Well. This is a HUGE surprise. Patrick Klepek at Giant Bomb had the scoop before Microsoft made it official. I would link out to Microsoft’s confirmation post, but their site seems to be down. Here are the details:
No more always online requirement
The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
Region locks have been dropped
Insane. I am completely shocked. I don’t know what exactly pushed Microsoft in this direction, but it was probably a little bit of everything.
We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.