Xbox Fans Lament Family Sharing

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It was a feature of the Xbox One that very few people seemed to know about, but for those that “got” it, yesterday’s announcement that Microsoft were dropping more or less everything that had previously been announced was a bitter-sweet reveal. Family Sharing would have allowed you and up to ten of your friends to share a single game digitally, with you and one other person playing at exactly the same time. For those excited about the feature, this would have cut costs, opened up a whole catalogue of games they perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise played and made sharing games with their long distance friends far easier than it currently is.

That feature has now been dropped and, despite a wider victory for gaming as a whole, those that had already pre-ordered and were almost definitely going to purchase the console aren’t especially happy.

In a 20+ page thread on Neogaf, Xbox One purchasers gathered to complain about the feature being taken away, many of them blaming “internet” teenagers who aren’t likely to buy the product anyway. 

Hulkamania78

At times forums are ridiculous. All we ve read for weeks is ‘PS4 day one’ ‘MS lost my custom’ they have listened and there was gonna be 
Sacrifices.

I was happy with the new system and the family plan. Now its just cost me more . I share games or buy 2 copies of say COD or FIFA with my kid . Now I Definetly have to buy 2 copies. Give with one hand and take with another . The power of the fanboy strikes again.

Honestly, I don’t think having things the way they are today is worth losing this feature.

Oddworld18:

I have six or seven really close friends all over the country who all have Xboxes and similar taste in games.

This feature was one of the biggest selling points, and the innovation MS was creating with their cloud game libraries is dead now because consumers didn’t have vision.Obviously the best approach is a hybrid, but they’re clearly not ready for that.

I liked the proposal of keeping everything the same as was originally announced and having a disc-based fallback in case your connection did go out, but I guess it wasn’t feasible.

This is a loss for people who like innovation. The industry will stay stagnant for another generation.

ACES11:

This was one of the best new features. Honestly, I haven’t loaned a game in years because my friends are far away and I don’t want the disc to break. 

It was an awesome feature. The ability to share games with friends and family who weren’t beside me. And now? For what? What’s the benefit? I don’t see one.

There are hundreds of such comments there and on Reddit and other social media sites. Meanwhile, it seems many of those that called for Microsoft to change features and ditch the DRM are still calling for change, saying that they’ll only consider a purchase if Kinect is dropped and if the price drops with it. This seemed like a great announcement last night, but in the cold light of day it’s hard not to think the team behind the Xbox One reacted to those speaking the loudest and now there are people already invested in the console that have lost out, and not much in the way of opinion turnaround. How it plays out from here will be very interesting…

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Article By

Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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