Xbox One to allow loaning, trading of downloaded games

Microsoft senior director Albert Penello says "that has to be part of the experience" eventually, along with subsidized console promotions

Microsoft scrapped its original plans for "family sharing" Xbox One games back when it reversed the system's original DRM scheme, but the company expects to see it return, along with trading of downloaded games, at some point in the future. That's according to a GameSpot interview with Xbox senior director Albert Penello conducted at last week's PAX Prime event in Seattle, Washington.

When asked about reselling digital games, Penello said, "We were trying to implement the ability to trade [and] loan digital games with your friends, which is something that no one else was doing," Penello said. "I believe, in retrospect that people have calmed down and gone back and actually looked at what we said, people are starting to understand, 'Wow, they did want actually to allow me to loan and trade' which other digital ecosystems don't want to do. And so, yeah, I think we need to do that. That has to be part of the experience. Right now, we're focused on launch and we switched the program back to discs, because that's what customers wanted. "

Penello added that the "family sharing" feature, which would have let users share their license rights to play an Xbox One game with up to 10 family member accounts on any Xbox One system, was a good idea, and one Microsoft will revisit "when the time is right."

Penello was also asked about possible partnerships with TV providers to get subsidized Xbox One systems into homes at a smaller upfront cost to consumers. Last year, Microsoft offered Xbox 360 systems for $99 if customers committed to a two-year Xbox Live Gold subscription.

"I think there will be a time and place to bring that back," Penello said. "I think at launch, most people are saving up and they're going...they want in. The subsidized model really makes a lot of sense towards the end of the life. People are more price sensitive. They are more cost conscious. It's a model I like; I'm sure we'll bring it back. But not right now."

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Latest comments (6)

Sasha Yelesin Student 6 years ago
Wow. That's actually really awesome. My brother and I used to share a Steam account, so I understand the benefit of a loaning/ trading system like this. Way to go Microsoft.

But I still say no to contractual Xbox Live in exchange for a cheaper system. You shouldn't have to pay to use your own internet connection in the first place, but offering cheaper consoles if you continuously pay for Live takes advantage of people who don't do their homework (like too many parents and grandparents around holidays) and some customers may decide later that they don't like Live or don't use it enough to make it worthwhile, yet they have to keep paying.
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Iain Stanford Experienced Software Engineer, Tinderstone6 years ago
The fact people are surprised at this, even though they said they were planning to do this all along just highlights the crazy knee-jerk reactions and Chinese whispers that were so prevalent.
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Paul Shirley Programmers 6 years ago
That supposed industry insiders thought MS could not still do this after dumping the spurious always on requirement astonished me. Working in this industry is no guarantee of having a clue!

With boxed and download now firmly separate products maybe they'll feel compelled to share more of the cost reductions on downloads with punters, if only to drive boxed out of existence. Have to worry how arrogant and stupid a company has to get to aggressively try and force on customers something the customers would volunteer for without complaint.
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The problem that Microsoft has had since day one has been their messaging; they didn't communicate what they were doing up front properly, and their responses to people up front (e.g. anything that came out of former-MS exec Mattrick's mouth) just fueled the flames. Personally, I like the idea of being able to tie my physical copy media with my digital account so that I don't have to worry about the stupid disc getting messed up, but the problem is that they required it from a system that has traditionally never required it before. It happened with PCs, but the audience was much smaller at the time. Ideally, Microsoft would find a way to make this registration to your digital account an optional component, not a requirement to appease both camps. On the plus side, it sounds like they are finally "getting it", so that they can push some of their actual progressive and innovative ideas out the door with the Xbox One.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 6 years ago
The problem that Microsoft has had since day one has been their messaging; they didn't communicate what they were doing up front properly
That and they never really went into the benefits of what they initially wanted to do. The game sharing between 10 people was definitely meant as a benefit of having the disc stored to the hard drive and being linked to your account but what was the benefit of the 24 hour check-ins and not being able to trade games in normally? But like you said, they are finally starting to "get it".
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 6 years ago
I don't really know what you guys are talking about. All's Albert Penello said is that it could come back "when the time is right." Can't read the whole interview as I'm at work but I can't get how the headline or your conversation follows on from the nebulous possibilities that are presented in the article.

As far as MS have said: It's part of the future and we'll implement it if and when we think it's possible.

That doesn't translate to Xbox One to allow loaning, trading of downloaded games... Heck, it could even mean "for the next console" in 2020+.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 9th September 2013 10:22am

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