Microsoft's Phil Spencer on Xbox One DRM: No Limits on Defining Who is in Your “Family Unit”

Microsoft Studios Vice President Phil Spencer may have scored the first real victory in persuading some of the validity of the Xbox One DRM policies, confirming a very interesting and important detail on the (until now) mysterious "family sharing" function of the upcoming console.

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Abriael1946d ago

Yeah, I'm honestly baffled by this (in a good way). Game sharing of one's whole library freely between 10 different people is a big deal, and one that I really didn't expect.

We'll just have to see how being part of "multiple families" will work. Meaning, if I "adopt" you, and you "adopt" someone else that I haven't "adopted" will the system cry foul?

GrumpyGamer1946d ago

you cant adopt folk to be in my 10 you could think of it like a ven diagram of interlocking circles

KrisButtar1946d ago

While I don't have any of my systems connected, didn't the PS3 have something close to this but with 5 people instead of 10.

Abriael1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

@Grumpygamer: that's exactly what I thought about lol. Potentially everyone will be part of a big, massive family divided in interlocked groups of 10 lol.

@KrisButtar: yeah but you needed to share your account info. In this case you can just register someone else's account to your family, and he'll be able to access your library with his own account, it's MUCH better.

longcat1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )


They changed it from 5 to 2

and now you can only have 1 stinking profile on your vita at a time...

there are many questions that need to be answered as yet on both sides.....but this is pretty good news

xHeavYx1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

I wish I could find this interview, but I remember Major Nelson saying that once you download the game, your family can "check it out" which makes me wonder how much of the game you can play.

Edit: Found it
This is the interview link, starts at around 4 minute mark, he says that if you buy the game, someone else can "check it out and then at the 4:15 mark Major Nelson says "It's not like you buy one copy for all 10 members" He uses the word "check it out" again at the 4:40 mark

NewMonday1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

we need to read the fine print

- it is up to publishers if they want to allow game sharing, read this:

"I've seen what happens when publishers are left with the option to allow lending/resales already. I have a Kindle, and you are supposed to be able to 'lend' a book to another Kindle user. In the hundreds of books I've already read on my Kindle, I have yet to see a single publisher that has enabled lending"

- you will likely need to give full privileges to "family" accounts, meaning access to credit card account and other personal information, this is the same with multi-device accounts for the iOS.

- MS say they "reserve the right" to change and alter the terms, they pull us in and reduce the number of "family" members allowed, confine it to XBLG redistricting it to local IP.

unless MS clarify these points this just looks like a "bait and switch"

Abriael1946d ago

@newmonday: the issue with that is that the official policy states clearly what features publishers can opt out of. Family sharing isn't one of those.

IcyEyes1946d ago


On PSN now that number is two.
But it's pretty different since both player can play the game simultaneity.

MizTv1946d ago

Or I could just let my friend borrow a game..
Oh wait sorry

NatureOfLogic1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

@ MizTv

lol, your comment makes too much sense. After reading through the comments, seeing people asking "will they let us do this or that" when you can simply just hand them game. Sharing what you bought shouldn't be complicated or limiting at all.

JokesOnYou1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Great news, but some say there is no benefits of drm. I was venting openly on n4g that drm was the only thing I hate about X1, I wrote complaint emails to microsoft, I gave negative feedback on forums, I tweeted my anger, I did my part and now Iam pleasantly surprised to say that I'd take this trade off of sharing my games instantly with family and friends for the drm restriction, plus you can still sell any game once....thats a pretty sweet deal.

Kingelixir, I live in San Diego my nephews live in Virginia so NO I cant just give them the game disc, actually as I said many timrs in the past, big games I usually buy two copies and mail them one, or use Amazon and send each copy to our seperate address's. NOW I can buy mines and they can SHARE it with me. I'm sure there will be restrictions like 1 at a time can play or limit ing multiplayer access but hey thats still one helluva deal especially betwren 10 people if you cant see that its just because you dont want to.

