Xbox One Does a 180 on DRM, Online Requirements

Xbox 180

Giving the Internet an ego boost it did not need, Microsoft reversed their controversial polices regarding DRM and always-online as it pertains to the Xbox One, their next-gen console scheduled for release in November of this year.

Giant Bomb reported that multiple sources were suggesting that Microsoft was poised to do the mother of all walkbacks and fundamentally change their approach to used games, DRM and online requirements for the Xbox One. Shortly after that, Microsoft did in fact reveal the changes, which are highlighted below:

  • The Xbox One does not need to be online at all with the exception of a one-time initialization during set-up.
  • The Xbox One will not be required to check-in online every 24 hours.
  • Disc based games will be played from the discs, the same as with the Xbox 360. Installing the game is no longer required.
  • All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
  • No additional restrictions on trading games or lending discs
  • Xbox One will be region-free.

That’s about as big a reversal as you can perform without reverting back to cartridges. No word on what caused this sudden shift in stance, but one can assume the uber-positive reaction to Sony’s E3 press conference had something to do with it. There is speculation that the PS4 was outperforming the XBox One in preorders as well and while that seems likely, we have no hard data to back it up. One casualty of this is the family sharing plan that Microsoft had outlined, which would have allowed gamers to share their games with up to 10 friends. That’s a shame because that feature was pretty nifty, but it obviously wasn’t enough to assuage gamers reservations about the console.

Regardless, Microsoft has heard your cries and they have answered. What’s your reaction? Have you also done a 180 on the Xbox One or has the damage been done?

Sources: Giant Bomb

Written by

Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

12 thoughts on “Xbox One Does a 180 on DRM, Online Requirements”

  1. Well that makes the choice of which console to buy first a lot more interesting. Still leaning towards the PS4 at the moment though. There aren’t a whole lot of exclusives named yet, so the lower price point and lack of kinect are winning me over.

  2. What Microsoft should have done was give the consumer choice. I think they should have had two different offline and online aspects of the Xbox One.

    the online only feature would boast games that cost $15-$20 cheaper but you cannot trade it in, and you can only give it to one friend once. the DRM heavy version of the game would release a week before the full $60-$65 version, which can be traded in and played offline. another feature they should implement is the ability to buy single and multilayer separately for cheaper but only if you buy a digital copy. They could even add online only exclusive dlc if they want.

    the offline feature would be more expensive and would release one to two weeks after the online only version, but you would be able to play offline and trade your game in.

    This would not only allow them to gain back some console buyers. It would also show that they have some faith in their console and their prediction of where the future lies, pleasing both consumers and shareholders (Who are no doubt worried at Microsoft’s conviction regarding the future role of the console).

  3. Damage has been done. Although that moved DID completely save alot of Xbox fans from switching to the PS4. I find hilarious how reverse the role was from when the 360 and PS3 was announced. Sony was the arrogant one, and Microsoft played it humble. What pisses me off the most about this whole ordeal is Major Nelson’s arrogance when defending The Xbone’s DRM policies. I saw a video interview of Major Nelson on the youtubes with a broadcaster named AngryJoe, and he kept defending it with questions like, “Digital games is the future, do you want to come to the future with me Joe?” It’s too late to recover from such a blunder. Even with the DRM Policy reversal, the PS4 still has the upperhand. For one, the PS4 isn’t packaged with the eye so you’re not forced to buy it, causing the price to be significantly cheaper than the XBone. I can go on and on about the Xbone and PS4, but fact of the matter is…Xbone has been simply designed as a home entertainment, and media. PS4 is developed for gaming. I’ve been an Xbox owner for quite some time now, and me ranting isn’t even about how “an xbox fan is jumping ship to the playstation bandwagon.” I’m just pissed at the sheer arrogance Microsoft’s PR team displayed when defending their old DRM policy, then out of nowhere just straight up flip-flop on their policies. This isn’t Microsoft, “listening to customer feedback.” This was Microsoft genuinely shitting their pants at how well the PS4 is doing in terms of pre-order and consumer reviews.

