Xbox One's used game policies to lay with publishers

UPDATE: Will require an internet connection once every 24 hours to play offline games.

UPDATE: The Xbox One will require an internet connection at least once every 24 hours in order to play games offline.

This number is reduced to every hour if you're accessing your library from another location.

"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," Microsoft explained on its official site. "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."

ORIGINAL STORY: After lots of confusion, Microsoft has finally outlined how it will deal with the used games issue... mostly.

As it turns out, all those transfer fees Microsoft was talking about are actually going to be up to publishers. "We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers," Microsoft explained on its official site. "Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games."

"Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers," the company added. "Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this."

This gives publishers more power than ever to control the second hand market, but one wonders if any of them will exercise these draconian options for risk of backlash.

When it comes to loaning games to friends, the rules are a bit pricklier. There won't be fees to transfer a game to a friend's account, but there are two restrictions: "you can only loan a game to someone who has been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be loaned once." However, publishers can limit these options as well, if they so desire.

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Unfortunately, Microsoft admitted that loaning and renting games won't be available at launch, but it's "exploring the possibilities with our partners."

On the plus side, you can share a game with "up to ten members of your family" and these so-called family members will be able to access your shared games library from any Xbox One. Though it remains to be seen if two people can play the same shared game simultaneously.

None of this is set in stone, though, and Microsoft explained that it "may change its policies, terms, products and services" at any time.

Ultimately these new options sound fussier than things have been, and Microsoft's non-answer towards renting games is a little disconcerting, but this whole shared games thing seems more generous and convenient than expected.

What do you make of this bizarre new world of publisher-ruled game transfers?

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