Xbox One allows you to share games with ten “family” members, but some details remain murky

I brought up the family sharing feature of the Xbox One during my recent conversation with Microsoft's Phil Spencer, and I stated that it's one of the nicer aspects of the console that not many people are talking about.

“You’re going to help us with that?” he asked. I'd love to, but trying to pin down exactly how the system will work has proved tricky.

Multiple people, but at the same time?

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DEEBO1955d ago

lol this is nothing new.ps3 did this already.MS are the masters of taking other's ideas and pretend they came up with the concept. i guess this is some of agent phil's guys on N4G are too funny. secret agent phil, ha genius!

dedicatedtogamers1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

This is going to be a mess. If you read the details, the very important thing to notice is that only one person at a time can play the game. So what happens if I want my digital game back? What if Steve is playing it and suddenly Jill logs in and attempts to "borrow" the same game from me?

Why not just keep it simple?

This new "feature" of sharing with 10 people is still a restriction, and let's not forget, I'm pretty sure the 30-day-minimum thing still applies (where you can only share/give to people who've been on your friend list for a month or more).

This sharing plan is a solution to a problem THEY created. Since every game installs to the hard drive (which isn't going to change any time soon. The system is designed to play from the HDD, not the disk) they simply cannot back down on the online checks and the DRM. They'll simply slap band-aids on the problem with measures like the 10-person family sharing thing.

Thatguy-3101955d ago

You can tell they're are trying to change the policy badly BUT they can't since the system was built around restricting from the get go.

TheGrimReaper00111955d ago

You know whats funny?
Sony said in 20 sec how to share your games
Microsoft is at a month now and we still dont know everything!
Also, i tend to keep an eye on n4g news on ps4 AND xbox one
xbox one news is negative 80% of the time
gee! i wonder why?

DEEBO1955d ago

sony's was different,if you're friends account was on the and that person could share all of you're downloads and play them whenever you want.but if you erase that profile the games will not work.but you both can play them at the same time or against each other too if you felt like it.

MasterCornholio1955d ago

I completely agree. The main reason why I love consoles is because they are extremely simple to use. However the policy's that Microsoft is adopting with the Xbox One seem way to complicated to me. At least Sony sent a very clear signal about their DRM policy.

Motorola RAZR i

darx1955d ago

Only one person can play from your disc at a time anyway so that point is moot. But if it does work as advertised I could be saving a lot of money.

Guess we will have to wait an see. It sure would be enough incentive for me to purchase the XB1. 10 different friend with 10 different tastes.

Bzone241955d ago

If you read it you'd realize that you and any one of your "family members" can play the game at one time. You will never have to wait to play your own game. Reading comprehension.

darthv721955d ago

If I purchased a game using my profile, that same game was available to the other profiles on the same system. They could earn achievements the same as i can.

Now if you had two 360's, you can have one with your profile on it (as well as others) and buy the game and you (or others) can play the full game on that unit. then you can also have your profile on another unit and download the same game to that one and play that game on that unit as well.

So in that example, i can be playing TMNT in one room and my son can be playing TMNT in another room. He is using the system I originally purchased the game on and I am using a 2nd system I recovered my GT to and downloaded a copy of the game on.

That has existed since the 360 came out. Now what i like is that my single gold membership can be used for the other silver profiles on my system. Now they can play online instead of only me.

creatchee1955d ago

Here's my understanding of the system:

The person who buys the game becomes the primary license holder for that particular game. Anybody designated in that person's Family Group becomes secondary license holders. The primary can play the game whenever they want to, and one secondary can play that game at any given time.

Real World Example - let's say I buy Titanfall. When the game is installed, it shows up on my shared games list. Whether I'm playing the game or not, any Family Group member can choose to download the game from the cloud. When one of those members starts playing Titanfall, the game becomes unavailable for the other Family Group members until he/she stops playing it. However, I can still play my copy whether a Family Group member is accessing it or not.

This is actually the best feature and benefit of all of the "evil" things with DRM and check-ins. While simply giving a friend a disc to borrow is still the easiest way to share a game with them, the Family Group system takes the physical copy out of the equation. This is beneficial for two reasons: first, I don't have to be in the same place as my friend to lend them a game (i.e. they can be in New York and I can be in Florida). Second, you are technically getting two copies of the same game to play simultaneously, which you cannot do with disc based games.

Another benefit is that you don't have to have a "cooling off" period like you would with a disc. I wouldn't lend a game to somebody the day that I bought it. However, with the Family Group, I can play the game that I just bought AND lend it to somebody on the same day that I buy it.

I like it. Sure, it's not as simple as exchanging a disc, but it has the potential to get more out of one copy of a game.

BallsEye1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

Im sure it will say game "occupied" or whatever and the person playing will have a notice that other family member wants to play it. Simple.

"two people can play one copy of a game concurrently...You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time."

Meaning, you always can play + 1 more person at the same time = 2 consoles running 1 copy of a game at the same time. Sounds good!

