Microsoft Is Removing Xbox One DRM

This could be the biggest backtrack in gaming history: Microsoft will reverse course on their DRM policies for Xbox One, dropping their 24-hour Internet check-in requirement and all restrictions on used games.

Here's Microsoft president of interactive entertainment Don Mattrick with the news:

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.

This comes after heavy criticism following an E3 in which Sony bragged about its own policies for the PS4, which Sony says will not restrict used games or require an internet connection.

Since it revealed the Xbox One in May, Microsoft has faced non-stop criticism for announced policies that could drastically change the way we play games in the future. The Xbox One, Microsoft said, would require players to connect to the internet once every 24 hours in order to keep the box playing games. You would have to activate each game by registering it on the web before playing. The console would also restrict the way that game discs are traded, borrowed and shared, limiting the number of people who could own and play each game, and restricting trade-ins on a publisher-by-publisher basis.

Microsoft has justified these policies by saying that these moves are consistent with a shift to digital seen on Steam, iTunes and other digital platforms. However, in an interview with Kotaku last week, Microsoft's Phil Spencer admitted that the 24-hour internet requirement was not a "selling point" for the Xbox One. He also said Microsoft had no plans for game-lending just yet.

By reversing on those policies, Microsoft calls a lot of things into question: what will become of the Xbox One's family sharing plan? Will publishers find other ways to block used games? And what of all the rhetoric of how "the bits" -- the data on each game disc, rather than the discs themselves -- are the future?

This news was first reported by GiantBomb.


    Well the two people I knew who were anti Xbox One wont be buying PS4's anymore lol.

      Same here, I had a few who are coming back and those who were on the fence are now 100% back on MS

        I was 100% PS4 but now I'm on the fence... Alot of my friends are on the xbox one but I PS4 has PS+

          Wii U for me.

            PS4 still has the more powerful GPU. The only selling point for the XB One is the projection system through kinect. Anyone with a decent smart TV can already multi-task, and the more powerful core won't make any difference to the gaming experience (the GPU impacts that more greatly).

              GPU don't mean shit. Great graphics aren't a substitute for good game design; just because a system is more powerful, doesn't mean it's better. Take the PS2 and the original Xbox, or the N64 and the PSX for example.

        i'm still going to try n go ps4 as the primary console for next gen... purely because i'm sick of microsoft's bullshit and don't really want to deal with another ad filled dashboard full of bullshit i'm not interested in.... i'll still probably get a xbox one... but not at launch

        the _one_ thing that could change my mind... if i end up not liking the ps4 controller... lol

          At least the launch controller will have vibration this time ;)
          As Psycho Mantis said: "VIBRATION IS BACK!!!!!!!!"

          Recent interview stated there won't be ads on the home screen (Source: Looks like they're only going to put content there that you're interested in.

          Is that the only bullshit you're fed up with? I'm probably still going to get a PS4.

            most definitely not... its just one of many things that i'm sick of really lol

            just hope sony keeps up the good work they've done with the ps3 in its latter stages... i think its a pretty awesome console these days... didn't at launch when i got it though haha

      You know the console is basically just a hardware update now right? If people are swayed this easily, then I really doubt they were truly going to leave Microsoft from the start.

        Well if you look at the preorders for any outlet, basically almost all third party games were ordered for PS4.
        This can be due to the fact that people get to own their game on PS4, but now it's fair game on that front. [I still don't trust them till they actually do it]

        Also XBOX one demoes were running on GTX780's to trump the competition in the graphics front, the box still looks bad compared to the competition and XBOX Live costs more than PSPLus and has way less free stuff in it.

        Point is it's now fair game, but can they prove that theirs is better or even similar. All of this could have been avoided.

        Also consider this, they said they needed this to make those next gen titles possible. So is Tinfall going to not have cloud processing now......

          How the hell does Live cost more than PS+? I just got 12 months live for $43, I can't find PS+ cheaper than $59.

            You get free games(I'm talking AAA games a few months old, look them up). Live is just starting to do that.

            Besides people have been ripped Off for a nearly a decade by Xbox live gold.
            The arrival of PSPlus is what made MS rethink the strategy and add more value to it.

            You don't need PSPlus to use other apps like Facebook, foxtel on top of everything else.

            Is that clear enough?

              So to be clear, it does not cost more?

                Oh and Xbox live hold is much more expensive in Australia. 12 month $79 and PSPlus $69.

      Microsoft was losing money and the Xbox One was supposed to fix that.
      Now they back track because they realised they will get terrible sales otherwise, which means where will they make the projected earnings back? They will find new ways to srcew you

        Or their deal with EA over abolished online passes.

        Surely nobody thinks it was pure coincidence that removal of online passes and the botched reveal occurred within a week of each other?

    Sad that it removes some of the more innovative features such as Diskless Gaming and their Family Sharing plan, but hopefully they will work out different ways to implement these features without impacting on those who wouldn't use such features. Glad that this is evidence of a Corporation that listens to the people and makes adjustments accordingly. Bring on the Next Generation of Gaming!

      I agree, as someone with the internet who doesn't buy used games I'm going to chalk this one up to whinging mainstreamers holding back the gaming industry. ;-)

        I think this is going to be a big option now - do you run with digital or buy disks? If you buy disks, well stay with the restrictions. If you go digital, well maybe that means the library option stays open, prices are cheaper (not holding my breath on that one though) and all the digital benefits stay... To me it sounds like Microsoft taking out insurance on the grand plan, whilst still being able to drive the original plan to get digital content more mainstream. If digital games cost 15 bucks less at launch, what proportion buy a disk still???

          They said you wont be able to share downloaded games, so I assume that will apply to the "circle of friends" that was so awesome. The whingers stuffed up that circle of friends thing.j

          I happily buy digital when it's cheaper than physical, but why would I pay the same or more to NOT own a physical copy of my game which can be used anywhere? Why are games still $80 on Playstation and Xbox when they can be had in stores for under $50? Both Sony and Microsoft do a pretty terrible job at their stores barring a few great deals.

