Microsoft listened and XboxOne has reversed course on nearly all of the stifling DRM and XboxOne Used Games policies that have drastically hurt Microsoft’s image since they announced the system.
Now however, the playing field between the PS4 vs XboxOne has been drastically leveled, as many of the core issues keeping people from buying the XboxOne have now been scrapped.
But has the damage already been done? Has Microsoft’s reputation already been tarnished?
The XboxOne will NO LONGER require a 24-hour Internet check. In fact, no online checks period are required on XboxOne. The only time you are required to be online is during the initial system set-up. So you will still require an Internet connection to verify your system when you first purchase it. Still, this is a huge change from before.
All games can be played offline forever, no online requirement. You can play offline games without an Internet connection and it won’t ever interfere with your offline game.
You can now lend, borrow, rent, trade, etc. XboxOne games just like you can do on current-gen systems. This is HUGE news, as it means Microsoft has completely abandoned their “verified retailers only” trade-in and used games policies. #consumerwinsbig
Not only that, but XboxOne will be REGION-FREE. Which is huge.
Last but definitely not least, some of the cool XboxOne features previously announced appear to have been scrapped due to these changes. It sounds like you can no longer share your entire game library with up to 10 friends or family from any XboxOne. Although no confirmed, Microsoft simply said some of the cool features previously announced have been altered due to these changes. I’ll bet that is one of them.
All in all, the consumer backlash against Microsoft and towards Sony has forced the American giant’s hand in reversing their strict DRM policies and their draconian control of the Used Games market. This means very good things for GameStop, Blockbuster, Redbox, GameFly, and your ability to trade, borrow and lend games to your friends and family. However it also means that developers will not be getting additional revenue from selling used games. Which means they may have to make cuts elsewhere.
But let’s all be glad that Microsoft listened to fans and changed course. It is proof positive that a big enough outcry from consumers, and voting with the almighty dollar, can indeed move mountains.
Here is the official press release from Microsoft and President of Interactive Businesss for MS, Don Mattrick:
Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.
For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.
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.
So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:
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.
Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.