Instant Xbox One Nostalgia

No sooner did Microsoft announce its DRM 180 yesterday than some gamers commenting here on Kotaku and elsewhere on the web began wishing Microsoft would do another 180 and go back. The gamers for whom yesterday was bad news appear to be a minority. Few as their numbers may be, I could see them and hear them above the spontaneous celebrations.

They have quite the argument on their side: that they were the champions of the future, that they wanted Microsoft to move ahead and that instead the new Xbox that they were rooting for has thrown on its retro uniform and decided to perpetuate the past.

"Hope the complainers are happy," one reader wrote under a story I did about some of the features Microsoft was cutting or, at best, delaying in order to loosen its DRM and let people share and re-sell game discs on Xbox One the way they did on the Xbox 360. "You wanted an Xbox 360 2 and you got one. I myself was looking forward to a new idea of console gaming system, but oh well." That comment has generated more than 500 replies.

Over at our sister site, Gizmodo, Kyle Wagner declared that Microsoft had "caved". Kyle believed that Microsoft's original Xbox One DRM scheme was going to make games cheaper, an assumption for a claim I kept waiting for Microsoft to make in the past month each time it revealed another off-putting aspect of its Xbox One plans — and yet for the possible reason that it had no intention to lower game prices, it never did.

Kyle, along with some of our readers and others who were bummed with yesterday's news, recognised that the switch back to a disc-centric DRM strategy may cost some future Xbox One gamers some progressive experiences. They're upset that the family-sharing plan is gone or at least postponed (Microsoft's Xbox Live czar Marc Whitten told me yesterday it wouldn't be there "at launch".) They're disappointed that people who buy games on disc will still be constrained by having to use those discs, by having to put them into a machine to authenticate that they have the right to be playing the game they want to play every single time.

Let's call this crew of people who were so disappointed the Xbox One Futurists. They wanted something different and radical. They didn't mind that they'd have fewer options to sell back their games and that they couldn't lend games to friends, certainly not on launch day. They were willing to accept some new pain because they thought it would enable some new opportunity. Sharing games at no extra cost with any so-called "family" of 10! Never having to put a disc in a disc drive a second time!

These Futurists are right to lament the Xbox One's aborted plans, but what they're losing seems like small prices to pay to enable people who don't have good Internet connections — or the ability to connect online at will — to be able to play Xbox One games at all.

In the next console generation, there will be the disc people and the download people. I'm not sure they're going to get along.

I sense among the Futurists a resentment of gamers who think of gaming as something for which you need a disc. This is the divide I think will come and that will likely widen on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In the next console generation, there will be the disc people and the download people. I'm not sure they're going to get along.

The Xbox One was going to erase the disc-vs.-download distinction for Xbox gamers. It required (and still does, I believe) all games, even disc-based games, to be installed to and run off of the system's hard drive. It would relegate the disc to being an old-timey way to convey data that could otherwise have been downloaded to the hard drive. It was going to treat games the same no matter how they were obtained, subject them all to a now-scuttled mandatory online registration process and then use proof of that registration, verified within 24-hours of whenever the game was last played, to let that game be accessible on any Xbox One that the game's owner logged into and on any family members' Xbox One. It was going to muck up the ability to let a friend simply borrow the game disc the game may have come on, and it was going to ruin your gaming time completely if you couldn't get your Xbox online for a 24-hour check. (Note that even last week at E3, Microsoft stopped short of selling the 24-hour check-in as a positive in and of itself. It cast it as necessary to enable some — not all — of what it thinks the Xbox One can do well. It had nothing to do with, say, the system's cloud features, which still stand to be useful for some games.)

The PlayStation 4 wasn't going to have the Xbox One's hassles, because, it appears, the PS4 actually was going to treat disc games differently than download games. As ready as Sony was to explain its PS3-style PS4 disc game policies; Sony spokespeople wouldn't say anything about policies for downloaded PS4 games, all the while hoping to increase the amount of games gamers download to the PS4. May we infer the policies are different?

Of course disc games and downloaded games are different, you say. Games on discs are objects that can be handed around. They're not the same thing. It's not that crazy, however, to see Microsoft thinking that that's retrograde thinking. It's only bizarre that Microsoft hadn't figured out a way to offer or even mandate an erasure of that distinction without requiring regular online check-ins. As some readers have suggested to me, why not just give Xbox One gamers the option to authenticate offline by putting a disc in the disc drive?

Can't Microsoft let its original Xbox One concept and the new/old/360 one battle it out on its own platform?

