Also, since it’s not, we’ll still be playing our 360’s from time to time, will we have to purchase 2 family packs?! I’m thinking we will….

    Heads up for this weekend. My 15 year old nephew, Joshua, will be joining us for his first FFF. Hope we’ll be out in force. We’re gonna play through his first session of Gears co-op tonight. Maybe, we can bring him into the fold tomorrow with some MP. Whoo Baby!

    Oh, he’s pretty good at BF3. He just bought the last 2 map packs this week. We played with Chairmanchu the other night. I’ve been bragging about the 4G’s all week. Especially, our shining star…… Mr Johann Nishiki. Big Joe, for short….

    • June 6, 2013 6:36 pm

      <3!

      Kenai, backwards compatibility would add at least $100 bucks to the machine, and create engineering concerns that they wouldn't want to get into. I am with you in the disappointment because it renders a whole library of games useless basically. Who wants to reconnect their 360 once the One is set up? Having said that, I am ready to move on.

      As regards the Family pack, you shouldn't have to re-buy. It should transfer over nicely for you. I am in a special position because I am using Canadian accounts in Japan. It is a total disaster as I can no longer transfer points to the secondary accounts, and the source of that problem is the region issue (just confirmed this week).

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 6, 2013 6:38 pm

      It is very difficult to make it backwards compatible, Jim. The reason it’s difficult is due to the brand new processor architecture (x86). PS4 is in the same situation, as in terms of bwc support. Although they may be solving it through emulation & using their PSN digital distribution. MS may employ the same plan. No one is going to be tossing out their 360 anytime soon. In addition, the trade value is pretty low so why get rid of it? With the next gen consoles, I believe that both MS & Sony are correct in having their new consoles not support bwc, as in terms of hardware. We need to move on. When was the last time you played an original Xbox game on the 360? People are complaining because they can’t shove everything into the machine. When elements are omitted, people start bitching.

      In regards to the Family Gold plan, that was officially discontinued in May. After those subscriptions expire, there will be no way to renew it under the old Family plan. MS may be announcing something new to “replace” it, but nothing has been confirmed so far.

    • June 6, 2013 7:41 pm

      The emulation through digital download is the smartest way possible. It is even in use with the 360. You can find numerous OG Xbox games on the Marketplace, so I can also see them grandfathering that into the One.

  2. June 6, 2013 7:18 pm

    Hi guys,

    Been a while since posting here, but I always keep an eye on emails that come from your new posts. Just wish I had the time these days to be part of the community more.

    I am completely bummed about the XB1, and the majority of my friends seem to be jumping ship (switching to PC, and looking closer at the PS4) – meaning I will be as well. 😦

    The responses to questions given by Microsoft just aren’t good enough when considering the news trickling in surrounding the patent applications lodged by the company.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2331985/Xbox-One-track-EVERYTHING-watch-TV–reward-watching-ads.html
    1984 anyone?

    Even if a user can control privacy settings to an acceptable level (which is still not clear at all), the way that the system is set up leads to a hacker’s dream. It’s not only the security concerns that are worrying my friends though, also the spec. of the hardware itself, the lack of Indy support, and the general public back lash are creating worries.

    Anyway, it’s early days yet, but I will be waiting for more information on patents filed, and how quick the modders and hackers open it up to see what’s really ticking beneath the cloudy vale.

    • June 6, 2013 7:45 pm

      Wouldn’t that make laptops with cameras a similar situation? I’ve had cameras on my laptop(s) for over 4 years now and have never had anything like that happen. Sure, it’s possible, but how often is it happening?

    • June 6, 2013 8:26 pm

      Yep, it’s very similar indeed, but the difference is in user control. I run Linux, and I have access to everything on the system. I can control the software I use, the accounts I log into, and choose whether of not big organsiations are slurping up my info. By default the XB1 is designed to gather information on me, and this will be far more appealing to hackers.

      Pretty sure my web-cam can’t see in the dark or measure my heart beat either. 😀

  3. June 6, 2013 7:35 pm

    If you buy an Xbox One, you’re just being lazy or stupid (or both). Go PS4 or build a PC where you have control.’nuff said. The shittiest thing about this isn’t the backwards compatibility, but rather, the fact that people will be losing their digital libraries. By buying an Xbox One, you’re supporting a company that:

    1. Doesn’t care about you. You’re not their demographic anymore, despite what they see. Joe Schmoe is. Because he watches MORE t.v. than you do.

