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Microsoft backtracks: unpopular Xbox One DRM policies torn up

by Mark Tyson on 20 June 2013, 08:00

Tags: Xbox

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Microsoft has yielded to the generally negative comments and feedback from gamers over its DRM and used games policies for the upcoming Xbox One console. In a blog post on the Official Xbox news site entitled Your Feedback Matters – Update on Xbox One, Don Mattrick, Microsoft’s President of Interactive Entertainment Business broke the news. The main thrust of the changes are that; you won’t need to be online to play offline Xbox One games, no 24 hour check in will be required and you will be able to “trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today” with your Xbox 360 system.

In his blog post Mattrick thanked angry gamer internet mobs for their “assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One” and for their “candid feedback”. He summed up what was asked for in the feedback and complaints; “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.”

Here are the two main changes, which aim to make the DRM and games sharing and reselling mechanisms much more like the old Xbox 360:

  • 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.

Addressing further questions that may arise from this policy reversal Mattrick said that downloaded games will also be playable offline. However “downloaded titles can’t be shared or resold”. There will be no regional restrictions with Xbox One titles. Microsoft will continue to offer users the choice of both physical and digital content.

Well done, but the policy change isn’t 100 per cent positive

TechCrunch wrote about this news under the simple heading “Well done, Microsoft”. The article concluded that “Gamers wanted to love the Xbox One but Microsoft made it impossible”. Now the console has much more of a fighting chance. However it will still be significantly more expensive than Sony’s PS4 at launch. CNet reports that following the DRM policy reversals Microsoft still believes its new console will be worth the extra outlay as it “will offer features not found elsewhere, such as its Kinect motion-sensing, voice-detecting controller”.

An interesting adjustment of the no-DRM policy does have what might be seen as drawbacks by some. Gamers who buy disc based games will lose some benefits of the earlier policy, where they could access games from any console once they loaded the disc onto their own Xbox One HDD. Gamers will now need to keep the disc in the tray to play it, like with Xbox 360 consoles. Also “Microsoft is doing away with the policy of allowing up to 10 family members to share disc-based games even if they didn't have the disc in their console” notes CNet.



HEXUS Forums :: 54 Comments

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Still going to get a PS4 over the Xbox One as its got much better hardware and I don't care for the Kinect. Then again mostly I'm going to stick to PC gaming like I have done for the last few years and only use the console for the odd game that isn't released for PC.
Really surprised that they actually listened to people, still not buying it tho
The main thrust of the changes are that; you won’t need to be online to play offline Xbox One games, no 24 hour check in will be required and you will be able to “trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today” with your Xbox 360 system.
Yay! :D
Gamers will now need to keep the disc in the tray to play it, like with Xbox 360 consoles.
Boo! :(
Although presumably this doesn't apply to downloaded games which, I'm guessing, will still need some degree of net connection?
However it will still be significantly more expensive than Sony’s PS4 at launch. CNet reports that following the DRM policy reversals Microsoft still believes its new console will be worth the extra outlay as it “will offer features not found elsewhere, such as its Kinect motion-sensing, voice-detecting controller”.
Hmm, call me cynical, but wasn't the deal that the XBone isn't usable without it's Kinect. And yes, I can see the justification for the price premium over the PS4. Although I'm still concerned that the Kinect features will still require acres of space and hence won't work in the typical Brit Barratt hamster cage bedroom. :(

With this announcement I've gone from XBone-hostile to neutral, what would be needed for me to seriously consider a pre-order would be some means to continue to use my old XB360 titles - whether that was an online-based library of ported games or (better still) some kind of emulator. If I'm to buy an XBone then it's got to be as a replacement for my existing XBox, not an additional box.
PS4 is cheaper, better specs and better exclusives, the Xbone is done. M$ have already shown their true colours in how they are willing to screw over the consumer.I will not support this **** corporation and the ignorant and arrogant idiots that run it… cough ..Don Mattrick
Oh Microsoft, you're so funny.