Giant Bomb News

791 Comments

Microsoft to Pull Complete Reversal on Xbox One DRM Policies

Sources indicate Microsoft is going to move away from what's caused the company so much headache.

UPDATED: Microsoft has confirmed these policy changes are happening.

--

The tug-of-war between Microsoft and Sony just got more interesting. Multiple sources inform me Microsoft will announce what amounts to a complete reversal on its DRM policies for Xbox One today.

What does this mean?

  • No more always online requirement
  • The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
  • All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
  • An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
  • All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
  • No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
  • Region locks have been dropped

It is unclear what caused this huge change in policy right after E3, a week where Microsoft executives spent days explaining, justifying, and talking about its policies to the press. I suspect Microsoft’s official announcement will say something to the effect of “we've been closely listening to consumer feedback.”

Based on what I’m being told, that’s definitely true.

I've reached out to Microsoft for comment.

Microsoft has taken an enormous amount of heat regarding DRM policies with its new console. Sony became consumer heroes at E3, announcing PlayStation 4 would not treat used games differently, and the status quo would reign. The company released this video, twisting the knife:

Of course, Xbox One is still $499 and PlayStation 4 is still $399. But today moves the needle.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
851 Comments
Edited by boylie

HOT SCOOPS

Edited by Hassun

I hope this won't be the last great scoop of Patrick "tricky" "scoops" Klepek.

At least the name confusion is now over. We have a new name for this console.

Xbox™ 180™

Edited by SenorMartinez

I expected them to increase the 24 hour limit to 72 or more, but complete reversal will be crazy, and make them look kinda weak.

Edited by mrfluke

Sweet, now I may actually buy one(assuming this is true)

same, this definitely levels the playing field between the 2 systems some more.

power of public opinion, i never underestimate activism,

Edited by Murdoc_

Still have a camera pointed in my living room that is recording my every move for the NSA to track though.

Edited by Stimpack

#deboned

Edited by JayEH

One last scoop before he leaves

Edited by Microshock

Why does it require an internet connection when setting up? If you're getting rid of all the other online requirements, just get rid of this too

Edited by AngeTheDude

Scoopz gettin' straight TRICKY! How will this affect the deals Microsoft probably made with publishers to put all these DRM features into the architecture of their system? Won't some of them be a upset at this policy change?

Edited by Scroll

Competition is great huh?

Edited by bassman2112

This is crazy news, it actually turns the next generation into a console war if true. I still won't be buying an XBone out of principle (I mean, come on - the amount of hubris that Microsoft was showing is really telling) but good for the fans.

Edited by matsemann08

Crazy!

I thought they were to proud to go back on it now.

Edited by mrfluke

Sweet, now I may actually buy one(assuming this is true)

same, this definitely levels the playing field between the 2 systems some more.

power of public opinion, i never underestimate activism,

Edited by JohnLocke

I am curious about Kinect for Xbox One, is this actually required to use the console, or is it like the Kinect for Xbox 360 where I can have it but unplug it when not in use? If the DRM removal rumour and not required to have Kinect on at all times, then I feel like the games line up is pulling me more towards the Xbox One (gah, that name, if only they could change that as well, I really liked the sound of Xbox Infinity).

Edited by Brendan

@thepickle: You have a good point, but Patrick obviously didn't feel comfortable enough about that info to write am article about it. I'm not saying your wrong, but there is a difference.

@rydemption: I don't think you know how sources work.

Edited by Hassun

I propose we now call the new console the Xbox™ 180™

Edited by crusader8463

Still no interest in an X-Box 3. None of the games look interesting to me and their focus on everything but games does nothing for me. I have a PC that already does all the stuff they are touting. Why would I want to pay $599 plus $50 a year to get the same stuff I already have on my PC for free?

Edited by DefaultProphet

SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS

Edited by ThePickle

Doubt it. MS has been defending these positions since their announcement.

Considering Scoops' "inside sources" told him Sony would enact the same policies, I'll take this with a grain of salt.

Edited by probablytuna

And the war rages on. This is going to make things very interesting. Will the hype around Sony finally die down? Will the reverse in their policies backfire for Microsoft? Drama!

Edited by kalmis

Getting nice coverage on this article Scoops.

If they really do this, it is great news for gamers!

Edited by Wheady

well here's hoping they did actually give their heads a shake. still gettin a ps4 first but this will be 1 less thing to worry about when i do get an x1 a couple of years from now.

Edited by JohnLocke

I am curious about Kinect for Xbox One, is this actually required to use the console, or is it like the Kinect for Xbox 360 where I can have it but unplug it when not in use? If the DRM removal rumour and not required to have Kinect on at all times, then I feel like the games line up is pulling me more towards the Xbox One (gah, that name, if only they could change that as well, I really liked the sound of Xbox Infinity).

Edited by IronScimitar

Xbox 180

Edited by Toxin066

His last west-side scoop.