SilentNegotiator1946d ago


At best that is a TRADE OFF of not being able to directly share your copy of a game, not a benefit.

You still can only have one person playing at a time and need to have the game installed.

Drekken1946d ago

@ Jokesonyou - Jokes on us if you think we take you seriously.

GribbleGrunger1946d ago

I wonder how MS persuaded devs to do this?

MS: 'We've got a great idea to stop the sale of your game 3 or 4 times in second hand shops. We're going to let 10 people play the same game!'

Dev: 'Great! sign me up.'

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 1946d ago
kreate1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

if u read the whole article...

its funny how even after microsoft clarifies this, the website asks for further clarification to microsoft and now waiting for further clarification... in which... they would probably require further clarification even after another clarification is given.

i have a feeling microsoft themselves doesnt understand their own machine's capabilities or their policies. or its a process in the works.

every answer is different depending on which microsoft rep u are asking.

Cerberus291946d ago

While that does alleviate some of the issues I had with the lending games to friends, it still doesn't solve my main issue with the console: the 24 hr Internet authentication. I just can't bring my self to pay $500 for something that essentially turns into a very expensive brick if my Internet goes down.

I love my 360 and would really like to see MS turn this around, but as it stands now I'm going PS4 at launch and I MIGHT get an X1 sometime next year (but they've gotta either drop the price or change the online policy. At least 1 week instead of 24 hours)

Cerberus291946d ago

Now I'm curious what the disagree is for. Is it someone who likes playstation and disagrees withe liking my 360 and wanting MS to get their shit together. Or is it an Xbox fan who disagrees with me getting the ps4 at launch instead of the x1. I must know! Lol

No_Limit1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Because your statement adds nothing to the topic. This is about the positive and confirmation of the family share plan and that is why a mandatory daily check is require in order for digital sharing to happen.

your statement "the 24 hr Internet authentication. I just can't bring my self to pay $500 for something that essentially turns into a very expensive brick if my Internet goes down." sounds like trolling more than anything.

NextGen24Gamer1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

let me explain some details of the family sharing on the xbox one!

1. You can't be in more than 1 family/friend circle.
2. What ever circle you are in, all games are shared in one library of games. Example: everyone buys 3 games and you all have access to 30 games where ever you go. No need to carry around game discs.
3. The primary game owner always has access to is game that he purchased...One other family/friend can play at the same exact time but not in multiplayer..only single player.

The used game policies are exactly the same as Sony. Used games can be played on your xbox one. When you trade a game in (if publishers allow it) and someone buys the game and installs it on their hard drive, it then get's removed from your hard drive and removed from the library in your family circle.

It's really not complicated but MS needs to do a better job with its messaging.

We are moving to an ALL DIGITAL future. I haven't purchased a cd for music in 5 years. Everything is on my phone & Ipod and tablet. I still buy 3d blu ray movies, only because there isn't really a digital option yet for HD 1080p 3d that I know of. As soon as there is, I will no longer buy blu ray 3d movies.

I will buy a 4k TV sometime this year and it's nice to know that my xbox one will display games in that resolution yet Ps4 will not!

The future is coming faster than you think and Microsoft has invested heavily in it and I commend them for it!

JoySticksFTW1946d ago

Dude, stop spreading BS.

Used games are not the same as Sony's.

I can sell my used game anywhere with PS4 for the best price. I'm not restricted to who MS says is ok to sell to.

This is why MS won't discontinue their policies.

They'll tweak and adjust and each time more people will say wow this is great and spread falsehood to others.

Xbox gamers refuse to take a stand and are hyping any tasty crumb MS throws them at this point. And MS knows this. The drm and 24 hr check is here to stay, and everyone is going to be ok with it.

And as for the future, though digital distribution may be inevitable, it doesn't mean people are ready for it right now. This move by ms isn't for the betterment of man and the advancement of technology, it's to keep ownership.

