Microsoft has lost an initial face-off with Sony's new PlayStation 4 console and following criticism and pressure from the gaming community, the company dropped curbs on trading games and the need for regular internet connections for its Xbox One unit.
The console, after an initial one-time set-up, won't need to connect to the Web at least once every 24 hours to continue playing a game, Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft?s interactive entertainment unit, said in a blog post. The Redmond, Washington-based company also removed restrictions on reselling, trading and lending used games.
"After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360," Mattrick said.
The need for an Internet connection for disc-based titles also provoked concern among some gamers about digital-rights management policies and scenarios where Web connections are spotty.
"Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today ? There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360," he added.
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, users can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. Those who download games will be able to play them offline just like they do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.
These changes will impact some of the scenarios Microsoft previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, users will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.
In a shot aimed at Microsoft, rival Sony announced during last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles that its upcoming PlayStation 4 will not require a regular Internet connection to work and that the company won't try to restrict used game sales.
Both consoles will go on sale later this year, the Xbox One at $499 and the PS4 at $399.