Microsoft today unveiled plans to allow used games on its next game console, the Xbox One, ending speculation about fees associated with the process. "Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games," a Q&A regarding Xbox One licensing fees reads. "We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers." There is an exception noted, as the above only applies to Microsoft-published games apparently:
"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. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won't be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners."
You'll also be able to give your games to friends, though you must be friends on Xbox Live for more than 30 days and "each game can only be given once." It's unclear if the game can be given away to subsequent people by the receiver.
There's also a piece detailing how the console's always online requirement will work, with a check-in needed once every 24 hours if you're on your home console (you'll only get one hour offline on a friend's console before getting booted). Beyond serving to check whether the game license you're using is official or not, Microsoft says the requirement will, "verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend." Sounds to us like a way to get around issues associated with not needing discs post-install to play games on the Xbox One. The piece also notes that, "Games that are designed to take advantage of the cloud may require a connection." There's no word on exceptions for military personnel or people who live in areas without internet -- the minimum suggested speed to maintain a connection is 1.5Mbps.
Finally, there's a piece about privacy which adds some interesting notes about the new, required Kinect. The "Xbox On" wake functionality can be disabled, and Microsoft assures that a variety of privacy settings will be available right from initial setup.
Update: When asked whether the online requirement would allow exceptions for military personnel or consumers in areas without stable internet, Microsoft told us, "The blog posts on Xbox Wire detail everything we can share today. We look forward to sharing more details in the months ahead." Not exactly a comforting answer if you're an Xbox gamer serving overseas.