Login | Signup

BREAKING: Microsoft Backtrack On DRM, Used Games Policy For Xbox One

Matt Gardner
Don Mattrick, DRM, Microsoft, Pre-owned games, Xbox 180, Xbox One

BREAKING: Microsoft Backtrack On DRM, Used Games Policy For Xbox One

In a spectacular U-turn, it appears that Microsoft have backtracked on their draconian requirement for the Xbox One to connect to the internet every 24 hours, and on their confusing approach to the issue of used games.

"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," wrote Don Mattrick. "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."

Microsoft has come under fire for attempting to restrict the extent to which gamers might share the games they bought for the upcoming Xbox One, announcing mandatory installs, and effectively rendering the disc useless.

Now, however, it looks as if the Redmond company are making an about turn as Mattrick delivered the following two changes to their policies:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

After Sony took the initiative to score easy points at E3 by going after Microsoft's seemingly anti-consumer policies, it looks as though the latter has made the most of that "ll policies subject to change" fie print.

"We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity," wrote Mattrick. "While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds."

Thoughts? [Xbox Wire]

Add a comment26 comments
Late  Jun. 19, 2013 at 22:56

Blimey. They noticed it was going down like a lead balloon!
Very surprised they listened, but they're back in the running now...

Last edited by Late, Jun. 20, 2013 at 02:45
SilentJay1976  Jun. 19, 2013 at 23:11

Rather clever marketing from the beginning, if you ask me. Make people fear the worst, and then elate them... by announcing absolutely nothing special at all. Quite brilliant.

salmonmaxi  Jun. 19, 2013 at 23:14

one thing about microsoft is that they're very good at changing plans if things aren't working (not as quick as some would like - but given their size they're positively nimble).

hopefully the moaners haven't ruined it and this doesn't mean that the proposed sharing list hasn't been cast aside.
unfortunately i read 'just as you can today' to mean exactly that, that there's now going to be no new capabilities.
thanks guys.

DangerM0use  Jun. 19, 2013 at 23:16

I'm a little bit disappointed.

I permanently have my console connected to the internet, I have a solid connection that's only been down for any considerable time about once in 8 years - which then was a router problem and needed me to swap it out and I only buy new games.

The ability for me and my friends to share games would have easily outweighed any of the negatives.

chieftex  Jun. 19, 2013 at 23:27

The ability for me and my friends to share games would have easily outweighed any of the negatives.

Has this now changed? Perhaps not.

WagonNozzle  Jun. 19, 2013 at 23:37

Great that they listened to the outcry.

But possibly a step backward in terms of the technology. I totally understand why they did it. That said, I suspect most of us won't be getting our games from physical media fairly soon anyway, al la Steam. I buy the odd full game from Xbox Marketplace when the price is right. The experience is pretty good, and if the prices are low anyway, I wouldnt need to rent or borrow the games I can just take a punt when the mood takes me.
I'm not that bothered about the always online thing either. A tablet is more or less useless without being always online, and we don't get annoyed about that.

DangerM0use  Jun. 19, 2013 at 23:53

The ability for me and my friends to share games would have easily outweighed any of the negatives.

Has this now changed? Perhaps not.

For now it seems.

Crazy Jamie  Jun. 19, 2013 at 23:59

Whilst I do still have a lingering concern about how they could have gotten this so spectacularly wrong in the first place, credit needs to be given for how quickly they have changed direction on this. It's the sort of thing that big businesses have a habit of simply not doing.

I'll be interested to sit back and watch how the PS4 v Xbox One competition unfolds before I commit to buying one or the other. Sony have clearly taken the early initiative, though Microsoft's clearly willingness to change their course on certain issues has, from my perspective as an objective consumer with no loyalty to either company at least, made things a lot more interesting.

Breadster  Jun. 20, 2013 at 00:01

Still getting a PS4. The fact they ever thought it was a good idea is enough for me to shift over.

Kopite211  Jun. 20, 2013 at 00:03

In my eyes they just look weak now. If they were so good at listening they wouldn't be in this mess to start with. @SilentJay personally I think it was abysmal marketing, if they'd sold the benefits better to having an always on console maybe people would understand better rather than panicking and turning away.