    2. You don’t give a rat’s ass about your digital property rights. I’m keeping my LIVE account for access to xbox for another year or so, but at some point I’ll get Apple or Google t.v. Then it’s bye bye xbox.

    • June 6, 2013 7:43 pm

      Thing is, and I’m speaking for myself and maybe a few others here, I don’t want to go PC. We’re a crowd that was founded through Microsofts machine, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 6, 2013 8:14 pm

      If anyone thinks that Sony isn’t going to employ a similar strategy to the used game issue, they’re kidding themselves. Sony is essentially forced to adopt something along these lines because they cannot afford to lose third party publishers who want their profits protected. As Kuchera from PAR pointed out, big publishers will choose to develop for the console that protects their revenue stream over the one who won’t.

      I’ve already explained why I won’t go PC, and there are many of the usual suspects that will be purchasing the XB1. I make my decisions primarily based on social issues, so the XB1 will most likely be my choice of platform. However, that also means that the games that I like will have to be there to convince me of sdoption. E3 is next week, so we’ll see.

      As far as privacy protection goes, Grymm made a really good point in using laptop vid cams as an example. If some hacker wants to invade my privacy so badly, they’ll just see my ass sitting on a brown leather couch in my shorts, sipping Mountain Dew, and pressing buttons on the controller. You won’t be catching me doing any Captain Morgan poses like someone in this community! LOL

    • June 7, 2013 1:53 pm

      That’s fine. But just understand that this is another nail in the coffin for our digital rights. It makes me shake my head when people cite the convenience of consoles when I was able to BUILD a PC with no prior knowledge. There are options, people are just lazy. And so gamers will vote with their dollars and this will quite possibly BE the last generation of consoles. Then I’ll see you on PC anyway. 😉

    • rEDChief55 permalink*
      June 7, 2013 1:34 pm

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 7, 2013 2:59 pm

      +1. ‘Nuff said.

    • June 7, 2013 3:33 pm

      ’If you buy an Xbox One, you’re just being lazy or stupid (or both). Go PS4…’

      You say that as if you know all the details of the XBone AND the PS4. When, in reality, we still know very little of either console. Hype is merely hype.

    • June 8, 2013 5:48 pm

      True. The reality is you should buy a PC or just wait it out this gen – http://www.saityrus.com/i-grok-the-death-of-consoles-as-we-know-it/

    • June 8, 2013 8:09 pm

      Tyrus, I hate to be the one to say it, but please stop with the PC talk. No one plans on going to the PC market anytime soon. We are console gamers and don’t plan on changing that.

  4. June 7, 2013 12:25 am

    Many excellent points made above.

    First, great to hear from you Hollo. I followed your name tag to your site, and with the exception of the name, it looks very slick.

    While I agree with you about the specs and lack of Indy on Xbone, the severity of that will depend on the asking price (which will almost certainly be too high). However, while I continue to buy the humble bundles, I think indy is overrated. I play triple A games almost exclusively because I like them more, and there will be games exclusive to the consoles that I will almost certainly want to play. Gears of War original was worth the price of the 360 for me. Though it was released for the PC, it was unplayable on that system by all accounts.

    As for the privacy, I hear you about Big Brother. Excellent point about the multi-spectrum see-in-the-dark features of the Kinect.

    Ultimately, however, as the recent stories in the news tell us, Big Brother is already here. Believe me, you give away far more info about yourself when you are surfing the net (regardless of whether your camera is on or off or whether or not you are using Linux), than you ever will by sitting naked in front of a Kinect playing a game of Tomb Raider.

    Similarly, anyone who uses a “smart phone” cannot only expect everything they type and say on it to be accessible, usable data, (again, a la Person Of Interest) but data that is buffed to the extreme by being plot-able on a space-time map (the phone is always because its primary function is a phone – and what good is a phone turned off).

    Finally, if you have been using a point card of any kind, you have already told the world what you like, eat, and when you do those things.

    Were I to buy an Xbone, I would be turning off the power bar every time I shut it down for the week, and I will be using all the privacy software functions they offer when I am playing. Kinect will be completely off unless the game requires it. Because I am in Japan, I won’t even be able to use Netflix etc. so that is moot point, nor will I use the machine as my primary web surfer.

    As for stupid or lazy, I am neither. I have put in my time on the PC with the expense and the drivers and the upright chairs and the keyboards and mice, and never, ever have I enjoyed the games there like I have on my consoles from the Atari 2600 on up.

