It's a bit hard to remember now, but Microsoft's original roadmap for the Xbox One included a "family sharing" option that let players loan their game library to up to ten other accounts. Those features went away when Microsoft reversed its controversial digital licensing policy a year ago, though Microsoft has hinted that such sharing features could return to the system later (as thousands of Internet petitioners have demanded). Now Microsoft's Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has confirmed that the previously promised family sharing plan is part of the "monthly update roadmap" the company is looking at for the future.
In an interview with Gamertag Radio (noticed by IGN), Spencer noted that adding the family sharing feature back "is a little bit of a challenge now that you've got DRM on a disc... We got hung up last year on the kind of enabling features—when does it have to connect to the Internet and all that," he said. "But I think the feature people really cared about—I've got this collection of content, I can do family sharing, share with my friends—there were a bunch of things we had ideas around. I haven't given up on those ideas. There's some complexity now that you've got these discs that have DRM that you've got to figure out. But it's definitely part of our [roadmap] with the overall product."
Spencer allowed that features like family sharing could be available in a hybrid model, where they apply to titles downloaded from Xbox Live but not to discs that can be resold. But such a plan could introduce its own wrinkles, he said. "It's the nature of the beast where we are, but now you're in the spot [where someone says] 'Hey, I thought a Ryse disc from you and you didn't tell me at the time that Ryse [on] disc wasn't going to be able to do what Ryse [on] digital's gonna do.' That's not an excuse for not doing it, [but] any of these features I want to make sure I'm doing it the right way. People should know we are thinking about these features. They haven't gone away."