JokesOnYou1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

hmmmm, so 10 friends can all share 1 game with 10 family profiles on multiple (10)consoles?...but like now you cant all play at the same time with 1 disc?.....but I can play any game that my 10 "family" members has on their profile? Holy crap thats awesome! This is much better than loaning the disc out to 10 friends where you got to wait until he brings the disc back, and for my nephews on the east coast this is going to be like HEAVEN on earth cause I buy alot of games sometimes buy them a copy and mail it out cause they only can afford a few games a year, now basicly I'll just let them play all my games WHEN I'm finished of course and they can just save their money for big multiplayer games, Wow I'll actually be spending less money while playing more games.

Holy crap micro is so stupid for not annoucing this at their E3 presentation. ...thats a helluva way to alter the used game restrictions, actually its alot better for alot of people like me who said all along that my gripe with the used game restriction was that I loan games to my friends and nephews all the time that they otherwise wouldn't have played.

I got to confirm then get this word out to my boys.

NextGen24Gamer1955d ago

This is great news. If I have a group of 10 buddies and we all buy 3 games each...we end up having 30 games in our library of games. That's exciting news! It's a no brainer for me. Obviously if its multiplayer we would need our own copy. I have two Xbox Ones paid in full! Can't wait

theBAWSE1955d ago

This isn't news ...this was told last week with the restriction of ONE HOUR playtime ...

funny how they missing out the little details ....very murky indeed

thehitman1955d ago

@ Ballseye you could do that on the ps3 too lol since the beginning. My friend bought tekken which was only digital and gave it to me and we played each other constantly he also gave me the dlc when it came out too. I did the same for my games I had bought from the psn. I believe the only game that didnt work at the time for that was Warhawk but that was an only-online game.

CynicalKelly1955d ago

Is that any different from sharing a physical version? Steve is playing your game, instead of having to drive all the way to his house to get it back, you can just log in and log him off. I would say this is one of the few good parts of the console.

You and Steve will be linked. Jill and Steve will not be. So if you are linked to them, both can play the same game.

Frankly, they should have just allowed everyone on your friends list to borrow your games in this way.

DOMination-1955d ago

People are getting really confused with this. I don't blame them, either.

What MS is talking about here is that you can designate 10 people on your friends list who can then access every single game on your profile and play them whenever they want. Only one person can play the same game as you at any one time, so you can't all play a 4 player co-op game (however, only two of you would need to buy a game like Borderlands instead of all four).

This is a completely different system to what the PS3 currently has. On the PS3, you can put your profile on upto one other PS3 console (your friends, for example) and then they have access to all your games that have been installed even if they are logged in as themselves.

Or the sharing system the 360 has, where all profiles on a console can play all other games providing that you are using the console that the game was originally purchased on.

With X1, you don't have to go round your friends and install your profile onto their console. You just enable sharing via the friends list and they can access your library of games. It IS different, it WAS announced before E3 and it IS an potentially awesome feature that nobody is talking about.

The problem with it though, and this is what MS has yet to clear up is that they specifically say it has to be family members. Are they wording this in a way to make it purposefully seem less exciting so as not to annoy publishers or are they going to actually require some sort of ID that authenticates that you are indeed related to the person you are sharing your library of games with. If it's the latter, then the feature is suddenly less good, for obvious reasons. If there are no restrictions then it's ace. Maybe not enough for me to buy on launch day ace, but interesting nonetheless.

bviperz1954d ago (Edited 1954d ago )

The real problem is game sales. Why buy games if only one few needs to buy them and the rest can share? You see now why Microsoft is so tight lipped about the whole deal? As a developer, knowing that you probably won't sell as many copies as you possible can because MS has enabled folks to share every copy with 10 people, would you continue support for that platform? That's like pirating copies, this sharing feature. Why would I bother to buy games, if I can just use my die hard X Box friends library? Because I know he'll buy every f-ing game that's released.

+ Show (13) more repliesLast reply 1954d ago
miDnIghtEr20C_SfF1955d ago

how many accounts can you play with from the new pay to play online psn account?

Gridloc1955d ago

Hasn't been announced. But how many family members can play on Xbox one with no Internet? 0

ZombieGamerMan1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

More than 1

EDIT: @ miDnIghtEr20C_SfF Here's the thing about the PS+ is it actually gives you free games and MMO's don't need PS+ I believe.

miDnIghtEr20C_SfF1955d ago


why would they buy an X1 then if they had no internet? Are they going to buy a blu ray player with no hd tv also? I don't get your comparison to what I said.

You're so quick to dis the 10 person can play on one accounts games for X1, which is fantastic btw.. 10 people... but we don't yet I guess what one PSN id gets you.

I know.. you're happy to pay just to play online mp games now on PSN. All Sony fans are. "hey, i don't mind paying!"

thehitman1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

All accounts on the ps4 can play online as long as their is a + membership account linked to that playstation @ MidNight

Also this is an old digital content sharing policy. Sony has the same thing since PSN came out I have tons of games from my friends that they bought on PSN and dlc and I have his account on my ps3 and download them all and they stay there as long as his account is there and we both can play them at the sametime regardless of whether who is on what on our own psn account. Sony is transparent with their policy and straight forward, while MS is still fumbling.

