This week, Microsoft announced that it is changing its policies on Xbox One’s Internet connection requirements and used-game restrictions. The company was likely feeling pressure from Sony’s domination at the E3 conference and negative feedback from gamers, so the changes are not surprising. What is surprising is how fast and how dramatically Microsoft did an about-face. As recently as a week ago, the company was on record saying Internet-challenged players should stick with the 360.
“After a one-time set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc-based game without ever connecting online again,” said Microsoft in the statement. “There is no 24-hour connection requirement, and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.”
The announcement continued, “Trade-in, lend, resell, gift and rent disc-based games just like you do today. There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.”
Also, gamers will be able to download games from Xbox Live on the same day the title hits shelves and be able to play those downloaded games offline. And those pesky regional restrictions? Gone! “Xbox One games will be playing on any Xbox One console—there will be no regional restrictions,” reads the statement.
Microsoft has in effectcwaved the white flag. With its new capabilities, Xbox One lines up with PlayStation 4. And given Microsoft’s impressive game lineup, Sony now must be feeling the pressure. Did MS react too late? Did the push toward always-online leave a bad taste in your mouth?