    I work 12 hour days sometimes for several weeks without a break, and I have no interest in doing anything but flopping on my bed or into a comfortable chair, with a drink and snack at my side and playing games, or if I don’t have the energy, just shootin’ the breeze with my friends. I don’t even want to get up to swap discs. But that is because I am the opposite of lazy and stupid. I work my ass off, and I am smart enough to know that I shouldn’t have to work at my leisure activities as well. I have better social gaming memories from any single console than I have from all the years I have spent using computers for all activities including blogging.

    The PC and Indy elitist bullshit doesn’t stick to this guy. I am a Tai Chi master. The harder you push, the further and faster you will fly right by me.

    Until proper “living room” boxes with controllers and exciting software are offered, I have no interest in moving over. When announcements with substance are made regarding these machines and their offerings, and PC developers pull their heads out of their elitist asses and offer concessions for alternate input devices, then I will be ALL ears.

    As for digital rights, within 5 years, very few people will bother to own anything because it will all be available for reasonable subscription fees that are less than what we are currently paying for our cable or Internet connections anyway. Whether that is good or bad, I don’t know. But I will be very surprised if some sort of subscription service isn’t offered even for games by that time.

    The only reason a person will want their own copies of any form of digital media is for education/proof sake, “Yes, so and so actually did say that.” But that sort of use will be for political, historical, religious content/reasons, not for entertainment content/reasons.

    • June 7, 2013 8:31 am

      Now that I have a gaming PC for the past 6 months, I have probably totaled about 3 to 4 hours of gaming on it. Nothing in the past 2 or 3 months….

      Why? Several reasons.

      1) Hassle… getting a Skype party going. making sure I have the latest updates / mods.

      2) Controller RULES: I love sitting back with a controller, in my recliner with feet hoisted on the ottoman.

      3) Big screen tv’s are great! Even if i was to set up my pc in the living room and hook it up to the 60″, I still have to hunch over a key board, and I’ll be looking up at the tv, then down to the keyboard constantly…

      Sorry, but maybe I am just lazy, but as much as many of the games that Tyrus posts about are very interesting to me, I’m just not motivated enough to follow through.

      Lastly, gaming community. Tyrus is the only gamer on PC that I know….

      My son Seth is loving PC and has a whole crew he plays with (lot of kids from his school), but for me, I just don’t see that happening.

    • June 7, 2013 4:39 pm

      It’s not about if ‘big brother’ is already here or not – it most certainly is. It’s more about the power and choice to limit/stop the information these companies gather. Paying for the privilege to be further restricted sucks hard – specially when it’s possible that it’s not just what I do on the net any more, it’s what I do in the privacy of my own lounge room!

      I have to say that the argument of ‘big brother’ being here already, although interesting, isn’t really valid. As I said, it comes down to choice, and at the moment with computers it’s relatively easy to spoof your mac address (at least with Linux), block all ads, and find/set-up proxies (the list goes on). Not only that, but providing erroneous personal info., and simply not logging into certain accounts (FB, Google, etc.) while searching the web limits the amount of information they gather. Android based phones, or JBroken I-Phones are similar, but of course a bit trickier at the same time – this hopefully will get better with the upcoming open smartphone OSs.

      Again, it’s about the choice to control the information that gets out there. Just because people don’t understand how to limit this information that companies are already gobbling up (and selling on), doesn’t mean that we should swallow it when the choice is completely taken away. 😉

    • June 7, 2013 5:02 pm

      Hollo, more good points, but unless you are using a VPN, everything you do is logged by your provider, and the way providers are bending over to the government these days, well, it isn’t private. I wouldn’t use an Xbone for surfiing the web, so what information would it be gathering? The types of games I play and when I play them. That’s it.

      That is far less info than using a Tsutaya card tied to a real name and address (and drivers license) for getting discounts at Gusto and every other store that accepts it – which, I don’t use, by the way.

      Do you have a smart phone with GPS? If so, even if it is hacked, then you are already giving out far more information than the XBone will ever take from your lounge. That is my only argument.

    • June 8, 2013 4:24 pm

      It’s hard to know what information the XB1 would be gathering, but judging by the patents coming to light it could be anything you are doing in the games room.

      Yes I do have a smart phone, but again this highlights the point regarding the choice. I have disabled the GPS, I don’t have roaming internet, any accounts on there aren’t in my real name, and very often I leave the thing in Airplane mode when I’m out and about. In addition, it’s very easy these days to root/jbreak phones, thus leading to pc like control for VPNs (proxies)/mac address change.

