Microsoft Capitulates, Removes Online DRM From Xbox One

from the customers-win dept

So, remember when the Xbox One release confused the hell out of everyone and then Microsoft confirmed a bunch of hated, needless restrictions on used games and internet connection requirements? Then there was that whole thing at E3 where the crux of Sony’s presentation was, “Hey, at least we’re not Microsoft?” The backlash, as you can imagine was immensely fierce, with pissed off gamers who know inherently how important the used game market is and how stupid and insulting online requirements are.

Well, Microsoft apparently now knows it too, as they have done a serious about-face on nearly every single one of these plans. Xbox chief Don Mattrick stated on the Xbox blog:

“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.”

So, all’s well that ends well, right? Fans pushed back and Microsoft listened. Well, perhaps not. When you consider that the chief reason for the backlash was the obvious nature of restrictiveness and money-grabbing in Microsoft’s plans, I expect gamers to not be assuaged by those plans being walked back in the aftermath. The company has made it quite clear what they think of their customers and where their priorities lie. Many jilted people won’t be fooled by this new conciliatory tone.

There is a lesson to be learned here about how a company should treat its customers. Customers meaning the gamers, not the game publishers Microsoft seemed so focused on. I don’t believe they have wiped the chalkboard clean without stain with this announcement.

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Comments on “Microsoft Capitulates, Removes Online DRM From Xbox One”

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Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

When you listen to what they’re actually saying, what it sounds like to me is the “Door-in-the-face technique” in practice. It goes like this:

– I want something that the people I want it from aren’t going to like.
– I ask them for something far, far worse. They say “no way!” and (metaphorically) slam the door in my face.
– I come back and ask them for what I really wanted all along. They give it to me, because I’m suddenly sounding a lot more reasonable.

Keeping this in mind, let’s look at what Microsoft actually said:

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.

– What I want: DRM on all games in the form of a universally required activation system. But gamers hate DRM. They wouldn’t accept that.
– What I ask for: always-online DRM requiring a persistent Internet connection. Gamers slam the door in my face and let me know that there’s no way I’ll sell any consoles with an onerous restriction like that.
– What I give them instead: DRM on all games in the form of a universally required activation system. Gamers buy my console because I “listened to them” and did away with the always-on Internet requirement, which I never intended to actually implement in the first place.
– I laugh all the way to the bank.

Anonymouse says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Lets just make this very very clear….Microsoft is not doing this for the customer, they were forced to do this for a numbe rof reasons, the lack of pre orders for the xbone in numbers that matter, and the Eu threat about blocking the sale of xbone’s completly.

So what did they do, they still implement drm and they remove the right to sell or swap or loan downloaded games.Even if it is to friends as they so happily announced initially.

I for one don’t like companies that try to manipulate me and have decided i will stick with the 360 until they do something more for the customers, not just allow the downloading of a couple of free games every month which are probably going to be games that have failed in the market…except for the first few that is, they need to attract people to the new system after all, then once they have them i would not be surprised if they did what Sony did and pull the rug out from under them.

Microsoft really honestly needs to get some new people to do their marketing , as the more i hear the less i want to buy their damn product or even hear about it any more.

Malor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

and they remove the right to sell or swap or loan downloaded games.

I don’t think they really have an option there. If the console isn’t checking in routinely, then you can’t be sure that only one copy is in use per license. So they’re planning to handle digital sales like Steam does; they’re permanent and non-transferable, but once you’ve bought something, you can keep the console offline for extended periods.

If trading/selling is important to you, then you’d want to stick with disc-based versions. Considering how easy they are to get, I don’t personally see that as much of an impediment.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“What I give them instead: DRM on all games in the form of a universally required activation system.”

That’s not what they said. They said a one-time “system set-up”. Meaning you have to setup the system, not the game.

Microsoft removed the entire disk activation system, this is the only way reselling and lending can possibly work. It’s only confirmed by SirThoreth posting the Ars Technica article saying that the good sides of their DRM system (the family sharing and no disk requirement) have been removed. So this will play just like the Xbox 360.

