NEW YORK— Microsoft rolled back a much-criticized requirement that its upcoming Xbox One gaming console be regularly connected to the Internet and made clear that there will be no limitations on sharing games.
Microsoft Corp. has been criticized for vague statements about whether it will allow Xbox One buyers to play secondhand software. Gamers also expressed distaste for a requirement that the console be connected to the Internet once every 24 hours.
Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment business, said in a blog post Wednesday that an Internet connection will no longer be required to play games on the Xbox One after its initial setup, and users can share and play games like they have on the Xbox 360.
Mattrick said the changes are in response to feedback Microsoft received since unveiling plans for the console in May.
“You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you,” he wrote. “Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.”
In a shot aimed at Microsoft, rival Sony Corp. announced during last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles that its upcoming PlayStation 4 will not require a regular Internet connection to work and that the company won’t try to restrict used game sales.
Both consoles will go on sale later this year, the Xbox One at $499 and the PS4 at $399.