#1 Posted by GamingMichael (108 posts) -

It could still work. The fact that they're dropping it seems spiteful. It could work like this:

You pick your 10 people that you want to be in your family circle. When a circle is made, that circle will receive a unique encrypted ID number that would be downloaded to the console of each person. As long as that encrypted number matches, and that file exists on the console, those people can trade and see each other's game library. The two concurrent user limit would apply. Whoever bought the game originally would activate his/her own console 'token' and another person in the plan could request an active 'token'. To activate or deactivate the tokens, there would be a quick handshake with Xbox Live (similar to deactivating and activating computers in iTunes for access to DRM content). To clarify, this would only apply to digital purchases.

This apparently seems to be off the table for the time being, but it is something that could definitely work. Thoughts?

#2 Posted by sixpin (1298 posts) -

It isn't as big a loss as people think it is. Word is coming out that it was just a way to distribute timed demos, based on what 'family' flagged users on your friends list had purchased. This is something PSN already does without the added restriction of needing someone on your family list to have purchased the full game.

Here's a story on it, straight from a bitter sounding MS employee: http://www.heyuguysgaming.com/news/12507/heartbroken-xbox-one-employee-lets-rip-must-read

#3 Posted by alanm26v5 (460 posts) -

I think that we all jumped to conclusions as far as the details on how this would all work, and filled in the blanks with the best possible scenarios. I'm not saying this is 100% true or verified, but supposedly this is written by a Microsoft engineer, and talks a little more in detail on what family sharing could have been.


Again, no confirmation on how valid that stuff is, but doesn't that seem more in line with industry interests?

#4 Edited by NoobSauceG7 (1259 posts) -
#5 Edited by BRich (437 posts) -

@sixpin: Sounds like no great loss to me then. Kind of a cool feature, but nothing essential as described. The only frustrating thing now is the discs versus digital pricing, which is a hassle for the consumer. This split model on each release causes lack of competition and allows Microsoft and Sony to price digital releases as they see fit as opposed to in direct competition to retail.

#6 Posted by GamingMichael (108 posts) -

I just finished reading the whole thing. This family sharing plan was nothing more than a demo service? Are you fucking kidding me? That was the great shared library plan? We can already download demos off the Marketplace and PSN Store. If the way it is described in this letter is accurate, it's completely and utterly pointless with the exception of saving your progress in the event you like the game enough to purchase it. You could also theoretically do that with a demo now.

#7 Posted by Otacon (2209 posts) -

I don't see a reason why it can't just work for digital games. Discs were just a 'delivery mechanism' that won't work with Xbox One's 'digital future' and are now for those that want to stick to the old way of buying games. I'm sure those that want this new future Microsoft have been aiming for aren't the ones opposed to downloading their games. Everyone wins right? And MS can still do all this family sharing for digital purchases.

#8 Posted by BRich (437 posts) -

@gamingmichael: Not sure what to believe now. If it was a glorified demo service, why the hell would they eliminate it?

#9 Posted by ch3burashka (5126 posts) -

It could still work. The fact that they're dropping it seems spiteful. It could work like this:

Justifiably so. I don't think they're too psyched to give all the benefits while harnessing in their own interests. Either get the whole cake or none at all. The consumer made the choice (or rather, the gaming blogs).

#10 Edited by sixpin (1298 posts) -

@brich: Pricing was going to be an issue either way. In the original Xbox One plan Microsoft and 'select retail partners' could set the prices, removing consumer agency. Now we just have the same problem of Microsoft and Sony not paying attention to pricing the way Valve does with Steam.

The glorified demo service of family share was scrapped because it required DRM hooks that are now gone. It can be brought back, but yesterday MS was spinning it as a great loss to guilt gamers. They can bring it back in the future, and have said as much, but I would assume that they need time to build the new digital rights infrastructure. Personally, knowing what it really is I couldn't care less if they bring it back.

#11 Posted by austinmiller (107 posts) -

So let me get this straight, we are using a paste bin post from an anonymous "microsoft employee" on a gaming "website" called Hey U Guys Gaming as proof that it was a demo service? Glad we cleared that up.

#12 Edited by Krakn3Dfx (2500 posts) -

@noobsauceg7: Yeah, if that's the case, this Family Plan thing wasn't worth the effort to fight for anyway. Weird to me that timed demos have to be tied to some sort of "lending library", completely disingenuous on Microsoft's part to even use it as some sort of perk. Sony has 60-minute timed demos of a ton of retail releases on the PS3 for Plus members already, and it doesn't require some sort of weird family plan.

This is all assuming any of what that guy said was based in fact, which we'll probably never know for sure.

#13 Edited by BRich (437 posts) -

@sixpin: I disagree on competitive pricing being an issue when there is a single version of the game rather than a digital monopolized version and a disc version. "Select Retailers" were for used game sales, not for selling the Xbox One install discs. Retailers would have competed to undercut each other on these install discs just as they do today with PC games. On the PC, I can bargain hunt with Steam versus retail knowing that everything will plug into the same system. This is EXACTLY what the now dead Microsoft model was.

I do think hope for the model lies in retailers selling download codes. That is already in place on a limited basis as deals on download versions of full games CAN be found out there.


I think I finally talked myself out of being annoyed about the 180..

#14 Edited by golguin (3980 posts) -

It can absolutely work for digital downloads. They took it out because it was simply a means of damage control in the face of their anti consumer policies and since they are no longer implementing those policies they don't need to do that.

There is NOTHING stopping them from applying the "family sharing plan" to digital downloads since they are tied to your account. The only thing stopping them is the loss in revenue from people getting their buddies together and deciding who buys what game and then they all eventually play it. They were willing to take that bullet if it destroyed rentals and used game sales. They have no reason to do it now.

#15 Posted by GamingMichael (108 posts) -

@austinmiller: If it is a Microsoft employee, it makes sense that they would not want to disclose their name. It seems pretty intricate to be a troll. Even though it could be fake, it seems genuine.

#16 Posted by GamingMichael (108 posts) -

@brich: I have no idea other than spite.

#17 Edited by Jimbo (9881 posts) -

Everything proposed could still work if they wanted it to, with minimal inconvenience to the consumer. The DRM wasn't there to facilitate the features; the features were there to justify the DRM.

Unfortunately their argument amounted to 'These restrictions allow us to something, something, digital future' and (almost) everybody saw straight through it.

#18 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3820 posts) -

I'm sure the Xbox One will still have demos, don't worry. In a way, that means it will still have the Family Sharing plan.

#19 Posted by hidys (1029 posts) -

Demos are cool I guess.

#20 Edited by MrOldboy (871 posts) -

I still don't believe that it was really a 60 minute time limit, that seems so stupid. They know PS+ offers 60 minute demos of the full game already, it had to be a bit more than that.

Unless they really thought that 60 minutes of the game for ANY game and not just some, like PS+, was really that great of a benefit. You'd have to be in so many families to get a library of collective parent accounts that had different games to make that a real benefit.