Microsoft's Marc Whitten was tasked yesterday with talking to Kotaku and other outlets about the Xbox One policy reversals. Repeatedly, he talked about choice. In bringing Microsoft's policies back to the Xbox 360's and in line with the PS4's, there is indeed a relevant choice again. There is the choice to get an Xbox One game on a disc and do what you will with that disc. There is the choice to download an Xbox One game and do... well, Microsoft is not where Sony was last week: not articulating just what gamers who download games will get. That's likely what the Futurists are waiting for. And that's the new big Xbox One mystery: what's really going to happen to all those Xbox One visions of the future of digital gaming?

Can't Microsoft offer its family-sharing and disc-free-access-to-your-games-anywhere for those Xbox One gamers who choose to download their games?

Or, better, can't Microsoft give disc-based gamers the choice to register its games online and then enjoy the benefits of sharing and expanded access knowing what it's giving up in exchange?

Can't it let its original Xbox One concept and the new/old/360 one battle it out on its own platform?

Might Microsoft, in fact, be planning to do that — spawning its own Xbox Live Marketplace of Ideas, as it were — and just not want to say that now, since its Xbox One vision had scared so many gamers?

It's been a weird sight even for those who are happy about Microsoft's Xbox One DRM plans to see a company appear to retreat. Microsoft is doubtless feeling better about things today. But I feel for the Futurists who dreamed of an interesting, risky approach to a new console even as I'm grateful for those who now aren't going to lose access to Xbox gaming. And I'd like to see the Xbox One's original vision at least get a shot, especially now that it's not being forced on reluctant gamers. Choice would be good. I hope true choice gets a chance.


    I think these futurists were being a lot more selfish than the initial complainers. The thing is, they were accepting changes that were taking radical offensive moves against the consumer - how many of these futurists had no internet or wanted to sell their games? Almost none I'm guessing. The thing I have the biggest issue with is that they were ok with OTHER people without internet access and OTHER people deployed in other countries not being able to play the console. They were happy with other people not being able to sell what should have been their games. I have good internet and never sell my games but I couldn't sit by whilst others were being screwed. Many were under the assumption that it works with Steam, it should work with the Xbox without realising (or ignoring) that Steam is a somewhat different platform. From a business perspective, it was unlikely that they were going to decrease game prices. If they did, it would only have been small.

    I agree that the positives were there but they were implemented horribly. I still maintain that these positives can still be kept in the system without the need for the more annoying aspects with some well placed tweaks. MS have chosen to dump all of their positives altogether and play it safe. MS should have eased the process in, the always online requirement for one was too much. Maybe the next generation, but not now. The shift to digital based will happen over time. As seen with anything else that's gone digital, it didn't happen overnight, there was no need to speed up the process.

    In the end, I think the wisest thing to do (aside from tweaking it so that you can have the best of both worlds) as everyone has already mentioned is offer choice. Choice is the ultimate consumer satisfaction tool.

      Call us selfish, but how hard is it to switch on a mobile device to do the verification check? And given that MS are pushing Smartglass, I'd be willing to bet that the SmartGlass<->Xbox synchronization would allow authentication via mobile broadband to be as seamless as possible.

      I can see your point - but the original plans felt like next-gen, and the current one feels like an Xbox 360 with better graphics. I know there's a tendency to blame the people complaining (I was pretty angry/upset when I first heard, and took it out on a lot of people who did the complaining), but at the end of the day, it is Microsoft's fault. They could have easily added disc verification for offline games, loosened the 24 hour requirement. I can see the problem with two users being able to play the game at once (one online, one offline) - but seriously, how hard would that be to get around?

        If a system feeling like 'next gen' relies solely on it HAVING to be Always online, and downloading games only, instead of what the system can actually do, then there is something seriously wrong...

        "They could have easily added disc verification for offline games, loosened the 24 hour requirement."

        That's.... what they have done by changing their model... you no longer have to be online after the initial setup if you don't want or can't access a stable net connection, with the disc being the verification, and if you DO want to have a constant connection / be online, you have that option as well...

        How hard is it to switch on a mobile device? Not hard at all... but you are assuming that EVERYONE has access to said device. Not everyone does... and that is just pure, simple, fact my friend.

      I couldn't agree with you more.

      I am all for the future... but we can't have that at the sacrifice of CHOICE.

      Unfortunate as it is, not everyone has access to an always online internet, or a reliable connection. The thing these 'futurists' aren't taking into account with their complaints is that... they have the OPTION of keeping their Xbox One online and purchasing their games as downloads, essentially getting the very 'future service' they are lamenting is gone...

