Microsoft has a problem. I talked about this before. They seem to have a heck of a time controlling their messaging when it comes to their next-gen console.
The most repeated questions for gamers concerning the just revealed Xbox One have been fairly consistent. Can you play used games on the new console? Does the console require internet connectivity to function? Neither of these requirements were touched on in the livestreamed Xbox Reveal Event that ended this morning, so various members of the media asked the Microsoft representatives. Surprisingly, it seems the answers varied depending on who or when you asked.
Wired was told by Microsoft in a pre-event visit that the console would require a fee to play used games, but that the console would not require an online connection to play singleplayer games.
Microsoft vice president Phil Harrision confirmed to Kotaku that the console would require a fee to transfer a game license from one player to another, but he clarified that the Xbox One would need to connect to Microsoft’s servers at least once per day.
Kotaku: If I’m playing a single player game, do I have to be online at least once per hour or something like that? Or can I go weeks and weeks?
Harrison: I believe it’s 24 hours.
Kotaku: I’d have to connect online once every day.
A Microsoft representative emailed Polygon to refute Phil Harrison’s statements.
“While Phil discussed many potential scenarios around games on Xbox One, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail. There have been reports of a specific time period – those were discussions of potential scenarios, but we have not confirmed any details today, nor will we be.”
Finally, Phil Harrison talked to Eurogamer to try to reclarify what he meant. This time, Harrison said that the used game issue isn’t settled and the Xbox One does not require the internet to function… Sort of.
“Some bits of the system will work offline,” he said. “I think the key point to make is that Xbox One requires an internet connection, but it does not need to be connected all the time. We think that most of the biggest games on Xbox One and most of the games and experiences and services you want to use will be internet-connected.”
Microsoft’s own Q&A site is oddly unclear about the whole thing.
I don’t get paid to consult for Microsoft, but I’ll give them a freebie. They should probably get together and agree on basic responses to questions that will get asked. Questions that gamers have been asking for weeks. That would probably improve the stories they get out of the media when they launch a new console.