Edited by jpmcosta

We gotta thank Sony for this... Buy a PS4.

Edited by djou

The internet is on fire!!!

Edited by Vasper_Knight

Good, i was going to buy one either way but this makes me happy. Now its time to hear how much of a idiot i am blah blah blah.

Edited by Rotnac

hot scoops!

Edited by Rhymes

This is insane, even if they back off from the DRM / always online, this makes the entire company look weak and without a clear direction which might be even worse.

Edited by cyberfunk

confirmed: http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/update

Edited by Luck702

@rydemption: Maybe you should wait to see if this is confirmed or not later today before attacking Patrick's credibility.

Edited by MildMolasses
Edited by Sergotron

Congrats Gamestop!

Edited by InternetDetective

"It is unclear what caused this huge change in policy right after E3..."

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha Scoops you are the funniest I love you.

Edited by jimmy_p

That statement is still vague as fuck.

Edited by vince_kupo

On related news, The Game Station Podcast crashes giantbomb XD

Edited by Quantris
Edited by vince_kupo

On related news, The Game Station Podcast crashes giantbomb XD

Edited by DragoonZero

Scoops scoops scoops! Awesome find! Interesting to see how this plays out.

Edited by MrAngryEyes

Doesn't this now put pretty big limitations on what they can do with the cloud since consoles do not have to be constantly connected to their network? Or will portions of game features/content just not be available to users without an internet connection?......

Edited by Hooray4Larz

This fucking sucks. I wanted full disc installation and was looking forward to family sharing. Now everything will stay exactly the same. So much for any kind of progress within this industry. Going to be a big fucking slap in the face the generation that they ditch physical altogether.

Edited by Subjugation

I'll wait for the official announcement, but if this turns out to be true it allays the only minor misgiving I had about XONE. I wasn't going to get either console before now, but now I'm thinking about the next Xbox because their game lineup is way more interesting to me. Touche.

Edited by Bigbombomb

SCOOOOPS!

Edited by Soapy86

I wonder if Ryan will continue being dismissive of consumers voicing their opinions against this kind of bullshit.

Who am I kidding? Of course he will.

Edited by seamus85

is neogaf down

Edited by ei8htbit

Not that I don't have faith in Scoops, but this definitely needs to be confirmed before any relevant actions can take place. But if it is so, this would be HUGE (well, not to me because, frankly, used physical disc based games don't really matter (even though they seem to)). This would effectively take away the over-inflated crutch Sony has been leaning on for their entire platform in one fell swoop and instead of being muddled by fringe use-case policies consumers could actually focus on the relevant merits of each system.

In my honest opinion though, I don't see Microsoft actually doing this. I think it's more realistic to see a second SKU option with price drop. Then again, with so much at stake and the frivolous nature of word of mouth influence I guess anything is possible.

Winter is coming folks..

EDIT: now that there is confirmation, I am shocked. On one hand it's a shame that the tangible benefits of a future-forward always online model has been sacrificed by the pressure of the lowest common denominator user base (I understand why people care about plastic discs in 2013 even though discs are not relevant) but at the same time that lowest common denominator must represent a large enough percentage of the market for them to even consider such a retreat. In that case it is the right thing to do and they are listening to the market, which at the very least demonstrates a sense of humility if not tact.

Nothing can take away the goodwill Sony garnered at E3, but this is definitely a huge loss to any momentum Sony may have had coming out of last week as it essentially removes much of the wind left in those sails. The problem for Sony's hype train is that even fanboys are forced to look at both systems now much more objectively; The PS4 is much cheaper, but the XONE comes with more features at launch, PS4 currently has more indie games support but XONE has more AAA IP and exclusive games coming out of the gate. Everything in between those major differences is entirely negligible and based more on emotion than fact at this point.

If you don't believe that just picture a scenario where Microsoft were to make this announcement back at their E3 press conference and how that would have affected Sony's presser. Sony would have nothing to rally around except for their price, but that would quickly be tempered by the cost of their now paid online service for multiplayer. For games all they really had was multiplatform hits shared with MS and indie games (outside of Second Son and Knack of course which look awesome) up against major exclusives from Microsoft like Titanfall, Quantum Break, Beyond, Killer Instinct, Fantasia, Halo 5, etc.

The fact is that no matter the order these announcements occurred in the past two weeks, those are the cold hard facts laid out on the table four months before anyone is actually spending money on these boxes.

In the grand scheme of things, I see this as a huge public support win for MS in the interim but it's just one battle in the sure-to-be-bloody war that's about to ensue.

Edited by edgeCrusher

Balmer must have thrown hell of chairs over the weekend.

Edited by Benny

SCOOOOOOOOOPS SON!!!

No brainer for MS, they look bad now but it'll be firmly in their rear-view now, leading up to thanksgiving.

Edited by Jazzycola
@borklund said:

They're going to pull a 360 and walk away from the Xbox One DRM policies.

Pretty sure that would mean that they would still be walking towards their DRM policies.