      However, the reversal in policy opens up the system for other people who CAN'T access the net constantly. I am a perfect example of this... my net connection is not at all reliable, and is certainly not 'always online'. I was looking forward to a new xbox announcement, and upon the initial one at E3 I was instantly cut out of that market. Which only heightened my frustration upon learning that Dead Rising 3 would be a launch title. I love that series, and have completed all of them, including the two XBLA titles.

      By all means, we should head for the future, and I feel that the Xbox One still pushes for that, but we can't do it at the cost of choice.

      To have choice isn't a 'retro' concept at all... the ability to lend a friend a game is not a 'retro' concept at all, and the ideal of having something physical for your money (i.e. the disc) is not 'retro', and nor should it be considered as such.

      I am all for the OPTION of being able to download a game and play it disc free. I am completely against having my CHOICE in obtaining my games as a download or as a disc taken away from me.

      I personally, disagree with the article writer, in that I feel that both forms of media can get along just fine together in the gaming world. Why shouldn't they? If games were distributed via both mediums and gamers are given that choice, how could they not work well together? Unless some self-entitled fool has a complaint against discs being released because they only ever get their games via downloading them!

      Which truly is the epitome of self-entitlement... if someone only likes downloading games after purchase, and have the option to do so, how does it hurt them, in anyway, shape or form that someone else has the option to obtain their game on a disc, which they may very well prefer?

      The answer is it doesn't. At all. It does, however, hurt the gamer who prefers his games to be on disc, to remove that option and force them to download.

      Personally, I have used, and will continue to use, both systems of obtaining my games. I see no issues in them both co-existing together and the people who will complain about that are just whinging self-entitled, selfish people who are, as pointed out in the article, in the minority.

    I find it interesting that prior to the backflip when Microsoft was being almost universally criticised for it's hard line stance on it's new DRM (buy a 360 anyone?) that these champions of the new age where being very quiet.

    Feedback works on both sides. Maybe if enough of the supporters spoke up and backed MS over the past week or so then maybe, just maybe, MS would have come out with an alternative that walked the middle ground rather than the complete reversal of their policy.

    Also remember that Xbox One has already been designed to support their once proposed DRM features. I don't think it would take a great deal of effort for MS to re-instate them in the future.

      that these champions of the new age where being very quiet.

      It depends on where you were. Over at Gizmodo there seemed to be a much more positive reception from the tech crowd. They were also the dismissive crowd so they weren't exactly quiet. They didn't feel the need to support it because it's insane for Microsoft to make this big a change so close to launch. It was pretty much set in stone they were getting what they wanted.

      I was a Xbox One futurist but even so I wanted to see how it handled at launch: would the servers be down, or would it succeed? I was cautiously optimistic, hence why I didn't feel the urge to post my positive (or negative) feelings about the xbox one.

      Slight side step but my friends on xbox who were skeptical about the xbox one often had "wrong" ideas about the Xbox one, I would then direct them to the xbox homepage, kotaku articles and one of Total biscuits videos. They would come back in the same position I was, cautiously optimistic.
      We are now less excited about the Xbox one because as long as the same game is released on xbox 360 we see less reason to buy the xbox one.

      Obviously this is an incredibly small sample size to generalize onto any larger group, but the fact remains that everyone I spoke to had much less-informed opinions about the xbox one. Whether this is the fault of microsoft for not telling us clearly or the consumer making decisions without all the information, I don't know.

    I did see some negatives in their delivery and potentially in their choices. But I could see the vision. I could see where they hoped to take the viewing/gaming public. Now we'll be forced to wait for XBox One.1 (or later) before we see some of this potential.

    It's crazy to think the the PS4 is in effect the PS3 MK2 (now made with in built PC to make developers happy). Sony gets lauded by gamers for giving them "What they want" and the XBox One was striving for more, something new, something original, something that could be better and got destroyed for it.

    Microsoft took the gamble and got crucified - they just didn't have the balls to stand up straight on that cross and tell us it's ok - they're doing it for us.

      It was two steps back to take one step forward. No matter where they were trying to take the "gaming" public they were going to leave plenty of people behind because they were in essence demanding that the users prove they were legitimate while offering nothing "better." The ability to stream games in your library from another xbox? That's great...if you're not one of hte many people who don't have the internet avaliable in your region to actually make use of that. Share with nine others in your "family"? And what exactly was the fine print on that going to be, because the day Microsoft just gives away nine copies of software for the price of one is the day they decide to become a complete charity.