DivideByZero  Jun. 20, 2013 at 00:13

Microsoft have been the kings of bad decisions lately (no start button Windows 8, really?!) so it is a bit of a surprise that they backed down... but the console is not out yet, so I will wait and see how it all pans out by release time.

Have pre-ordered a PS4, will wait on the Xbox Three.

Late  Jun. 20, 2013 at 02:43

Didn't they back down on the Start Button thing and announce recently that it'll be back in Windows 8.1?

PhilK  Jun. 20, 2013 at 07:39

Rather clever marketing from the beginning, if you ask me. Make people fear the worst, and then elate them... by announcing absolutely nothing special at all. Quite brilliant.
Never gave that a thought, you devious person ! Yes, you're quite correct. That's what it seems like !

Tsung  Jun. 20, 2013 at 08:25

The start button in windows 8.1 isn't really the solution people expect. Clicking it still produces the full screen interface "Metro", and thus breaks workflow.

Back to the Xbox One, I don't think it is a clever marketing ploy. Chances are large retailers (Amazon, Game, etc) told Microsoft the pre-order figures and it was clear in comparison to the competition it was not meeting expectations. Something had to be done and this seemed to be the biggest complaint about the system.

People who have excellent internet connections seem to not understand this is not the case for everybody. Also do you really want to put your faith into a service that is not guaranteed?. Bad weather, hackers, government firewalls or even your ISP traffic shaping, limiting bandwidth, cutting your off or blocking ports could effect your service. One of my friends had perfect service for years then 6 months of hell because their ISP (Virgin Media) had oversubscribed in their area. He couldn't play any games online; during busy times even loading webpages was a struggle. Personal life events like moving home could mean you go without internet for a few weeks.

Let hope Microsoft keeps their word and doesn't decide in a couple of years "Right, we've sold enough consoles lets switch on that DRM and call it a NEW feature".

davidpanik  Jun. 20, 2013 at 08:42


parabolica  Jun. 20, 2013 at 08:55

"Still getting a PS4. The fact they ever thought it was a good idea is enough for me to shift over"

How fickle and naive at the same time. Sony played Microsoft like a game of cards. Sony had already received bad press for thinking of doing the same regarding tying games to consoles. Microsoft should have been listening back then , but I guess someone had to make the first move.

Cave Troll  Jun. 20, 2013 at 09:04

Who says peer pressure is always a bad thing?

Concern  Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:09

my main concern, is that the console has this ability. could this be implemented later on down the line after they have sold X amount of console and have X share of the market.

X10  Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:49

In a completely expected and surprising nobody U-turn, it appears that Microsoft...

There, FTFY.

In other news, brings out DRM lovers from woodwork lamenting loss of always on.
Elsewhere swathes of short attention span gamers hoodwinked over other horrible parts of Microsoft's new console.

googleberry  Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:52

At least we are seeing genuine competition between these guys.

DivideByZero  Jun. 20, 2013 at 11:09

We are seeing more competition between MS and MS with this xbox.

Rumors, job fires, u-turns and lies... must be a fun time to work for MS.

eset12345  Jun. 20, 2013 at 11:34

Are people really going to fall for this?

'policies subject to change' also means they can and probably will change them back, 6 or twelve months down the line, when people have bought the new console.

DrTrouserPlank  Jun. 20, 2013 at 11:51

Anyone who believes this is the last you will see of this DRM plan is very naive. A massive company like MS doesn't spend a fortune developing a system like this and make it native within the console hardware only to change their mind just because their peasant customers don't like it and throw it away.

New Plan: get people sufficiently invested in the hardware and software and then patch it back in thereby holding people's investment and games to ransom.

Last edited by DrTrouserPlank, Jun. 20, 2013 at 12:20
Late  Jun. 20, 2013 at 12:48

Look at the guy's big genuine smile!

Breadster  Jun. 20, 2013 at 17:28

I don't think they'll add it back in later, I know they're a bunch of tools but surely not, that'd be criminal.

@parabolica Sony never actually implemented it though. They had the sense to go "hmmm, looks like this would be a dumb ass idea, let's not do that". I'm under no illusion that Sony "cares" for me or some bs like that, it's just Microsoft's sheer arrogance in thinking they can push this crap onto people has turned me away from their system.

Oh and let's not forget the PS4 is cheaper and more powerful.

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.