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Xbox One Update #1: “Always On”, Backwards Compatibility & Xbox Live..

Yesterday Microsoft’s much-hyped press event for the Xbox One left many questions unanswered, but already some of these have been addressed in an anonymous Q&A on Xbox.com.

Here are the abridged highlights:

Q:    Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?
A:    No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.

Q:    How do consumers benefit by being connected to the cloud?
A:    The cloud makes every experience better and more accessible.  Because Xbox One is powered by the cloud:

  • Your games have more power available to create new gameplay, persistent worlds, and deeper experiences.
  • Your system and games can update automatically, so you shouldn’t have to wait for downloads or updates.
  • Your games and entertainment are stored and saved in the cloud, so you can access them anytime, from any Xbox One.*
  • Start a game, movie, or TV show on one console and finish exactly where you left off on another.

* Subject to content geographical restrictions.

Q:    Can I use my current gamertag on Xbox One and will my Gamerscore and Achievements transfer?

A:    Yes. Your current Xbox Live Gamertag will stay with you on Xbox One if you choose to keep it, and your hard-earned Gamerscore and Achievements will indeed carry over from Xbox 360.

Q:    Will Xbox One be backward compatible with my existing games?
A:    Xbox One hardware is not compatible with Xbox 360 games. We designed Xbox One to play an entirely new generation of games—games that are architected to take full advantage of state-of-the-art processors and the infinite power of the cloud. We care very much about the investment you have made in Xbox 360 and will continue to support it with a pipeline of new games and new apps well into the future.

Q:    Will Xbox One allow players to trade in, purchase and play pre-owned games? 
A:    We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later.

Q:    Will my current Xbox Live Gold membership work with Xbox One or will I have to buy a new one?
A:    You do not need to buy a new Xbox Live Gold membership. Your current membership will work on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Q:    Do I need to have a specific cable or satellite TV provider to watch live TV on Xbox?

A:    Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that’s television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box (as is the case with many providers in the US).

Note – Microsoft has confirmed that Live TV will be limited to the US at launch.

So Xbox One won’t need to be always-online, Xbox Live isn’t changing and the new console will still allow the secondary games market; all positive myths busted.

No doubt many gamers will be frustrated by the lack of backwards compatibility, but this seems to be the trend now so should not have come as too much of a surprise. Besides, who doesn’t already own an Xbox 360? Sure, it does go somewhat against the new ethos of “one device in the living room” if you have to have a 360 sitting next to it to play all your existing games, but that shouldn’t be too big a problem for most people.

 

Read the full Q&A at http://news.xbox.com/2013/05/qa 

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