      They are not doing it for us, they're doing it for money. That is all a corporation does, and Microsoft was no different. Despite all that talk of cutting down on discs did they come forth and say "by the way, this will make games cheaper for you?" No, they even went and made the Xbox One more expensive than the PS4. They stole a page from Steam's book with their cloud systems and tried to pass it off as a new idea, tried to say that being able to watch TV on your gaming system was the way of the future instead of sticking with actual games, whilst outright trying to murder the competition by saying "only retailers we chose can sell second-hand games, and only at 90% of the list price," while every new innovation they were bringing to the table Sony was offering without all the strings attached.

      This wasn't some brave new future Microsoft was leading us towards, this was Microsoft trying to force you play the game their way or not play it all.

        Well written comment, summed it up perfectly, well done.

      Microsoft took the gamble and got crucified - they just didn't have the balls to stand up straight on that cross and tell us it's ok - they're doing it for us.
      You, my friend, have a magnificent turn of phrase. :)

    People like Kyle were placing their hopes on vague possibilities. If MS had ever said "because of this, games will be US$40", then fair enough. But they never did, and just how often do digital savings get passed across to the consumer? Not. Often.

      Yeah, scratching my head to think of any time when having a monopoly on something, free of pirates/competition, EVER reduced prices.

      Steam is on PC, the home of piracy, and regularly runs the cheaper sales in the industry - humble bumndle more so, even cheaper. When music piracy was rampant in the new digital age, how did iTunes claw back market share from piracy? Cheaper prices. Film/TV studios have been complaining for a long time about their piracy rates, and looks like being the saviour of their business? Netflix?

      Prices don't drop because you have a monopoly. Prices drop because you have competition. Microsoft were trying to kill the unofficial competition.

    I liked the old DRM policy you could take your game library anywhere without taking your game system. You didn't even have to have a disc in to play a certain game.

      There's no reason they couldn't have kept that policy, backed off on controlling sales and said 24hr check in or put the disc in the drive. Would have pretty much made both parties happy.

      If you buy a game digitally it will be linked to your account 360 style, so you can play it anywhere. But since Digital Prices are usually much higher than retail prices you'll be paying for the privilege.

      There is a system that does that; it's called Steam. It also doesn't require you to reconnect every 24 hours or else you can't play your games offline.

        Steam thus far doesn't require you to check in periodically because it doesn't allow game trading. Those two components are codependent.

          It does allow game gifting, which is still a step beyond what the xbox one was going to offer.

            Sorry but gifting and sharing are 2 different things. You have to pay to gift someone the game. Xbox was going to allow you to share with friends. Only 1 person was going to be able to play it at one time. No payment required.

            Last edited 22/06/13 4:32 pm

              So basically they were allowing you to share the game with one friend whom probably lives within driving distance, and who couldn't play it while you were.

              So basically no difference between what they offered digitally and you physically handing a disc over to your friend, except you could do it exactly once.

              So how exactly is this a revolutionary thing? It's literally just the same as physically lending a disc except you can do it only once.

                Do you read the news or just read the headlines and fill in the gaps?

                I could have shared it with my cousin over in Ireland if I wanted to. And no you couldn't only do it once. It was a group of 10 members that could be on your share list. Only one person could be playing it at any one time. Hell if they wanted to all 10 could take turns playing it over the course of the day.

                Sounds pretty different to what's out there at the moment.

                Too bad that has been ruined for us now.

                  You're talking about the family sharing, I was talking about the game trading thing which was limited to once.

                  The family sharing thing sounded too good to be true; there is no way that Microsoft would have allowed you to share with any 10 people without any restrictions on just who could be in that list, and considering that the Xbox One was putting the onus on users to prove they weren't doing the wrong thing I wouldn't have put money on you being able to share games with your cousin without a massive headache involved.

                  EDIT: From the comments section in this article ( referencing you wouldn't ahve been able to share with your cousin anyway, you could only give him an hour-long demo.

                  When your family member accesses any of your games, they're placed into a special demo mode. This demo mode in most cases would be the full game with a 15-45 minute timer and in some cases an hour. This allowed the person to play the game, get familiar with it then make a purchase if they wanted to. When the time limit was up they would automatically be prompted to the Marketplace so that they may order it if liked the game.

                  Last edited 24/06/13 4:50 pm

          However, it seems from beta code lines that it will offer gifting soon. And I'm guessing that activating a gifted game will require a 'passing of the ball' mandatory online authentication for both parties. One to log in and revoke rights, one to log in and accept them.