I’m still not buying it until several months after release. I don’t trust them. It’s going to take more then words to convince me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I don’t know why you would ever buy it when it first comes out anyway.

There were still many AAA titles being released for the PS2 and Xbox 1 years after the PS3 and 460 came out.

So it would make a hell of a lot more sense financially to keep the current gen for a while until they have got rid of all the hardware and software bugs. (RROD or YLOD anyone?)

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m pretty sure the system setup they’re talking about is an initial connection to link to Xbox live’s servers and such. I think the Xbox360 has something similar. While I don’t trust Microsoft, even with this about face, I don’t think they’re talking about a connection every time you add a new game.

In fact they specifically say that trading, buying used and renting games will all work. This implies no activation per game.

anon says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It seems that the “one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One” is to download a “day one” patch that will disable the built-in DRM. Thereafter, you don’t need to go online to activate any game.

Hopefully this patch is mandatory for everyone and that this policy change won’t be undone at a future date.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m sorry but Microsoft just spent a week of prime media coverage making fools of themselves defending the DRM they just removed and running around with their tail between their legs after Sony pulled the rug out from under them.

I could buy this idea more (and don’t get me wrong this is something we do see a lot) if Microsoft had done it at their E3 press conference. But they didn’t, this seems far more reactionary as a result. I don’t think Microsoft would have wasted this press coverage, took a beating on stock prices, handed the narrative over to Sony and took a beating in the eyes of the non-informed gaming public just to sell people on a type of DRM that is, effectively, already widely accepted in services like steam.

Microsoft wanted this, invested in this, expected it to work and had one of the worst console announcements ever as a result.

Anonymouse says:

Re: Re:

If this is true and i don’t see why it would not be, i am still cautious as they took so long to actually do this and up until now have refused to even discuss the situation with anyone.

I just don’t trust them just as i have this funny feeling that Sony will do something that will harm the gamers as they did with the ps3 when they took linux away from it.

If anything MS is going to have to wait a couple of years to build up a games base for the xbone and prove that they will not change back to a DRM laden device within a year or two. Then i will maybe buy one, depending on the reviews and whether it has another red ring of death again.

John Nemesh (profile) says:

Re: Re: Linux on PS3

I tire of this argument about Sony taking away “Other OS”. First off, more people bitched about this than there were people who actually took advantage of it. Secondly, there was a very good financial reason for Sony to pull the plug on Linux support. Sony was selling the consoles AT A LOSS, and making up the money on game and accessory sales. BUT, there were people using these consoles with Linux and setting them up running in parallel as a poor mans supercomputer. No games sold to them, nor any accessories. Would YOU continue offering a feature if it meant you lost money on every sale?

Anonymouse says:

Re: Re: Re: Linux on PS3

They took away a very large feature that customers did use, it does not matter what they said, and it does not matter how many people used it.
All i want is to have a system where i can play my games and not worry about drm or any other problem. Sony and Microsoft have lost my support but at the moment if i was forced to choose i would choose a ps4, but it is very close now , the reason is that Sony has been a bitch, as i said, to customers just like Microsoft.

If Samsung and Apple get there fingers out of their butts i might just end up buying one of their systems.

Actually the steam system is looking rather good right now, but we will see what drm they want to use first.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Linux on PS3

“First off, more people bitched about this than there were people who actually took advantage of it.”

Do you have a citation for those figures? A lot of early adopters bought a PS3 purely for that feature that was advertised on the box – including bulk purchases by the US military among others. Are you really saying people are wrong for buying a product to utilise an advertised feature?

“Secondly, there was a very good financial reason for Sony to pull the plug on Linux support. Sony was selling the consoles AT A LOSS”

Tough shit. People also buy them just to use as a media centre and Blu ray player and never buy games. People also buy 360s at a loss to Microsoft but only use them as a streaming device for Netflix and to play DVDs. People buy iPod/iPhones without buying any paid app from the app store, and people buy Kindles without paying a cent for content to Amazon. That’s the risk they take. Don’t like it? Charge the value of the product rather than trying to use it as a loss leader.

