In an interview with IGN, Microsoft’s Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten has contended that it wasn’t necessarily that DRM was bad, but rather the company’s messaging. He also insisted that they need to talk more about the console and its features, not less, as many gamers would like them to.
“I think it’s pretty simple. We’ve got to just talk more, get people understanding what our system is,” Whitten said. “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.”
Whitten also said that they’ll be talking more about what they had planned for Xbox One’s digital offering, with the key word here being “had”, since, after the Xbox 180, the most exciting feature of the console (family sharing) was eliminated. Whitten said that some of the features could come back in the future, however he wasn’t specific as to how that would happen, when, and in what form.
“The number one thing I want to do is I want to get the product out,” he continued, “because people are going to use it and obviously a lot of this is more evident, but certainly what I want to do right is now is talk more about how we thought about these features,” he continued.
He added: “How we thought about how Xbox Live works, how digital works. I see people feeling like we’ve moved away from digital, when certainly I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe we’ve added on choice for people. It was an addition of a feature onto Xbox One, not a removal of a feature. And I understand people see things like Family Sharing and they’re like, ‘Wow, I was really looking forward to that,’ which is more of an engineering reality time frame type-thing.”
Microsoft’s Xbox One family sharing plan would ostensibly allow gamers to share all their games with ten “family members”, a term that was being used loosely since anybody could qualify as your “family”. But rumors had it that your “family” members would only be given access to any given game for an hour, turning said games into glorified demos. Microsoft denied the claim, but the firm never addressed the problem that publishers would have with such a plan, which would obviously diminish sales. The software giant also confirmed that the plan wouldn’t be available at launch, and that publishers had the choice to opt in or out.
Xbox One sees a launch in November of this year.