        Gee that's a little ignorant. Did you read any of the backlash against their DRM policies? I'm sure I don't have to recap for you. It's the lacking infrastructure and corporations' unwillingness to charge less for digital downloads that's holding the gaming industry back.

        Buying used games is the least of gamer's concerns. You might want to do some homework and read up on the real reasons for the unpopularity of their policies

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been removed.
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        Seriously dude. Stop thinking about yourself. Some people can't connect to the internet. I think the majority would prefer no internet checks. I also assume that a large portion would like to buy used games. It's alot cheaper than full priced games.

          Yeah that's why they complained on the internet...... The obviously went down to the nearest internet cafe and paid for some internet time to complain about the Xbone....

            I'm guessing you don't live somewhere where the Internet is flaky... Say, most of Australia... It's quite often the case that while it's raining, I just don't get internet till the pit dries out. It's been down for a week before.

            So for that entire time, I shouldn't be allowed to play my Xbox One...? I think I'll pass, thank you...

            And that's not even mentioning all the fun of completely crap speeds and low download caps...

            I didn't say that they had no internet. I said most people would prefer no internet checks. It's jsut an inconvenience if your net drops and you can't check in.

            Work, Uni, Smartphone, etc.. There are countless ways to connect to the Internet. Naive much? I can not actually remember the last time I used my laptop on my home connection to view websites.

      I'm hoping that if you are online Diskless still works (seeing as you need to be online the first time hopefully it registers it still). Family Sharing Plan, could still be there and hopefully will, they will still have to have the 2hr online thing for that tho...

        Sadly, according to their announcement, both features have gone the way of the dodo...

        "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. "

        As I also saw mentioned by David Wildgoose on Twitter, this also allows publishers to continue getting away with charging the same price for digital content and physical content...

        Good to see MS listening, but I feel like there's no longer progression or innovation coming in this generation....

          Yeah, discless gaming was something I was looking forward to. It seems we can still have that if we buy the game digitally though, so I suspect that's where most of my purchases are going to be.

          That wasn't progress or innovation, it was an assault on consumers. This backflip is a good thing.

            Yep. There are better ways to move forward than to accept Microsoft as our unconditional Corporate overlords. For instance they could have easily made offline profiles that work this way and online profiles that work the other. They could have made putting the disc in over-ride the DRM. All the positives are still totally possible. There's a lot of ways to go about what Microsoft were attempting and they chose poorly.
            Early adaption of new tech is great but you can't just take whatever is on the table because it's closer to what you want.

              The disc can't override the DRM for account-bound games, and disc-based games can never be migrated to account-bound games. The only thing this change gains users is the ability to play offline. In exchange disc buyers lose discless play, multi-user benefits (family sharing, etc) and an online second hand market. Digital buyers lose the second hand game market and gain nothing. How you can see that as a net gain is beyond me.

                The only thing this change gains users is the ability to play offline. In exchange disc buyers lose discless play, multi-user benefits (family sharing, etc) and an online second hand market. Digital buyers lose the second hand game market and gain nothing. How you can see that as a net gain is beyond me.

                Well first off I'd say nobody gains anything because the console is still going to tank. Too many people have jumped ship. The XBOX One is over and even Microsoft know it.

                Second, it's not a matter of gaining or losing. It's a matter of them choosing an unacceptable option. You're acting like what they proposed then and what they propose now are the only options. I wasn't saying those suggestions were the only way simply that there are tons of compromises that could have been made to make this system work for both the producer and the consumer.
                There's also plenty of time for them to work around to bring those features to the console without limiting functionality. I expect the next attempt to be much more consumer friendly.

                The disc can't override the DRM for account-bound games, and disc-based games can never be migrated to account-bound games.

                Why not? Now it's past I keep hearing that the system is practically begging you to give your games to ten friends, so what's the difference if there is an eleventh running the the game offline with the disc? If an offline install requires the disc to play then only one bad install can function at a time. Everything I've seen indicates that the used-game market, multi-user benefits, discless play are all still possible as options once you remove the 24 hour check-ins.
                At worst their system should have required online check-ins only when installing games to the account or deactivating installs. You could squeeze a free game for a friend out of it but that's about it.

                You can argue we lost something here but the reality is Microsoft was offering a bad deal and they knew it. People are full of speculation now, but at the end of the day if half of this was all how it was going to play out Microsoft wouldn't have been downplaying it since day one or using vague Cloud references as their only justification. They would have came out, been clear and then won the generation in a landslide.

                  You can't use the disc as verification because there's nothing unique on the disc to use to identify it. Either the disc is your licence to use the game, in which case it can't be linked to an online account, or the flag on the user account is the licence to use the game, in which case the disc is nothing more than a medium that can't do anything on its own.

                  This is why games that have an online component almost always have a product key, so there's something that came in the physical box that can link that game to its account. Without it, anyone can throw the disc in their machine, say 'yeah I bought it, sure' and have their account flagged as owning it.

                  And yes, we did lose things because of this. We lost the digital second hand games market, we lost family sharing and we lost discless play. Those things cannot be done without account-level licensing.

                  So you can't have a retail key and a disc in the same box? The game could requires the disc to run just like the 360, unless you have a retail key linked to your account to over ride it. You're essentially buying both the traditional retail copy of the game as well as a license for the game. It's no major loss to them if throw my disc over to a friend or resell it because apparently sharing games is what the system was designed to do.
                  The ability to make this change this late indicate that the discs can be used as authentication or every game was planned to come with a retail key, so the system could have easily been designed to do what I just suggested from the ground up. Hell, they'd probably be getting praised right now if every retail box contained a license and a game rather than just the license. Both sides would not only be satisfied but they'd gain something.

            Rhetoric and hyperbole doesn't make it so.