Some people go into Wal Mart, buy the items on loss leader offers then leave without buying anything profitable. That doesn’t give Wal Mart licence to do things to you on your way out of the store because you didn’t make them a profit.

“Would YOU continue offering a feature if it meant you lost money on every sale?”

Here’s the problem – they could happily remove them from newly manufactured consoles. It’s simple – adjust the firmware for newer models/SKUs, announce that no new PS3 will run Linux (as they already adjusted models to not allow PS2 backward compatibility). There’s be some grumbling but not a major issue – people who wanted the functionality could still pick up used/older models.

But that wasn’t the issue. The problem was that they removed the functionality from people who had ALREADY BOUGHT the console. It cost nothing for them to continue allowing the feature on existing models, but they removed it anyway. So your argument is totally invalid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Linux on PS3

I always tought it was because of the Other Os feature enabling to bipass blu ray region lock thanks to Geohot s key. So Sony took the path of the lesser of two massive liabilities: Customers or MPAA.

Bringing us right here: will the lack of region locking allow us to use blu ray discs from any region in the PS4? Is that part of the Non Region locked promisse?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Linux on PS3

“So Sony took the path of the lesser of two massive liabilities: Customers or MPAA.”

Given what happened, I disagree there. As it turns out, they probably lost a great deal more by screwing their customers over – be it through lost sales of new PS3 hardware, through the PSN hack downtime & resulting compensation or whatever. I’m not convinced that they would have had direct issues from the MPAA regarding this for 2 major reasons – the hack didn’t really allow anything that a hack on a standard Linux/Windows box wouldn’t have allowed, and Sony (or at least a subsidiary related to the PS division) are part of the MPAA.

It’s certainly more likely that it was the hack & related support that prompted the move rather than pure profit, but it was not the right move. They could easily have stopped support for older firmware versions and blocked gaming and other online access on versions with OtherOS installed, for example, at least giving customers a choice. They screwed up by removing features people had specifically paid for, and the desire to regain those features is what prompted the attacks that cost them dearly.

As for your other point, if region coding is the problem, I’ll say the same as I always say here – they need to stop trying to section the world up into slices that allow them to screw people over depending on where they happen to be sitting. Not only will this never work, but you’re always providing incentives for people to bypass those locks (which may in turn lead to other more devastating attacks). I would hope that the next gen consoles finally allow people to use their legally purchased content, no matter where they were purchased from. Time will tell if this happens, but region coding is always going to be source of incentive to hack these devices, with no moral reason not to do so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Linux on PS3

And the funny thing is that those supercomputers are still around, working 247, on old model ps3s , while Microsoft couldnt make the 360 good enought to dont overheat while working alone. Worse yet, in a few years even the current 360 will be out of production but due to high failure rates who allowed MS to sell people 2 or 3 Xboxs people wont be able to enjoy their once beloved games, since MS seems to have very little respect for old titles a la the first Xboxs games are right now. Sony at least is offering Gaikai, a signal that this question was alread given the necessary atention due to consumers opinion.

Its funny how the reestruration plan from Sony, who put the chairs of the Games division on the control is called ONE SONY, and then their main competitor goes ahead and calls their product awkwardly XBOX ONE.

BigKeithO says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Linux on PS3

So… the 360 will no longer be in production and that somehow means that your 360 games will no longer work? How do you figure that is going to happen? Maybe the publishers will start shutting down their MP servers on some games (looking at you EA) but that is a far cry from all your games not working.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Linux on PS3

So… the 360 will no longer be in production and that somehow means that your 360 games will no longer work? How do you figure that is going to happen?

Given that he asserts the 360 has a “high failure rate”, he is suggesting that it won’t take long for working XBoxes to become unavailable. Game disk might be fine, but it won’t be playable if you don’t have a working XBox.

