Microsoft has officially outlined its policy regarding always-online connectivity and used games on the Xbox One.

Xbox One used games always online
The Xbox One on show at a launch event in Redmond, Washington 21 May. (Credit:Reuters)

The Xbox One will not be always-online, Microsoft has said, however it will require that users "check-in" in order to validate games.

In a series of posts on Xbox Wire, Microsoft explained that if users are playing on their own consoles, then a check-in would be required once every 24 hours of playtime. If a user is accessing a different Xbox One console using their login profile, then the check would be required once an hour.

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"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," Microsoft explained.

"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."

The company added that for an "optimal experience" a minimum broadband speed of 1.5Mbps would be required.

Used games

Microsoft also clarified its policy regarding used and borrowed games for the Xbox One. Originally it was believed that consumers would have to pay an additional fee, in some cases the equivalent of a game's retail price, in order to "unlock" second game discs and make them playable on the console.

Microsoft has now said that although its first-party developed games such as Forza will be able to resold and won't involve any fees, third-party publishers will be able to set their own terms regarding used 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. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers."

Lending games to friends will be more limited. You will only be able to give Xbox One games to people who have been on your Xbox friends list for 30 days or more. Also, you will only be able to lend a game disc to a friend once.


Though Microsoft has not given any official word, this implies that retailers will be able to "reset" games, verifying them as having been resold and disabling whatever on-disc measures prevent them from being reused once and by people not on a friends list.

IBTimes UK has contacted Microsoft for more information on Xbox One used games and will update this story with any comment received.

Games will be installed to your Xbox One hard drive from the disc, however, the disc will be reusable after installation. Once a game is installed, you will be able to access it via the cloud on any console that you are logged into with your own profile.

Additionally, anyone can play your games on your console, meaning that your entire game library is available to any player using your Xbox One, regardless of what profile they are logged in with. You can also set up to 10 additional profiles who will be able to access your game library when they log into another Xbox One, meaning that members of your family can log into a friend's Xbox using their own profiles and, if you've given permission, still access your game library.

Games will also be available to download digitally on the same day they go to physical retail.


Microsoft also clarified how the new Kinect, Kinect 2.0, will work. Previously there had been concerns the Kinect would monitor users while they played games and watched video, and would be able identify users' faces and restrict content based on their age.

Xbox One always online used games kinect
The Kinect 2.0, on show at the Xbox One launch event in Redmond, Washington, 21 May. (Credit: Reuters)

Microsoft has now said that all of the Kinect's features will be customisable, meaning you can decide what it monitors and what data it collects.

"By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup," said Microsoft. "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.

"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."

It will also be possible to disable the Kinect's voice and gesture controls and to operate the Xbox One using a conventional control pad instead.

The Xbox One is scheduled to launch in the UK before the end of 2013, with analysts speculating a price tag of around £260. More details on the console including information on upcoming games will be revealed at the Microsoft keynote hosted at E3 2013 on 10 June, from 5:30 BST. IBTimes UK will be covering all the announcements from this event as and when they come.