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'We didn't move away from digital,' Xbox One CPO says

When Microsoft did an about-face on its Xbox One connection and game sharing policies, a few cool features were seemingly left behind. But Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten told IGN that it wasn't an all-or-nothing situation.

"I see people feeling like we’ve moved away from digital, when certainly I don’t believe that’s the case," Whitten said. "I believe we’ve added on choice for people. It was an addition of a feature onto Xbox One, not a removal of a feature. And I understand people see things like family sharing and they’re like, ‘Wow, I was really looking forward to that,’ which is more of an engineering reality time frame type-thing.”

Family sharing would allow a user to pool games and other media with up to ten linked accounts, with some limitations. If enough folks (like the 25,000 that filled out this petition) are excited for it, Whitten said Microsoft will find "the right way" to bring the system back.

“We took some feedback and realized 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?'"

He's proud of Xbox One's launch, but Whitten wishes he could go back and have more open communication with the demographic that drove Xbox's success in the first place.

"I think the key for us is, we love core gamers. They’re the people that have built Xbox and Xbox Live. That’s the place where we need to do a better job showing up, and we need to engage more."

12 comments

  • mafyooz - July 16, 2013 1:47 a.m.

    "I think the key for us is, we love core gamers. They’re the people that have built Xbox and Xbox Live. That’s the place where we need to do a better" doesn't exactly ring true alongside Steve Ballmer's earlier statement that Microsoft "will allocate resources and build devices and services that provide compelling, integrated experiences across the many screens in our lives, with maximum return to shareholders" does it?
  • phoenixwright13 - July 16, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    I honestly don't understand what the Article meant.
  • tehtimeisnow - July 15, 2013 6 p.m.

    Why is DRM needed for digital? Won't they have all their games both retail/digital download anyway? So if an "all digital" future is going to happen this generation, they could still just sell digital copies on the shop, drm free. I understand the DRM allowed family share, but it's really not worth being restricted like that (in my opinion). I'm still not getting Xbox One though. It just doesn't interest me, and $500 is pretty steep. I'm probably just going to stick with my PC, Wii U, and PS3, then buy a PS4 down the line if there's a lot of good games. Who knows, maybe I will buy an Xbox One one day, if there's a lot of good games, and the failure rate is low.
  • FoxdenRacing - July 15, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    And in other news, the chocolate ration has been increased to 20g/month. How is removing functionality adding it, unless we're talking about 3 + (-1)? This kind of doublespeak is exactly why half the internet hates your system, Mr. Whitten. Your employer's communication doesn't need work...your employer needs to put its fingers on the pulse of gaming instead of dictating to your customers what they want. Your employer needs to drop the cold, clinical, corporate BS and find its passion. And I mean true passion, the people that would be making games even if there was no money in it. Your employer is making the same mistakes that saw Sony sell half as many units as they did the generation before, and saw Nintendo fall from beyond dominant to also-ran after the 4th. Despite being 3rd in overall sales, you've decided you 'are gaming', that you're now so inseparable from the business that you get to tell gamers what they want. It hasn't worked well in the past. By not learning from history, you've doomed yourselves to repeating it. On a more personal note? Thank you for saying that you haven't abandoned the idea of "Ownership is so last-gen". Sorry, I don't pay purchase prices for a rental of indeterminate length. I'm giving my business to companies that understand that.
  • Child Of Death - July 15, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    Wait wait wait, go back a little, what was that chocolate rations? OoO
  • winner2 - July 15, 2013 6:45 p.m.

    In case you don't know, that's a reference to 1984 by George Orwell. It's basically a story of England if it had a level of big brother seen in V for Vendetta times 10. It's a great read if you get some spare time and havn't read it.
  • Child Of Death - July 15, 2013 8:26 p.m.

    Huh. Didnt know that. I'll probably never have the time to read it though. Too busy with college work and gaming lol
  • FoxdenRacing - July 16, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    Winner picked up the reference to where it's from, but the context is thus: In the book, the ration was decreased from 30 to 20...but the spin machine was so good that anyone that questioned said spin machine was considered stupid at best and a traitor at worst.
  • GOD - July 15, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    "I think the key for us is, we love core gamers." Well you've done a wonderful job of showing it.
  • winner2 - July 15, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    Gamers sure are a vindictive bunch
  • ParagonT - July 15, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    I signed it just so people would see for themselves how the system screwed you. I won't judge when they come running back to the other systems.... Nah, not really, I'll totally judge the heck out of them.

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