Microsoft Might Bring Back Cut Xbox One Features That People Liked

When Microsoft pulled their Xbox One DRM-reversal, lots of people were happy. Others, not so much, and with fair cause: Microsoft didn't just remove the console's onerous internet and used game requirements, they removed some cool-sounding features people that were looking forward to.

In a new interview at IGN, Microsoft's Marc Whitten says that the company might yet bring back some of the features people were sad to lose. He was responding to questions asked about a recent petition asking Microsoft to return cut features like the neat-sounding family sharing plan. Family sharing would let players authorise multiple Xboxes to play their games, somewhat like how iTunes let you authorise multiple devices to play your music.

After lamenting the company's general poor post-launch messaging on Xbox One features, Whitten told IGN that while he couldn't say if there were any specific plans in the works, "If it’s something that people are really excited about and want, we’re going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back."

He then explained that the features weren't removed out of spite, but for more practical reasons. Here's Whitten:

"We took some feedback and realised there was some stuff we needed to add to the program. To add it to the program, we had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that work done. So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘we’re going to take our toys and go home’ or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of ‘how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?’"

Whitten didn't make any promises, but it sounds like it's possible that Microsoft just might bring back the features people want. Which certainly seems like it'd be a good thing.

Read more in the full interview at IGN.


    Am I the only one (no, no pun) who is really dubious on these features to begin with? There is no working proof that "The Online Cloud" would actually help TO COMPUTE anything for the console. Everyone is lamenting the family share function, but we knew so little about it, it could be regulated up the wazoo for how it gets shared. Everyone's like "Woo, trading digital!" But it's not really. I don't have a problem with the Xbox anymore, but none of those features ever seemed very tangible to me. (I thin btw that the best example of MSFT "Cloud" is Titanfall having a dedicated server. [P.P.S. Will PC and Xbox owners be able to connect after FF XIV's trouble.])

      There is no working proof that "The Online Cloud" would actually help TO COMPUTE anything for the console.

      I used to do cloud computing research and you are right there. There is no proof purely because we not using any clouds. Instead we are using what can only be described as activation servers with overly cumbersome and hyper advanced versions of the ol' X-Drive server that was about back in the 90s.

      The only examples I can think of that actually fit the cloud computing mode are the likes of On-Live. And we all know what (sadly) became of those.

        I often use an offsite server farm to offload some processing work I do, but there's no hard proof it would do that much for the Xbox one and games. Hate to link to another game site but

        Edit: Words

        Last edited 13/07/13 10:37 am

          No problem with providing references, Niocora.

          The point I tried (and failed) to point out is cloud is being used as a marketing term. When they say cloud, I am convinced it is just their own server farm re-badged. I do not see the cloud computing characteristics.

          The potential is there. Just no-one is willing to put up the capital to develop a game engine that inspects your own hardware and scales out to a cloud solution if there are components that are inadequate.

          A quick look at the article you provided appears to me that the author has confused various types of clouds.

          Amazon is what is called an Infrastructure cloud - you rent virtual servers and pay for them in the same manner a power utility. (Thus one can get bill shock if they harness a boat load of servers without reading the unit pricing).

          When I last looked, Azure was a software cloud - they provide the runtime platform and you provide the app to be run after having crafted it in the Azure SDK. It's been at least two years since I had dealt with it so I cannot guarantee my accuracy anymore.

          If Amazon is used, then you can pretty much craft your own environment and just focus on the networking latencies. Azure on the other hand, you are mostly confined to .NET and the Windows Server platform.

            Sorry, there is more to the article (Chrome took its time loading).

            But again, thanks for showing. This will be some good reading.

      I think there was an article saying how FFXIV would not be coming to the Xbone

        That was what I was saying, the Xbox one can't do multiplayer with other consoles, and that's something square didn't want, so it's not coming out on it. Titanfall (the game to take the most advantage of "The Cloud") only uses it for dedicated servers, and you can't fight PC owners with your Xbox one because of that policy, so the best use so far has been dedicated servers that only play nice with other Xbox. (s?)

    So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘we’re going to take our toys and go home’ or something like that.

    Actually, it was. It seems they still haven't learned the main lesson in all of this: the consumer is not an idiot.

    Personally, I didn't mind the features. But I did mind the DRM they were shackled to. All they had to do was remove the invasive DRM and replace it with someone acceptable and non-invasive.

    At the end of the day, this isn't about Microsoft being too advanced or rushing too much. They offered the new features with the demand that we (the consumer) wave some of our rights, the main ones being privacy and the right to second hand sales.

      The way they are talking about being able to just add in the sharing features again makes me worry that they will one day just decide to add back in the DRM.

      We all know that it is their long term goal.

    This is just confirming my suspicions that Microsoft only recently created the ONE, most likely in response to the PS4, and they didn't thoroughly think about what features and such they were going to go with. So what we got was quickly thrown together to make thier May deput, and afterwards started damage control once they realised that by rushing through they didn't think about everything.

    It's so unappealing when a business that can't seem to decide how to sell you their own product.

    It's interesting that the language has shifted from "we're removing these features" absolutes to "removed from the launch window"

    Unless I've misunderstood the articles about the family feature, it didn't really sound like a great implementation so I'm wondering why people would want it back. From what I understood, at most only one account at a time could be accessing the library of games apart from the parent account, meaning that if you have ten accounts licensed to use your library the likelihood of collisions is higher. It's a heck of a lot easier to just loan out ten of your games.

    Last edited 13/07/13 9:31 pm

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