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.
Continue reading Xbox One Does a 180 on DRM, Online Requirements
After the last few weeks, it’s been hard for me not to be a bit of a gaming grump when it comes to trends in the video game industry. Sometimes it’s easy to look at all the ways the hobby’s changing, from DRM to microtransactions to the idea of games as a service instead of games as a product… and just feel a bit let down.
But then some great games come out like Bioshock: Infinite and Tomb Raider, and you start to feel a bit more hopeful. Like maybe some teams are out there still thinking about us and trying to make games we’ll enjoy. So in that vein, I thought today’s Pixel Count would focus on the positive: what gaming trends do you love about the industry right now! Tell us why in the comments!
So you guys might have heard about this game called Sim City that came out this week. Apparently lots of people are playing it, and everything that EA has done with the launch has been so brilliant that people are throwing parades for it, both in their game’s city streets and in real life. It’s being heralded as the way to do a launch right, and a bastion of hope for how to do an “always online” DRM.
OK, none of that is true. At all. In fact, lots of people can’t even play the game yet.
In what might have been a worse launch disaster than Diablo III, Sim City points to a somewhat grim future for “always online” single player games on the PC. The game’s servers have been so overloaded that people are having trouble playing, saving cities, seeing their friends and more. In fact, EA is having to turn off features that supposedly made “always online” necessary in the first place, just to help people connect. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Sim City’s Launch Woes?
While Steam, Valve Software’s online store, has typically been a haven for Digital Right Management – or DRM – free titles, recent events have forced the company to take a different stand on their policies.
While similar moves by UbiSoft have been largely decried by gamers world-wide, Valve Software sees the merit in maintaining a tighter hold over their products. This update, set to be released with the service’s next patch, will introduce Valve-Net, the program that will regulate users and ensure that only registered members with legitimate copies will have access to the network.
Valve-Net works just like UbiSoft’s service where an internet connection must be constantly maintained in order to play your games. While the move is sure to make the developer unpopular, Valve’s head of Steam Community Management, Ryan Hayworth, assures fans that this change is for the best.
“We just want to make sure that only paying customers our games. We’re not a fan of piracy, and Gabe [Newell, CEO of Valve Software] agrees that only the most stringent of protection methods will ensure the success of PC gaming. We currently have no plans for a refund for anyone who is unhappy with Valve-Net, and we thank our faithful player-base for their patience.”
What do you guys think about this sudden reversal from Valve? Will this change your perception of the company? Will you continue to use Steam? Will we ever see Episode Three?! Let us know!
In a move that can only be described as completely moronic (or evil, depending on your view, really), EA has essentially crippled Spore with a horrendous DRM. It is basically rewarding its customers the way a totalitarian regime might reward people who steal food: Chopping dicks.
Why EA would do this on the heels of the whole Mass Effect PC clusterflub when that game was released on PC is completely beyond me, and many other consumers for that matter.
Continue reading Spore, EA and Castration