Microsoft has finally decided to clear up some of the misconceptions about the Xbox One given how much of a PR mess it was after the reveal. Always Online still sounds about the same. Connect once every 24 hours or you lose access to everything. Used games, trading, and lending is a little clearer and not as bad as we thought it was, but it’s still very vague. Microsoft is basically telling us that if anything is preventing them from trading or lending games, it’s the publisher’s fault. Kinect is pretty much how they said it was going to be. Whatever. It’s still Kinect.
Always Online is still the biggest issue. There are many places in the United States, and around the world, where fast or consistent internet is not available and this absolute requirement is ridiculous. If you can’t connect at all, then you’re pretty much boned. And absolute reliance on internet connection means that not just the player’s internet has to be active, but Microsoft’s servers have to be active to make the connection. What if they get hacked and servers are disabled for an extended period of time? Through no fault of the consumer, they are unable to play ANY of their game (after 24 hours). At least when PSN was hacked for a month, people could still play their games offline.
BUT! If Microsoft can make this Always Online business work and not be a big problem for their players, I can see them leading the way for the future. No doubt that eventually, the modern world will be all online, but until the internet infrastructure worldwide is stable enough that we won’t have to worry about these kinds of issues, these concerns will keep coming up.