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Microsoft's Harrison explains Xbox One's online requirements

Corporate vice president explains internet connections, pre-owned and sharing discs

Microsoft's Phil Harrison has attempted to clarify the new Xbox One's online requirements after last night's big console reveal left audiences confused about restrictions on sharing games, pre-owned games and whether or not it requires a constant link to the internet.

"The bits [of a game] that are on the disc, I can give to anybody else, but if we both want to play it at the same time, we both have to own it. That's no different to how discs operate today," the corporate vice president of Microsoft told Eurogamer last night.

"I can come to your house and I can put the disc into your machine and I can sign in as me and we can play the game."

It seems that Microsoft is essentially aiming for a built-in online pass system, but with sharing between profiles on one machine, sharing via a single profile that can be used across different machines, but a charge for a new profile to use it on a new machine.

"The bits are on your hard drive. At the end of the play session, when I take my disc home - or even if I leave it with you - if you want to continue to play that game [on your profile] then you have to pay for it. The bits are already on your hard drive, so it's just a question of going to our [online] store and buying the game, and then it's instantly available to play."

He wouldn't say much about what this will mean for the thriving pre-owned market, only that Microsoft did have a plan for that particular area.

"We will have a system where you can take that digital content and trade a previously played game at a retail store. We're not announcing the details of that today, but we will have announced in due course."

He also attempted to clarify the online requirements of the box itself, dismissing rumours of a need for a constant connection.

"Some bits of the system will work offline. I think the key point to make is that Xbox One requires an internet connection, but it does not need to be connected all the time. We think that most of the biggest games on Xbox One and most of the games and experiences and services you want to use will be internet-connected."

Read full coverage of the Xbox One console reveal here.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.