latest interview with Major Nelson by Angry Joe. It's an impromptu interview as Angry Joe kind of snuck in between the regularly scheduled interviews:
Q: so the Xbox friends list. It was going to be 1000 friends. Now it’s going to be unlimited friends? Is that correct?
MN: essentially unlimited, yeah. When you say “unlimited” in the minds of developers, that kind of makes them panic but essentially it is unlimited. The reality is most modern social networks have quite a few… I think Facebook is like three or five thousand or whatever it is.
Q: it’s actually 4000. I have fans that filled it up. But you can do a like page so you can do more. It’s “unlimited” on Xbox Live.
MN: we’re saying “virtually unlimited“ because obviously you can’t add a million new people. Something that’s manageable.
Q: [question about family plan]
MN: you have to think of it as a library. Kind of like exactly how it works today. If you buy it, I can actually check it out and play it or you can play it. Think of it as one person at a time just like it is today.
Q: you can’t play it like simultaneously off one copy?
MN: If you’re playing splitscreen, you can. It’s not like you’re buying one copy for all 10 members.
Q: … the problem is after 8 years all the Xbox Original’s games were shut down. You know, you can’t play them online. So what I’m a little concerned, is that going to happen to the Xbox One after a certain amount of time or the Xbox 360 after 8 years if we’re going all digital?
MN: obviously that’s something that we’re going to work out. We’re not going to just shut things off. This generation hasn’t even begun so we’re already looking to shutting it down? C’mon.
Q: and you guys also said you guys are going to allow gifting or rather trading so can you explain that?
MN: yeah, right now, what we’ve announced is the ability to… when I’m done with the game… and you and I are not in the same family plan, I can give you the game. That’s it. You don’t even have to be in the same house or in the same town or even in the same state.
Q: that happens once, right?
Q: so what happens with that new owner? Can he go and resell that game at a retailer?
MN: not to my knowledge. No.
Q: so the Xbox One is region-locked and you guys aren’t releasing in Poland but you guys are promoting Witcher 3 which is a huge title but you’re not promoting it in Poland. So if it’s region-locked, one of your main titles isn’t even available on the Xbox One, right?
MN: I obviously haven’t even looked… I’ll have to take a look at that specific question.
Q: they did say that you leave it up to the publishers. Let’s use for example the Witcher 3. CD Projekt RED who’s not really into DRM, right? Can they choose for example to say, “We don’t want any DRM on our games. You can do used games. You can give games to your friends unlimited. Not just once”. Or will you impose the restriction of only lending that game once?
MN: we want to do what developers and publishers want to do and if that’s something they’re interested in doing, then we’ll certainly work with them to make sure they get success.
Q: okay, that’s wonderful. That’s a step in the right direction.
sharing plan is akin to a real life library. a family member checks out a game and while he's checking it out, other family members cannot play that game. so it's not locking up the entire library like some have said as a possible restriction that they could implement. combine this great fact with other family members' game libraries, you still have a lot of games to play from.
now, he didn't clear up the question of the primary owner always having access to his game, thus making it 1+1 which Phil Spencer said is how he says 2 people can play it and which the licensing page suggests as well. he did say that if it's splitscreen, it's for sure to work but that's already a given because they're on the same console at that point and the sharing plan is out of the equation.