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Microsoft Backtracking on Xbox One DRM and Used Games Policy
Microsoft is dropping the restrictions on Xbox One games that keep players from sharing game discs across multiple consoles, backtracking on the position it held earlier on DRM.
"As a result of feedback from the Xbox community, we have changed certain policies for Xbox One," Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft wrote on wrote on its blog:
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 — without any regional restrictions.
These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. Sharing games will work as it does today; you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Playing disc-based games will require the disc to 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.
This is a huge change from Microsoft’s previously stated policy on games, in which it said a player could only share a purchased Xbox One game disc with one friend, and only if they had been on each other’s friends lists for more than 30 days.
Microsoft also originally stated the Xbox One would need to connect to the internet every 24 hours to authenticate service and game data.
The news was broken by gaming site GiantBomb, causing Microsoft to release an official statement.
The swift about face in policy was probably brought on by the reaction after last week’s E3during which Sony attacked Microsoft’s DRM policies for the Xbox One. The audience at Sony’s E3 presentation erupted in cheers after hearing the PlayStation 4 would allow used games and not require a daily authentication check to Microsoft’s servers to function.
Even talk show host Jimmy Fallon got into the debate during his “Video Games Week”, where he has highlighted what’s new in gaming on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. “The big story that everyone’s talking about is that this system is the only one where you can still play used games,” Fallon said, pointing to the PlayStation 4.