Giant Bomb News


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+
Edited by Draxyle

Ahhh, good ole console wars begin anew. Glad to see the big two fighting for our hearts again. When they get competitive, we all win.

The PS4 is still the more attractive option, but at least the playing field just got leveled a little bit. I don't want people to feel like they're making a deal with the devil just because they wanted to play some XBox One exclusive titles.

Posted by MrBacca

Microsoft spends almost an entire week at E3 defending they're new policies and how it's "the right thing to do" for their company, only to completely change their stance a week later. It's pandering, and it makes me think less of them as a company for abandoning their philosophy and integrity so easily. I'll stick with the PS4.

Posted by hi_im_rob

Way to go Scoops!! This is awesome news. I was leaning towards Xbox due to the game library but this seals the deal.

Edited by xxNBxx

Next up: Kinect taken out of base package and the price goes down 100 bucks.

Posted by PresidentOfJellybeans

Now just drop the Kinect and I'm in!

Posted by xombi242


Edited by TurboMan


Edited by OllyOxenFree

@xxnbxx said:

Next up: Kinect taken out of base package and the price goes down 100 bucks.

Oh lawdy lawd. The controversy! I love it!

Posted by TerraTempest

@stimpack: I wouldn't really say this makes them look like fools, for them to look like fools they would have to release their console as is. This is them trying to own up to their mistake and realizing the clear distaste for their company at the moment. They made a lot of assumptions which have all been blown in their faces pretty hard. This is a step in the right direction for them, but a great deal of damage to their brand has already been done. It will be interesting to see them try and dig their way out of this hole.

Posted by Bulby33

Way to go scoops!

Posted by Extortion

As much as I hate the idea of 24 hr online check-ins and severe limitations on lending games to friends, I'm actually a little sad to see Microsoft do a complete 180 on their stance. It looked like they might have had some neat ideas on what games could do and how the way people played them could change, they just had a piss-poor messaging campaign for it and came off looking like Big Business coming in to nickel and dime you for everything you did with your console. Now we have both major console developers making consoles that function nearly identically to the last generation. That makes me a little sad. I suppose the saddest part is that no matter how everything shakes out for the Xbox One, everyone will always wonder what it could have been if Microsoft had stuck to their guns.

Posted by Kratch

It's good that they changed their minds, but it's obvious they didn't make that change because it was the right thing to do. They changed policies only because they couldn't get away with it. It's kind of like catching a friend stealing stuff from your house, and he's like, "Sorry, I won't do that again. Can I still come to your party on Saturday?"

Posted by JZ

On that day the grinch's heart grew two sizes.

Posted by Itwongo

Dude, WHAT?!

Edited by Zonerender

Good game..... because of all the whining, now we can't have family share accounts and share games with our friends who may not live close to us or friends who wouldn't normally buy a certain game we would and vice versa.

We are back to the old model of getting 15% of 59.99 when trading in our old games and the future wont be coming sooner for a "Steam-like" ecosystem where digital games are the predominant seller which would then afford for price cuts and deals on digital sales like their is on Steam.

If we as a gaming community rely on Physical Media and archaic pricing models like we are screaming for... we wont be seeing digital media really spreading its wings any time soon. It really is a shame to me.

Well guess I'll just have to look forward to buying the digital copy of a 5 month old game for full price or go to the store and buy the physical disk at reduced costs. Digital media will never be able to keep up with physical marketing trends if its taking the backseat.....

EDIT: Not to mention... I hope everyone likes Game specific Online Passes (Multiplayer Access Codes). Because game companies won't force the new DRM standards that upset the gaming community so much. They will just go back to what works and is accepted.


Edited by Tireyo

Well, look at who corrected their mistake!

Edited by mnzy

@mrbacca said:

Microsoft spends almost an entire week at E3 defending they're new policies and how it's "the right thing to do" for their company, only to completely change their stance a week later. It's pandering, and it makes me think less of them as a company for abandoning their philosophy and integrity so easily. I'll stick with the PS4.

They started this whole thing publicly in february, not to mention internally. And they gave interviews till this week about their plans. This is pretty crazy.

Edited by xXDiabloFanXx

Thanks Microsoft, now lower the price? :p

Posted by BBQBram

So that would leave them backpedaling on their always-on vision and still a hundred bucks more expensive. Titanfall seems great, but eh.

Posted by nick1112

Scoops bringing you the Scoops first.

Edited by Kosayn

Now that they've choked on these policies, it seems so crazy that they were ever proposed in the first place. The problem with people in the military using them... the problem with killing secondary markets... so many other problems.

I understand the promise of always-on. Diablo 3's multiplayer in the initial months, when the servers were up, was great. Tons of my friends available to play with all the time thanks to the customer base they had built on before that.