      I really prefer control over the technology I use, but the XB1 seems to be taking away more than I am willing to give. Couple this with the fact that my friends are jumping ship (among countless others it seems), and I will be waiting for the PS4 information to come to light. Can’t imagine Sony being much better though… Ouya anyone? 😀

    • June 8, 2013 11:50 pm

      With the exception of the multi-spectrum camera, I suspect the PS4 will be very similar to the Xbone.

      I still don’t know what game system options will be released in the next two years. I am not committing to any system, nor do I want to be an advocate for something I myself am only very reluctantly willing to tolerate, maybe. So, thank you for your perspective.

      By the way, word is that the Ouya is a disaster (at least until they get their software patched), so that won’t be the one for me at least. 😉

  5. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    June 7, 2013 1:37 am

    I wouldn’t pay full price at the worst moment of the console cycle, when the graphics are not quite full next gen. when the gaming community will still have a big amount of people playing the old gen, and even less buying DLC.

    when we still don’t know if the hardware is worth it. Besides I moved on to the ipad, and only play the 360 for shooters. I don’t care about “freedom” of PC gaming. Which usually means people running hacks 24/7. I would rather much have freedom of gaming anywhere on a device that is not hard to carry, and I am willing to bet once they start porting more games to the ipad, aside from shooters, there will be little reason to pay $60 or more for console games when you can get a mobile version for less than $10 or even free.

    Besides they just shot themselves in the foot by not being BC. There will be a sizeable amount of gamers that will still playnthe 360, and by default developers will have to keep at least porting games for it. Which will eventually mean the the 360 games will be at least $10 cheaper, like the old xbox games were when the 360 came out, and there should be at least 2 years more of life on the console.

    By then xbox one should be cheaper, have better games and year 1 games at a discount price.

    • June 7, 2013 3:04 am

      Frenik, great to hear from you again. You have not gone unmissed, but privacy is respected and it is just nice to be reading your thoughts again.

      What you say is absolutely true. I don’t suspect that everyone here will have the will power to hold off on purchasing early in the cycle, but waiting a bit will definitely be the most economical way to go about it.

      I don’t know when (nor even for sure if) I will buy the Xbone. One thing though, I doubt that its cycle will last as long as the 360. Which means that if one waits two years, there may only be another 3 before the next system is being launched. Hmm….

      Anyway, Tim is playing ME3 tonight. You are most welcome to join him. You know our tags. Cheers!

    • June 7, 2013 5:18 am

      I think our purchase decision will likely be once we find a next gen game that we can rally around. That shouldn’t take too long, since BF4 is rolling out with it.

    • June 7, 2013 12:28 pm

      Love your posts, Kenai. And you know my love for BF.

      In this particular case, I suspect that I might be able to play BF4 on the 360 together with you playing it on the Bone.

      The game we rally around should be something that is completely fresh, like Gears was for the 360.

    • June 8, 2013 5:23 pm

      ’One thing though, I doubt that its cycle will last as long as the 360. Which means that if one waits two years, there may only be another 3 before the next system is being launched.’

      Any reason for this? I think, if anything, they’ll try to make it as long or longer, just to maximize their profits. Sega CD/32X redux!

  6. June 7, 2013 3:13 am

    MS said renting and loaning of games won’t be available at launch. Think I’ll wait and see. Sony needs to show us their hand.

  7. rEDChief55 permalink*
    June 7, 2013 1:41 pm

    The only negative I see from this updated news is the lack of loaning/renting games. I don’t loan or receive loaned games much, but renting games is definitely something I’d hate to see go away. That really needs to change.

    Also check out the trailer for Dying Light, a multi-platform and generation game out next year. Looks to combine Mirror’s edge, Dead Island, Condemned, and Left 4 dead into one.
    http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/7/4405632/dying-light-trailer-shows-a-city-in-ruin-and-the-deadly-zombies-that

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 7, 2013 3:01 pm

      That was me knocking you out at the objective, rED. Ha! Sorry, gotta do what I gotta do to survive. Now you’re zombie bait. 😉

    • June 7, 2013 6:53 pm

      Absolutely loved that twist at the end of the trailer. That alone made me 20x more interested.

    • June 8, 2013 2:29 pm

      via EvAv.

      Beautiful video. Parkour absolutely has a huge place in FPS/TPS. Parkour and Zombies, what is not to like? And agreed with Grymmie about the twist

  8. June 9, 2013 7:55 am

    Let me also issue an apology to anyone I may have offended. Love the hell outta you guys. 🙂

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