Microsoft One Eighty

Xbox 180

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.

5 thoughts on “Microsoft One Eighty

  1. I think its a clever thing for Xbox to do announcing this, a lot of Sony’s marketing (like the Youtube video thats gone viral) was based around the fact that trading a game on the PS4 was as simple as its always been.

    Xbox have now reverted to the old ways which I think for now is the right thing. When cloud gaming does become more apparent in the future the trading of games online will become more of the norm but not right now. At least Microsoft will have it in place if things do change in the near future.

  2. I do have one query. I don’t understand why you think digital copies couldn’t be traded under this new plan. Can you explain?

  3. From what I read Microsoft haven’t confirmed or denied if you will be able to sell games purchased digitally, but it’s unlikely they will. With 24 hour connection requirement no longer in place, any dishonest gamer can download all their games in to a separate Xbox One, make it an offline only machine and then re-download the games into a separate online machine, where technically, one would be able to sell their digital content.

    Having said all that, with the price point of £429 per machine, it would be false economy to do that at the moment.

    I’m just disappointed at this turn around, I understand why Microsoft did it but I was on board and ready for a digital future.

    1. I’m still not entirely convinced by your arguement. The comments from Microsoft very specifically say this is in relation to disk based games so they could instigate on-line checks for digital downloads. Even if they don’t I can still see ways it could work. Can’t remember how it works on 360 but on PS3 you can only install digital copies on two machines so it’s obviously possible to restrict so this could be reduced to one.
      Also if you’re buying digital copies you will be doing so via internet so they could do any checks on download.

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