It's fair to say that Microsoft could have done a much better job introducing the Xbox One to consumers. And after an uproar of negative feedback compelled the company to reverse course on some controversial early decisions, Microsoft's Marc Whitten is willing to admit as much. "I think it’s pretty simple. We’ve got to just talk more, get people understanding what our system is," the Xbox One chief product officer told IGN. "The thing that’s really gratifying is that people are excited about the types of features that are possible, and it’s sort of shame on us that we haven’t done as good of a job as we can to make people feel like that’s where we’re headed."
If there's demand, Family Sharing could return
We now know where Xbox One is headed; the console won't require daily internet connection checks to play offline games, and used titles will function largely as they do today. But in reacting to a wave of negative press, Microsoft also made new concessions that disappointed fans genuinely excited about the Xbox One as it was originally announced. One reason for that elation was a feature known as Family Sharing, which Microsoft promised would allow players to share full digital retail games with up to ten members of their family at no charge. It sounded too good to be true — even after Xbox engineers confirmed that there would have been no time constraints or other restrictions on the feature. Sadly, Microsoft killed off Family Sharing when it revised Xbox One policies to prevent the sharing or reselling of downloaded titles.
@lx_KillFace_xl There was no time limit, it was as we described. Team still investing in more digital features over time.— Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) June 21, 2013
Thankfully, Whitten said it may eventually come back — if demand is there. "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," he said. The executive wouldn't offer a timeline, but went on to say, "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." Yes, you'll now need to have game discs in the console if you purchase physical copies at retail, but Microsoft is still pushing the Xbox One as a breakthrough digital experience. Summing up the revised online policies, Whitten said, "It isn’t about moving away from what that digital vision is for the platform. It’s about adding that choice."