GAMING BLEND

Xbox One Digital Game Lending, Loaning Still Possible

By William Usher 2014-03-26 12:05:45 discussion comments
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For some reason, Microsoft really likes peppering gamers with this idea that if you don't do the all-restrictive-DRM future that Microsoft had in mind for the Xbox One, there's no way you can do game lending or digital software sharing (even though Steam and Nintendo's eShop allow for it, and, even to an extent, you can do it already with the Xbox 360 and Xbox One). Nevertheless, Microsoft is back on the PR bandwagon trail to pimp digital game loaning and that future they always had in mind for the Xbox One.

CVG picked up the story from Gamespot, where Microsoft executive Phil Spencer rolled out the typical PR spiel about “Microsoft's vision” for that “all-digital future”.

Spencer stated that...
"We believe in a digital future on our box," ... "On the digital space, and the things that we've talked about, what that opens up: like, we understand what games you own and who you are and how you move around and who you might want to loan rights to your games or gift your games to.

"We totally believe in that future. And any other marketplace you play in, these kind of mechanisms are out there."

The thing that always gets to me is how we keep circulating back to the same argument: You can have digital loaning, you can do digital trading, you can setup these mechanisms without having to completely lockdown and force-feed anti-consumer measures into the fold. Instead of a 24-hour check-in why didn't they just have it setup like Steam where if someone lended someone else a game if the original owner logged back in to play their game, it would kick the lender out of the game. Instead of forcing all Xbox One games through the Azure digital licensing infrastructure, why not just have digital games require a digital signature from Azure (since you can't buy digital Xbox games from anywhere else other than Microsoft). This way physical disc owners aren't punished for something digital game owners want to utilize.

Of course, following up on his backhanded apology, Spencer still stuck to his guns about what Microsoft aimed to do last year – which netted them embarrassing pre-order numbers and enough hate to garner a cheering squad over their participating in the Worst Company in America – saying...
"I know when I say this I always get beat up, but I think some of what we were trying to say last summer was right,"

"We are now fully heads down on thinking about and building out the future of our digital marketplace to enable what people would expect, and hopefully some things that will delight them beyond their expectations."

“Some of what we were trying to say last summer was right”... yeah, all the parts that didn't include walling gamers into a monopolized corner.

At least Spencer admits that the team is heads-down on trying to (presumably) follow Valve and the pathway they set with Steam when it comes to consumer-friendly features, and digital marketplace advancements.

Microsoft might want to start first by bringing back and extending all the features of the Xbox One that were already present in the Xbox 360.
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