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?