Microsoft Rethinks Its Xbox One Policies

June 19, 2013
in Category: Gaming, The Blog
4 1925 0
Microsoft Rethinks Its Xbox One Policies

Microsoft Rethinks Its Xbox One Policies

Microsoft Rethinks Its Xbox One Policies

After months of criticism followed by a demoralizing E3, Microsoft has decided it’s better to demolish its earlier ideas of what the future of gaming is, revise its Xbox One policies, and give the public (their consumers) what they so badly asked for.

In breaking news fashion, some PI work by Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek, so stunning in fact I haven’t seen anything like it since Watergate, Microsoft’s very own “foot in mouth” and our favorite chief of interactive entertainment Don Mattrick released this little doozie:

Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

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 — there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc 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.

A lot there right? Let me just pull out some of juicy morsels from the excrement.

What’ll you gain? Well, after an initial one-time online system set up, the Xbox One will have the ability to play offline. There will be no big brother checking in every 24 hours. No online DRM, discs are discs, and will be treated as such. Used games as of right now, are not dead to the Xbox One.

What do you lose? You wont be able to share those games among 9 family members, unless of course you give them the physical game. I think something else lost here is the feeling of having something different and truly “next gen”. A system that has games stored on your hard drive and then connected with your username on the cloud. All that is gone, for now anyways.

I can’t say much, I was one criticizing Microsoft for their disregard of consumers, but now I find myself really wondering what could have been, what could have happened with these two dramatically different consoles. More questions pop up in my head regarding how the Xbox One is going to say they’re stronger with their 300,000 cloud servers that were supposed to boost the Xbox One “in game”. These thoughts of course only come because of classic naysayers of early technology like the telephone, automobile, televisions, and computers. What is the Xbox One was that next step? The world will never know…

Farm On.


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  1. mrdingy

    To be perfectly honest the DRM was never a huge sticking point with me. I was just put off by the Kinect requirement and the price. Now I’m not of the tinfoil hat wearing camp, so I don’t think they would use the Kinect to spy on me, it’s just that they didn’t show me a compelling reason as to why I would want it connected.

    However I do have a couple of concerns about this change in policy.
    1) If you do a bit of poking around and read some of the interviews Microsoft people are giving these days. It doesn’t sound like they are removing the DRM features from the Xbox One, it just sounds like they are turning them off. This could possibly leave the door open for them to implement something latter on down the road.

    2)More troubling I think is the removal of “always online”. So much of Microsoft’s press conference focused on the cloud gaming features of their new titles that I’m concerned that their are a bunch of developers scrambling to make sure their games will work without a internet connection. On top of that several games that were shown didn’t appear to have much if any single player content. Titanfall and I’m assuming Sunset Overdrive looked to be very multiplayer focused.

    With so many of their games utilizing and focusing cloud gaming, I’ve got to wonder if this will change which games ship on time for the launch.

    1. Burke (author)

      I agree with the thinking that Microsoft will implement their initial policies later down the road. They are not taking them out, they’re just giving you a day one patch which can “disable” them. It seems almost impossible to build a totally new system with updated software in 5 months.

      I’m actually a little upset with Xbox consumers who are “loyal” to Microsoft who are like, “finally I can get the Xbox One.” Why now? Stand your ground and purchase the better product, which right now, isn’t proving to be the Xbox One.

      It’s Sony’s move now, they need to come out and say they’ll have the better online multiplayer, a piece Xbox Live has dominated over this current console generation.

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