I’m sort of in shock about this one. I fully understand why Microsoft wanted “check in DRM” for their new console and the idea really didn’t bother me quite as much as it bothered a number of you. I apparently was in the minority.
To many, Microsoft’s upcoming DRM policy was an hurdle that they really didn’t want to jump. After sounding off quite loudly, gamers around the world made it known that they want to “own” their games much like they do today. While Xbox’s games performed quite well at this year’s E3, their policies did not. This afternoon something truly remarkable happened, the internet beat Microsoft. Xbox One games will now be able to be traded and sold much like they are today. You can almost hear the cheers of Gamestop executives across the land.
So in what way is this a bad thing? We don’t really know yet. The idea behind the new DRM system was to usher in a new age of connectivity. In theory, content would be streamed onto your system while you slept, meaning that patches and updates would never have to be manually installed. Having a uniform “check in DRM” would have also done away with developer imposed DRM systems like Ubisoft’s UPlay and the like. While EA recently got rid of their online passes for existing titles, who knows what they will put in its place. DRM is not going away folks. Check out this message from Microsoft’s Don Mattrick who is in charge of interactive entertainment
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.