A Xbox One With All Of The Good And None Of The Bad? Microsoft Are Working On It
By now you should have heard about Microsoft’s policy reversals a while back, which put the dismal looking Xbox One back in the race against Sony’s PS4. Dropping the DRM and always-online features came at the price of some rather revolutionary features, such as the popular Family Share plan, leading to thousands of angry fans to start a petition to bring them back. And guess what, Microsoft is listening.
In a lengthy interview with IGN, Microsoft’s Marc Whitten said that the company is looking at bringing some of the more popular features of the Xbox One back, focusing on what fans are asking for and whether or not these features are still possible without other features being removed. The petition, which is currently sitting at close to 25 000 signatures, asks for Microsoft to give customers the Xbox One they promised at E3. While that won’t exactly happen, Whitten has stated that Microsoft are looking at ways to bring back some of the more important features that were cut as a result of the reversal.
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One such feature, and probably the most important, was Family Share. Family Share allowed users to allocate 10 family members (or friends) to their Xbox LIVE account, enabling any of those ten to access their personal games library and play the title for themselves. This feature would work well in a large family or a close group of friends that decided to pool cash together for games, making it the sole feature that almost justified the always-online side of the coin. Almost.
Before beginning to talk about the possibility of this feature, and more, returning, Whitten took the opportunity to emphasise what a poor job Microsoft did at communicating features such as this during the console’s launch, and subsequently E3, saying that better PR could have resulted in a very different outcome. However, Whitten went on to say that consumers want choice, and that’s what the reversal of many of the policies was for.
In addition to that, Whitten had this to say about the possibility of seeing Family Share restored in the future, as well as explaining that the features weren’t cut purely out of spite.
“We took some feedback and realized there was some stuff we needed to add to the program. To add it to the program, we had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that work done. So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘we’re going to take our toys and go home’ or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of ‘how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?’”
Obviously, Whitten and Microsoft aren’t making any solid promises just yet, but the idea that these features are still very much on the table is extremely promising. Who knows, we may just get an Xbox One that revolutionises the console market without infringing on consumer rights. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
You can read the entire interview via the link below, but really this is the only part of it that gamers should worry and care about. It’s going to be an increasingly interesting few months as we get closer and closer to the next-gen console launches.