  4. It’ll probably no longer allow you to simply play the installed games without the discs in, which was a feature I was looking forward to. But without the online checks, the discs will need to be in. Now I’m failing to see why I would upgrade from the 360 now that this will act the exact same way. I wasn’t crazy about the online checks and all the DRM crap (who in their right mind would be) but I was thinking that when I’d finally upgrade I’d just deal with it. I’ve kinda lost interest, truth be told.

  5. Astonishing news. This is great news for those buying an Xbox one (eighty :P). But in terms of actually getting one myself, no. The damage has been done. At this point, the One is back to what it should of been at the very start. Which is great for those who are already buying, but isn’t really an incentive to change me over. Kinect is still a problem (I think?), and the price isn’t worth it. But at least they stand a chance now, but im also think that this change will push the release into 2014.

    I’m a little sad though, i kinda wanted to see the disaster that would of been release day 😛

  6. Too little to late, and there’s still a huge problem. The real reason that the once a day online check in was bad is because some people don’t have internet. So, the “one-time initialization during set-up.” is still not possible. I can just see Best Buy charging 29.99 to do this for people…

  7. I’m glad to see that quite a few people are still planning on buying a PS4 even after Microsoft did this. I (and many others) have no idea what in the world the management at MS was thinking when they came up with those original ideas for DRM and always online. I just can’t get over what a terrible business decision that was for a multi-billion dollar company like them to make. Plus all the bad PR from the fans they alienated. I own both the 360 and PS3, and I prefer the 360 hands down due to things like a better user interface, private chat and crossgame chat, faster download and update times (although those have improved significantly over the life of PS3), etc. I think it comes down to you get what you pay for, and since PS+ isn’t required, they didn’t use the money they had to create a better online experience.

    However, for the next generation I know I will be playing on a PS4, not only because of MS’s blunder, but because of the greatly improved PS4. Private chat is a huge thing for me, really make or break when buying a console. I just can’t stand people listening to my friends’ and my conversations. Also, saving $100 is pretty big to me, because I could care less about motion control and what not which is basically why the Xbone is more because of the Kinect as Meatwad pointed out. The whole Kinect always-on thing kind of bother me too. I suppose you could unplug the Kinect, but would that affect the entire console? And then you would have a piece of $100 machinery sitting there collecting dust anyway. I have no problem paying for PS+ since I’ve been paying for Live for the past seven years anyway.

    Julez, you make a very good point that I thought of before but never saw anyone else point out with the Internet still needed for initial setup. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see stores offering that “service”, especially Best Buy.

  8. huge problem? Watch out for the hyperbole police the mayor of exaggerationville has just issued a warrant. If you have a mobile phone then you have no problem, if you know someone with a mobile phone then you have no problem they have this amazing feature called “wireless hotspot”

  9. @Martin,

    There are some people who have neither. I have a mobile phone, but it doesn’t do wireless hotspots because I don’t pay for that feature. And you are forgetting people in the military who might not have access to either depending on their situation.

    There are some people who that is a “huge problem” for.

  10. @martin

    In a way you are right, it’s not the biggest problem. But its enough of one to restrict people without any sort of internet access to it’s primary function (I think) of playing games. Denying that people in this day and age don’t have any sort of access whatsoever is denying that there are people who are less fortunate or in remote regions. Hopefully Microsoft releases a model somewhere down the track that allows basic functions regardless of connection.

  11. @Anthony – YES DEFINITELY the military being boned. Trust me, when MS unfolded their plans on always being online, everyone in my entire unit went ape shit. I get it. I’m infantry, if we get deployed to say Afghanistan, or even back then in Iraq, there’s really no time to lounge around and play consoles. However, the fact of the matter is, the military is transitioning to peace time. We deploy to places where we’re literally told to sit down and standby in case some shit happens. Denying us access because of lack of internet is a huge middle finger to us. So @Martin, this isn’t just about “class warfare,” being too poor to afford internet. There are alot of people who make a decent amount of living who, because of work circumstances, can’t have access to a functioning internet.

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