          Irrational, overblown fear of change, that's all this has been from day 1. We've now got 2 next generation consoles which are just more powerful versions of the last gen, right down to the almost identical controllers.
          Ultimately it's Microsoft's fault for not selling the benefits properly, but between past DRM disasters and the gaming communities new found culture of bursting into tears until they get what they want (see Mass Effect 3) it was never going to be easy.
          I think Microsoft probably expected Sony to do something similar with DRM, and it wouldn't surprise me if history one day shows that they were, but once they saw the flak MS were coping and the opportunity to throw them under the bus at E3 they did (very effectively).
          I suppose it doesn't matter in the end, those of us living in 2013 (who have the internet) will still be changing discs in 2019 now and the folks stuck in 2006 get their Xbox 361 and PS3.1.

            Agreed Agreed Agreed (on all points)

            Not irrational. The changes were for the worse, not the better, and only served to make microsoft more money, not benefit the consumer.

              except it was going to make microsoft no extra money....

                They were protecting their own interests and restricting what you can do with the games you have bought, forcing you to buy new . I'd say that has got to be better for them than people buying/trading games where the retailer gets the bulk of the profit.

                Yeah, they weren't going to be getting a cut from used game sales or anything...


                @roh As someone who only buys new games and has a modern internet connection, I could share my games and DLC with my family, and load my games at friends houses when I wanted to. Not only this but I expect online games would of ended up being cheaper than physical which is the way it should be.

                What benefit do I get from this backflip? I now know houso's can still enjoy second hand games? Hooray for the future where I'll be putting bloody discs in my machine for the next half decade. It's just an Xbox 360 with better graphics now.

              Many people considered the changes to be for the better. It's simply not the black-and-white scenario you perceive it to be.

                And many more didn't. The majority won.
                Deal with it.

                  Sorry, who is the majority again? Where are your figures? People who are satisfied with a product don't get vocal about it, I'm sure you're not naive enough to think 'majority of feedback' equates to 'majority of customers'.

                  The vocal minority won. I haven't seen ANY negative publicity in mainstream media for the One. Every TV spot I see about it they love the thing and barely mention the new Playstation. Yet every tech site I see is filled with screaming rage nerds.

                  The Majority lost today.

            Jesus, if you don't want to change discs then buy your games digitally instead of on disc.

            And you complain about OTHER people bursting into tears...

              Lol. I like this reply.

              Sure.. but that required internet to do, and a lot of data available to do it.

              This means that the people who complained about having to connect to the internet, can't download digitally.

              MS, in giving more choice to 'those' people, have also taken an important choice - the choice to copy a game to the hard disk - away.

              That would be fine if digital prices were reasonable, but most of the time they're awful.

              Gears of War Judgment (a Microsoft published title to boot) was recently put up on GoD for $110. EB Games has it for $57 (you can even get their exclusive edition for the same price).

                Well then the onus is on MS (and Sony, for that matter) to sort their pricing out, then, if they want to lead us all into this glorious all-digital future that they envision and that MS were pushing towards with their policies. If their digital pricing was sensible now then people wouldn't object so much to their push towards fully-digital distribution. Until they prove to us that they can be trusted with digital pricing, consumers are going to fight them tooth and nail every step of the way.

                And yet the people who are upset now were the ones pushing to make MS THE gaming monopoly.

                You would have to be a fool to think that only being able to buy sell and trade games via MS approved re-sellers would lead to cheaper games.

            Just because someone offers you candy, doesn't mean you should take it if they insist on you letting them taze you first. They didn't HAVE to put the good and the bad together, but they wanted to. It's petulant whining from them that we can't have nice things because we weren't willing to have the needless, anti-consumer DRM with it.


            Microsoft have now f*cked up worse, at least in perception, because they've catered to the village idiots. "Oh, I have to be deployed". "Oh, I have poor internet that can't handle a few kilobytes of data". "Oh, I love having to fumble around with swapping a disc to play another game, just so I can sell it to make some extra money". "Oh, what about my poor friend, who can afford a $499 machine, but can't afford to buy new game!"

            Well, there you go, people. Stay stuck in the past. Let's all applaud Sony for not having any vision; for helping to keep console gaming and the transition to digital gaming, confined to download only - much worse than if we could just install from a disk. No more sharing a game digitally - which would have been fantastic.

            All you Xbox fans who said "I'm done, I'll buy a PS4" - please do. Don't change your mind because of this. Stay with your choice. Hey, the PS4 looks like a great machine. No argument there. But now the Xbone is losing some features which I genuinely believed were far superior to what the PS4 offered. And you are partly to blame.

              haha You sound like one of those stupid infomercials that try and get you to buy their superfluous bullshit by making it seem like ordinary things, like flipping light switches or swapping discs, is the end of the world.

                "Are you fed up with always fucking up your washing of the dishes, splashing things all over yourself and smashing your crockery with your scrubbing brush? Then we have a spot on a TV ad for you!"

              Nobody complained about having disc less games. We complained about forced online every 24 hours and arbitrary fees on what we choose to do with the games we purchased for full price.

              Microsoft could have easily taken away those 2 things and still allowed to you have disc-less gaming while signed in to Xbox Live.

              You are taking the bait hook line and sinker by coming out and blaming your fellow gamer rather than the people who make the decisions.

              No, MS is pulling the features by being pissy about it, they could still implement them but they want people to have exactly your reaction, and you bought it hook line and sinker.
              Microsoft's DRM was all about treating customers like criminals "We have already decided you are guilty of stealing, so you have to report to our parole officer every 24hrs".

          Goddamn it! I really wanted to be free from disc swapping bullshit and not have to have gone digital download to do it. If someone hops online and wants to play a different game than I currently have in, instantly swapping would have been so much better or even playing one game while another multiplayer lobby loaded.

          There is always Nintendo.

            Upvote for the laugh I got. Nice!

          I don't understand the way that Microsoft are handling this. They could have done things a lot simpler, and still kept most of the benefits.

          Here's how I think it should work. The game can only launch if either:
          (a) If you've bought the game as a digital download and the console has "phoned home" in the last 24 hours (i.e. how things worked as of E3);
          (b) If the physical game disc is in the drive.