Disclaimer: I do not and never have owned an XBox. As such, I can make no statement of my own regarding the hardware’s reliability. I simply post this to clarify the above position.So… the 360 will no longer be in production and that somehow means that your 360 games will no longer work? How do you figure that is going to happen?

Laroquod (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Linux on PS3

So to summarise your argument, John Nemesh, almost nobody actually took advantage of Linux support on the PS3, but Sony HAD to drop support because these almost nobodies were apparently still numerous enough to kill profits by not buying games. Contradict yourself much?

Sony’s excuses are full of shit and you embarrass yourself by parrotting them thoughtlessly.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Linux on PS3

First off, more people bitched about this than there were people who actually took advantage of it.

So? Just because I am not interested in a particular feature for myself doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that it is useful to other peoples and maybe good for the market as a whole.

Sony was selling the consoles AT A LOSS, and making up the money on game and accessory sales. BUT, there were people using these consoles with Linux and setting them up running in parallel as a poor mans supercomputer.

I fail to see how that should be the problem of the consumer. Sony was selling the consoles AT A LOSS, and making up the money on game and accessory sales. BUT, there were people using these consoles with Linux and setting them up running in parallel as a poor mans supercomputer.

Anonymous Coward says:

The publishers have all pointed out that the announcement of a online-mostly console and the ability to restrict used game sales was kind of a surprise to them. They didn’t even have a position beyond “Umm, yeah, we actually never heard of this before hand…”

I suspect the devkits they received weren’t quite filled with the features touted since Microsoft was planning to handle the online portion (sharing, reselling) themselves.

I’ll give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt over this, if someone tries to redeem themselves, I can at least look over to them and try and be understanding.

Jay (profile) says:

Not buying it...

Okay, I’m still skeptical. Microsoft was facing a showdown with the EU and it seems they capitulated since they have this plus the Prism scandal to deal with. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seemed that everything they were trying for was derailed since the EU planned to have a few discussions with banning the Xbone due to the restrictions in play.

Anonymouse says:

Re: Not buying it...

I did not realise the EU was involved at all. I do know that the EU had a ruling not so long ago that if you purchase any software you can sell it transfer it even give it away if you want and that all software must be treated the same as any other physical product.

I thought they might have a problem with the EU and the regulations and did mention it on here somewhere , nice to know that they are backing down before the showdown and possible blocking of the xbone in the EU.
The problem is that this makes me wonder if they will return the restrictions once they have sold a few million consoles.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’ll not have one. The idea that internet now won’t be required does not address the spying capabilities of the console with microphone and camera included.

That part alone is a guarantee I will never have another console game by any maker much less Microsoft. If one can do it another will as well, whether they come out to say it or not.

Microsoft has done far worse than they think with all this DRM. Not only have the convinced me that I should never ever consider a console from them but from anyone.

No amount of damage control will ever erase these facts from my mind.

joe blow says:

Re: Re: Re:

Think about cell phones.. wireless and internet capable,.. the NSA can
Watch you as long as the phone has the battery in it. What if the Kinect has a similar capibility? I’m on edge with all that and Microsuck is on board with supplying info to them voluntarily as with google, Comcast, Verizon, etc. I’m not buying one after all this crap

S. T. Stone says:

Re: Notice the qualifier "disc-based"

I wouldn?t expect that until the generation after the next one. This generation will see a move towards more digital sales/downloadable games, yes, but physical media will still sell better.

When the next generation of consoles come out in about six to seven years, I think disc-based games will become more of a rarity than the norm. Sony, MS, Valve/Steam, and maybe even Nintendo will have worked out at least a majority of the kinks involved with re-selling, lending, or trading fully-digital games. That?ll make selling people on the idea of abandoning discs for downloads far easier.

I?d say disc-based games still have a couple of decades left, but I wouldn?t bet on them sticking around after that. Then again, I bought a Sega Saturn instead of a PlayStation back in the day, so what do I know.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: Notice the qualifier "disc-based"

In one of the Nintendo interviews I watched from E3, I think it was Reggie who said one thing that’s holding all-digital back is the retailers. Who’s going to carry a console if they also can’t sell games for them?

