Hints At The Middle Ground We All Want
Though Microsoft have done a big Xbox 180 on the nature of the Xbox One's DRM policies, scepticism still abounds, and their director of product planning, Albert Penello, has moved to quiet the fears of retroactive DRM being implemented after launch.
Penello was asked the following question directly on NeoGAF:
Yes or No..
Will Microsoft bring back any of the pre 180 DRM policies outside of family sharing (they have already entertained bringing ifamily sharing back in the future)? Examples would be the inability to share or lend disc games, the inability to trade or sell disc based games, the once a 24 hour online check, kinect required to be plugged in. Will Microsoft bring any of these back in the future?
His response was that now Microsoft have scaled back their focus on the digital and reinstated the physical security of having a disc in the drive, there was no need for DRM.
"I don’t want to open up an entirely new issue here, but here’s my shot," Penello wrote. "I don’t see that ever happening with content you’re buying today either on disc and digitally. All of that DRM stuff was in place because there was no physical security on the disc itself, so all the licensing was done digitally. When you build that type of model, then you need to make sure people can’t install games on a bunch of machines, then unplug them. That would have made us an awesome Pirating machine, and that can’t happen for obvious reasons.
"When we went back to disc security, those DRM policies weren't necessary. So no reason to turn it on later."
He then went on to say that ambiguity had been caused because Microsoft had never written off the possibility of family sharing and digital loans, particularly after some came out in support of those features following the initial u-turn.
"If there’s ambiguity, it’s because it’s possible that, in the future, IF WE ADDED BACK some of those family sharing ideas we had in the beginning, we’d have reintroduce similar types of policies. So IF you wanted to have a game and have that family sharing, always-in-the-cloud, and digital loaning – then we might add those requirements back. You can imagine a world where we have both types of models at the same time.
"Again, big IF, but the bottom line is I wouldn’t worry about us making those policies “retroactive” which seems to be the issue I hear people worry about."
Well that's good to hear, and it's nice to see someone at least conceding that a middle ground where we can all feel safe and yet make forays into a digital future and the convenience it buys us might exist.
Jon recently took a look deep within himself and discovered that he might want an Xbox One after all. Read why in his fantastic opinion piece from earlier today.