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Following the Xbox One reveal event, Microsoft provided the press with conflicting answers regarding a number of unknowns surrounding its next-gen console. Fortunately, the confusion ends today, as the Big M has come forward with direct answers, some of which you may not be too fond of.
With regards to always-on and the need for an internet connection, Microsoft explained:
Xbox One is designed to run in a low-powered, connected state. This means your system, games and apps are always current and ready to play—no more waiting for updates. While a persistent connection is not required, Xbox One is designed to verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend. Games that are designed to take advantage of the cloud may require a 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.
As far as used games are concerned, Microsoft isn't outright blocking gamers from trading in or sharing games. "In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers," the company explained.
Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends.
Your friends and family, your guests and acquaintances get unlimited access to all of your games. Anyone can play your games on your console–regardless of whether you are logged in or their relationship to you.
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.
While gamers will be required to install games to the hard drive, there are some definite benefits to this as well. Games will be available in disc form at retailers and in digital form via Xbox Live on release day. Purchasing a hard copy provides a fast way to install the game.
Then, "after signing in and installing, you can play any of your games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of your game is stored on your console and in the cloud. So, for example, while you are logged in at your friend’s house, you can play your games." That's awfully handy, no?
And finally, the ever-seeing eye that is Kinect. Those afraid of compromising their privacy need not be concerned, as privacy is a major priority at MS. "We understand that your personal data and privacy are important," the company stated.
Xbox One and Kinect will provide tools to put you in control of your data. You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear. By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup.
The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.
Better yet, "if you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say 'Xbox Off.' When the system is off, it’s only listening for the single voice command — 'Xbox On,' and you can even turn that feature off too. Some apps and games may require Kinect functionality to operate, so you’ll need to turn it back on for these experiences." Sounds reasonable enough to me.
And there's no need to worry about personal info escaping the home. "You can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more, but this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission."
And that about rounds up the massive info dump. Does that clear things up for you? How do you feel about Microsoft's next-gen console now? Let us know in the comments below.