Xbox One’s family sharing feature – which would have granted you and up to ten people access to your game library – was axed following Microsoft’s DRM policy u-turn. Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten has now suggested the feature might return if public appetite is there.
Speaking with IGN, Whitten said of the feature’s potential return, “If it’s something that people are really excited about and want, we’re going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back.”
When pressed on a possible road map for the feature however, Whitten was scant on details, “A ‘road map’ sort of implies more like ‘on date X it’s back’ than I think exists, but we believe really strongly in how you build a great experience on Xbox One for me as an individual, but also for my family. Family Sharing is a great example of how you do that with content.”
Explaining why the feature was removed following the DRM u-turn, Whitten continued, “We had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that [U-turn] work done. So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘we’re going to take our toys and go home’ or something like that.
“It was just sort of the logistics of ‘how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?'”
Following the u-turn, Whitten stressed that Microsoft now wants to start communicating better with consumers. “I think it’s pretty simple,” he concluded. “We’ve got to just talk more, get people understanding what our system is.
“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.”
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