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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.

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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.

851 Comments
Edited by csl316

What a scoop! And holy shit!

Edited by vinone

Fuuuuuuuuuck.... That's pretty crazy...

Edited by BSw

Those were some bad per-order sales, I suspect. After the pre-order announcements it was the first time that customers could vote with their money. Nothing generates a better a clearer picture than that.

Still, I really did not expect this to happen at all. And I'm still probably switching to Sony.

Edited by Areian

I'm kinda sorry to see this reversal. I won't argue that this isn't a big win for consumers: We got what we asked for.

What I am sorry about, is that this essentially halts MS's ideas about digital sharing, which I thought sounded very interesting, and nothing we had really seen before. It would be nice to see more experimentation in that space.

I hope MS will revisit their sharing plans for downloaded games at a later time. They could easily have innovated on the online front, while keeping the status quo for games bought on physical media, incentivizing us to go digital.

Edited by Giganteus

Technically, it wasn't Patrick who broke this story first if I'm understanding correctly, but it was pretty close...so whatever. Good on Patrick, either way.

I'm genuinely surprised they'd reverse all of this so suddenly. I expected it further down the road, if at all.

Edited by drumpsycho89

SO this news is breaking the internet as we speak! but is there anyone on here that was thinking this could have potentially have been awesome if it was left the way the said it was? I feel like I am the only one...

Edited by Darji

This is the biggest back paddling in gaming history. MS lost a ton of trust and image and from now on it will be really interesting in the Console wars. But Gamers have already won so FUCK YEAH!!!!

Edited by BaneFireLord

Still not buying one, but HOT DAMN TRICKY. Way to go out with a bang.

Edited by natetodamax

Crazy

Edited by DrLove

THey still will be trashed and made fun of hard for the next few months but this is a great move to actually LISTEN..

Edited by Tidel

Holy shit.

Not dead yet, I guess.

Great for us. I am proud of the noise gamers made over this bullshit. And I am happy both of them listened.

This doesn't kill anything interesting about XB1. It allows what's cool to be, while maintaining a (relatively) acceptable relationship with consumers. If you don't want disc-bound content, buy digitally.

Instead of spiting the present to force the future, they've going to allow the transition to all-digital to happen naturally.

Smart move. Good thing Sony thought of it for them and gamers didn't let them forget it.

Edited by Sen0r_Awes0me

All this script-flipping, it’s just creating various feature factions who want policies from one month combined with tech promises from another. Neo Haters, Classic Loyalist, Mattrick’s Revisionists, Sony’s Legion,........probably some Space Marine group, for whatever reason. Console war is hell!

Edited by stryker1121

MS FOREVER!! SONY IS FOR LOOSERS!!

For real though, as an Xbox dude, this gives me pause. Still not interested in the non-game related features of Xone (or that price tag), but I will certainly be putting more consideration into my next console when the time comes.

Edited by Jazzycola

@m2cks said:

@jazzycola said:
@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.

thatsthejoke.jpg

Oh I know its an attempt at a joke. It's a joke that is about 8 years old from Gamespots console war floor.

Edited by HellknightLeon

I'm going to say this came after they looked at pre-orders so far and what the goal was set at. I have no idea but that is hard data that they "could" use to show if they would be able to let this all blow over or if they would have to act in some way. I would love to know what "it" was that broke the camels back but odds are we never will know. They need to get on a stage and say something. This news will only hit a small % of the people that are already made mad and with E3 out of the way and little time left till the system hits store shelves I wonder how they will get the news out to the masses. Also... This must have pushed them back a ways... odds seem good that PS4 will hit shelves first. But... I'm just talking out of my ass... that makes me super talented. FYI.

Edited by Winternet

HOT SCOOOPZ laying down the hammer! Kleptok just broke Giant Bomb.

Edited by Tatsuyarr

That makes me so happy. I now can preorder mine.

Edited by alfawolf04

I'm saddened by this. I wanted the XBone to die horribly and now some people will actually buy that box of crap.

If XBox died, Sony wouldn't have to compete nearly as hard, and they'd get lazy. I'm happy with this news, at least because it forces Sony to stay on their toes.

Edited by robin_smith

So does this mean discs will be required for installed games?

yes

Edited by dsi1

*ctr + f* "kinect" *bztbzt*

Welp. Nothing about always plugged in Kinect? It's also still $100 more and less powerful :/

Edited by Sen0r_Awes0me

All this script-flipping, it’s just creating various feature factions who want policies from one month combined with tech promises from another. Neo Haters, Classic Loyalist, Mattrick’s Revisionists, Sony’s Legion,........probably some Space Marine group, for whatever reason. Console war is hell!

Edited by Nicked

That's good news, though I have to wonder if it isn't more of a response to retailers than fans. This comes after a huge press event where they were still deaf to DRM concerns and firmly on message about its "always on" necessity. My guess would be that Redbox, Gamefly and Gamestop may have had more clout than "fans". Doesn't matter either way because in the end it's good for consumers, but this seems like a cold business decision rather than anything else. Glad to see it's happening though.

Edited by Nicked

That's good news, though I have to wonder if it isn't more of a response to retailers than fans. This comes after a huge press event where they were still deaf to DRM concerns and firmly on message about its "always on" necessity. My guess would be that Redbox, Gamefly and Gamestop may have had more clout than "fans". Doesn't matter either way because in the end it's good for consumers, but this seems like a cold business decision rather than anything else. Glad to see it's happening though.

