Train2Game News: Microsoft might bring back family sharing for Xbox One

Xbox OneMicrosoft has announced that if demand is high enough, they may bring back the family sharing feature on the Xbox One.

The family sharing feature was one that made sharing games a lot easier. You would be able to select ten people on your friends list and instantly be able to share your games with them. It takes away the need to lend out the hard copies of your games and risk them getting damaged.

Specific details on how the system would work weren’t revealed before Microsoft confirmed that it was putting the idea on the backburner following its decision to reverse various Xbox One DRM policies.

Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten said of the possibility of reintroducing Family Sharing:

“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

“A ‘road map’ sort of implies more like ‘on date X it’s back’ than I think exists, but 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.”

Whitten continued: “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?’

“You know, if there’s anything I think that Xbox 360 has proven, it’s that we’re super committed to this constant cycle of improving the experience and the software, and it’s what we’ve been doing for 360 for the past seven years, and it’s certainly where we’re going to go with Xbox One.”

So it won’t be on launch but it could return in the future. I for one would be quite happy to see this return.

Train2Game news: id Software support Blizzard’s controversial ‘always on’ DRM


Train2Game students, as game developers of the future, may already be thinking about how they can prevent their games from being pirated.

There are various different forms of DRM in PC gaming, with Steam perhaps being used the most by PC Gamers. Blizzard have their own DRM, which has proved controversial in that in order to play their upcoming Diablo III, the player will have to be connected to the internet the whole time.

The idea has caused controversy, because it means if your internet connection flickers for just a second, you’re dropped from the game. Any progress made since the last time a game save is made will be lost.

The DRM also means playing PC games on the move using a laptop goes somewhat out the window. It’s therefore something that may annoy Train2Game students as gamers.

However, while gamers may find the ‘always on’ DRM controversial, it seems to have won over game developers.  Indeed, id Software Creative Director Tim Willits believes it’s the best way forward.

“Diablo III will make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected” Willits told Eurogamer at QuakeCon.

“If you have a juggernaut, you can make change. I’m all for that. If we could force people to always be connected when you play the game, and then have that be acceptable, awesome,”

It isn’t the only comment the id Software Creative Director made at QuakeCon that could be seen as controversial. Indeed, the Train2Game blog reported that he said the FPS is the ‘best genre’

“In the end, it’s better for everybody,” Willets continued on the subject of the DRM, suggesting it has benefits.

“Imagine picking up a game and it’s automatically updated. Or there’s something new you didn’t know about, and you didn’t have to click away. It’s all automatically there.  I’m a big proponent of always connected. I’m always connected. Our fans are always connected.”

“There will be a few people who will resent the fact you have to be online to play a single-player game. But it’ll change.” he concluded.

So Train2Game, do you think ‘always on’ DRM is the way forward? Or does it come across as too restricting to regular gamers? Are internet connections reliable enough for it to work?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Eurogamer via Industry Gamers]