But I think the always on decision has to remain at the per game level, especially for consoles. People expect different things from consoles than they do from a PC, even those who don't have back woods internet.

I'd still be team PS4 regardless, but I tend not to buy any new technology for at least three months after launch.

Edited by skeletor7
Posted by Daneian

Still won't buy one.

Posted by Leptok

wonder how it will aeffect games based on

the cloudk? if that if that stuff is so easy to turn off, why bother in the first placek?

Posted by Sweep

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


Edited by Saga

It's GiantBomb....they don't mess around.

@luck702 said:

@saga: That's super dumb to pre-order something because of info that hasn't even been confirmed.

Posted by Korolev

That's pretty amazing. Did not expect them to do this

Posted by Mystyr_E

@bbqbram said:

So that would leave them backpedaling on their always-on vision and still a hundred bucks more expensive. Titanfall seems great, but eh.

and also on PC ;)

Posted by Godzilla_Sushi

I will pre-order one tomorrow...

Posted by ObsideonDarman

Wow. Just... wow.

I'm a little saddened to see that a lot of other publications aren't referencing Scoops as the source for this. Don't they have to do that?

Edited by Saga

Sony headquarters must have been shaking after this announcement.

Edited by headcase

MS: "can we do this?"

Everybody: "no."

MS: "all right."

Posted by beef_melody

I'm surprised they even thought of it in the first place. Wouldn't be surprised to see the usual suspects (EA, Ubi) pushing for such measures, but for MS to bow to the idea is laughable. Good luck with the console, i guess.

Posted by Xaviersx

They'll need to. They can't pull this "the next generation doesn't begin until we say so crap", they need to not tick off their consumer base . . anymore than they already have. And they doubly need to be sure production line units are not duds, no red ring fiasco like the launch of the last or yellow if they 'borrowed' the competitions.

Posted by InternetDetective

@darson said:



Posted by joan_mendez92

Just because they say "sorry" doesn't mean they respect their consumers. People are already jumping in that Xbox dick, they seem to forget that a few weeks ago Microsoft told every "gamer" out there to fuck off if you don't have a decent/stable connection, or enough money to buy every game new. So fuck you Microsoft.. and hopefully people see that and don't buy their console.

Posted by Elwoodan

well good on microsoft for fixing some of their problems, but the PS4 is still cheaper and had a better (in my opinion) e3 lineup.

Posted by bigjeffrey

@stimpack said:

Hahahaha. Wow. What? I'll wait and see.

Also, I'm sorry, but this just makes them look like incompetent fools. They've planned this whole elaborate DRM business and it has blown up in their faces. All the while they're preaching about how wonderful their plan is and how worthless their customers are. This isn't about improving customer relations. This isn't a favor. This is about money.


Its about money?

Tell me more.

Edited by xedrox

Still not going to buy it

Edited by biospank

yeah, wait what?.

Edited by tourgen

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?......

They weren't serious about cloud computing. It was all bullshit because Sony was selling a console clearly superior to theirs. They had to have something to fall back on to say, "oh well yeah, we are going to be able to keep up with the PS4. Why? THE CLOUD! CLOUD MAGICS!". Nothing besides server-side storage was ever going to happen.

Posted by roninenix

What if, after 1-2 years of release, when the consumer base is spread far and wide, they try and patch in the DRM?

Posted by briangodsoe

Cliffy B has gotten out his tinfoil hat and proceeded to lose his shit on twitter.

Edited by Nardak

Play the game....ahem sorry...I mean Titanfall.

Posted by VivianDarkbloom

Damn, he's not even left for Chicago yet, and is already back to breaking the news. Good work Klepek!

Posted by Wraxend

God damm Scoops! If this is the sort of news coverage you give us during the same week your moving, I can't wait to see what other news stories you'll be able to break once your in Chicago and have more time on your hands.

Edited by Palaeomerus

Now, if we can just get the damned Kinect 2,0 reduced to being optional to operation of the console and gameplay, and lower the price by $100 and all my complaints are gone.

No Larry. I DON'T want to go to that future with you. Not for $500. Sorry babe. It ain't you, it's me.

Edited by thechronodarkness

Hmm. Sony still has no region lock, 100$ less, and slightly more power. Still though. It means I'll buy an Xbone someday for its exclusives. Thankfully, I can buy all current gen consoles now.

Then again. I'm reading now there is no region lock. Awesome! NOW! Get rid of the one time online activation and it'll sell like hot cakes.

Posted by LifeByDegrees

@zonerender: Generally agree with your sentiments. The biggest win is in the hands of those who just couldn't do the regular check in. Hopefully they will create a middle ground.

Posted by polymorph

Competition one, that's a good thing. End of story..