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Xbox One: Microsoft May Bring Back Family Sharing, Admits Communication Failings

Jonathan Lester
Microsoft, Xbox One

Xbox One: Microsoft May Bring Back Family Sharing, Admits Communication Failings

"Shame On Us"

Microsoft may have bowed to consumer pressure by removing Xbox One's online check-ins and console DRM, but it's clear that many consumers were excited about the idea of Family Sharing that would let customers share digital games with up to ten friends. Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten reckons that the feature could well make a return if they can find a way to make it work.

Better yet, Microsoft has also acknowledged that they need to communicate more effectively following what has been a hopeless two months of U-turns and botched events.

“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," Whitten told IGN when quizzed about Family Sharing. "We believe really strongly in how you build a great experience on Xbox One for me as an individual, but also for my family. Family Sharing is a great example of how you do that with content.”

“We had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that [U-turn] 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?’”

So, how do you plan to justify the RRP and get gamers excited about Xbox One, Mr. Whitten? “I think it’s pretty simple,” he concluded. “We’ve got to just talk more, get people understanding what our system is.

“The thing that’s really gratifying is that people are excited about the types of features that are possible, and it’s sort of shame on us that we haven’t done as good of a job as we can to make people feel like that’s where we’re headed.”

Here here. Microsoft has managed to confuse and alienate many gamers since the horrendous May reveal, but hopefully they'll start to genuinely show us what Xbox One has to offer over the coming months.

Add a comment6 comments
Late  Jul. 15, 2013 at 15:54

Get your sh1t together, Microsoft. You should really know what features you're offering by this stage of the game.

Whilst they're bickering internally about whether we should get the family sharing feature, t hey still don't appear to have properly explained how the damned thing was going to work. Unless I've missed something, all we've had is someone claiming to be a Microsoft employee saying he's sad it's gone and then outlining how it's nothing more than giving everyone access to fairly long game demos, but with a twist that they'll penalise people who don't have many friends/family...

Play 45 minutes of any game we release - for free!*
Nice idea.

*So long as someone on your friends list has bought the game.

DivideByZero  Jul. 15, 2013 at 16:24

"Microsoft has also acknowledged that they need to communicate more effectively"

To quote one of my favorite games ever... "What's that? your voice got all muffled from your head being so far up your ar$e"

Good to see MS have realised that they are making a balls up of it... lets hope this gets them going in the right direction, finally!

Last edited by DivideByZero, Jul. 15, 2013 at 16:25
Stelph  Jul. 15, 2013 at 16:29

Exactly, the xbox team just seems to be reacting to PR situations as they ariseat the moment, this message seems to be coming out the of the point most people made after family sharing was removed which was "why does the xbox have to have 24/7 hour connection for that to work? Surely it would work only if I connected/turned it on for an hour to game"

Like Late says, its not difficult, the ability for someone to try a demo and then decide to buy the game and continue from the point they got to in the demo (hell, maybe even give them an easter egg "well done" so more people try demos like a free DLC or something) wouldnt be difficult to set up as long as the plan was well communicated to developers, but MS seem to be dropping the ball on the planning front.

Perhaps theyre forgetting this is supposed to be a games console and have bitten off too many other roles for it to do, its clouding their planning?

Crazy Jamie  Jul. 15, 2013 at 16:34

Good to see MS have realised that they are making a balls up of it... lets hope this gets them going in the right direction, finally!
The problem is I don't think that this is necessarily a sign that they are going in the right direction at all. Microsoft sound very much to me like a politician at the moment who is desperately trying to figure out what the voters want to hear and is just saying it regardless, with no thought given to how the contradictions are undermining its position. The problem to which Microsoft seems oblivious is that it is the changing itself which causes an issue because it erodes confidence. Personally I am really struggling to put any trust in Microsoft to get the next generation right, at least from the start, simply because they seem so uncertain themselves. This constant flopping back and forth is now doing the damage in its own right, regardless of what they actually say.

Last edited by Crazy Jamie, Jul. 15, 2013 at 16:34
DivideByZero  Jul. 15, 2013 at 16:48

Jamie, I do totally agree with you.

I am just trying to be positive (it's something I have to try at).

I actually want MS to do well in the next gen. As a gamer who owns both the PS3 and the Xbox 360, why wouldn't I want the new Xbox to do well? Sadly, every press release just seems to make me think things are getting worse.

This one, at least, acknowledges that they can see things aren't going right too.

Breadster  Jul. 15, 2013 at 17:10

Yeah Jamie pretty much summed up how I'm thinking too.

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