SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft handed gamers a victory Wednesday by backing off plans to make its next-generation Xbox One console require Net connections and to put curbs on using secondhand game disks.
Microsoft interactive entertainment business President Don Mattrick announced in a blog post that the U.S. technology titan was surrendering in the face of outrage that spread after last week’s premier E3 video game expo.
“The ability to lend, share and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you,” Mattrick told them in a message. “Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.”
He promised Xbox One will now let people “play, share, lend and resell” game disks the same way they can on the current generation of Xbox 360 consoles. Xbox One consoles will only need to connect to the Internet once, to set up systems, and users will then be free to play games offline.
“There is no 24-hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360,” Mattrick said.
Sony’s new-generation PlayStation 4 console scored an opening skirmish triumph over Microsoft’s Xbox One last week at E3. The two rivals each hosted distinct private events to spotlight their new champions in the long-running console wars.
Both showcased blockbuster games, but Sony triggered unbridled cheers with assurances it would not interfere with sales of used titles or require Internet connections for play.