Gaming site Giant Bomb broke the news earlier that according to their sources at Microsoft there is a big shakeup coming regarding the widely criticized DRM policies for the new Xbox One. According to their sources Microsoft is planning to pull a complete 180 and reverse their course on DRM for the Xbox One.
What does this mean for gamers? According to the reports here’s what we know:
- The Xbox will no longer ‘phone home’ every 24 hours and will not lock out users from gaming if it has not reached the Microsoft servers in 24 hours.
- All game discs will work in the Xbox One that same as in the Xbox 360
- There will be no restrictions on loaning or trading games. Hand the disc to a friend and they can play.
- An Internet connection will only be required for initial setup.
- Region locks will be dropped from the system.
VideoGamer.com is also reporting the same story, but as this time Microsoft has not responded to requests for comments from any sites. Until Microsoft confirms this news I would advise people to not treat this news as the gospel truth. It wouldn’t be the first time that the Internet has bit on rumors and reported them as true. However, the Gonna Geek team would be remiss if we didn’t present the news we are seeing to you.
If this is true and Microsoft has backed away from their DRM requirements then this is a win for gamers. The DRM and online requirements were widely reviled by gamers when they were announced at E3. If these are dropped then a lot of fan objections have been removed in regards to the Xbox One.
I will admit to being an Xbox fanboy. I have owned an Xbox going back to the original console, but the DRM requirements for the system had me a bit unsettled and unsure when/if I would be getting an Xbox One. If the DRM requirements are dropped, as has been reported, then I am on board with this. I don’t mind Microsoft backtracking from E3 nor will I criticize them. They are listening to the gamers that have expressed their discomfort, and more likely seen that massive PR that Sony received with the DRM-free PS4.
The real question is, for those of you who were on the fence or undecided on the Xbox One, does this change your opinion on the system? Let us know in the comments below.
Update: Its official Microsoft is going forward with all of the rumors. This is according to Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business over at Microsoft. An excerpt from his press release spells things out.
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.
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.
These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.
We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. 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.
Microsoft has listened to all of the negative feedback they received. For the most part the fans seem happy but there is a vocal group upset about the removal of game sharing among Xbox Live friends and family. Microsoft couldn’t keep this feature in and still appeal to the majority of their fanbase. Personally, I think this is a move they needed to make. This is especially true after seeing the incredibly positive response to Sony’s E3 press conference and then the huge number of pre-orders the PS4 raked in.
Now that Microsoft has changed their policy on always on connectivity and used games is it going to make a difference in this generation of the console war? I tend to think it might. Looking at my Twitter feed I have seen quite a few people talking about cancelling their PS4 pre-orders and sticking with the Xbox. This is a small sample set, but I imagine there are others doing the same thing. Allow me to pose a question to our readers, does this change make you more interested in Xbox One or are you set with your current gaming choice?