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Microsoft: Xbox One game locking is "no different to how discs operate today"

Speaking to Eurogamer, Phil Harrison has attempted to clear up some of the confusion that arose over Xbox One game ownership in the aftermath of yesterday’s Xbox One reveal.

“So, think about how you use a disc that you own of an Xbox 360 game,” Harrison said. “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.

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“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. I can give that piece of content to my son and he can play it on the same system.”

So, households will not have to have more than one copy of the same game. What about if you want to play a game with a friend?

“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,” Harrison explained.

“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 own 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 [online] 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.”

Sounds simple enough. And what of everyone’s other big concern, that of the need to be always online?

“Some bits of the system will work offline,” Harrison said. “I think the key point to make is that Xbox One requires an internet connection, but it does not need to be connected all the time. We think that most of the biggest games on Xbox One and most of the games and experiences and services you want to use will be internet-connected.”

According to a report on CVG, Xbox One will need to be connected every 24 hours.

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Does that clear things up at all? Stick around for more news on Xbox One as it emerges. You could also watch Ed and Jonty talk through the new console in video format, or read our colossal 5,000 word breakdown of everything we know so far, based on exclusive pre-reveal access.

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