In a new announcement today, Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer, offer more details on Microsoft’s ongoing plans for Xbox One. He talked about how sharing digital games works in Xbox One and explained the new Xbox Live Gold subscription benefits, which are pretty similar to the Xbox 360 with several advantages, and revealed a new feature called “Home Gold”.
On Xbox One everyone in the house can freely share digital games with each other. This means that all the games (e.g., RYSE, Dead Rising 3, Halo, etc.) you and your family buy are available for every account in the console, and the owner of the game doesn’t even need to be signed in — downloaded games, like physical discs, can also be played offline.
You can also start playing a game even before it’s fully downloaded. This is like playing games on demand, similar technology that you can find in Office 365, where you can stream a full version of Word on a PC without Office in just a few seconds.
Your games are always roaming with you. This is the era of cloud-powered services folks. If you happen to be at your friend’s house and everyone wants to play your brand new game. You can easily access and play the game in your friend’s Xbox, or on any console for that matter, by signing in on your account. Furthermore, if you buy a new game from your friend’s game console, it’ll automatically appear in your game’s list at home for everyone to play. Basically what Microsoft is doing is to attach digital games to your primary Xbox One, but also to your Xbox Live account.
For Xbox Live Gold subscribers there is also Home Gold, which expands the benefits of gold for everyone in the house. One gold membership is enough for every family member and friends to play multiplayer games online and get access to entertainment apps (e.g., Internet Explorer, Hulu, Netflix, etc.), even if you (the only one with a membership) are not signed in. The same is true when you are in a different console and while you’re signed in other players can benefit from gold access. — This is similar to the previously discontinued Xbox Live Gold Family Pack, but even better, because it’s cheaper and brings more benefits. And even though the Family Pack isn’t coming back, we have to hope the membership won’t go up on price in a near future.
Finally, Microsoft will not make you buy a new subscription, your current Xbox 360 gold subscription is ready from day-one to access all the Xbox One online and offline benefits. You will even be able to be logged in in both consoles at the same time at no extra cost, but keep in mind that Home Gold is only going to be available for Xbox One.
Just remember that because of the backslash Microsoft has experienced with Xbox One policies in the past, the company is now watching its every move to no make the same mistake. As such things can always change in the future, even after the console launches in November, it all depends on people feedbacks.