And Sony's e3 announcements are also to make money from disgruntled gamers, but at least they aren't doing it with anti consumer practices.

iistuii1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

So if my son & myself link in a family circle it saves me from buying 2 games ??. So if I buy Forza 5 & put it in my library he can play it, but not online ? Then he buys Fifa 14 in his Library & I can play it, but not online ? meaning I get to buy one of each game instead of two, as long as the game you want to play online goes into the console of whom wants to go online??? Phew Sorry to keep on.

NextGen24Gamer1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )


You are 1000% incorrect and you ill be pissed off when you find out that Sony has been playing with words.

Microsoft has said all along that it will be up to the game publishers if there are any restrictions on used games.

If publisher A allows used games for xbox one, then it will also be allowed for ps4 obviously...But, if publisher B says no to used games for xbox one, they will also so NO to used games for ps4 or they just won' sell their game on the ps4.

That's a fact that NO ONE ON HERE CAN DISPUTE.

What sony said is a play on words...MS is being more straight to the point.

You can trade your games in and buy used games "If the publisher allow it"...MS doesn't get any additional fee's for used games. They are just supporting what "SOME" game companies want.

It's sony fanboys like you spreading misinformation and yelling as loud as you can that the sky is falling! LOL


You are correct. Your son can play online as long as you aren't playing the same game online. Both can play same game at same time via single player. But, only one at a time online with one copy of the game. If both wanted to play online same game at same time, two copies are needed in your shared library.

If you have 10 people sharing games, only two people can play single player simultaneously with the shared game.

The primary game owner always has access to his or her game!

JoySticksFTW1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Official word from MS is you can sell back to their authorized dealers.

Official word from Sony is you can sell it back to anyone.

That not misinformation. That's just the way it is.

Publishers can impose online passes or can make their game online only, but the can't dictate where PS4 users sell their game.

It's not hard to understand. You're spreading lies right now. And if gamers don't hold ms accountable for these policies then things won't change.

I'm on record of saying that I thought x1's exclusives look great, but I won't support that system with these restrictions. Now all I hear are people upset with the restrictions, but they're making excuses and concessions for them.

But you'd rather spreading junk and stall, just like the "wait for the reveal, wait for clarification, wait for e3 to address for policy changes" people.

Now it's "wait for Sony to stab you in the back!"

When's the waiting and excuses going to stop and gamers start telling ms this is unacceptable? Even x1's own official forum with people with six digit gamer scores are speaking out but are getting silenced by "gamers" like you.

You deserve what you have coming :)

And if it doesn't bother you, fine. But you're helping screw it up for everyone else

JoySticksFTW1945d ago (Edited 1945d ago )

MS actually did it!! :D

They pulled the policies! Oh snap!

Glad I was wrong that MS wouldn't change besides some "gamers" praising them for f'd up restrictions.

Be glad "Sony fanboy sky is falling complaining loudmouth" true gamers are around ;)

Now we can all enjoy X1 without dumb restrictions

And as the comment section says...

Screw MS for even attempting this anti consumer crap, and screw those apologists for defending it.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1945d ago
RiPPn1946d ago

Just like selling and lending, family sharing can be blocked by the publisher. So keep that in mind.

"Third party publishers may opt in or out"

kreate1946d ago


but microsoft needs to be more clear on how this works like what u just pointed out.

they're being too vague so gamers have to 'figure out' how the system works instead of nicely explained to us.

No_Limit1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Stop spreading BS. On the Xbox official statement page pertaining to game license, only selling of used games and gifting are reported to be up to the publishers. Digital game sharing is not one of them. LOL, did you just made the quote up without any source? smh
-Give your family access to your entire games library anytime, anywhere: Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games. You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.

-Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.

-Give your games to friends: Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.

RiPPn1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

@No_Limit: you're delusional if you don't think publishers are going to have control over all aspects of their product especially the sharing feature which stands to harm it more than trading and gifting combined.

