Prior to today’s Xbox One announcement, the Internet was circulating with rumors regarding whether or not the next-generation console would have an always-on mode which would result in Microsoft knowing when a game has been borrowed or sold as a used game. It looks like those previous rumors have some truth to them as Microsoft has detailed how it will make it more difficult to purchase used games or borrow from a friend.
Microsoft says the Xbox One will require a mandatory installation onto the system’s hard drive for all games that are played on the console for the first time. If the same game disc is then played on an additional Xbox One console, or even a different Xbox Live account, the second user will have to pay a fee.
The process will allow for the original owners of a particular Xbox One game to no longer need game discs when playing their game as it will be installed on the hard drive, but selling the game or lending it to someone will deactivate your install of that game if the additional user pays the fee to have the game installed on their system. At this time, Microsoft has not commented on how much it will cost for second-hand game users to install the game onto their Xbox One hard drive.
People who were completely against a video game console that required an always-online connection will certainly be happy to hear that isn’t the case in this instance, but this could strike a blow to the used game market depending on how much Microsoft decides it’ll charge for a game to change users.
“@ModronFixer No fee, correct – and they just got that information wrong. As soon as we saw, we contacted them to correct it. ^EM”
Additionally, Microsoft pointed out that the official Xbox One FAQ mentions “We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games”, although it does not explicitly mentions a fee, or not. The phrase “We’ll have more details to share later” probably generates more questions and answers.
Update 2: Major Nelson chimed in to provide another bit of information. The most interesting is: “clarification around playing games at a friend’s house – should you choose to play your game at your friend’s house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile”.
He also repeats that Xbox is designed to allow users to trade-in and resell games, but unlike the previous answer from Xbox support on Twitter, he does not say that there won’t be a fee if you don’t log into the original account with which the game was activated/in-sync. The response from the public to this update is mixed at best.