          This way, the game sharing and trading stuff could continue to work they way they'd planned. The only difference would be for people who buy a physical copy, where they would need to have the game disc. If you buy a digital copy but need to have the system offline for a while, just buy/rent/borrow a physical copy and you're good to go.

            So if i buy a game digitally but then the internet goes down on my block I have to BUY ANOTHER COPY TO PLAY A GAME I'VE ALREADY BOUGHT?

          Microsoft didnt listen, if they were listening, then they would have gotten rid of the Restrictions the day they announced the Xbone and got absolutely smashed for its DRM features.

          The Only reason they changed was because sony didnt have any restrictions.
          The fact that they were taking away our rights in the first place tells ya we are wallets to them and thats it.

            Probably should've listened when the twitterverse slammed them for 'deal with it', really... if they wanted early indications of public opinion that would've been a good one.

      totally agree was looking forward to no discs and family share

        Buy digital.

          NZ data caps aint that great

          Doing so is no longer advantageous except from the discless perspective. "Family sharing" is gone, and you know there's going to be no price advantage even though there should be.

            But if digital becomes the trend then the MS' DRM policies would have been a non-issue. They just jumped the gun a bit. What they need to do is focus on encouraging digital sales and grow that market. Offering family sharing for digital titles would be a great way to do that. Not without its hassles I'm sure, but still.

              The hassles for sharing digital titles is the online authentication which is what everyone got their panties in a twist about.

                No it's not. That was mandatory daily authentication. The XBone still needs online authentication.

                  What is authentication now required for, apart from purchasing/downloading digital content, which requires an internet connection anyway?

                  The daily authentication was to verify with your machine what content you had access to, while anyone remotely sharing your games have to check in hourly to make sure there's no doubling up.

                  Now that the mandatory checks are taken away, the sharing aspect is open to abuse (for instance, installing a game from a disc then giving the disc to a friend) so it has to be taken away.

                  @Matthew K

                  I love that we have reached a level where we can actually say "Sharing is open to abuse"

                  What on earth makes you think that sharing a game while having it installed on your Xbone was any different to sharing a game the week after you bought it by lending someone the disc?

                  The argument there is always "The devs wont see a cent" which they didn't before.

                  If you can only play disc-less with an online profile and you can only play with a disc with an offline profile I don't see any difference. Its not like you can lend it to your friend and then you can both play online coop with the same copy.

                  Thanks for sharing that with me @piratepete ... However, I think you wanted to talk to @kermitron ... @kermitron - I feel like I'm getting to know you through other peoples mistakes.


                "What on earth makes you think that sharing a game while having it installed on your Xbone was any different to sharing a game the week after you bought it by lending someone the disc?


                If you can only play disc-less with an online profile and you can only play with a disc with an offline profile I don't see any difference. Its not like you can lend it to your friend and then you can both play online coop with the same copy."

                You kind of made my point? Without the online authentication, you could install it, then the person holding the disc could play it offline. Two people playing one game. Hence, online authentication required to prevent abuse.

                  I dont see why its such a travesty compared to the used game market where 20-30 get to complete a game with the publisher only getting paid for one copy.

                  Why is it so bad to offer this to your customers who are law abiding just because a minority will exploit it? GOG did this with the Witcher 2, I can give that to as many people as I want should I choose to because there truly is NO drm.

                  With GOG I can give away infinite copies of their game, MS worst case is that I can give away one copy.

                  Hurrah! You are the only person I've seen who understands why online checks are required for diskless play!

                  The one playing online can always play because they are always authenticated and own the game, while the one playing offline can always play because they have a disc. So you basically have 2 copies of the game despite only paying for one.

                  Out of all those who are saying it's easily implementable, I haven't seen one suggestion that doesn't have this flaw.


              Which necessitates you to authenticate when you come online and start playing the game so your friend can be kicked off. The only difference is that with the Xbone it performs the check once per day to verify what content you can access and what's being shared with your "family". Remote users authenticated once per hour.

              The hypothetical Steam version might be slightly more open and possibly open to be abused (i.e.: share your game with a friend then only play in offline mode so they don't get kicked off), something that probably won't bother PC gamers since many people simply already circumvent Steam DRM to pirate/share games with their friends anyway.

              The once-per-day authentication only affected people without internet connections. In a pinch, I can use my phone as a wifi hotspot just to authenticate if my internet access happens to be out for a week or so. A typical user is far less affected than the online shitstorm would have you believe.

              No, the real issue with gamers was the loss of the ability to trade/sell/buy used discs. Meanwhile, people will keep complaining that Gamestop/EB Games are evil, because they base 75% of their business model around this.



                Wait, are you telling me what MY issue with this was...? Because I have never traded a game in my life, and while I don't care to do it, I certainly don't think it should be an option to get taken away...

                My issue is with the fact that it's assumed everyone has a wonderful, speedy, always-operational internet connection, which I can assure you, most certainly is not the case... ;)

                But feel free to keep telling me what my problems with the Xbox One are.


          The same argument which people bitched about, like not having a good internet connect, or not having internet at all (i.e. being deployed), still applies. Those of us who didn't mind buying the disc and installing it to hard drive (faster, and doesn't waste valuable data) are now gone.

          Buy digital also doesn't allow family sharing anymore.

            if digital becomes the trend then the MS' DRM policies would have been a non-issue. They just jumped the gun a bit. What they need to do is focus on encouraging digital sales and grow that market. Offering family sharing for digital titles would be a great way to do that. Not without its hassles I'm sure, but still.

            Buying digital means discless gaming.

            The game sharing will be back when MS get over their butthurt, but most likely only for digital titles.

              Which is honestly how it probably should have been.

        totally worth giving up for region free box, being able to lend and share, and not having to be online IMO,
        Should your points and mine be related? No
        But are they? Somehow MS seems to think so.

        And do u really think it would be that simple. Guarantee ya their would have been more unannounced restrictions on the console.

