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Published on June 19th, 2013 | by Cameron Woolsey

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Microsoft Backpedals on DRM Policy for Xbox One

Microsoft has apparently thrown its DRM policy for Xbox One in full reverse, removing the online check-in and all pre-owned game restrictions for Xbox One.

During E3, Microsoft earned the spite of many gamers when it confirmed a lot of the troubling DRM rumors surrounding its next Xbox. The prior rumors gave Sony a perfect chance to steer public interest toward its PlayStation 4 when the company announced during its press conference that the device will not have a DRM policy.

The public responded to the news was a complete shift in interest toward the PS4, as reported by multiple polls around the web.

Only about a week has passed since E3, and appears that during the time Microsoft has been reevaluating its DRM policy.

Don Mattrick, president of interactive entertainment business at Microsoft, posted an article today explaining that Microsoft has removed its DRM policy:

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.

Here is the bullet list for you “tl;dr” types:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today
  • You can download games from Xbox Live on day of release
  • If you download games on Day One, you will be able to play them offline
  • There are no more regional restrictions
  • You can share games with others simply by letting them borrow the disc (downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold)
  • Playing the disc-based game requires the disc to be in the tray

Every so often, a company does listen to its fans. But if it was so easy for Microsoft to make the change, is it also just as easy to re-implement it?

Well, for now, let’s pause a moment and take in the fact that Microsoft has apparently listened to its user base, and has made the changes that gamers have been demanding. Who is up for a re-poll?

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About the Author

Video game journalist since 2006, and gaming since he was old enough to use an Atari joystick. Follow me: @Cam_is_16bit



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