Microsoft answers some of the most asked questions about the Xbox One: Used games, always-on, and privacy

Xbox One Kinect

Many questions dogged the Xbox One out of its May 21 reveal, questions that Microsoft continued to be cagey about answering directly… until now. A new post from Major Nelson points to three separate Xbox.com links, each of which runs through some of the more misunderstood policies that were hinted at when news of the console first hit.

Used, Borrowed, and Remote Play

How Games Licensing Works On The Xbox One” runs through the details on used games, borrowed games, remotely played games, and the like. It seems that the decision over allowing used games to be traded in is being left in the publishers’ hands – “publishers can enable you to trade your games in at participating retailers,” the site reads – and there is no fee charged to “retailers, publishers, or consumers” to activate used games.

What’s more, publishers also have the ability to “enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends” with no fee attached. This doesn’t work for lending out games, it seems, as each game can only be given once. It’s unclear if the game would then remain locked to your friend’s account, or if you could transfer it back once they are done. The only catch is that the friend receiving the game must have been on your friend list for at least 30 days.

Online Connectivity

Xbox One: A Modern, Connected Device” describes the console’s online connectivity needs. The console isn’t always-online, but it does require access to the Internet at least once every 24 hours when using digital content on your home console, and once every hour when using the same content remotely. Offline gaming isn’t possible once these windows expire, but you can still watch Blu-ray/DVDs and live TV. The page also recommends a minimum broadband connection speed of 1.5Mbps.

Privacy and the Kinect

The final page, “Privacy by Design: How Xbox One and the New Kinect Sensor Put You in Control,” describes the role of the Kinect and other privacy controls on the new console. The page states that “you are in control of what Kinect can see and hear,” with the details of how this work being defined by the way you set your privacy options. The sensor can be “paused” if you don’t want to use it while the console is running, but it seems that it will indeed have to always be plugged in.

Kinect only listens for a single commend – “Xbox On” – when the console is off, and it doesn’t record or uploaded any of what it’s picking up unless that happens to be a feature of the software that you are currently using. This won’t come as much of a consolation to those who would prefer to skip Kinect entirely and keep it unplugged – that doesn’t seem to be an option – but it does clear up some of the previously murky answers that the May 21 reveal left hanging.

There’s plenty more info to be gleaned from the Microsoft updates. If you’re curious about the console at all, we recommend that you take a close look at what’s posted at each link before forming any opinions. We’ll certainly be hearing more when E3 week for 2013 kicks off with Microsoft’s press conference, but the new details go a long way toward addressing those unanswered questions.

Gaming

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.
Gaming

Console wars are so last-gen. Check out all the games that support crossplay

Crossplay is still in its infancy, but a growing number of games support online multiplayer between competing platforms. Here's a list of all games that support console crossplay.
Gaming

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options.
Gaming

‘Mortal Kombat 11’ is even gorier and crazier than we expected

NetherRealm Studios unveiled Mortal Kombat 11 on January 17 and the game looks to be just as gory and over the top as fans have come to expect. Former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will appear as Sonya Blade.
Gaming

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a MicroSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.
Gaming

Get your pilot skills up to snuff for this week's 'Fortnite' challenge guide

The Fortnite season 7, week 7 challenges are now available. The major challenge this week requires you to visit all the Fortnite expedition outposts in the game and we walk you through how to get to each.
Gaming

Get extra life with our tips and tricks for 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a much more difficult game than you'd believe based on its adorable art style and 2D perspective. Here's how you can master the game's toughest challenges.
Gaming

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has two distinct Mario experiences in one package. In this guide, we'll show you how to find all of the secret exits in New Super Mario Bros. U, that lead to hidden levels and let you skip worlds.
Gaming

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.
Gaming

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.