      You do realize that it says it still has Diskless gaming? that won't change, will just not be able to gift/sell games you bought/downloaded online, so if we chose, we still get Diskless gaming :)

        You can't install a disc game to the hard drive and play it without the disc - because they've killed the DRM this would be too open to abuse.

        You can buy the game digitally but there's unlikely to be a price advantage. New release games are $80 at JB Hi Fi and I can get them for less from ozgameshop, but the "On Demand" price on XBL is the RRP of $100-$110. No one actually pays that.

      If anything this announcement just further shows they're acting in the interest of shareholders rather than core gamers.
      If they truly believed in some of the innovative stuff like family based sharing they should have stuck with it.

      Instead they've removed perhaps their only advantage over a cheaper, more powerful console; made by a company with a more experienced and capable first-party stable.

    Shoulda renamed it the XBox 180. Heyo!

      +1 .....mainly for the heyo!

      *slow clap*

      Beat me to it!

    They didn't have a choice. Recognizing they needed to change these policies is the same as someone who's sick recognizing they need treatment.
    From the sounds of things you still need Internet to perform the initial setup, which will still limit their market (to a degree), but this has seriously changed my attitude towards XB1. I may get the chance to own that controller after all.

      Of course they did. They could have compromised rather than backtracking/sulking. It was a knee jerk reaction. The fastest, easiest way to make it all go away. "just do what Sony are doing."

        They couldn't compromise. The sharing doesn't work without DRM, the DRM doesn't work without online authentication.

        It's all or nothing.

          Why not a system that links installation of disc content with an Xbox Live account? No wait, that's too far-fetched. You're right, there was literally nothing they could have done. There are literally no ideas left to have, ever again. This is the end technological evolution. Prepare for a lifetime of mediocrity.

            Explain how this would enable family sharing with no online authentication.

            I'm stuck somewhere between disbelief and bursting out laughing at the comments here calling out those who had legitimate problems with the xbone irrational, whilst making their own utterly irrational doom statements.

            "Because some people like discs I can't go discless because I'll never buy digitally.. because... I'm too forward thinking for that... wait a second..."

            "Well they're more expensive digitally, I'm not paying more for my own convenience! And there's no way they could use a code system ala steam for selling games without discs that you can still purchase from places other than the xbox marketplace, I'm far too forward thinking for such ideas you backward fool!!... hang on..."

            They couldn't compromise? Really? You can't think of a single way they could possibly implement a similar system without the anti-consumer policies? I'm not going to call someone stupid over one kotaku comment, but the comments themselves, they absolutely are... the irony of people unable to concieve of simple solutions calling others irrational and and scared of change, well it certainly brings out my cynic.

            Prepare to pay for things and never actually own them or have any say in how you can use them. Like iTunes for instance, you can buy thousands of dollars worth of music and never own any of it or play it on all your devices (especially non apple devices), if you want to do that you have to buy it again. That is what I call BULLSHIT.

              You never owned any of it to begin with, it's always been licensed. It's just that on physical media, the licence transfers with the disc. It's interesting that some people are only noticing this now, but it's been that way for decades.

                That's why I never buy anything digital if i can help it, so i can do with it as i please and aren't forced to re-buy because of some really inconvenient DRM CRAP.

          I'm of the opinion I could live with a 24hr check in when sharing games. So if my internet goes down than my friend loses access to the game he borrowed but my Console does not become a brick.

          I guess my check in when sharing concept makes the whole idea viable again.

          The 24hr check in was a deal killer for me, the we will suspend non profitable online services nonsense was something Sony would do as well. If me and seven other weirdos are the only people playing "My Little Pony: Love and Battle" the RTS I'm sure they will shut it down.

          I even resented Sony for charging $150 Australia tax compared to MS only charging $50. I don't like Dual Shocks over the Xbox Controllers. But I was honestly thinking about the PS4. I'm not buying on release and I'll make an informed decision based on games but MS has made a lot of ground up with this announcement.

          My Little Pony: Love and Battle is not a real game, just something I assumed would appeal to nobody.

        You're pointing out specifics in my extremely generalized comment. They had to do "something". There are a myriad of things they can do in terms of digital policy down the track, but there won't be a "down the track" if they don't sell units. From gamers' reactions from E3, the entire thing would have been a disaster, DRM or not.
        To say "Microsoft had no choice" is inarguable.

          Fair enough. A slow roll out of new features would work better in the long run. I really hope they bring back the sharing feature

            I think they will, probably for digital content as you've said in other comments. I still think we'll see a transition away from discs entirely over the course of this generation.

            I predict the next Xbox in 2020 (which I've jokingly referred to being codenamed "Project Hindsight") will probably be an all-digital system with no disc input whatsoever. If we're not ready for it by then, then I can't imagine when we will be.

    What a debacle it's been for them, this has been a lesson in super poor PR. I think MS has done a lot of reputation damage in the gaming community over in the last couple months that won't be repaired overnight by this announcement.

    It certainly isn't changing my mind about the Xbone.

      Seriously for a company to backtrack on something to this extent is massive. Sure it was a debacle but you'll probably never see a greater example of a giant corporation responding so directly and completely to a community backlash. I tip my hat to Microsoft, they are listening. Having said that tho I'm actually sad that all these concessions completely destroy the disc less and family sharing options, I was genuinely excited for those. Can't have it all I guess :/

        Market backlash*

        but in saying that, sony listened to us and never had DRM cause the community didn't want it, and it took the community to basically abandon the system before it was released before microsoft changed their stances after trying desperately to justify why, to no avail. so i give them no tip of the hat, they did not deserve it

          Yeah, if someone does something nice because they know you like it, you tip your hat to them. If someone does something nice because you put a gun to their head, they don't deserve the same kind of credit.

        you'll probably never see a greater example of a giant corporation responding so directly and completely to a community backlash. I tip my hat to Microsoft, they are listening.

