7 genuine reasons your game might not work on an Xbox One

Just because you've legally bought a game for an Xbox One, it doesn't mean that Microsoft's DRM will let you play it...

To say that the digital rights management system for Microsoft’s Xbox One console has gone down badly would show an aptitude for understatement that immediately rules out 80% of all media jobs. Whereas Sony with its PlayStation 4 is championing the fact that your games will play with the minimum of fuss, Microsoft appears to be putting bizarre roadblocks in the way of what a games console is supposedly for (or at least what they were once supposedly for) – playing games.

Here, then, are genuine reasons why your games may not work on the upcoming Xbox One. We’ve not made any of these up, although you’d hope that Microsoft may have a change of heart on some of them before the new console is finally released.

You have not checked in today

According to Microsoft, in order to play a game on the Xbox One – be it an online or offline one – you need to check in online on a daily basis. If you do not do so, then you won’t be able to play the game in question after 24 hours. Don’t worry, though: Microsoft will, er, ‘allow’ you to watch a Blu-ray or some live telly. But until you check in again, you will be prohibited from playing the games that you legally bought.

You have borrowed it off someone, who has reached their lending limit for that title

Unlike the PlayStation 4, you can’t simply lend a game, or borrow one off someone for the Xbox One. Instead, whilst you can in theory lend a game, you can only do so once. Microsoft has further said that “loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners”. As if lending games is some big technical hurdle we’ve all had problems with in the past. We’ve struggled lending each other books for centuries as well: maybe Microsoft can do something about that?

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You are trying to borrow a game off someone to play, but you’ve not been their friend for long enough

The limited game lending facilities of the Xbox One face another hurdle. Whilst you’re able to lend games to anybody on your friends list – so, you can’t lend games if you stay offline then – you can only do so if they’ve been on said friend’s list for more than 30 days. If you’ve only been someone’s friend for a week, you can’t play their game.

Someone else is playing the shared game in question

Microsoft does allow up to ten family members to log in and access your shared Xbox One games. But only one person is allowed to play at a time. If someone else is playing, therefore, the game won’t work for you.

You are trying to play an Xbox 360 game, or an Xbox Live game you’ve bought for an earlier console

The Xbox One will have no backwards compatibility, so your game will not work. If you’ve bought, for argument’s sake, Pac-Man on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360, the different processor in the Xbox One means that it will not be able to run a title that originally worked using technology less sophisticated than you find in a modern gamepad.

You don’t have Kinect attached to your Xbox One

Whilst it’s not a requirement that the Kinect motion sensor is switched on when playing Xbox One games, it is required that it’s attached to your console. If you don’t have your Kinect connected, then you won’t be able to play games.

You want to play a used game from a third party publisher who doesn’t allow trade ins

If that’s the case, even if you have the physical disc in your hand, if a game has been registered and traded by someone else beforehand, there’s a good chance that the game in your hand won’t work. Unless you want to pay full price for it again.

The Xbox One is available for preorder now.

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