Gamers are disappointed that the Xbox One, Microsoft's newest gaming console, will require users to connect to the Internet once a day if they choose to play offline.
The company announced on Thursday that its newest Xbox One system, set to debut by the end of the year, will feature an "always-on" Internet connectivity policy widely seen as an effort to crack down on piracy.
"With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library,
" Microsoft posted on its site today. "Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies."
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Microsoft will also institute a new game-sharing policy with the release of the Xbox One. It has always been common practice for gamers to sell old or used titles to retailers who specialize in used game sales, but now the used game market will be ruled solely by the publishers of the games, who can either choose to charge a fee or to discontinue old games entirely.
Rumors have been swirling for months that Microsoft was planning to limit offline playtime and establish stricter game-sharing rules with its Xbox One, and users have been dreading the formal announcement.
"Xbox One is the most anti-gamer console I’ve ever seen
," one person commented on Forbes. "There is no reason to jump through this many hoops just to play a game."
"They are making it more difficult for us as consumers to enjoy and play video games anymore," another gamer posted. "Why can’t we just have a system that plays video games and not have to tinker around with all this other useless stuff we don't need or want? Why punish and restrict us to what we can and can not do with our games when we buy it?"
Gaming industry experts suggest that the Xbox One's "draconian limitations," as one blogger called them, will hurt Microsoft, which no longer appeals to hardcore gamers.
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"I'm not sure if Microsoft's position with the hardcore gamer market can be salvaged," Forbes' Dave Thier wrote. "Sony is already highly favored with that crowd, and now all it has to do is be slightly less tone-deaf to cement its lead."
The Xbox One will be unveiled Monday at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) conference in Los Angeles.
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