        I'm not going to knock their decision to make the change, but it was pretty clear the XBOX One was going to cost them a boatload of money. Realistically their options were to do this, still losing a ton of money but hopefully being able to rebuild their brand before the next next generation drops or to cancel the launch and pretty much abandon gaming. I mean at this point the XBOX One is so toxic it'd be cheaper for them not to release it.
        Since the reveal they've poisoned the brand. They lost gamer support on reveal and soon after that publisher support. On that note there's probably a line of publishers who were cool with this pre-reveal but post-reveal are ready to sue because they've got half completed XBOX One games that will never make their money back.

        What I'm trying to say is did they really have a choice here? Are they listening to consumers or just the hard data that says if they ever hope to make another cent in gaming they need to start radical damage control right now?

          Both these consoles are coming out at the end of the year, both Microsoft and Sony have already spend said boatload of money. These machines had to be in production pre E3 for a worldwide end of the year release.

          I'd like to give Sony massive credit for not leaking photos of their console before E3.

          If your about to release a product, and you find that it's viewed as negative you can't just cancel it you need to find away to make it positive again. Or you've thrown your money away.

          I don't believe you can sue MS for releasing a hated console that does not sell, it just means when the Developer/Publisher talk to MS again they will ask for a better deal.

            Both these consoles are coming out at the end of the year, both Microsoft and Sony have already spend said boatload of money.

            Yeah, but once it's out in the wild it's going to continue costing money. They've got to keep Cloud and XBOX Live running, support for the console, support retailers, etc. They've spent a ton but it may be easier to cut their losses. I think that's actually what they've done here. The console has sunk, they've cut their losses, but it'll cost more to go back on their obligations so they're releasing a version of the console that makes the best of a bad situation. Success for the XBOX One will be causing gamers to forget as much of this mess as possible.

            I don't believe you can sue MS for releasing a hated console that does not sell, it just means when the Developer/Publisher talk to MS again they will ask for a better deal.

            I'm not sure how well it would go, but if Microsoft didn't make this stuff crystal clear to everyone who brought a SDK then there's got to be some grounds for a case. I'm sure there were plenty of assurances from Microsoft that this wouldn't happen. If the console just flopped it'd be different, but Microsoft walked it out onto the stage and shot it. The situation got so bad that they had to revise the whole system.
            Suing someone should always be the last resort, but way too much of the blame for the failure of the system can be pinned on Microsoft. If I had a game coming out for the XBOX One, especially an exclusive, I'd actually be considering cancelling it just to avoid the negative press of being on their system. If my game was released and it flopped in spite of being well reviewed I'd be expecting Microsoft to cover the development costs. It sounds bratty but at the end of the day I wouldn't be willing to accept my company going broke because Microsoft blundered their way through one of the worst hardware launches in history.

              Gamers are fickle people the sins of the past are likely to disappear in the glory of the present.

              Microsoft hope to push through this and get a return on their investment, if they fail your idea of calling it quits may have been cheaper but if they succeed or even just break even than they guessed right. In two years we'll know, but for now we're two random guys making guesses on the internet.

              I'm pretty sure the contracts involved in game development would not allow a low selling game to sue the console manufacturer. If you could sue Microsoft for bad return on a game you could just make a crappy game and ask for your money back.

        yeh market backlash

        after realizing that they are going to loose sales to competitor
        they have to give it.

    seriously CDs are so 90s

      Who uses CD's?

      Both the PS4 and XBone use Blu-ray. :D

    This is good news. Iwonder how it affects games already in development, though.

      Patches on day one. Lots of patches.

        Like that wouldn't have been the case anyway.


        Fucking thing patches every other day anyway....

      I doubt it would make a difference. It was baked into the console, not the games themselves. I doubt the developers had to do much (if anything) to get it working with the DRM, and if they do have to do anything they've still got months before release to sort it out.

        Man... you have no idea how crazy things are "months before release" :-D

        You could be right. It may make no difference whatsoever. But a massive change in policy like this could also have all sorts of impact on various design decisions and certification requirements.

    As someone who was buying one anyway, this isn't a huge deal.
    Sucks that I'll be changing discs but I suppose that's what they need to do to stem the torrent of nerd tears from people who aren't in the army but feel bad for people who might be and those with 1996 internet connections.

      Why will you still be changing discs if the option is there for you not to?

        Because now you still need to have the disc in the tray even if you've installed the game, to prevent you just giving the game to all your friends.

        You can buy digital, but now there's no advantage to doing so except the disclessness.

      I'm baffled by the amount of whinging now coming out from the 'pro-always online' crowd about this backflip. I guess people are just incapable of putting themselves in other people's shoes. There are many people, myself included, in the games consumers market that would have been shut out of an entire next gen platform, either occasionally or permanently, because of an arbitrary online check in. I'm not against digital. I love steam. I use offline mode regularly and enjoy the often fantastic deals (things microsoft seemingly would not have been offering). The reality is though my internet connection speeds and cap regularly prohibit me from downloading and playing every game I purchase. I'm not in the military, but feel for those who would have been affected. But that's not the reason I'm against the type of DRM Microsoft were to be implementing. People need to wise up and realise not everyone is in the same boat.

        you dont need a big cap and fast internet speeds to checkin.

        "I'm baffled by the amount of whinging now coming out from the 'pro-always online' crowd about this backflip."
        "I guess people are just incapable of putting themselves in other people's shoes."

        Does this not seem a little hypocritical to you? Not every product is for everyone, and not every product needs to be all-inclusive. People who wanted the console the way it was announced and were looking forward to it have now had a set of great features stripped from them because of complaints from people the product wasn't aimed at. I don't see what's unreasonable about complaining about that.

          (I might not agree with your argument, but I'll defend to... uh, mild discomfort your right to argue!)

        "There are many people, myself included, in the games consumers market that would have been shut out of an entire next gen platform".

        No there arent mate.

        You dont think Microsoft knows their market, knows the people whove bought their consoles, knows the people who might buy their consoles? Im pretty sure a SHITLOAD of market research went into finding out how many people were actually going to be excluded by the online requirement before they announced it, given that it would essentially alienate a group of people who would have otherwise given them money.

