Microsoft has clarified what will and won't be allowed when it comes to used Xbox One games. Reselling is in — but loaning is out.
While previously, Microsoft had stated that used games would be playable on the upcoming Xbox One, just what its policies would be surrounding game resales was not clear. Well, we can stop wondering. Microsoft has revealed the rules about used games, and while, yes, games can be resold, the rest is not pretty.
Owners of games can give their games away — but each game can only be given once. And loaning games to friends will not be allowed at all.
Microsoft stated on its website:
Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. 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.
Games publishers will have some say in this — third-party publishers can enable you to give games to friends — although whether the "once only" restriction still applies is not clear. At this point, it is probably safest to assume that they will. CNET Australia contacted Microsoft for clarification; the company could only tell us, "The blog posts on Xbox Wire detail everything we can share today. We look forward to sharing more details in the months ahead."
However — at launch, at least — borrowing games from mates will be prohibited. "Loaning or renting games won't be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners," Microsoft said.
On the other hand, buying used games is definitely on the table, with the guidelines stating:
Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. 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.
Again, publishers will be able to choose whether to enable reselling their titles; whether they will receive compensation for the resale of their games is again unclear.
The company also released details about the internet connectivity requirements for the console. While it doesn't, in fact, require players to be always online, gamers will only be able to play for 24 hours offline, after which connectivity will have to be re-established in order to continue playing. So, while internet dropouts shouldn't be too much of a hassle, internet is absolutely necessary.
Microsoft did note that these guidelines may be subject to change. "As we move into this new generation of games and entertainment, from time to time, Microsoft may change its policies, terms, products and services to reflect modifications and improvements to our services, feedback from customers and our business partners or changes in our business priorities and business models or for other reasons. We may also cease to offer certain services or products for similar reasons," the company said.