When Microsoft pulled a complete reversal on its Xbox One policies, one of the casualties was the much-anticipated Family Sharing feature. But the feature may well return at a later date if consumers want it, Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten has told IGN.
"If it's something that people are really excited about and want, we're going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back," Whitten said.
He continued: "We believe really strongly in how you build a great experience on Xbox One for me as an individual, but also for my family. Family Sharing is a great example of how you do that with content. I think you're going to see us, both with examples like that and with other things, keep pushing on how that's something great. An example is some of the stuff we're doing with what we announced around Gold, where other people in the house get the advantages of Gold when I'm a Gold member. You're going to see us continue to push in those areas."
Family Sharing allowed users to share their game library with a group of 10 friends and family, and was one of few Xbox One features which had people excited.
Regarding the decision to remove it, Whitten said it was a matter of making room for the other features consumers were asking for.
"We took some feedback and realised there was some stuff we needed to add to the program," he said. "To add it to the program, we had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that work done. So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about 'we're going to take our toys and go home' or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of 'how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?'"
Whitten concluded: "You know, if there's anything I think that Xbox 360 has proven, it's that we're super committed to this constant cycle of improving the experience and the software, and it's what we've been doing for 360 for the past seven years, and it's certainly where we're going to go with Xbox One."
Xbox One releases in November.
The ability to share and access game libraries of your friends and family was beginning to be seen as a great feature for the Xbox One, and something which was perhaps worth putting up with the DRM for. Microsoft's issue was not explaining this feature from the offset, before consumer faith in the Xbox One took a major blow.