Microsoft Gives Up On Xbox One DRM

Microsoft has generated a lot of heat for restricting the sale and trading of used games on Xbox One, and requiring the consoles to phone home every 24 hours for verification. Basically, for having hefty DRM. Well, good news for whiners everywhere: Microsoft is giving up.

Microsoft has just announced that the Xbox One will treat games exactly like the Xbox 360 did. There will be no additional restrictions to selling or trading games, and games will not be region locked. Consoles will not have to check in with the mothership ever 24 hours; an internet connection will only be needed once to setup the console. After that, you're free to do as you please.

From Microsoft:

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.

Microsoft's initial stance on DRM had caused considerable backlash. Gamers pointed out that the requirements would not only eliminate the market for cheap used games (that neither Microsoft nor publishers make a profit off) but also make the Xbox One no good for gamers who don't have consistent, high-speed internet. It didn't help that Microsof was less than apologetic about the situation and did a particularly horrible job of explaining some of the benefits of the original DRM system.

But now that's all awash. Besides the bubble in Microsoft-hating, there's nothing left to show of the previous DRM platform. It's worth noting that these changes do not prohibit always-online or other sort of DRM; it just means Xbox One will not require it. Both the Xbox One and the PS4 are known to offer these kind of options to publishers who want to enable it. So it's possible this could all not matter anyway.

Still, this is a huge reversal for Microsoft, a real swing from one end of the spectrum to the other. Time to start chowing down; there's a lot of crow to eat here. But also maybe time to start giving your next-generation console choice some further consideration. [Xbox]


Comments

    Truth is that MS had all this restrictions to attract more developers and combat piracy, but they realice that if you dont have many people playing on their console there is no point.

    This also proves that if we (as community) voice our concerns we can make one the biggest companies in the world change their mind.

    Huzzah! Score one for the consumer.
    This has to the first good PR move that Microsoft has made since the backlash by gamers about the always online DRM.

    Now if they'll only announce the cost of games in Australia I will finally be able to pre-order the console and Titan Fall.

      How do consumers win? MS were trying to get the prices of new games lower, now you'll still be paying $80. It's a Pyrrhic victory, at best. You're insane if you think the developers are going to lose out, they'll just continue to hit you as hard as they can on the front end to make up for everything they miss at the back. After all, it's not like any of them are rolling in dough, it is a hugely cutthroat business that sees companies going out of business every month and I cannot see how that is a win for consumers, either.

        Did they announce that? It's pretty stupid to say your games are now $80 soon after saying they're $60.

          Well, that's what they were saying was the pay-off for all the DRM - lower prices - so you have to assume that no DRM means no lower prices, either.

            I wouldn't trust price promises until I see them on the shelves. I really doubt that that first release games would be much cheaper than now.

        Yeah, I agree that there's not necessarily a need for emphatic celebration.

        I will be buying a PS4 and had no intention of buying an XBone in any case. For me, this doesn't really change anything. If the PS4 had weaknesses then I'd look at the XBone, but as far as I can tell the PS4 is really strong, AND, I already have 40+ PSN+ games so I've well and truly fallen into the PSN+ Venus trap, long may that continue.

        But, more to the point, Microsoft was attempting to severely harm, or end, the used game business model, and despite selfishly wanting access to low cost ($10 to $15) used games, I think that putting an end to the likes of Gamestop / EB Games is the right thing to do. We know why, No point in me repeating that here.

        I think Microsofts attempts to limit DRM would have been a significant blow to Gamestop (and to the independent game retailers that follow the same business model) and if Sony were to follow with a similar policy Gamestop would be dead in an instant.

        Microsoft hasn't done the gaming public a favour.

        The gaming public have just handed Gamestop a billion dollar life-line.

        They're the ones celebrating.

        I would have preferred to have seen Microsoft stick to their guns, but given the damage that that was clearly going to cause them I can't fault them for reverting back in line. They ought to be proud that they risked a significant amount in order to alter the gaming industry for the greater good, and they ought to receive some recognition for it - but seemingly the gaming public can't think 2 moves ahead.

        Last edited 20/06/13 9:08 am

    I had already pre-ordered one before this but this is amazing. I am seriously stoked that they have changed such a fundamental policy.

      I agree, after watching the E3 conference it looked great but there was still the knock back of DRM policies. This has changed my mind about purchasing the console.

    Hope this means we don't loose things like the xbox family idea thing.

      Apparently that is gone, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to that

      All they needed to do was have an offline mode switch on your account, so if you are planning on going somewhere without internets, then you switch your account to offline mode which disabled all the online checkins, but also disabled the shared game library at the same time.

      Best of both worlds

        Damn :( Oh well.

        Would have loved this to try a few games before i buy. Or to have a few friends play co-op with me without myself slugging out the cash to buy the game FOR them haha.

        As long as physical used games still exist, that won't be a possibility.

        But gee, thanks you used games purchasers for killing what I thought was one of the best features of the Xbox One.

    Thanks to PS4 not having DRM, MS would have lost too many customers if they held on to DRM

      As well as no region locks

    in the words of Borat "Great Success!" Consumers 1 - Developers 0

    If only they listened to us about windows 8.

      Isn't that what 8.1 is all about?

    Finally, this was one of the many draw backs of the XBox one and I think Microsoft have realized it. Maybe now they'll be able to steal some PS4 people.

      They will definitely get some back, they had a strong showing at E3 and it will be their exclusive titles that will get Microsoft Consumers back.

        I agree. Probably also previously purchased content like music and movies.

        Last edited 20/06/13 8:12 pm

    Still need internet connection to setup an xbox one? What if some poor family doesn't have the internet.

      "some poor family" that doesn't have the internet, but can afford to drop $500 on a video game console?
      We applaud their concept of priorities and go back to focusing on people who aren't idiots.

      Why are they buying a XBO? maybe they could put the money in a mutual fund and try to change their fortune.

        Wouldn't a parent save up money and buy it for their kid and make them happy. Well, they won't buy it straight away at $599 of course, probably couple years down when it becomes cheaper.

          Absolutely Mike, I was just being a smart ass as people like to find any tiny detail to whinge about. I'm sure even the poorest family that has saved up to buy an XBO would know someone with an internet connection they could use to set up their console. If you've spent weeks saving your pennies than what's a half hour trip to a friends place to set it up.

      If you are too poor to afford the internet then you are too poor for an xbox one

    Should be called xbox180
    I'll definitely consider buying a xbox now.
    I would have loved to seen how badly their official launch would have been if they had left the DRM on.

    it wasnt fan input, i was because they saw the sales figures, relasized the ps4 was getting more money then them so they changed there DRM, dont be suprised if they re add it after people have brought the console

      Pretty sure the ACCC would love to take them to court over that though. That's a fairly big change. Especially if they forced it instead of making it optional.

    But Microsoft, the trust is gone, how do we know they wont try and pull a fast one by sneaking in DRM through system updates

      What do you mean the trust is gone? Have they lied about anything? They've been pretty upfront about it all.

    pretty straight forwards ,now this used games and DRM crap on or off would not effect buying price of games. and 2nd m$ as it's american company, no offense to americans but, ignorance is written alll overrrr it and greed. i don't respect them or there products

    Seriously - consumers made their choice and you call them whiners?

    Yes, consumer power is a terrible thing. We should just suck it up and eat whatever the corporations dish out.

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