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You complained, and Microsoft listened.

In an incredible turn of events, Microsoft has changed its mind on a handful of the Xbox One policies that had many gamers up in arms.

Don Mattrick, the president of the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business, just wrote a blog post detailing the huge changes, which are also reflected in the updated Xbox One Q&A.

“Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback,” Mattrick wrote. “I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.”

Among the changes:

  • The console does not have to connect to the Internet every 24 hours
  • Internet connection is only required when first setting up the console
  • Whether you’re online or offline, all downloaded games will function the same
  • No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs — you can share and rent Xbox One games just like you can with Xbox 360 games
  • No more regional restrictions

Microsoft had taken some heat for requiring the console to be connected to the Internet all the time, including some harsh words from very angry military personel. Mattrick actually said last week that those who do not have Internet should stick with the Xbox 360. Microsoft last week launched a refreshed Xbox 360 and plans to continue supporting the console.

Follow-up: POLL: Microsoft just made big policy changes — Now will you buy an Xbox One?

Advantages of that approach included the ability to play games via the cloud, for example when logging into your Xbox Live account at a friend’s house. It appeared that the company was going to continue demonstrating the value of the approach to win over hard-core gamers for Xbox One, but now they’ve reversed their decision.

Microsoft and Sony just wrapped up a week at the big E3 conference, with much of the attention on console price ($499 for the Xbox One vs. $399 for the Playstation 4), the Xbox One’s restrictions on video game sharing, and its requirement for regular Internet connectivity. While Microsoft spent time defending itself on the big Xbox One changes, Sony landed a series of statements (and jokes) designed to point out where its PlayStation 4 differs from Microsoft’s new console.

Here’s Mattrick’s post in full:

Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games– After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.

Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft says you can tether your phone for Xbox One check-ins

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