Wednesday, June 19, 2013

After backlash, Microsoft revises Xbox One DRM policies, cuts features to do it

We were wondering if Microsoft would reverse its used game policy and its 24-hour-online check, used as a form of DRM. The Redmond, Wash.-based giant made the announcement on Wednesday.

The firm took a big hit during E3 when it announced the details of its Xbox One next-generation video gaming console. It didn't help that Sony, following up the Xbox One presentation, took advantage of both of those FUBARs during its PS4 event. Thus, Microsoft was basically backed into a corner.

In its blog post, Microsoft said that the communities feedback helped them "to reshape the future of Xbox One."

Microsoft announced the following changes:
  • 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.
The changes do mean that some of the functionality that Microsoft had promised for the Xbox One is gone. Previously, Microsoft had said that it would support installing games completely from disc, without a requirement for the disc to be inserted. That is now gone.

Also gone is a 10-person family sharing feature that had been publicized earlier. Here's what the company said:
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.
The Xbox One still has a $100 price disadvantage compared to the PS4, although it does ship with a Kinect unit as part of its $499 (vs. $399) price.

The question is, will these changes affect those who were turned off by the E3 details; will they come back to the Xbox? Only time will tell.



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