Xbox One’s Shared Library Allows Friends, Family to Play Your Games
Microsoft revealed a startling detail about the Xbox One on Thursday night. Not only will you will be able to play your own games signed in on other consoles, but a small group of your friends and family will be able to play any games in a shared library as well.
According to the new Xbox news blog Xbox Wire, "up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One... You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time."
Now family here sounds like it can be used in the loosest of terms, as the family membership for Xbox Live no longer exists. There's no indication how the Xbox One determines just who makes up your family, so it's entirely possible you could have a small approval list of profiles on your console, which could then be granted access to your shared library. There's no real way to track that gamertags are truly related, so this is actually one good thing to come from Microsoft so far in regards to the Xbox One.
Additionally, you will be able to give games to your friends for free. As long as a friend has been on your friends list for at least 30 days, you can give them one game that can become theirs for free. Be wary though, as this transfer can only be done once per game, and after you give it up, you can never have it again without paying. This is much better than the vague fees Microsoft discussed last month, but still stings a bit as there will be no lending out games anymore. Microsoft is still trying to work that bit out, but for now, "loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners."
So in summation, a small group of people can play any of your games at any time. You can only give a game away once, but you then lose ownership. And oh yeah, the rental service industry is screwed, and nobody can borrow a game from you without you losing the rights to it.
For every smart decision Microsoft seems to make, there are three that will leave you shaking your head.