Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), responding to concerns about trade-in rights on its new Xbox One console, said users may sell titles back to retailers or give them to friends provided they have approval from the publisher.
Consumers who purchase the new console, which goes on sale in time for the holidays, must connect to the Web at least once every 24 hours for games to work, while access to digital libraries provided by the console requires an Internet connection every hour, the company said in a blog posting Thursday. Broadcast TV, Blu-ray and DVD movies will work without a connection.
Microsoft unveiled its first new Xbox in almost eight years on May 21, seeking to position the console at the center of games and home entertainment against a growing roster of competitors that includes Apple Inc. (AAP) to Facebook Inc. The player will use voice commands and motion sensing to recognize users and let them switch seamlessly between games, live TV and Skype video calling.
All game publishers will have the right to determine whether consumers can pass disc-based titles made for the new console on to friends, or trade in or sell them, the Redmond, Washington-based company said Thursday.
For Xbox games Microsoft makes, in order for titles to be swapped among friends, participants will be required to be on a digital list created by users for at least 30 days. All titles can be swapped only once.
As many as 10 family members can log in and play on any Xbox One from a shared games library, Microsoft also said.
The company is preparing for E3, the video-game industry’s annual conference in Los Angeles next week, when it will disclose more details on some of the 15 exclusive titles it is making for the Xbox One. Microsoft has already shown two -- a sequel to the Forza Motorsport franchise and a new game called “Quantum Break.” Games made only for one console are critical because, if they’re successful, they can boost hardware sales.
Microsoft shares were little changed in extended trading Thursday after they rose less than 1 percent to $34.96 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 31 percent this year through Thursday compared with a gain of 14 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.