You go in once to buy a console, you go back repeatedly for games.

Personally, I prefer having a disc. I don’t have to worry about the data being erased when support is pulled or someone necessary goes out of business. I also don’t buy a console where they can block my access to the game on the disc.

BigKeithO says:

Re: Re: Notice the qualifier "disc-based"

I used to think this way as well. People love to have a physical disc to hold on to and trade and sell and all the lovely things that go along with physical. Then I tried Steam.

If a console manufacturer can figure out the pricing of Steam with the convenience of a console people will dump physical in droves. It’s already happened on PC and that crowd is way more technically inclined than the console audience.

My $0.02.

Sam Crosby says:

I have my faith restored. But. I have 60 disk game Xbox 360 games what, if I get an Xbox One, I won’t be able to play them on. Now, I could play them on my 360, and get a PS4, where I could play PS4 games, and play the PS3 games I never had chance to play as I don’t own a PS3. I hope Microsoft also get this point.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Uh, last I checked PS4 didn’t have backwards compatibility either, so I’m kinda lost as to how you’ll be able to play PS3 games on the PS4.

As for the 360, notice that they’ll be continuing support for the system for sometime after the Xbox One comes out. You don’t need to ditch your 360 when you get the One (and in fact, I’d highly advise against even considering such a foolish idea).

Deimal (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

There will be limited capability to play PS3 games via Gaikai streaming service. There’s almost no detail about it yet apparently, but it was discussed. Whether it will be available for PS1 or PS2 games, and how many games will available at all is still very much in question.

But no true backwards compatibility no, moving from the Cell processor to an Intel processor makes that difficult if not impossible purely based on the architecture difference.

SirThoreth (profile) says:

From the Ars Technica article:

YET ANOTHER UPDATE (5:24 Eastern): Microsoft has confirmed to Kotaku that the “family sharing” and digital cloud library access features that were planned to be in the Xbox One are indeed gone thanks to today’s policy reversal. Xbox one users will also apparently have to download a “Day One” patch to enable the offline mode.

I can’t open the Kotaku article at work, but the URL is here:

jameshogg says:


Also, I expect very gradual creeping-in of the DRM. Everything might be okay for now, but I strongly suspect the DRM software will be on the Xbox One just waiting.

And I have always had this suspicion with Sony.

And do I even have to mention iTunes? Or even Steam?

Any software that demands too much online connectivity I shall regard as suspect.

DCX2 says:

Still won't get it

We are one of approximately five gaming households in the US who have neither an XBox 360 or a PS3. Consoles are simply too restrictive when it comes to how you can play your games.

On a PC, I can mod my games. I can add custom content, like new maps or textures. I can tweak settings. Consoles have none of that (well, depending on the homebrew community; the Wii had a lot of it, but it wasn’t particularly easy)

Anonymous Coward says:

“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”

They listened…kinda. It still requires you to connect to the internet and “set up the system” before you can use it so that doesn’t help the people that don’t have a connection especially in rural areas or the gamers that don’t need or want their system online at all and want to keep as much of their privacy as possible. The system should be plug and play without requiring any online connection just like all prior gaming systems have been and allow you to do any setup needed offline.

Anonymous Coward says:

the annoying thing is, regardless of what they say they are doing now, the fact is they are only doing it because of the backlash and because Sony, atm, isn’t doing any of it. it certainly doesn’t take away what the company thought the most of and it sure as fuck wasn’t the customers!! the other thing to consider, perhaps is, the revelations about the NSA surveillance. i have to wonder whether there was anything going on between Microsoft and the NSA or other law enforcement industry? we will maybe never know, but it all seems a little bit suspect to me, what with the microphone and video in, basically, ‘always on’ mode, recording who was doing what, saying what within ear shot of a friggin’ games console. then add in the touch screen crap of windows8 (finger print scans?) and the government would have a full house of information the like of which has been wanted for years but never been so close to being reality!!

