Microsoft Forced Into Xbox One DRM Rethink
Just over a week has passed since Microsoft announced further details about their upcoming Xbox One console, including plans to check user software licences every 24 hours. However the company has now dropped their controversial Digital Rights Management (DRM) approach, along with making several other key policy changes.
In an open-letter titled ‘Your Feedback Matters’, Microsoft’s Don Mattrick explained how the firm has listened to feedback, taking the opportunity to “thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One” — despite earlier claims by Microsoft executive Phil Spencer that they would not be changing their policies.
Along with daily online check-ins, Microsoft had originally intended to restrict the use of second-hand games on their new £429 console. It seems that as a result of Sony’s unrestricted policies for their PlayStation 4, along with strong public outcry, Microsoft has been forced to reverse a number of key decisions.
Microsoft’s statement confirmed:
- Unlimited offline gaming for both disc-based and downloadable titles — no daily checks.
- Ability to loan games.
- Suprisingly, all games are region-free.
Now the only online requirement is during the initial console setup.
As a result of the policy change Microsoft has also rolled-back on an intended feature to have one-time disc installs with the Xbox One — instead, like the current Xbox 360, the game-disc must be in the tray at all times. Also, the library features, allowing you to play your own games on any console, along with sharing your library with up-to ten other people are also being dropped.
Vice President of Xbox Live Marc Whitten told Kotaku that in order to make these changes a day-one patch will be required.
Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, said in his statement:
“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.”
You can read the statement in full on Microsoft’s site.