BallsEye1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )


The difference with XBox One is that, multiple people can play on MULTIPLE SYSTEMS in the same time. Example I buy Fable 4, I can play it and my brother that lives in a different city can play MY COPY with me in the same time.He just goes to MY shared games on HIS console and plays it.

On PS it's only on ONE console that has the licence/disc.

Gridloc1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

@ Midnight
So no Internet, buy a 360? You joining that bandwagon? Has Microsoft said how many of those 10 members can play that game at once and on how many systems you can share family accounts. When all that is finalized and is announced at launch, we will all know then but the initial damage has been done.

Vip3r1955d ago

Only one account on the PS4 needs to be with PS+ for the rest to play online.

darthv721955d ago

an internet connected compliant console would not be ideal for someone with no internet. it would be insane to say otherwise.

to your question of how it works, obviously we are still waiting for more details but the gist of it is...

one person buys the game disc and installs it to their system. any user whos profile resides on that same system can play the game with no restrictions. Any person to whom is a member of the family group can also play that game on a different system via the share option.

there can be no more that two concurrent players of the same game on different systems. for example, i can play on mine and if you were in my family group and i shared the game with would be able to play a copy at the same time.

Essentially there will always be a spot reserved for the initial purchaser of the game to play at any time where as the second spot for concurrent play is open to first come first served.

Now the part that needs more expanding is the shared gold access. I think it implies that a single gold account acts as the gateway for other silver accounts to play online. I know that currently if there is one gold, only that account can play online but they said they were opening that up to any additional accounts on the same system.

i would like to know is do i have to be playing online for others to play through my access or can my profile simply exist on the system and, through the online verification, the other profiles are now granted online access.

that is the part i am most interested in.

unapersson1955d ago

@bullseye, you can do that on the PS3 now. We've got two PS3's in the house and we can play multiplayer with the same copy of the game installed on two consoles. The limit used to be five consoles.

creatchee1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

I would assume that Family Group is a Live Gold feature only. It makes the most sense considering every other service that is behind the paywall.

Edit: In regards to those stating that this has been done before, it kinda has, but only on digital download games. All disc games have been one user at a time before Family Groups.

Saigon1955d ago

How certain are we that MS would allow people in different households to share an account. I doubt that is going to happen. If it does it would seem a clever way around the issue but at the same time its limited to the amount of users that can access the one game. Every time I think of this scenario I keep think of this application we use at my company to apply smart boards. Only one person at a time can be in the application because of how it is hosted on the server. So if someone is currently using the app and I choose to access the environment, I just kicks them out without any warning. I doubt MS wouldn't supply some type of warning system; I am more concerned about the shared accounts. Though it seems feasible based on what was done on the PS3 I high doubt MS will or even would allow this.

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fermcr1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

That obligatory game install to hard drive DRM is a complete mess. Microsoft are realizing what a fu*kup they made with the X1 and are now trying desperately to add or change features (that most people don't understand) to soften the blow.

In all honesty the best thing Microsoft can do now is delay the release of the X1 and take out the obligatory game install to hard drive DRM and always online crap from the X1.

JokesOnYou1955d ago

I don't care if what kind of mess you call it, this is a helluva policy which adds alot of value vs the used game restrictions. This is huge!

CynicalKelly1955d ago

PS3 didn't do this... Did you even read the article?

Dape1955d ago
"You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time."
Meaning only one friend can access the library at the time!!
Not one friend per game at the time like some of you believe.

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SexyGamerDude1955d ago (Edited 1955d ago )

There are better deals out there.

GiggMan1955d ago

Lol. I must admit that it's some very creative people out here.

Panthers1955d ago

They need to tackle these issues head on. Stop beating around the bush and explain, in detail, everything. At this point I think people are more angry at the fact that they are dodging the issue. Its creating a lot of confusion, even among the gaming community. I cant imagine the confusion from everyday buyers, or god forbid Moms buying this for Christmas.

JohnS13131955d ago

This would be okay for offline games but forget about it for games you want to play online with your friends.

dedicatedtogamers1955d ago

Exactly. I keep seeing comments like "I will just get 10 friends and we'll each pay $6 for a brand-new game!" well good luck picking who gets to be the main owner of the game, because only the owner and one other person can use the game at a time, which is (somewhat) fine for a single-player game but what if you all play Call of Duty together? It isn't going to work.

AngryEnglish1955d ago

What would normally happen if you both play call of duty? The other person would buy it..... Just like they would have to now.

dcbronco1955d ago


That is a huge problem. Since nobody has more than one game that means nine of the consoles are a complete waste of money.

Saigon1955d ago

I understand people will always try and find ways around the system or process, but this is a little much. I still do not think MS would allow people to do this. People forget the reason they went this direction is due to hackers or moded 360s and games being illegally downloaded and played.

Godz Kastro1955d ago

That would be really cool... Good either way they go with it. Im really the only one that plays on my acct.