Major Nelson (Larry Hryb) is the public figurehead of Xbox. If he says it's true, you better believe it. That's why it's a relief to finally have him chime in on the confusion surrounding used games on the recently announced Xbox One.
In an update on the official Major Nelson blog, Hryb confirms that the Xbox One will be able to play used games. Unfortunately, he doesn't say much more than that:
We know there is some confusion around used games on Xbox One and wanted to provide a bit of clarification on exactly what we’ve confirmed today. While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail.
Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios.
Well, that's nice to know, but it doesn't really clarify anything. What's keeping Microsoft from just coming out and discussing its used game policy with the Xbox One? Transparency is incredibly effective when gamers everywhere are tearing your new console a new one just because they think that it won't play used games. The above statement confirms that used games will be playable, but it doesn't serve to address any of the specific concerns being raised on message boards across the Internet.
Well, Hryb does address one specific scenario:
Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend’s house – should you choose to play your game at your friend’s house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile.
Wait, so does that mean that there is a fee when not signed into the account that activated the game? How much is this fee? Is it the full price of the game? We need these details and Microsoft remaining vague only serves to frustrate.
At this point in time, it seems that we'll have to wait for more details around E3. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll hear anything more at that point either. The mixed messages being sent yesterday makes it seem that those within Microsoft don't even know the used game policy. We might not hear anything until we're a month or two away from launch. Now that would be unfortunate.