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Friday, June 07, 2013
Microsoft Details Xbox One on Connectivity, Licensing and Privacy Features

As the E3 game show is just a few days away, Microsoft continues sharing information about the Xbox One as a connected device; its games licensing policies; and its privacy principles for the new Kinect sensor.

The new Xbox One will have limitations on playing used games, sharing games and being played without an internet connection.

Microsoft on Thursday confirmed that the console will need to be connected to the internet once every 24 hours in order to function. In short, there will be restrictions on how you can loan games, and while you can still give games to your friends, each game can only be given once. Used games can be sold at retail stores only with the publisher's permission.

"With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library," the company explained on an official FAQ website. "Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies."

You can share games with your Xbox "family" of up to ten people. In addition, the Kinect camera can be turned off.

Below you can read all the details as they were outlined by Microsoft.

A connected device

As a connected device, the Xbox One will deliver a new generation of games with power from the cloud, allowing developers to create worlds that evolve even when users are not playing any game.

The Xbox One has been designed to run in a low-powered, connected state. This means the system, games and apps are always current and ready to play - no more waiting for updates.

Xbox One owners will be able to play games with their friends or catch up with family on Skype. Skype in Snap mode allows for chat while gaming or watching TV.

Users will be also able to acess their entire games library from any Xbox One, without using any optical disc. After signing in and installing, users will be able to play any of their games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of their game will be stored on their console and in the cloud. So, for example, users will be able to play their games while they are logged in at their friend's house.

Users will be also able to buy disc-based games at traditional retailers or online through Xbox Live, on day of release.

Xbox One is also equipped with a gigabit Ethernet port and 802.11n wireless. With 802.11n, Xbox One can use the 5GHz wireless band which eliminates interference from other devices in the home, such as cordless phones, Bluetooth devices and microwaves. Xbox One uses two wireless antennas, versus one in Xbox 360. This provides better coverage and performance.

With Wi-Fi Direct, Xbox One can speak directly to smart wireless devices and connect to them through the cloud. This means users' smartphones or tablets will interact with Xbox One.

Microsoft has created a global network of more than 300,000 Xbox Live and Windows Azure servers, to help creators offer apps and games that take advantage of the connected system.

Games Licensing

Xbox owners will be able to buy disc-based games at traditional retailers or online through Xbox Live, on day of release. Discs will continue to be a way to install games quickly.

After signing in and installing, users will be able to play any of their games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of their game is stored on their console and in the cloud.

Games will be playable for everyone inside users' homes. In addition, up to ten members of users' families will be able to log in and play from their shared games library on any Xbox One.

Some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. Microsoft designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable users to trade in their games at participating retailers. Microsoft says it does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.

Xbox One is also designed so game publishers can enable users to give their disc-based games to their friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. However, there are two requirements: users can only give them to people who have been on their friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.

Microsoft Studios will enable users to give their games to friends or trade in their Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft claims that it does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable users to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won?t be available at launch, but Microsoft said it was exploring the possibilities with its partners.

New Kinect Sensor

Xbox One and Kinect offer easy ways to control games and entertainment with voice and gestures.

By design, users will determine how responsive and personalized their Xbox One is to them and their family during setup. The system will navigate users through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and users may simply having a conversation in their living rooms, their conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.

Users who don't want the Kinect sensor on while playing games will be able to pause Kinect.

Users can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more, but MIcrosoft ensures that this data will not leave their Xbox One without their permission.

While it's faster to find what they are looking for using their voice and gesture commands with Kinect, users will be also able to use a controller, their remote controls or their smart devices instead.

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