No_Limit1945d ago (Edited 1945d ago )

"Give your family access to your ENTIRE games library anytime, anywhere"

Which part of the "entire games library anytime, anywhere" did you not comprehend?

RiPPn1945d ago


Microsoft may change these policies or discontinue them at any point.

Which part of this you not comprehend?

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ricochetmg1946d ago

but for 100 less i could share it with as many people as I like..

NextGen24Gamer1946d ago

How would you share your game with a friend who lives across the country?

What if your friend wants to play all 30 games you own? How can he do that?

What if you have 3 friends who all want to borrow the same game, and the game was just released and you haven't played it yet? How do you handle that situation?

Please detail how you would handle these two scenarios. I would love to see how cavemen handle these things that Xbox One does flawlessly and seamlessly!

RiPPn1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

@Elite24Gamer: how are you going to trade with your friend across the country if the publisher blocks that option? Or if Microsoft determines the sharing plan is being abused or taking away to many sales they remove that feature or restrict it to the point it's useless? You're putting a lot of faith in a system that can be changed in an instant instead of a proven method that won't be changed at all.

ABizzel11946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Outside of exclusives this is the first bit of good news regarding the X1. However, it's still not enough just yet. MS has cemented themselves in the lower end of my next gaming purchase (X1 vs. Wii U).

Drop all the BS, and then we'll talk.

The only thing I have to say is again remember all these conditions are subject to change at any moment MS sees fit. They could instantly drop that number and some people will feel screwed when you have to kick them out of your circle.

That being said it's a great feature if it stays and works as expected.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1945d ago
Cueil1946d ago

I think if you're in a circle you can't be in another... so make the head of your circle your rich friend

Godmars2901946d ago

Or just pitch in together to buy and share one game, with the physical copy going to either the most trusted or whoever paid in the most.

JokesOnYou1946d ago

Yep, damm that will probably be me and NO I'm not rich, I just buy more games instead buying car parts or gambling at casinos, or just blowing money like most of my friends.

BlackTar1871946d ago

Why don't they just put out a FAQ sheet. Why the carrot on the stick?

Abriael1946d ago

Not sure. Maybe they thought it was clear, or maybe they know they can't avoid it, but prefer it to be a bit hush so that people don't abuse it.

longcat1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

bah sorry for changing comment..tried to respond and messed things up ...i've lost interest now

Abriael1946d ago

This may also be a possibility. Maybe they know they are at a disadvantage and they're taking the hit to regain ground. No way to know.

DeathofSouls1946d ago

Can you name one thing they have changed? Or are you just saying what you "think" and talking out of your "a$$"

Cueil1946d ago

they have a release on this and all the other stuff... it was posted on here...

BlackTar1871946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

See that release is very non descriptive in the important details.

I hope its true but it literately makes 0 sense to me.

You Have
A.) we are moving away from used games sales they hurt the dev

B.) Only way to trade game is with a friends list member of 30 days and only can happen once

Then you have this which if it is exactly like it sounds stands to lose 10x the money for Devs then used game sales ever did.

I just don't see the line of thought on this and since this is so weird and worded and not explained in the simplest form i can't help but think something is being hidden. Just doesn't make sense to me to create somethig with a purpose then completely let that purpose be destroyed by another thing.

Thats why i wan a FAQ something doesn't add up 1+1=3

If this is exactly like advertised then hell yea but no one can tell me it is because MS are being very sneaky on the important details of the program.

NaughtyDream1946d ago

Exactly. on ps4 when you sell a game the devs and publisher dont get any money on one game but with xbox one if you share a game in a circle of 10 people i assume that the dev/publisher lose money on ten games that could have been bought at retails. i dont understand

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1946d ago
Lovable1946d ago

Good stuff. Xbone became a bit appealing now.

DragonPs41946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Publishers might/not have a problem with used games who knows? Sony had to cut down on sharing so there has to be some type of other restriction.

MS needs to be more clear

This could be good news