Microsoft Reverses Xbox One’s Shit-tastic DRM Policies
By Zeus, you’ve done it. We’ve done it. Our collective bitching has effectively moved mountains. We made Microsoft budge. Hell, that’s the metaphorical equivalent to knocking the Earth off of its axis…Which would likely kill us, but as we hurtle through space to our unknown doom, hold onto the peace of mind that we can at least lend our Xbox One games to a friend before we die.
Forgive my nonsense and dig this: Micro’s president of interactive entertainment, Don Mattrick – ‘member him? – issued a cordial update on the Xbox One’s used games and online policies in a post titled “Your Feedback Matters” (That alone deserves a tip of the hat). The Xbox One’s DRM-like policies have, up until now, been met with “passionate” responses from the gaming community (you’re free to replace “passionate” with whichever venomous word of your choosing; all are correct).
But it would appear Microsoft, in the first expert display of damage control since the console’s reveal, has completely reassessed their stance on connectivity limitations (i.e. the “always-online” debate):
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.
Similarly, disc-based games, which were originally to be tethered to individual profiles, thus preventing friends from using the same disc on their own consoles, has seen all potential restrictions revoked:
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.
Mattrick goes on to state that it is his and his company’s belief that while consumers will continue to support the system’s online features, including the cloud, for playing and downloading games (a steadfast march into an all-digital age that many argue is already here), Microsoft still wants to provide the “choice of both physical and digital content.”
Practically all of my criticisms toward the Xbox One were rallied against Microsoft’s policies and contorted, arrogant ideologies in regards to the future of gaming. There is no denying that this was a good fucking move on their part. This is exactly the compromise needed to change a lot of minds about the Xbox One’s threading within the next generation’s tapestry.
I feel much of Sony’s thunder from E3 could be muffled by this policy assessment, but policy should have never played a part in the purchasing decision to begin with. It should have always been a battle between games and features. We’re back to that level, yes, but the skirmish is now also pit on the dollar – our dollar, to be precise – and the PlayStation 4 still rests at a hundred bones cheaper than the competition.
Still, MS has definitely won some good graces today. We’ll see how far that carries them when both systems launch.