          I'm guessing it won't demand that all other games be online to play.
          That's an angle Microsoft can/should have done. One-time authentication, then both parties have to log on to transfer ownership.

            The problem with the online check being at trade time is you can log in on one computer, download all your game library, go offline, then log in on a different computer and sell them all. As long as the first computer is never set to online again, you basically keep all the games on that machine even though you sold them.

            I don't see a way for game trading to be done without a regular online check. Once a day might be too much, but once a week sounds pretty reasonable.

              That's not how I'm seeing it. I fully expect we'll see how it works when Steam launches and it'll look like this:

              I tell my friend I'm going to trade him my game. I go into whatever menu to send it to him - and have to be online to do so.

              My friend gets a notification next time he's online that he can claim temporary ownership of this game. He authenticates, then can play offline as much as he likes. I can't, because when I sent it, Steam checked a box on the drive which says, "Nope, that's loaned out." This is the point of vulnerability, and likely the point which hackers would exploit - cracking the 'actually it's not loaned out' tickbox. But only if you never go online again, where it will re-synch and check again.

              When my friend is done, he goes into some 'return game to owner' menu, at which point Steam does that checkbox thing again which says, 'Nope, not your profile'.

              If you've ever had two people load their different Steam libraries onto the one PC, it might start to be a bit clearer. Steam, when it goes into Offline mode, uses the most recent profile to have logged in when dealing with its permissions. So if my friend logged into my machine and used his Steam profile to download games I don't own, then he leaves and logs out, if I jump in on Offline Mode, I can still play those games... but I can't play mine until I log back on into my profile.

              With the aid of a crack, I probably could, but that's something I can do for any game on PC ever, anyway, and is thus no worse a pirating opportunity than grabbing the files off a torrent site.

                Guaranteed, if there is no periodic online check requirement, what I described above is a way to keep games that you've sold. Look at it like this:

                1. I have about 700 games on Steam right now, so I install all of them onto my old gaming PC that I have beside me, which isn't my main PC.
                2. Once they're all downloaded, I switch Steam on that PC to offline mode. It works fine, because it's the only account I've logged in on that machine and I know the password.
                3. I load up my main PC, load Steam and log in. My library of 700 games is available.
                4. I sell any/all of those games to other people. My main PC is online when I do it, but my old gaming PC isn't.
                5. As far as Steam is concerned, the transaction is successful. I can no longer play those games on my main PC, but because my old gaming PC has been offline while this transaction was taking place, it doesn't know the games have been sold and thinks I'm still authorised to play them.

                This is the key problem here: once offline, Steam has no way of knowing a licence is no longer valid. As long as my gaming PC is kept in offline mode, if Steam doesn't have a periodic check, it will never know the games were sold. So I get to keep all those games, and sell them as well. That's a problem, and the only way I can think to solve it is with periodic checks.

                  Right. Except you're stuck playing your games on your non-main machine, and you're stuck playing them offline only - the whole shebang falls apart as soon as you do go online.

                  Obviously for some people, free games are going to be more worth it for them than the inconvenience of being offline forever and having to start the whole (I'm guessing time-consuming) process of lending/retrieving again.

                  It's also possible that they'll limit the number of games which can be lent, so that a friend can't gain access to your entire 700 game library, but maybe two or three - or in early days, maybe even only one - so that it's borderline useless to you and just a sneaky way of you getting to play one title (offline) that you'd lent out, without forcing your friend out of it. It would probably be simpler and easier to apply a crack.

                  Maybe Valve don't even care.

                  Edit: When it comes to the consoles, I think this is even easier to circumvent. Treat discs as they are - the disc in the drive IS the DRM. Treat the digital copies as the legally lendable, etc, and follow a similar process. New games require one-time online authentication. So yes, you could install a shitload of digital games you own onto two machines, invalidate them on one machine in order to lend them to a friend, but at the end of the day, there's three machines, one game, and only two people playing. And if you ever want to add anything to that library, you'll need to go back online again, which invalidates all the rigmarole gone through.

                  I think the biggest key will be one-at-a-time game lending.

                  Last edited 24/06/13 11:59 am

                  @transientmind That may well be how Valve chooses to approach it initially, and I'm not sure to what extent Valve intends to allow game trading or selling. The reason I mentioned it in the context of Steam though is because it's easy to translate that to the XB1 situation, where games can be traded or sold permanently, not just loaned out, and with no limit on how many times it can be done. A lot of people have railed on the daily check requirement they originally announced, saying it doesn't give anything to the gamer, but without it the whole digital second hand market can't function without serious exploitation.

