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Microsoft confirms 'pre-owned fee' for Xbox One

UPDATE: secondhand install may incur same fee as brand new purchase, suggests MS rep

Microsoft has confirmed that all Xbox One games will require mandatory installation onto the system's hard drive and, to install the same disc onto another user's drive, a fee must be paid.

[ Xbox One: All the News | All the facts | Full gallery | All the videos | Early specs ]

Individual games will be tied to Xbox Live accounts, Microsoft said, meaning that the software giant can detect whether a game has been sold to a retailer and repurchased, or handed from one friend to another. In such instances, the second user must pay a fee.

"On the new Xbox, all game discs are installed to the HDD to play," a Microsoft representative told Wired.

The company added that, once discs are installed on the hard drive, games can be played without a disc being in the tray.

The Wired article then elaborates: "What follows naturally from this is that each disc would have to be tied to a unique Xbox Live account, else you could take a single disc and pass it between everyone you know and copy the game over and over. Since this is clearly not going to happen, each disc must then only install for a single owner."

It added: "Microsoft did say that if a disc was used with a second account, that owner would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc, which would then mean that the new account would also own the game and could play it without the disc."

Microsoft did not disclose what the second-user fee would amount too, and did not clarify further on the matter.

The article claims that there is no sweeping 'always-online' requirement for future Xbox One games.

Update: Jon Hicks, the editor of Official Xbox magazine, has claimed that pre-owned games will be un-installed from the previous owner's system and installed onto another's. It is not clear if this process would negate a pre-owned fee.


Update 2: Microsoft has neither confirmed nor denied the report in a statement offered to Venturebeat.

"We are designing the Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games," a Microsoft spokesperson said, adding: "We'll have more details to share later".

The comment effectively means that the claim regarding a pre-owned fee is not inaccurate.

Update 3:Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison has suggested that customers who activate a pre-owned retail disc for the Xbox One will need to pay the same price as the original buyer to access the content.

When asked by Kotaku whether the secondhand owner will be "paying the same price we [the original buyer] paid, or less" Harrison responded "let's assume it's a new game, so the answer is yes, it will be the same price."

Harrison also said that owners can trade their secondhand games online, however the company is "not talking about it today".

Update 4: Microsoft's Larry Hryb has clarified statements regarding using owned Xbox One titles on separate devices:

"Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend's house - should you choose to play your game at your friend's house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile."

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