Microsoft about face on Xbox One's draconian DRM policy

As reported on Gamasutra, Microsoft have made a massive u-turn on their controversial always online, no reselling games policy.


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.

That was Microsoft VP Don Mattrick.


Plus it reverses one of the dumbest things Microsoft have done, and since Gates retired, that isn’t a short list. The Xbox One launch was so full of hubris it just handed Sony PR all they needed to position themselves as the gamers choice… And they did.


Here is the hilarious part… Know why Microsoft came out guns blazing about DRM this generation? It’s because they knew Sony were doing it to. Now… Why some PR schmuck thought launching with a focus on what Xbox One *couldnt* do is a question for the ages. In the end though, Microsoft was just being more honest than Sony.


I mean, Sony has a huge history of… Well frankly just making stuff up about launch systems. Remember the PS2 launch… They basically crushed the Dreamcast under a pile of BS and promises. Or the PS3 reveal with its CG as gameplay videos and batarang controller?


Make no mistake, Sony and Microsoft both saw used games as harmful to the bottom line. Does nobody remember this bit of news? Sony was working to block used games too. So long as they both did it, they would have gotten away with it.

Now that Microsoft backed down, that slams the door on Sony “changing their mind” down the road. I wonder if there were more than a few “Ah crap”‘s to be heard among Sony executives.

Thanks to Sony’s PR stunt, we the consumers, all win. Plus the subject has become so poisonous, you shouldn’t expect it to rear it’s ugly head again soon.


Well except maybe online passes…

Or through legislative means… Possibly tariffs.

Ok, expect something soon. 🙂


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