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'Heartbroken MS employee' bemoans Xbox One changes

A person claiming to be part of the Xbox One team expresses dismay over Microsoft's backtracking on the always-connected requirement and used game sales.

Microsoft's Xbox One
Microsoft's Xbox One. James Martin/CNET

At least one Microsoft employee -- or somebody posing as one -- is none too happy with the company's about-face on the Xbox One.

In an anonymous Pastebin post on Thursday, a self-dubbed "heartbroken MS employee" vented on Microsoft's decision to remove at least two of the more controversial features in the Xbox One. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that it would jettison the requirement that the Xbox One connect to the Internet. The company also said it would loosen the restrictions on used game sales.

In response, the Pastebin poster tried to highlight the vision behind the Xbox One to explain why getting rid of those features lessens the impact of the upcoming new console.

Touting the social benefits of a connected Xbox One, the poster pointed to Family Sharing as one cool, new feature. Family Sharing would have allowed an Xbox One user to share their online Xbox One titles with another person anywhere in the world. But rather than the full game, the shared version would be a demo of the full game designed to expire after a certain amount of time.

"This allowed the person to play the game, get familiar with it, then make a purchase if they wanted to," the poster said. "When the time limit was up they would automatically be prompted to the Marketplace so that they may order it if liked the game. The difference between the family sharing and the typical store demo is that your progress is saved as if it was the full game, and the data that was installed for that shared game doesn't need to be erased when they purchase the full game."

Family Sharing may still be implemented even without the Internet requirement, but only with digital downloaded versions of games, the poster added.

Also on the hit list was Microsoft's move to cancel restrictions on used game sales, which the person said will simply hurt the video game industry.

"Video game development is a loss leader by definition and unlike other forms of media video games only have one revenue stream and that is selling to you the gamer," the poster said. "So when you buy a game used you're hurting developers much more than say a movie studio. Many gamers fail to realize this when they purchase these preowned games."

In changing the rules of the Xbox One, Microsoft was clearly reacting to the outcry from gamers and consumers. But the poster pinned the blame on Microsoft itself for failing to communicate the benefits of the new console.

"We didn't do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model," the person said. "We spent too much of our time fighting against the negative impressions that many people in the media formed. I feel that if we spent less time on them and more time explaining the great features we had lined up and the ones in the pipes gamers and media alike would have aligned to our vision."

Since these comments come from an anonymous Pastebin posting, there's no way to determine if the person is indeed a Microsoft employee. But given the time and effort put into developing the new features of the Xbox One, these sentiments are likely shared by at least some of those on the Xbox team.