Xbox One / DRM Change

So it seems that Microsoft made changes to the DRM policy for the Xbox One.  They’ve announced it as having listened to “us” but it unfortunately seems like we’re taking a step backwards.  Here is the announcement:

Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

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.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.

Source.

I do have to say I’m a little saddened that rather than coming out and explaining what could have been a very good thing for gamers and instead have simply gone back to what we already had.  This response was pretty funny.  This Gizmodo article was also pretty good.  This MS Employee post is also interesting.

What do you think?

7 Comments

  1. DeputyDogg1985
    DeputyDogg1985 June 24, 2013 6:41 am 

    While none of the original features were that big of a downfall to me it certainly had alot of people pissed so I’m for the change but that said I’m on the fence on which console to chose and neither is a day oen grab.

  2. WormholeXtreme
    WormholeXtreme June 24, 2013 6:51 am 

    I had planned on purchasing discs for most of my games. But with this change I will be forced to purchase the digital download only. Since having to swap discs is the thing I hate the most about the current gen. And since that will cost me more, I will be buying fewer games. Since usually with disc purchases there are some deals from many of the retail stores.

    But now the retail stores will be getting zero from me. And I guess even though I will be spending less on games, someone will be getting just as much money from me since I would think a DD costs less than a disc in retail packaging.

  3. crankbait June 24, 2013 1:56 pm 

    There is no reason Microsoft could not implement any of their features on digital purchases. Now that we have learned family sharing for 10 people was really just a limited demo of the title with the ability to save progress and use it upon a full purchase I do not see what is being lost here.

    We can now trade disks and I can take my xbox up to the cabin that has no internet on vacation. Pricing is always better with physical media as you can always find deals on disks but if media is made only available on Live MS will control pricing.

    This backlash from people now saying gaming’s next gen is dead because of the removal of draconian DRM policies are welcome to their opinion, but I do not see it.

  4. crankbait June 24, 2013 1:59 pm 

    and the now enabled rental market trumps what MS was calling ‘family Share’ any day of the week as I can make much more progress on a title with a rental and save my progress just as easily.

  5. crankbait June 24, 2013 6:56 pm 

    I don’t buy that either. The fact they cannot communicate what their own features were at this point sounds a bit like a bait and switch to me. I mean really could they be any more deceptive at this point? What was the feature then exactly?

    • Jagger June 24, 2013 10:01 pm 

      [shrug] I’ll take something official over an anonymous dump on Pastebin anytime.

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t be what it sounded like. You share your games with up to ten people, one person on the list gets access to it at a time.

      Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games. You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.

      The only thing they seemed they felt needed clearing up was what ‘family’ meant. Which was really whoever you wanted.

      Either way, what it did or didn’t do doesn’t matter anymore. It’s dead.

      It looks like Steam may be working on implementing something similar, so if that happens and does well, maybe it’ll make a return sooner rather than later.

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