Microsoft Details Xbox One’s Used Game Policy

XboxOne RGB Stacked


Microsoft has finally let the cat out of the bag when it comes to Xbox One’s used game policy, gamers can now emerge from their fallout shelters. Things are changing, but not as significantly as once rumored. It sounds like Microsoft is shifting the ability (and blame) to charge transfer fees and the ability to green light trades with ‘participating’ retailers to third party games publishers. The easiest way to explain the gaming experience on the Xbox One is to take the verbiage straight from the horses mouth:

  • Buy the way you want—disc or digital—on the same day: You’ll be able to buy disc-based games at traditional retailers or online through Xbox Live, on day of release. Discs will continue to be a great way to install your games quickly.
  • Access your entire games library from any Xbox One—no discs required: 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.
  • Share access to your games with everyone inside your home: 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.
  • Give your family access to your entire games library anytime, anywhere: Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games.  You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.
  • Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: 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.
  • Give your games to friends: 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.

It’s explained at the end of this newly minted FAQ that lending and renting won’t be available at launch with the Xbox One, which likely means Microsoft has shifted their stance on used games significantly, and recently. It’s also mentioned that as Microsoft transitions into the next generation of gaming that policies are subject to change.

The ‘subject to change’ part has us a bit wary, but it sounds like the big wigs have taken SOME of the criticisms levied at the purposed policies to heart. After the Xbox One reveal Microsoft executives didn’t know how to answer media inquiries about the used game feature, and I’m glad to see that it’s been at least partially addressed, rather than ignored.

With E3 just days away it was a smart move on MS part to get this mess out in the open. With this announcement and the explanation of other features coming on the heels of next weeks E3 trade show, hopefully we’ll just see a ton of software on display at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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