Gamers have been left confused - though optimistic - after Microsoft announced it will be possible to play second-hand games on the Xbox One console. They just won't say how.

The new machine will introduce new forms of digital rights management, which tie games to user accounts and also allow you to play different titles without swapping the disc.

But while that move comes with some benefits, it also raises questions about how the system will let users swap, trade or sell games - either with their friends or a used games store.


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In an interview with Eurogamer, Microsoft's Phil Harrison explained - twice - that it will be possible.

Harrison said that gamers will be able to play the same game if using the same system - say a son and a father living in the same house. And that if you take a game to a friend's house, you can play as long as you're logged in as yourself.

But if you leave, your friend will have to buy the game to keep playing under his own account.

"The bits that are on the disc, I can give to anybody else, but if we both want to play it at the same time, we both have to own it. That's no different to how discs operate today."

Aside from that, many issues remain unclear.

As MCV points out, Microsoft has not explained what happens when you try to sell a disc, either at retail or privately (on eBay, for instance). It says that an announcement is forthcoming.

Microsoft has also left some confused by claiming that the Xbox One will "require" an internet connection, but will not need to be permanently connected.

Prior to the launch, it had been feared that the new Xbox would feature an always-on style of DRM as seen in the recent disastrous launches of SimCity and Diablo III. While that does not appear to be the case, Microsoft is keeping specifics to a minimum on this issue as well as that of pre-owned games.

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  • This product image released by Microsoft shows the new Xbox One entertainment console that will go on sale later this year. Microsoft is seeking to stay ahead of rivals in announcing that new content that can be downloaded for the popular "Call of Duty" game will launch first on Xbox One. Microsoft says more games will be shown at next month's E3 video game conference in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Microsoft)

  • Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown on stage Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. It's been eight years since the launch of the Xbox 360. The original Xbox debuted in 2001, and its high-definition successor premiered in 2005. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Photographers crowd around Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system after it was officially revealed, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A controller for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display after its unveiling Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo shows a rear view of Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, on display at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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    The Kinect motion-sensing device for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • The new controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown front and center with older-generation controllers behind it, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MICROSOFT - Press photograph Xbox One following the Xbox One reveal event on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (Photo by KAREN DUCEY/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)

  • IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MICROSOFT - Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft unveils Xbox One on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)

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