Xbox One Consumer Policy And Concerns Guide

By William Usher 2 years ago discussion comments
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Used Game License Fees
This topic has caused a lot of controversy and it would be advised that anyone who has not fully read up on the matter to click through the link to read what Microsoft's vice president, Phil Harrison, has to say about used game fees. The concept is a direct affiliation with the mandatory 24 hour check-in procedure mentioned earlier. Selected retailers will be able to tie-in their services with Microsoft's Cloud to enable a moderated pre-owned market where a fee is charged as part of the total sale, with the retailer awarded 10% of the final sale.

Users who own a copy of the game can share, lend or borrow out the game to anyone they like. However, in order for the individual to use the game they must be logged into the original owner's Xbox Live account, otherwise a license fee must be paid by the person trying to access the content that was not originally tied to their account. According to a report from Gamespot, if a new game is purchased and borrowed out to a friend/family member/etc., and they try to access the content with their own account, an initial fee equivalent to the current market value of the content will be incurred. This figure is rumored to be about £35. If this is true, it could violate the copyright law of the first sale doctrine, as outlined in the Criminal Resource Manual.

Take note that there is also a process of deactivating the license from the initial master account using the Azure Cloud service, and allowing the licensed content to be re-activated on another account as a way of sharing, according to MCVUK. Fees for deactivating and reactivating content have not been fully disclosed.

Kinect Always-On
Microsoft's Kinect device for the Xbox One is required to always be on in order to actually use the Xbox One console. The device works as a recognition portal, allowing quick access to specific profile functions and features. The device, even when powered down, will also be on in a low-power state, enabling it to turn on when the proper command is vocally spoken. As reported on by the PA Report, it is not possible to use the console without Kinect, as per company policy.

There are worries about privacy concern considering that the Xbox One's Kinect 2.0 will always be on and must always be active in order for the console to operate at all. Additionally, a patent was filed to enable the Kinect to monitor, watch, collect and gauge user information within the room. According to MCVUK, it was verified by their source that this patent has been applied to the technical capabilities of Kinect 2.0 for the Xbox One. As we reported many months ago, the patent would enable Kinect to prevent copyrighted material from being accessed from more than the alloted number of individuals within a room and a copyright fee could be issued for exhibitors of copyrighted material who exceed the allotted number of users.

Long-Term Game Access
This last issue is not inherent to any particular issue Microsoft has discussed, and is more-so an overview of what it means to have some of these features available and active in a console of this sort. It's also important to note what this means for consumer ownership of a product, or the lack thereof.

Let me start by explaining that mandatory sign-ins and content verification methods are attached entirely to a system infrastructure operated by the designated company. Furthermore, when these operations cease to exist from said designated company the ability to access the content they verify will also cease.

Having games tied to a copyright authentication service in order to use the material would mean that any game that relied on this service – presumably when the service eventually comes to cessation – will no longer be of use. As mentioned by Microsoft's vice president, Phil Harrison, the information on the Xbox One game discs are simply “bits” of data designed to be stored on the system's drive, and the content is active based on the active license attached to the Live account. If the account is not available, neither is the game. If the service is not available, neither is the game.

With that being said, a real-world example – and the potential lifespan of Xbox One games – is equivalent to all the Xbox Live content that was made unavailable when Microsoft shutdown the original Xbox Live service for first Xbox game console, as we reported on back in 2010. All games and content associated with the original Xbox Live service is no longer available or attainable through official channels, meaning that games that relied on the original Xbox Live service, such as Phantasy Star Online, cannot be used directly out of the box ever again.

Keep in mind that this puts a finite lifespan on all content for the Xbox One, both digitally and physically. Microsoft has not revealed or explained any alternatives in the case of service cessation, or what method would be provided for consumers to access content outside of the authentication services, if the service ever came to an end.

If you feel these issues need further clarification or you would like to bring your concerns forward to Microsoft, feel free to do so with the provided links at the beginning of the article.
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