        Microsoft would have done a detailed assessment of broadband penetration for people who might actually buy their console and came to the conclusion that barely freaking anyone who would actually buy a next-gen Xbox doesnt have appropriate access to the net.

        If that includes you, that would have been your problem. A cash-based assessment was done and they came to the conclusion that in the grand scheme of things you represent such a minority that it wasnt worth pandering too.

        Todays decision was based on far less rational considerations. The existing plan would have worked fine for the vast majority of the Xbox market who would have been able to purchase a superior product had it made it to market, instead a bunch of features have now been removed in order to shut up a hysterical minority, most of which were concerned on the behalf of others, none of which have undertaken any real research and none of which have actually tested the system Microsoft was willing to bet hundreds of millions of dollars on.

          You dont think Microsoft knows their market, knows the people whove bought their consoles, knows the people who might buy their consoles?

          Judging by the fact the XBOX One is dead in the water months before it was launched I'd say it's pretty safe to assume Microsoft don't know their market.

          They wouldn't be caving if they were only dealing with a few holdouts.

      Is that nerd tears I see on your cheek?

    that happened quicker than expected. You still need a connection to set up the damned thing in the first place though, not sure if the PS4 is inforcing that or not.

      That should not be a problem for most, you managed to post your comment on this page despite the requirement of an Internet connection

        Just replying for all the people that can't reply to this forum as they have no internet connection. Maybe if we yell loud enough when we buy a Xbox one we get a USB Internet to help set it up.

          exactly, it wouldn't be an issue for me, but for people who don't have an internet connection for whatever reason. I'm not against digital distribution or cloud computing, but until everyone has the connectivity companies like Microsoft shouldn't be slamming the door on certain consumers but rather catering to people in every situation with both offline and online options

            If you can't afford the internet why are you buying a $500 console that will function best online with a $70/80 (I pay $40 at Ozgameshop who e-mail the code) yearly subscription?

            If your in an area of Australia that has dial up access at best well now you've got a legitimate problem.

        Maybe he's at work? Or an internet cafe?

          Or at home and doesn't have a home network? It's not super uncommon to have your PC hooked up to the internet without a home network to plug a console into. A lot of people have the PC with internet in the study, no wireless network and the TV up the other end of the house.

    Lets be serious for a moment. You know that all those Xbox enthusiasts out there were still gonna buy an Xbox on release regardless of Microsoft's policies. The only thing this announcement changes for most Xbox fans, is that they can now finally admit to everyone publicly that they're in fact getting an Xbox without having to suffer being trolled and made fun of by the interwebs. That is all.

      That's not true, I was a Xbox fanboy and I was totally going to avoid thus console. All because of these bad policies.
      They were seriously terrible!! Now I'll probably get one!

      I own both current gen consoles (lol wii - OK, that's enough trolling for the day), and would've owned both new ones if it weren't for draconian Microsoft machinations.

      My major objections are mostly (but not completely) removed, so I'm more likely to consider buying one for the exclusives. Before this announcement? Not a snowball's chance in hell.

      Just like all thr Nintendo enthusiasts bought a WiiU right?

      Sony's support of Indies and FTP shooters along with the cheaper price and the fact that a lot of xbone exclusives like PvZ and Project Spark will still be on the 360 make the PS4 the more compelling proposition at the moment

    I liked the idea of discless gaming but will get over that. Now my group of friends will all stick with xbox rather than converting to ps4. This is great !!

    I much prefer the xbox controllers and online experience so am stoked to be able to just play the exclusives on playstation and leave the bulk of my gaming on the xbox.

    Best. News. Ever.

    Can't say I'm a fan of the changes. Sure the 24-hour connecting was bad, but the family sharing, and having all games associated with your account, being able to share and resell digital games were features that made the Xbox One 'better' than the PS4 for me :/ Now they're both just the same.

      lambo names... lambo names *everywhere*....

    I was genuinely excited for most of the new features and even the restrictions. It's disappointing to see Microsoft change so many new, innovative features because of what ifs.

    Most of us have constant average speed Internet, which means that the "major" issue of having your connection work once every 24 hours is not an issue at all.

      Yeah, I was really looking forward to family sharing and discless play, that was gonna save me money.

        Save u money how? They've never announced that the games would be any cheaper. If anything evidence was pointing to it being around the same price

          You initially could buy a game and choose 9 people to be part of your "digital family" they could share and use any of your games so long as you weren't currently playing them, they could install via your disk or download the file... All gone because Sony fanboys are meme making gay C"nt nerds

            Try not to nerd rage too much.
            Family sharing is wishful thinking at best. x-box hasn't ironed it out yet just like most of their policies and It wasn't going to work as most people think it would.

            Would you believe that MS would allow you to buy a single copy of a game and allow 9 other people to play it for free? Even the biggest xbox fan would tell you that's not gonna happen.

              But this is no different to the current model on 360... how do you (or MS for that matter) know that I don't lend my brand new game to 9 other people after i play it... Granted that's a lot of people to lend a disc to but the family share is just microsofts way of 'capping' it at 9 people. So I do believe that 9 people would be allowed to play it for free... MS know that gamers are hermit-like recluses that don't have any more than 2 friends anyway...

                I see where you're coming from but if this model is true then it is more detrimental to MS. As you say gamers likely wont share their games to more than 9 people, so the "capping" point is moot.

                Instead this will allow much more exploitation of the lending scenario. I don't have to physically hand a disc over to a friend, he can be from anywhere in the world, and he can access it anytime.

                There is no way they were going to make it easier to lend games while at the same time implementing other forms of restrictive DRM. It would be contradictory.

                I know a lot of people HOPE that this is how it will function but its just not commercially smart. And we know MS isnt doing this out of the goodness of their heart. So I find it hard to believe its as you describe

              But that's exactly what the point of their share plan was. The idea is to get a piece of the used game pie. You can't just take away the feature for used games and not give the consumers something for it. So Microsoft were trying to take the piece of pie that comes from used game sales, while allowing us to share with friends and family.

