Microsoft U-turns on DRM restrictions after gamer outcry
Microsoft has surprisingly abandoned its plans to restrict the sharing of Xbox One games, as well as also removing daily online authentication requirements from its next gen console.
As it turns out the internet has spoken, and ironically put the future of digital video gaming on hold. Let’s dissect the good points from this Microsoft announcement and consider the trade-offs.
There will be no need to authenticate the system online every 24 hours, according to Microsoft’s statement, “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 will now be no restrictions on gifting, re-selling, sharing or renting Xbox One game titles. Surprisingly Microsoft will also be removing regional locks, “Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.”
This is great news for gamers, but what’s the trade-off? One of the caveats is, “playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.” What this means is you won’t be able to seemingly swap between games you own, an example of this is, if I’m playing Dead Rising 3 and my friends invite me for a game of Battlefield 4, I have to save my game, suspend my current session and physically swap the disks in the console. The alternative would have been voice or guide commands where the Xbox One would suspend your game, but keep parts of it running in the background, allowing you to jump back and forward between games, just like changing channels in your TV.
Microsoft had also planned to allow customers to “trade” downloaded games online in exchange for money off new titles. With this U-turn, gamers will no longer be able to do this. I think this is something gamers will regret in the future.
But overall I think it’s good that Microsoft are listening to their customers and responding to them, there’s also nothing to stop them from bringing back all of these features at a future point in time.
For now, the next gen war goes on, Nintendo this is your cue to fight back.