Microsoft Reverses Course on the Xbox One's New DRM Schemes

Posted Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:30 AM PDT by
Xbox One Update

Dubbed the "Xbox 180," the Xbox One will not require 24-hour online check-ins and there will be "no regional restrictions" for games.

Microsoft has elected to face the furor over their proposed Xbox One's dependence on online check-ins by reversing course. In a statement from Don Mattrick, Microsoft has described that they "believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future," but that they "have heard directly from many of you." Ultimately, "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."

Formerly, the idea for the Xbox One seemed to be that users would buy disc-based games that on first use were installed on the Xbox One's hard drives, and tied to their accounts. Those accounts would have the ability to be shared with family members, and there was some kind of plan to allow games to be resold digitally. Not only did systems need to be connected to the internet at least once in a 24 hour period to prevent games free being locked out, but there was also some severe regional limitations. With the system set to only launch in 21 countries, much of the world would not have been able to use the Xbox One. Likewise, within the launch territories, games and systems would need to be from the same region to work.

Unfortunately, in order to enable the new, more traditional set-up of the Xbox One, the system will need a day one patch.

Naturally, the rumors of Microsoft's DRM plans have been surfacing for months and once they were confirmed, the outcry was both severe and derisive. Sony's E3 conference capitalized on this, and the distinction between the PS4 and Xbox One's DRM was even remarked at by Jimmy Fallon just days ago on his late night show. What's worse is that Microsoft's clear statement announcing the reversal of their DRM plans is presented in a much clearer manner than whatever they had originally planned. When faced with questions about various situations such as how would US military personnel stationed around the world be able to use the Xbox One under their proposed restrictions, Microsoft rarely had good answers and even famously recommended the Xbox 360.

Still, there as those who apparently embraced what Microsoft had in mind in the hopes that requiring an online connection would enable cloud functionality worthy of a new generation of games, and many of those people have now seemingly had their hopes deleted. More importantly, Microsoft can now begin to work through their former, self-created impasse.

From Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft,

"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."

Source: Major Nelson

Author: Brian Hoss

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Tags: Xbox, Microsoft, Xbox One (all tags)