Spaceboy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

That is true, however, this was not a lack of market interest. This was extreme market interest (gaming) and when MS saw their financial future they changed course. They ignored every single point brought up by their fanbase and tried to ‘position’ it away as some kind of benefit.

Remember ‘Sweet Billy’? That should have clued them in then, but they didn’t listen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why wasn’t this announcement made at E3? Why trot this out now, after all of the damage has been done? They were getting absolutely destroyed on the Internet weeks before E3, and they still charged straight into E3 spouting off brain-dead corporate nonsense about DRM.

Is anyone at Microsoft even remotely competent?

Deimal (profile) says:

Listening to us?

I will concede one point, there is potential for service based sharing and whatnot on some level. However, expecting a large customer base to accept this large of a paradigm shift all at once is sheer stupidity. Not only that, but to let a rumor mill sit and spin the horror story for months with no walk-back or explanation was truly an idiotic thing to do.

If they had been straight about it from the get go, then maybe they could have garnered some acceptance. If they had tried to dip a toe in the water (perhaps starting with only the digital download games and the “sharing plan” for that), instead of diving headfirst into an icy lake of customer backlash, they might have seen some acceptance.

What pisses me off the most though, is there sheer, unadulterated ASSHOLENESS of the entire discussion of it. Absolutely no thought was given to conceding to the gaming community at large their concerns (the “Deal with it” tweet anyone?), it was presented as hey, we’re going to do this, even though for the last 9 months everyone has been talking about how they don’t want it, but we’re doing it anyway and you’re going to like it, we promise.

This shows a complete and total ineptitude and straight out disconnect from their customers. When you get your head shoved so far up your own ass you can’t see this issue coming like a freight train, it’s time to fire not only your PR department, you need to take a serious look at the fucking asshole that came up with idea, and the 10 or 12 morons that sat there and agreed with him that it was a great idea, and bash him over the head and leave him in a ditch.

S. T. Stone says:

Re: Listening to us?

What pisses me off the most though, is there sheer, unadulterated ASSHOLENESS of the entire discussion of it.

I think Penny Arcade hit the nail on the head when it said MS suffers from an inability to talk to consumers on their level. It couldn?t communicate what it wanted to do with the XBone in a way that would get regular people on board. The DRM stuff might sound good to engineers and executives and such, but to the average gamer, it served as a warning sign to stay the hell away from the XBone.

It also didn?t help MS to show a massive amount of hubris by way of disregarding valid complaints about the always-on requirement. (?We have a product for those who want to play offline ? it?s called the XBox 360.?)

Lurker Keith says:

They listened?

They actually did what they blatantly said they wouldn’t?

I guess they will listen to customers if some of their most loyal fans go out & buy a Nintendo product. lol

I wonder if this has anything to do w/ them ambushing the Nintendo E3 Demos at Best Buys, where they were caught taking notes (check the comments)?

A win for gamers, but a cautious one. Gamers will have to be vigilant.

I still won’t get an Xbox One.

Michael D says:

I can't decide

If MS is purposely trolling to get attention put on their product and then fully intending to reverse their decision all in one poor marketing ploy.

Or are they still thinking they are path makers and industries will follow them?

Or are they so narcosistic they just want to hear themselves talk?

Or is there a combination of all of the above.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s absurd they tried to do any of this in the first place… I mean did they really think people were just gonna take it bending over with no fight?

Either way I’ll be going with PS4 and it’s true they don’t have the best track record either.. Still they did not make me think I was not going to be able to own a system I’ve been waiting a long time for since I cannot afford 60$ games every time one comes out and if I could I would, but I cannot. I buy some of the bigger games new, but I rely on used game sales a lot.

Malor (profile) says:

jameshogg: Also, I expect very gradual creeping-in of the DRM. Everything might be okay for now, but I strongly suspect the DRM software will be on the Xbox One just waiting.

