Microsoft Does a 180 on Xbox One DRM, but At What Cost?

Microsoft Pulls a 180 on XBOX One DRM

Microsoft Pulls a 180 on Xbox One DRM

There are two elements to every pitch – the idea and the delivery. There is also the context of the surrounding world at the time of the pitch, the mind frame of those receiving the pitch, and the competitiveness of the landscape. That said, there is fairly widespread agreement that Microsoft got everything wrong with the initial introduction and E3 pitch for its upcoming Xbox One console. It was so bad that Sony ‘won’ simply by not being Microsoft, and Nintendo got loads of attention by declaring ‘we’re all about games’ – something that ended up sounding all but revolutionary after watching Microsoft.

We have already detailed the issues and backlash Microsoft faced after their botched pitch. Now comes word that Microsoft has decided to reverse their decisions on pretty much everything related to DRM (Digital Rights Management). Here are the details from Microsoft:

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. These things will work just as they currently do on Xbox 360.

These were two of the three main objections that were lighting up the internet protests over the past week, with the third being the ‘always on’ Kinect that has the camera and microphone at the ready for whenever you bark a command.

Of course, there is a price to pay for getting this flexibility: Microsoft said it was eliminating some of the functionality it previously said would be included with Xbox One. Among the removed functionality? You will not be able to share downloaded titles with other players, and disc-based games will once again require the disc to be in the system’s tray in order to run.

What do you think about Microsoft’s moves? Smart or just desperate pandering in hope of damage control?

Categories: Editorials, Gaming

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4 replies

  1. My money is on “desperate pandering”. They blew it; they’re trying to recover.

  2. I always have to keep in mind the fact that these companies are here to make money. I’m sure they were aware of the public outcry, but I’ll bet a lot of money that Xbox One pre-orders were not as strong as they were hoping, which led to this complete turnaround.

    I for one, am thrilled. Maybe next they’ll eliminate the forced bundle of the Kinect and bring the price down to $399 to match the PS4.

    • Exactly Perry- none of these companies is going to make a move (save for a move that is a mistake) that is not in their best self-interest. They are in this to make money not serve the public’s best interest. IF doing good or making nice with customers helps them sell and make money or, at best, it is neutral when it comes to profits, great but they will rarely, if ever, do things that are just “nice”. Nothing wrong with that but worth keeping in mind.


  1. Microsoft Was Right with Their DRM and Online Approach