The new Xbox One WILL NOT require a constant internet connection. Sort of. But it WILL limit pre-owned. We think.
Wired reports that all games will require installation onto the console. Individual games will be tied to a user’s Xbox Live account. If a disc that has already been installed on another machine is inserted, users will be prompted to pay a fee to access it.
The same will apply even if a user simply lends the game to a friend.
This is quite probably the “change of model” that UK retailers were briefed on by Microsoft representatives last week. MCV understands that some retailers have said they will be willing to sell this 'fee' along with the pre-owned games themselves.
On the plus side, once a game is installed onto a console the disc will no longer be required to play it in the future. And as it will remain registered to a user's account it can be redownloaded at a later date.
Microsoft has however confirmed that the machine will not require a permanent internet connection, with Don Mattrick saying in a post-event interview: “Gamers – we got your back.”
It has also been confirmed that Xbox One will not function if Kinect is not connected to the console.
UPDATE: Wired has added an amendment to its story claiming that Microsoft has contacted them "to say that the company did have a plan for used games, and that further details were forthcoming".
Furthermore, Official Xbox Magazine UK editor John Hicks added on Twitter: "At no point when I was talking to MS did they say there was a fee for used games. They said used games were important and supported."
OXM suggests that if a user sells a game they will be able to deactivate it with Microsoft, eradicating the need for the new owner to pay for an unlock fee. The mechanism would still stop users lending games to their friends, however.
UPDATE 2: T3's deputy editor added the following on Twitter: "[MS] told me that once you sell a game, the license transfers in the cloud. So a new gamer activates it, it's removed from yours."
UPDATE 3: Microsoft has also issued a new statement regarding the console's online requirements. "Xbox One does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet." That presumably means online activation is required but then offline play is OK?
UPDATE 4: This is the official line from Microsoft: "We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later." Microsoft representatives are not clarifying whether a fee will need to be played to play pre-owned games, or how much that fee will be.
UPDATE 5: At this stage we can quite confidently conclude that there IS some kind of pre-owned limitation, or else Microsoft would simply confirm there is not. The shape of this limitation is less clear. Will pre-owned games need to be 'activated' via a fee? Can users 'deactivate' games they trade-in? Will this eradicate the need to 'reactivate' the game for the next owner?
UPDATE 6: MCV has now spoken to a Microsoft PR representative. The official line is as follows: “Xbox One will run pre-owned games. It will not block pre-owned games. We will additional details at a later stage.”
When asked if users would be charged a fee for playing pre-owned game the representative was not able to offer an official response on the record and reiterated that additional information regarding the use of pre-owned games would be revealed at a later date.
UPDATE 7: Eurogamer has offered this of its attempt to clarify the situation: "Our man on the ground was able to speak to corporate vice president of Microsoft Phil Harrison about this hot-button issue and was able to confirm that a second user can install a game from a friend's disc for a fee, though it's unclear how much this will be. Harrison also confirmed that several users sharing a console can access the same game at no additional charge, and Microsoft has 'a solution' for the resale market, though it's staying mum on those for now."
UPDATE 8: We've made some tweaks to the headline and intro para to reflect the updated information.