              This idea was fantastic and it's comments like this that caused the idea to disappear. It won't happen now because of the negativity and the community's inability to have faith in a big company

                So you agree that MS will implement something like a pricing plan for sharing games? Even if its with family? How is that idea fantastic?

                And if you instead think that they are NOT going to implement a pricing plan for family share then I'm afraid that is simply naive thinking. or as you say our "inability to have faith in a big company"

                  Currently we don't have the full details on how the plan was to work. Since the plan was to people on your friends list, the additional fee is likely to have been Xbox Live. This is something that was also changing to one membership plan to a household, or so it was meant to be.

                  If you weren't going to have the paid version of Xbox Live, then it's likely that these features would have been turned off anyway.

                  So yes, they probably were going to have a pricing scheme, their membership to their online service, which would have been as it is now. Not necessary unless you want the extra features, which this would fall under

          I have a family kid that lives interstate and I would normally buy them a copy of second copy of a game for them to play since lending a disc is impracticable by post.

            Impracti what? You can still purchase it online for them, just log in on their account, do so, then they log in on theirs and download it. You can do that *now* on Xbox Live. I know because I've done it.

            What? So its impractical by post...but has constant reliable internet connection?
            Ok then....

              Australia Post reliable.... and quick.... Good game guano.

                Lol. Agreed about Australia post, but its still not impractical.

                I loled.
                (I haven't actually had any problems with them, and recently used them to express post external hard drives to a friend who has only dial-up internet access out in the country, so he can get his Steam library to play with. But teh lulz, they were had.)

    They really should listened to the community in the first place but its nice to see they finally listened

    For those of you who are complainong about the removal of these restroctions let me ask you a question.if these restrictions were still in place how would I take my xbox with me when I go on a holiday? And what if that area doesnt have very good or any reception for my phone. You also have to consider that many of us aussies still have crappy highly limited 3g plans for our phones so using a 3g hotspot to play my games would be useless.

      You take a console on holiday with you? I mean Im anti drm and all... but really???

        It's about choice. People are different, and that is something MS seemed to ignore in their marketing. Some people play on submarines, some people have a shit internet or move around a lot, some people have bad luck and lose internet for a few weeks, some people take their console on holiday. The 24 hour check-in would have punished a lot of people for their lifestyles.

          Im not worried about that, it's the concept of taking a console on holiday that's all. I guess when I go, I go to get away from it *all* lol

            Maybe he goes away to get *into* it? I know people that do that, kind of like a modern take LAN party except playing console games and drinking at a spot other than their house, which could be too small, family is there etc.

            Could also be he is an international student who goes on a holiday/uni break for 3 months back to his home country? Long enough time to take a console with you no?

              Very very true, it's always a case of different strokes for different folks. I'd definitely take one for my son for instance at night. I'm not bagging out the guy I promise. Just surprised me I guess lol.

    So how many games will be totally offline capable? Part of the excitement I had around the Xbox One was the cloud computing possibilities. If devs need to cater for the disc only/offline players then surely this restricts their ability to add cloud processing?
    Then a whole different useless argument will occur because said disc only/offline players may end up whinging that they aren't getting the full experience because online players get added cloud processed resources? I can just hear them saying "but I pay the same price for the game as the others".
    All in all I think this was a bad decision - should have stuck by their innovative ideas.

      Probably exactly the same way pc games have been doing it for years..
      ever played a physx game with an amd card? I have and it worked fine, Just no physx :).
      Same deal here I'm guessing. Use the cloud and get those extra little bits of detail.

      Well, here's some help. "Cloud computing possibilities" = marketing buzz bollocks. You're welcome!

      I don't understand this mentality. If MS offers cloud computing to developers, and publishers see a market for always on cloud computing games at the exclusion of users that can't be always on, then they will make those games.

      If there is a market for games that use cloud computing when it is available, then they will make those games.

      If there is no market for games with any kind of cloud computing, they will not make those games.

      If MS leaves all of the controversial features as optional dev features, the market will decide what is viable/profitable.

      Everyone gets their cake and they can eat it if they want to.

      Edit: spelling

      Leaving aside the fact that the "cloud computing" stuff they're selling is a bunch of smoke and mirrors bullshit, none of that has changed.

      The cloud computing was always going to be optional because the console never required a permanent internet connection, just once a day. So games had to be able to work with or without the cloud, and that is still the case.

        The internet was smoke and mirrors bullshit once upon a time too...

          Yeah, but that's why you put it up as an option for people to take on if they want to instead of insisted everyone has to do everything through it.

          It's about options. Just like how Sim City didn't actually NEED to be Always Online. That was a DRM decision. Were there potential benefits to people playing multiplayer? For some people there have always been benefits to multiplayer. But that was not a very good reason to force all the single-players there, especially when it couldn't handle them being there, and it turns out there wasn't any real benefit to them being there that they couldn't have done in single-player anyway.

          A multiplayer option when not necessary? Great. A multiplayer requirement when not necessary? Not great.

    This hasn't changed my mind much, though. I'll still be getting the PS4 on release, but now I may also get an Xbox One later down the track rather than not at all.

    So now because of whinging fools with a lack of imagination and foresight, I have to put disks in again and so does my wife and kids. All because people who have a hobby can't afford their own games but still buy an internet focused console and complain they need an internet connection.
    Perhaps when everyone grows up we will get progress.

      Or when people stop being condescending elitest wanks and posting stuff like this ^^^

      YEAAA!!!!!!!11111 i noe have to spend a few joules of energy to put in a disk. unnacweptable! dayum son i wil get rigor mortis! wat is this my mom is crying beacuase she has to use discs agian. she may divorce my dad .but thats ok i keep my yonger brother he can change the discs for me.

      Hope that's grown up enough for you ;)

      You heard of digital download? Nobody is forcing you to put disks in, though I can see how amazingly difficult and time consuming it could be. 10 seconds of disk swapping hell.

    Good news I guess but the damage has been done. Seems like it's region free though, and that's always good for the consumer.