Microsoft has announced Home Gold which will allow Xbox Live Gold members to share their subscription with others on their home console.
According to Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten, Home Gold is tied to your Xbox Live Gold account and tethered to your console and gamertag. It will allow other users in the house to use multiplayer features, apps, Game DVR and other Gold features using their own gamertag.
“So how it works is, on your console, anybody else on the console, whether it’s a babysitter that’s come over or a friend or your family, can participate in all the experiences like they’re on Gold,” Whitten told Polygon.
“It’s with their gamertag so they’re not on your gamertag, you don’t even have to be there, they’re not messing up your gamerscore or your storage or your queues or anything like that. It’s their full account experience, but it really gets to take full advantage of many of the Gold features.”
Users can log-in to their account on another Xbox One console – whether in the home or out – and all of their digital content will travel with them as long as they are logged into their XBL Gold account – the same way Xbox 360 dealt with digital content licenses, etc.
“We didn’t want people to have to understand a specific set of rules around how gold works different from content,” said Whitten. “We just wanted it to be really simple. And we wanted to give that full advantage to people in your house that are coming in to use your console or your content, to be able to play that content in the full way.”
Existing Xbox Live Gold members will have the service extended over to Xbox One and users “can even be logged in to Xbox 360 and Xbox One at the same time.”
Home Gold will not be available to Xbox 360 owners and the Family Pack is not being resurrected.
Whitten said the Family Sharing option, which was announced and then scrapped by Microsoft when it dropped its online requirements, may return in the future – something Microsoft said previously.
“As we move forward, I think we will continue to refine the best way to make it work but I’ll say that it comes down to a pretty basic set of ideas,” Whitten said. “I just want, as much as possible, to replicate the experience that a typical family has with physical content with digital content.
“One of the things we discovered with some of the stuff we’ve done with our family stuff in the past is that it was too limited and didn’t fit enough family styles or where people were. We’re working across Microsoft to think about how do you manage family accounts and how do you both enroll in that family and how does that feel right and simple from a user perspective.
“The thing I don’t want is a whole bunch of complex UI that you have to do to both enroll in and manage a family. Part of that is what we’re doing with Home Gold, to make it very simple to cover a very large base case.
“It would be cool if I could still see my family’s content when I’m somewhere else and I can start playing that content, assuming no one else is playing it.”
Whitten also said Microsoft understands “physical disc exchange,” but at the same time it needs to be managed so sharing doesn’t turn into “some unbounded sharing club that isn’t fair for the game creators.”
There’s more on this through the link and Whitten has even explained it better over on Xbox Wire which you should really give a read.
Xbox One is expected sometime in November.
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