Yeah, I think this is exactly right. For this to even work, there would need to be unique serial numbers encoded on each and every disc, and those serial numbers are still going to be there. This means that Microsoft can, at will, return to their ‘vision for connected consoles’ or whatever that day’s marketroid drivel happens to be. Since the hardware capabilities are still going to be there. I would suggest just avoiding the console completely.

The PS4 looks like a stronger machine anyway, it’s $100 cheaper, and you don’t have to deal with that stupid Kinect.

The only thing I don’t like (at present) about the PS4 is that you have to pay Sony an ongoing royalty to play online. I don’t play console games online, so that’s not really a problem for me, but I think it would be entirely legitimate to complain about that fiercely.

Trevor (profile) says:


I thought these “features” were to make the system “better” in that it would allow the cloud to manage the heavy lifting of games so the xbox console could present better FPS and gameplay. By removing the always on requirement, are games going to suck, or was that all just BS to begin with (ahem Sim City…)

Also, that seemed like an easy switch in position. What’s to say the first “set up” connection just turns “IMWATCHING.NSA.dll to a dormant setting that Microsoft can later turn back on?

Remember how we were GOING to have always on requirements and restrict game sales? Well publishers are complaining of those pesky Pirates (ARRRRRR) so here’s an update to help fix that problem! (IMWATCHING.NSA.dll reactivated).

I’ll be getting a PS4, thankyouverymuch.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Um...

All their cloud computing talk was bunk. It takes time for an off-site server to receive the info, do the calculations, & return a value. Collision calculations (car crash, bullet hit) need to be instant. Any delay at all & you get clipping or movement after death (mixed example: a car crashes, but due to the latency, the system doesn’t get the calculation until after the car is several inches/ feet into the wall). I can’t remember where, but they’ve even admitted this.

The only things that can be offloaded to an off-site processor are things that don’t have any immediate time constraints. I’ve seen AI being offloaded as an example.

This article debunks it, by talking about the limits of current technology:

Avatar28 (profile) says:

Canceled my preorder

Okay, so apparently I’m one of the 15 people on the planet not happy with this. In light of today’s announcement, I have canceled my X1 preorder. The sharing and library thing were going to be huge. I was also really looking forward to not having to have a disc in the drive and being able to swap between games without having to get up. Now they’ve simply taken away far too much.

I refuse to buy games on demand and I very VERY rarely buy the XBLA games. We have two 360s in the house, one for me and one for the boys. If I buy a game on XBLA or GoD I can only ever play it on that one console. If I want to let my kids or nephews play it they will have to either take over my console and TV or I will have to transfer my profile and be actively signed in to that console. This is BAD DRM. On the other hand, the X1’s DRM was much less intrusive. You can argue that any DRM is bad but I think the benefits of what they were offering outweighed the negatives.

MindParadox (profile) says:

This sucks

ten years ago, there were still people on dialup in major cities. Now, if you are in the general area of a major city you have broadband options(I live north of atlanta, you can get broadband internet more than 70 miles outside the city limits)

10 years from now? If everyone DOESN’T have an internet connect I’d be shocked.

Microsoft should have simply left the Xbox One the way it was, but ADDED the ability to play offline, with the disc in the drive.

Maybe do it so if you want to share your library, you have the 24 hour check, if you don’t want to share it, you don’t have to connect.

The requirement for the “one time setup” thing is to download the patch that allows offline play you morons, use your heads for something other than a hat rack!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: This sucks

Maybe do it so if you want to share your library, you have the 24 hour check, if you don’t want to share it, you don’t have to connect.

It’s even more bullshitty than that: the 24 hour check is completely unnecessary to implement the features you’re talking about.

That Microsoft has removed these features in exchange for removing the 24 hour check looks like nothing but pure spite.

Simple Mind (profile) says:

Microsoft Corporate Culture

Microsoft culture can be seen in everything they do. It is all about the needs of Microsoft and never about the needs of the customer. This is the main reason they are losing market share in everything in my opinion. The personality of the company has always been one of selfishness, bullying, and fear. I don’t like their attitude. I don’t like the way they do business.

