Xbox One: Answering Some Questions

By Rebecca Smith, 5 years ago
If there is one thing that is becoming increasingly clear after the Xbox One reveal, it is that there is a lot of misinformation floating around. In the heat of the moment following the event, things were being said that shouldn't have been said, Microsoft representatives were being misquoted and a lot of unnecessary confusion has arisen. I'm going to attempt to answer some of those questions that you may still have.

Does the Xbox One require an always-on Internet connection?

No it does not. An always-on Internet connection would require the player to be constantly connected to the Internet while they are using their console. This is not the case for the Xbox One. Owners will be able to play games, watch Blu-ray films and watch live TV while their console is offline. However, Microsoft will require the console to be connected to the internet every now and again. Exactly how often this will be is yet to be confirmed.

Yesterday, Kotaku ran a piece where Microsoft's Corporate President Phil Harrison appeared to suggest that the console would need to be connected to the Internet once during a 24 hour period. They have since updated the article to state that this was only a "potential scenario" and this is definitely not set in stone. When CVG asked Harrison to elaborate on his earlier comments about connecting to the internet, this is what he said:

[Microsoft] has not made a specific announcement on the details of that.

Xbox One is designed to have an internet connection - it does not require an internet connection to be on at all times, but many of the great features and capabilities of the system are unlocked via a connection to Xbox Live or the cloud so that all of the things you expect become unlocked.

If your internet connection is interrupted because of a local outage many, but not all of the features of the game content you own you will be able to use, but not all because some of them are uniquely online experiences. BBC iPlayer of Netflix won't work if your internet connection goes down, as you would expect.

Blu-ray movies and other single-player games that don't require an internet connection to Xbox Live will work. I think it is pretty rare of an outage of local internet connectivity to be more than a few seconds or minutes, so I don't expect it will ever impact on somebody's ability to use the system.
We will bring you more details as we get them!

Does the Xbox One use my current Xbox LIVE subscription, gamertag, gamerscore and achievements?

Yes to all four. If you choose to keep your gamertag then it will stay with you on the Xbox One. Your gamerscore and achievements will also transfer, as will your existing Xbox LIVE subscription. The wording on the official Xbox One FAQ states that the Xbox LIVE subscription can be used "on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One", but there has been no clarification of whether players will be able to jump freely between the two platforms using the same gamertag.

Is the Xbox One backward-compatible with the Xbox 360?

No. Due to the technical specifications of the new console, Xbox 360 games can not be played on the Xbox One. The Xbox One has been designed to play games that "take full advantage of state-of-the-art processors and the infinite power of the cloud". However, this does not mean that support for the Xbox 360 will dwindle. Microsoft has confirmed that they still have plans for new games and new apps on the current console to take us "well into the future."

Can I play pre-owned games and will there be an extra charge for doing this?

Yes, you can play pre-owned games on the Xbox One. Information about potential charges was not helped by a lack of cohesiveness between Microsoft employees. Microsoft's Corporate President Phil Harrison had two attempts at answering the question, while Major Nelson and Xbox Support had their own differing answers. However, Eurogamer managed to get a final statement from Harrison, one with which he believes reflects the current situation, and this helps to clarify some of the confusion:

So, think about how you use a disc that you own of an Xbox 360 game. If I buy the disc from a store, I use that disc in my machine, I can give that disc to my son and he can play it on his 360 in his room. We both can't play at the same time, but the disc is the key to playing. I can go round to your house and give you that disc and you can play on that game as well.

What we're doing with the digital permissions that we have for Xbox One is no different to that. If I am playing on that disc, which is installed to the hard drive on my Xbox One, everybody in my household who has permission to use my Xbox One can use that piece of content. [So] I can give that piece of content to my son and he can play it on the same system.

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. 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 store and buying the game, and then it's instantly available to play.

The bits 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.

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.

Our goal is to make it really customer-centric, really simple and really understandable and we will announce those details in due course.
The short version of the answer above is that nothing has yet been confirmed about an extra charge. Microsoft's only official statement is:

We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later.
As we said above, we will bring you more details as we get them!

Will I be able to swap the 500 GB hard drive with a larger (or smaller) hard drive?

Albert Penello, senior director of product planning at Microsoft, has confirmed to Engadget that the 500GB is not "user-serviceable", meaning that players can not remove and swap hard drives like they could with the Xbox 360. However, the USB 3.0 ports are intended to be used for attaching external storage devices, which can also be used for "everything the internal storage can be used for". Microsoft has not stated whether there will be a size limit on external storage devices.

Will I have to use Kinect?

No. Kinect will come packaged with every console as Microsoft believes it to be an essential part of the console, but this doesn't mean that you have to use it. Game developers are being given a choice as to whether they utilise Kinect, but it is likely that most developers will choose to integrate the sensor into the game in some form. This won't necessarily be "jumping up off the couch and running around your living room" as Phil Harrison put it, but it could be something as simple as voice commands or the sensor knowing that there is more than one person in the room.

Will I be able to watch live TV on the day of the console's release?

Xbox LIVE members in the United States will be able to watch NFL and live TV with Kinect navigation, Trending and OneGuide on the day of the console's release. Other regions will have to wait a while as Microsoft is planning on releasing these features gradually on a global scale. The way that the TV is delivered is also likely to vary by region. As well as being able to plug in the cable, telco or satellite set-top boxes via HDMI, Microsoft are also aiming to be able to deliver live TV in "every way that it is delivered throughout the world". This includes over the air and over the Internet as well as through the previously mentioned methods.
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.