Microsoft backflips on Xbox One, drops always-online DRM, sweeping changes: read it all here

Xbox One

By on June 20, 2013 at 10:03 am

Australians woke up this morning to the bewildering news that Microsoft had performed a complete about-face on the hotly controversial issue of its Xbox One always-online DRM and game-locking strategies.

In a statement on the official Xbox News site, president Don Mattrick cited the “candid feedback” from gamers to the console’s restrictive policies as the reason for the change.

“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.”

The key changes

No online connection required to play single-player games

The once-every-24-hours check-in system has been dropped. The only requirement now is for a one-time internet connection at system setup.

Trading, re-selling and lending will happen exactly as it does today

Microsoft are ditching the restrictions on game lending and selling completely, saying “it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360″.

Gamestop (known here in Australia as EB Games) expressed delight at the news, saying “This is great news for gamers and we applaud Microsoft for understanding consumers and the importance of the pre-owned market.”

Shares in Gamestop rose 6% following this announcement.

Games are now region-free

“Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions,” reads the announcement. Time to start finding a good game importer folks, if you haven’t already (something most Australians are already intimately familiar with).

Some always-online based features are gone

Microsoft’s previously-announced policy of being able to share your games digitally with up to nine other “family members” and access them via any console has been scrapped (fortunately, something similar is coming soon to Steam).

You’ll also no longer be able to log into any console with your Xbox LIVE account and play your games there.

Delivered via day-one patch

These changes have been revealed to take effect via a day-one patch which will enable to console to go offline indefinitely.

Thanks to the thirty-seven different people who sent this news in.

Source: Xbox, Kotaku, Polygon

49 comments (Leave your own)

good on you microsoft!

no mention about the kinect though :(

 

Man it’s going to be so much easier to buy one now.

 
 

WOW, their hitting back? nice!

 

Love how they are throwing a tantrum and taking away features, even though there is no logical reason why they couldn’t have had both systems.

I.e. – you can buy digital copies, after which you are inside our DRM concentration camp and will never escape.

Or you can enjoy your disc-based freedom in the same way you do now.

Instead they have chosen to nerf digital copies, apparently out of pure spite that people didn’t like their original plan.

Until they clarify that the Kinect can be disabled outside of games, this is still a privacy molesting device as far as I am concerned.

Hopefully this is finally it, the high water mark in DRM stupidity. One of the world’s biggest companies beaten back by a tidal wave of pure internet rage. A pretty amazing defeat for MS, but one which was entirely predictable and anyone with half a brain could see coming a mile off.

 

Haha Xbox 180, that’s too good.

Still won’t be getting one but good news for xbox fans.

 

This is a prime example of the problems console gaming face.

People are too quick to complain and voice their opinion without knowing a bloody thing about the subject.

http://www.dorkly.com/article/52521/don-mattricks-first-draft-of-the-xbox-one-update-announcement

 

I bet Sony are regretting marking up their console more than Microsoft for us; the $50 difference is nothing if one platform has a few of their friends on it.

 

kipjib:
This is a prime example of the problems console gaming face.

People are too quick to complain and voice their opinion without knowing a bloody thing about the subject.

http://www.dorkly.com/article/52521/don-mattricks-first-draft-of-the-xbox-one-update-announcement

I disagree. People know what they want. Microsoft doesn’t.

That “hilarious” link you posted does in fact sum up the problem. Microsoft, and apparently you, don’t think this is actually true:

“We didn’t realise you wanted THE SAME ****ING CONSOLE AS BEFORE. You know, the one you already own (but with slightly nicer graphics).”

That is EXACTLY what people want. A more powerful, better designed console that does the SAME thing consoles have done for 30-odd years, i.e., plays games that you buy and treat as a physical item. But with nicer graphics. And hell, throw in some basic HTPC features as a bonus.

That is what people want.

 

rapid101:
I bet Sony are regretting marking up their console more than Microsoft for us; the $50 difference is nothing if one platform has a few of their friends on it.

Yeah, Sony must be really unhappy about how this has panned out.

- after multiple major screw ups with the PS3 generation, they suddenly look like the anti-DRM heroes who know what gamers want and are generally competent

- MS suddenly look like anti-consumers idiots who have had to accept a humiliating backflip after doing untold damage to their brand

 

caitsith01: I

That is EXACTLY what people want.A more powerful, better designed console that does the SAME thing consoles have done for 30-odd years, i.e., plays games that you buy and treat as a physical item.

Yep, pretty much this ^

 
 

PS

This is almost as enjoyable as EA’s Sim City disaster. Almost.

 

MS doesn’t have a choice this time around. All of their recent stuff has been so bad, that they MUST reshape the future of the new XBOX, or they’ll go under. They need this machine to work after so many failures.

 

Ha ha i was wondering how long it would take GON to re-post this.

Either way i’m still buying one. but now society will slow down a little cause we no longer are moving towards 100% digital distribution . now game devs have larger outlays for discs and covers instead of larger margins from posting online.

Steam did it and it worked flawlessly. MS does it and the word is over. :/

I feel im the only one with a stable outlook on the situation.

 

Funny. What most people don’t realise is the forced online DRM would actually prevent Gamestop/EB from keeping retail prices high, and put more money in to the developers hands, reducing the need for day one DLC and pre-order incentives to make back their bottom line. Much the way you can’t resell a Steam game.

In fact Steam isn’t’ really any different from the Xbox One. You can’t play all games offline, you need to patch before you can play offline, you need to start offline mode in a reasonable timeframe before going offline permanently or your games wont be authenticated etc etc

 

narcarsiss:
society will slow down a little cause we no longer are moving towards 100% digital distribution. now game devs have larger outlays for discs and covers instead of larger margins from posting online.

What rubbish.

It’s a free market. People want what they want. They want the ability to sell, trade, lend and gift games. Quite clearly, they don’t want what MS was originally offering them.

It would cost less in packaging if you had to take a bucket to the shops and get milk poured straight into it instead of milk coming in a carton. But that’s not what people want.

The market isn’t a device for the convenient profit of companies. It is a way for companies with products that are attractive to consumers to make money via the offering of their attractive product to people who want to pay for them. People (and MS) seem to have forgotten this – what is most convenient for Microsoft or game developers is not the same thing as an attractive product that people will want to pay money for.

 

Translation – We still want to impose these things on you we just can’t get away with it….yet.

 

darknode:
In fact Steam isn’t’ really any different from the Xbox One. You can’t play all games offline, you need to patch before you can play offline, you need to start offline mode in a reasonable timeframe before going offline permanently or your games wont be authenticated etc etc

Which are all reasons why Steam is frequently criticised, and not reasons to copy it.

 

CAPITALISM MOTHERFUCKERS

 
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