Xbox One can only play games offline for 24 hours publishers can
Microsoft has finally confirmed what many gamers have been concerned about for the past few weeks: the Xbox One requires an Internet connection in order to function.A new set of details under the heading of “Xbox One: Details on Connectivity, Licensing and Privacy Features” has been made live on Xbox.com confirming or putting to rest many of the rumors that have been circulating about the new console.Microsoft has been denying the Xbox One is an always connected device, and while that is true, you can’t use the machine for an extended period of time without one. The Xbox One must access the Internet once every 24 hours in order to continue to function as a games console. If you are logged in to a friend’s console, then a connection is required once every hour. Functionality including watching TV or disc based entertainment (DVDs, Blu-ray) can all be done offline, however.It has also been confirmed how game discs, licensing, and game trading/resales will work. Microsoft sees discs as just a way to get the game on to your console. Games must be installed and then exist solely on your hard drive with a copy also available in the cloud. That cloud copy means you can log in to other consoles and continue playing the game. You can also allow up to 10 family members to play your games from their accounts.There’s bad news for those of us who enjoy trading or reselling games, though. Microsoft is allowing game licenses to be sold for cash or credit with a retailer, but the ability to do this for specific titles is decided by the publisher. So if EA release a new Madden on Xbox One, for example, they can block trading or resales if they so wish or demand a fee be paid for doing so. I fear many publishers will choose to at least charge a fee, but trade-in blocking could become popular.The same is true if you want to give a game you’ve bought to a friend to try. Microsoft allows you to transfer the license to another owner only once, and for a maximum lending period of 30 days. Again, publishers can block this feature for any and all games if they wish.Microsoft also tackles privacy, which has been a concern due to the Xbox One always being turned on in some form. It has been made clear you can switch the console off almost completely, to the point where it is only listening for voice commands to turn itself back on. Kinect can be left on, put into a paused state, or turned off completely even when playing games. Microsoft also makes it clear no personal data leaves the Xbox One without you first giving your permission to share it. It sounds like this can be done on a per game basis, so expect lots of “Do you agree to share…” confirmation screens during installs.By releasing this new information Microsoft is definitely changing the landscape for console gaming. Regardless of how they spin it, you can’t own and use this console as a games playing device without it be hooked up to the Internet. For many, I think that’s going to be a deal breaker, and if the PS4 doesn’t have such a requirement then it will become the only next-gen console a (substantial?) section of the gaming community will consider buying.