In an interview with Ars Technica, Microsoft's marketing chief for Xbox, Yusuf Mehdi, has defended the licensing and used game policies of the Xbox One, stating that the reaction from gamers was "kind of as we expected". In the long run, he expects that gamers will see the benefits of the policies on the console, as the gaming market shifts to digital-only in favor of physical discs.
He said that Microsoft is "trying to do something pretty big in terms of moving the industry forward for console gaming into the digital world", adding that "we believe digital is better". In the future, Mehdi believes that the move to all-digital will provide the capabilities for different licensing models, although for the time being it's a "big change" that Microsoft needs to educate users about to "make sure that people understand".
Speaking directly about the situation surrounding Microsoft's controversial Xbox One used game policy, Mehdi stated that they weren't simply "giving in" to publishers with the policy, instead they were trying to balance the needs of consumers ("first and foremost") as well as publishers, retailers, and Microsoft themselves.
Within that, we've tried to optimize, and I think we've found a great balance across all of those dimensions. But there are tradeoffs. We do want to support everyone in that system, beginning with the consumer. But we want publishers to get paid for the great IP they work on. We want retailers to be able to drive and sell our products and make a profit. So we are trying to balance across all those.
Medhi also clarified the situation regarding the sharing of your Xbox One game library with up to ten "family members", despite not being able to give all the details at this stage. According to him, a "family member" doesn't actually have to live in your house - they could be 3,000 miles away - and you'll be able to link/add Xbox Live accounts to access your shared game library, although only one person can play a copy of a shared game at the same time.
Finally, Mehdi also said it was "hard to say" what the reaction from the greater community will be over the Xbox One's various restrictions and policies.
I think it's fair to say there's a segment of consumers at this show in particular who really pay attention, who are very passionate about all aspects of gaming, and that we listen to closely. In a broader set of community, people don't pay attention to a lot of the details. We've seen it in the research, we've seen it in a lot of the data points.
The rest of his interview with Ars Technica can be read here.
Image via Ars Technica