Major Nelson wrote on his blog: "While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail. Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios." Fees, however, appear to be part of the plan, with Major Nelson noting that players will not have to pay a fee to play a game at their friend's house, so long as they are connected to the Xbox profile associated with that game. Presumably, that means games are locked to accounts initially. Joystiq will have detailed interviews with Microsoft executives to clarify this matter, once and for all.
Original Post: The Xbox One may shut the door on the used gaming market, according to a report on Wired.
Microsoft's new system will allow – and possibly require – games to be installed to the console's 500GB hard drive, which locks a piece of software to an account, the report states. Once installed, players do not require a disc to boot the software. If a game is used with a second account, that owner will be given the option to pay a fee and install the experience on their own console, Microsoft told Wired. Whether "account" means an entirely new console or another Xbox Live account on the same console, is unclear.
Though Microsoft wouldn't get into specifics as to how this decision affects the used game market, the decision calls into doubt the viability of rental services such as GameFly and RedBox, and used game markets from major retailers such as GameStop, Amazon and BestBuy, with the Xbox One.
Wired's feature says that Xbox One's always-on internet connection rumors were not unfounded, but not as draconian as gamers feared. Developers will have the option to create games that use Microsoft's Azure cloud computing service, which Wired postulates could be done to offload certain computing tasks in the cloud rather than processing them on the console. In this instance, the Xbox One would require a connection to the internet – even during single-player experiences.
Microsoft says this is not a requirement for developers that wish to create offline experiences; however, Microsoft's Marc Whitten told Wired they "hope" developers utilize the tools. The Xbox One's sometimes needs to be on connection could evolve, throughout the generation, as an always-on machine.
Update [4:50pm]: Wired has updated its original feature noting that Microsoft contacted them to clarify a plan is in place for used games, but did not detail it. One of Microsoft's official Xbox Support twitter accounts says there are in fact "no fees" associated with used games and the Wired feature is incorrect. Wired's updated article still makes mention of a fee. Joystiq is at the Microsoft event and will attempt to clear the confusion.
Update [2:50pm]: In a post answering "top questions" about the Xbox One, the official Microsoft page notes the system "does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet." Additionally Microsoft notes that in the case of pre-owned software, the Xbox one is designed "to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We'll have more details to share later." The Q&A makes no mention of the fees confirmed by Microsoft to Wired. The Q&A post from Microsoft's official page appears to have been removed.