— Xbox (@Xbox) June 19, 2013
Rumors were breaking out all over the internet today about Microsoft changing course on it’s planned DRM policies regarding it’s next gen console the Xbox One. Then Microsoft made an official announcement confirming the rumors and the removal of the DRM policies they have hugely criticized over.
So what did Microsoft do? Fixed sharing and always online.
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. – Xbox.com
This is just what Microsoft needed to do to stay in the game for the next console war. Now we won’t see a price drop because the system is still going to need the Kinect and won’t be bundled separately.
Additionally, it was noted that there will be a digital version released the same day as the retail version of every game and you will be able to play all downloaded games offline just like now……but you won’t be able to share or resell downloaded games. There was a downside to this change and here it is:
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.
They don’t go into too many specifics about what was lost to make this deal, but not being able to resell or share digital games sucks. So does requiring us to still have the physical disk in the Xbox when you want to play it even after installing it. I can see the reason for that since it won’t be authenticated constantly, who is to say you don’t buy a game, install it, then return or sell it and keep playing the game. In some cases I might actually want to wave the authentication just so that I don’t have to change a bunch of disks to play my games. The funny thing is that this never hit me until they reversed course. Either way I’d like it as an OPTION and nothing more because I am a tournament player and I want to have the Xbox One be considered for tournament use and that requires full offline play.
I also heard that there was a feature in the works where you would be able to share your games with up to 10 friends or family members. Not sure if it was actual people on your friends list, but that was a cool idea and it might be dead with these changes. I’m curious to see what else was taken out to make this possible.
All negativity aside, it’s absolutely amazing that Microsoft listened to the horrible feedback and changed their policies! YOU MATTER!!!! is what they are trying to say and they are saying it as loud as they can right now.
UPDATE: Polygon has confirmed my suspicions with the lacks of features due to the announcement of policy changes. Find the full article here.