BTW, I feel exactly the opposite about companies like Google and Amazon. They make mistakes, but their hearts are in the right place.

PaulT (profile) says:

Congratulations Microsoft, I *might* actually be back in the market for one of these machines! But, I’m definitely not going to be buying one early. I’m now going to wait a while. As with the RROD and Blu ray manufacturing issues early adopters of last gen devices faced, I fully expect something to go wrong. Instead of buying early, I’m going to wait 18 months – 2 years to see how people are experiencing the machine. If people don’t run into “whoops, the DRM is there after all” and other fuck-ups, I might buy – by then the price will have dropped and the slim model may be there too!

So, you’ve turned a “no chance in hell” into a “maybe I’ll buy a cheap model later”. A bonus for you, but next time just listen to customers before you launch, huh? We were talking about these things when the early rumours were flying, you shouldn’t have been surprised by the complaints after they were confirmed.

Ninja (profile) says:

Hah, one time activation my ass. Why would I need to activate a damn hardware online? Even PHONES don’t require any accounts to be used and they are focused on being online nowadays… At least they managed to evolve from an epic failure to a failure. So we get Ninetendo who is a copyright moron, Rootkit-nazi Sony and Power-grab Microsoft to choose from (mainstream stuff). I’m not buying any of the new consoles, hello PC!

Bob Buttons says:

Never has ‘haters gonna hate’ been more relevant. Microsoft tried something new with their new system. People were up in arms about how horrible the idea was and the system should die because of it. That whole thing gets reversed and now people are pissed that you have to connect to get a patch for it to work? The manufacturing process has probably started some time ago and those systems are all configured for the original setup. The patch is needed to tell them to follow the new guidelines. Concerning them bringing them back, what a load of crap. The amount of work with licensing and making it compatible with people’s existing libraries would be insanely difficult. Lastly, there’s the people complaining about the Kinect being included. That is a good thing. Even if you hate jumping around your living room having it included allows developers to use it as a controller extension as opposed to replacement since they can rely on everyone having it. Things like lifting a shield in an FPS or pushing something away in an RPG can happen and be done well since developers will actually care. For those with privacy concerns, it can be turned off. Worse case scenario either stay offline or turn the camera down. It’s not that difficult. Once again, haters gonna hate.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s not about “haters”, it’s about legitimate concerns being rejected, often with a mocking or insulting response. Such as the “buy a 360” response from MS to 360 owners who complained about the DRM.

You listed 3 very clearly legitimate complaints, but you’ve rejected them in the same way as MS have, not least by only considering their side without considering the consumer side. For example, Kinect might well be useful to developers to have installed by default. However, not everybody wants it, and those who really don’t want it are forced to pay extra for the console as a result. On top of that, there are real privacy and other concerns since it always needs to be connected. Making it either optional or detachable would alleviate those concerns, but the official line seems to be “tough, you’re having it and paying for it”.

I can understand both sides, but that’s never going to be an response to real issues. Rejecting real concerns and complains with “haters gonna hate” is never going to be a good answer – as Microsoft have found out recently to their detriment. Understand and address concerns rather than rejecting them, you’ll get a lot further. Consumers don’t give a crap what’s easier and better for manufacturers and developers, and they’re not going to part with their money if you mock or ignore them.

Anonymous Coward says:

the bits that people wanted removing (and threatened, basically, that they wouldn’t be buying the XBox, will still be present, they will just be dormant, waiting to be woken up by an enforced, probably silent, update. once they have sufficient consoles sold, then all the crap will be turned back on! there is absolutely no way that Microsoft are going to do this for any reason other than money! once they have that, then the control bit will come back in! i just hope that when it happens, there is serious push back, resulting in whatever shit it takes to make Microsoft and others realise that the people want to be treated with respect and that when they buy something, it is bought, not rented and not just getting a license! if Sony at a later date try the same thing, they need putting in their place too!!

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