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xboxonegamecaseWe’re getting our first look at the Xbox One game case design today thanks to Microsoft’s Major Nelson. It’s a clean and simple look — in this case featuring Forza Motorsport 5, a racing game that was shown off during the Xbox One unveiling last week.

But the case and actual disc won’t be nearly as important once you’ve installed the game, according to Microsoft’s Phil Harrison in an interview with Wired at last week’s event. The physical copies will be more like “start-up discs” for games on the Xbox One.

“Once you put the disc into your machine, you never need it again. If you want to keep it, that’s great. You can do that. But you can also download the game,” Harrison told Wired.

Harrison also notes that you’ll be able to bring the disc to a friend’s house and play the game there while logged into your Xbox Live account. The bits would be on your friend’s machine, but the friend would then need to buy the game after you leave.

Speaking of Xbox One and its games, there has been a lot of chatter and confusion lately about Microsoft’s plans for used games on the Xbox One. The company is sidestepping that debate for now. Microsoft’s Major Nelson offered this statement last week.

The ability to trade in and resell games is important to gamers and to Xbox. Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games. Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future.

The MCV news site has more background on that issue, reporting that both publishers and Microsoft will take a cut from the profit that retailers make on used Xbox One game sales. Others are also reporting that there will be an extra activation cost for consumers buying used games.

This much we do know: You won’t be able to play your Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One. In an interview with GeekWire, Microsoft Xbox hardware boss Todd Holmdahl blamed the situation on the shift to an eight-core x86 processor in the Xbox One, vs. the three Power PC cores in the Xbox 360. The architectures aren’t compatible.

“We understand the importance of that,” he said of backward compatibility. “We’re going to continue our 360 business. We’re going to continue to invest in that. But as we looked at things we wanted to do moving forward … we couldn’t support all the legacy stuff and do all the stuff we we wanted to do.”

Here’s a roundup of GeekWire’s other coverage of the Xbox One:

Previously on GeekWire: GeekWire Radio: Getting to know Microsoft’s Xbox One

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