Edited by Tackchevy

Congratulations, internet!

So, reviewing the market dynamic now, I have to rethink my predictions. The smartest publishers will just start this cool new trend of "digital release only!"

They'll hopefully approach it with a better PR scheme. Something about saving the environment.

Edited by Zamir

Edited by Skooky

This is 100% the wrong move for Microsoft to make.

Edited by spilledmilkfactory

Now if anything other than Dead Rising 3 looked halfway decent, I might actually consider one. I mean I'll probably go for it once the price drops and more games are out for it, but for now this whole affair makes them look like a bunch of incompetent fools scrambling to find the fastest route to consumers' money. Their PR for this thing has become a circus.

Edited by Picard

Wow, they really did it.

Edited by LordAndrew

Good to hear, but...

"An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console"

Definitely required? This part still makes me wary. What happens if the console isn't connected, or if you try to set up Xbone in the future after online services are shut down?

Edited by CitizenCoffeeCake

I'm glad Microsoft did this but damn if it doesn't make them look weak as shit. Will still buy.

Edited by Superkenon

HOT SCOOOOOPS!

Man, what the hell is Microsoft doing? It helps, but it also doesn't exactly build confidence that they'd suddenly reverse on a dime, after all their guys out there have been spending their time spreading the DRM gospel. Is there any kind inner dialogue going on in that company?

Where the XONE looked gross before, now it just looks like a mess.

It's a step up, at least.

Edited by FateOfNever

This does nothing for me. They should have come to this conclusion, and announcement, before E3 if they wanted it to have any impact. Back peddling like this only after Sony made such a stronger showing tells me they don't give a shit about fans rights, they only give a shit about the money. That's maybe a harsh and too simplistic view to take on it - all companies only really care about money, but Microsoft showed their colors, flashed them around, and *continually* let Mattrick run out in front making PR blunder after PR blunder. It's just too little too late for me. Sony made such a better, stronger, more connected impression to me this time around and that's who I'm sticking with.

Edited by Lazuliv

They did this a day too late I already pre ordered the PS4. I'll just wait until the consoles come out to get the X1.

Edited by Sin4profit

Wonder if they'll have an Opt-in system for family households that have multiple xboxes and don't want to buy multiple disks to play multiplayer.

Edited by Nekroskop

Still less powerful and still 100 bucks more. Anyone who thinks it's any better must have been dropped on the head as a baby.

Edited by Wabashy

Im not actually sure this is all the good news, but its good new regardless. Might be losing some of the more interesting features though....

Good work scoops!

Edited by kerse

Good, a win for consumer rights, unfortunately I'm still probably gonna go for the PS4. Cheaper and no Kinect requirement.

Edited by mrfluke

@lordandrew: its to probably just fetch the patch that disables all this nonsense.

Edited by leebmx

Wow! Consumer power I guess. I really hope that people with a decent internet connection are still able to benefit from this, and this doesn't mean moves towards a disc-less, connected future are held back.

I also hope this really leads publishers to get creative with pricing in order to kill used game sales. Used can be killed if pubs are prepared to offer a better deal. I want my money to go to the creators not resellers, but I don't want to be ripped off.

Edited by JZ

Too late I already hate you.

Also It's unsettleing how easy all of that was just turned off. Yes this is great news but now it sounds like "Yeah we were just trying to screw you, but we couldn't get away with it. We were robbing you and you saw through our santa disguise."

Edited by golguin

Now this is hilarious. What happened to everyone claiming that all the criticism was just "internet rage from a vocal minority" and that it didn't matter? What happened to everyone saying that the pre order numbers that were massively in favor of Sony were all just anecdotal stuff and we needed to wait until launch? What happened to all of Microsoft's anti consumer policies supposedly benefiting the consumer with the 24 hour DRM and always online.


Turns out it was all bullshit. I guess all you Xbox One apologists can now stop and be glad that there were enough people "raging online" to improve your gaming experience. You're welcome.

Edited by eccentrix

@supernormalstep said:

of course they reversed it. They couldn't stick to their guns after the horrible beat-down at E3. It's sad that it took that to do it though. I doubt they listened to "fans" as much as listened to the cheers Sony got.

Those were Microsoft fans cheering.

Edited by mtfikhan

They're already listening. And I don't even own a Kinnect....

Edited by Deckard

Interesting. Although, since the restrictive policies were already announced the XONE was certainly designed with those policies in mind, I give MS about 3 years before these policies rear their ugly head again. By then maybe a lot less people will care (i.e. acceptance of digital-only), but nonetheless...

Edited by FunkasaurasRex

What the fuck is going on you guys. Holy shit.

Edited by Vinny_Says

So now it's just like a 360 but with better graphics....

I really hope this doesn't delay the digital future waiting for us. If this means I'll have to buy an old copy of a 5 year old game some kid vomited on (why else is the box sticky?) because the version on PSN/XBLA is still $39.99 then I'm seriously gon' be pissed. I hope to one day see Steam like prices on consoles, that's the whole idea right?

Then again installing off a disc is way faster than waiting 2 hours for a game to download. Too bad that little feature is now gone :(

Edited by bemusedchunk

Feh - this makes me dislike Microsoft even more. Way to stick to your guns, guys...