                  So I guess my comments are more through the lens of the XB1 implementation rather than Valve's. I'm not sure how Valve plans to handle this hurdle, but I'm definitely interested to see what they do. In a full trading environment, I can't see anything yet that would stop me putting all my single player games onto a second PC or a VM (or taking a drive image while Steam is in offline mode and just restoring it when I need to) and selling them to someone else immediately. I wouldn't do that personally as it would be unethical, but people will, and I'd hate to see another attempt at forward progress revoked.

      I always have internet so I was looking forward to sharing my game library with my family members, it's already annoying as hell living with my bro and having a 50-50 chance that we can both play a game or a DLC that one of us purchased.

    Yeah, there's no way games would have been cheaper, because that would have been an amazing sales point if they were.


    People just don't seem to get it. Microsoft's push for digital restrictions was done deliberately so they could profiteer more from the gamers, who are already being ripped off, plus this would allow MS to control the digital distribution of games, effectively dictating to the gamer what can and cannot do with what they purchase. One massive money grab. I don't want game sharing, I don't want family sharing, these are gimmicks only. When I pay for a game I will only purchase via physical media because I prefer to have something tangible for my money thanks, not one massive file DRM laced and restricted.

    I also decide how many consoles I can play my disc copy of a game on as well, not them. If you are too lazy to put a disc in a drive of a console, you have mental issues. We should never rely on the Internet for everything, its just not reliable enough and not trustworthy enough, and when it goes down all hell breaks loose. I don't support any DRM, and the original Xbox One measures were really over the top, especially tying games to the console, forcing installs, and other draconian measures designed to "control" the gamer. Plus any purchaser of a game has the right to sell / trade in their games as they see fit. Then region locks as well, to even further milk us for more money and prevent us buying a game from Amazon and playing it here - again a feature the current Xbox 360 and original Xbox never had or needed.

    As for all this rambling on about TV / sports features I don't give a rats ass. I buy a console for games and blu-ray movies, thats it and I don't want all this extra garbage.

    Did MS really think after the Xbox and Xbox 360 being open and non-restricted, that gamers would suddenly accept all these conditions and restrictions without a fight - talk about living in dreamworld. Suddenly MS claim its easy to reverse all these control mechanisms, but whats the bet they will use "compulsory upgrades via software" to reinstated these restrictions down the line as well. I simply cannot trust MS anymore after all of this, oh and the forced connection of Kinect 2 (aka Spying Eye) which not doubt breaks many International and Commonwealth privacy laws, as it has in the EU as well.

    This is the biggest backflip in gaming history, but this sets a dangerous precedent, as now people will question MS's honesty. In the back of their minds they will think "what if MS push these restrictions down the track without my knowledge", as this whole episode seeds the doubt of everyone's mind.

      Just like the infamous anti-trust lawsuit filed against Microsoft years ago.
      I don't trust them at all. I do everything I can to screw them over. I haven't paid for a copy of their crappy OS ever. Never will

    As a futurist, I know that the old plans put a lot of people out. I also believe that a lot of opinions around the old plans were uninformed - but that's not really important anymore.

    What is important is that Microsoft will offer us benefits if we choose to play digitally. Perhaps time-limited trials (ie: rentals), discounts for purchasing a "family" license for a copy of the game (ie: if a family member has it in their library, let me browse and purchase a discounted copy - could be abused? Who knows.), let us "rent" the game for a week for half-price shortly after launch maybe? (catering to used-game players, and those who would trade it in quickly).

    They tried to force the DRM on us - I can see why people didn't like that. In my opinion, it was a good thing - it meant that publishers wouldn't force their own DRM methods on us, and we knew exactly what we were getting.
    But perhaps their best strategy would be instead to offer benefits for the choice to go digital.
    They say took out the policies because they're giving us a choice. I don't really see much choice at this stage.

      Who says we wouldn't have gotten publisher DRM on top of console manufacturer DRM?

      Last edited 24/06/13 2:53 am

        Who says we would have? If anything, patterns/trends support saying we wouldn't have. What with Ubisoft walking back from the Always Online a couple years ago, and EA discontinuing their Online Pass scheme. Now, that COULD have been because they thought the consoles were going to do stricter DRM for them, but in EA's case and from reading the BBC interview with Frank Gibeau, it's probably more to do with not wanting to be hated so much anymore.

          Really? EA announced they were ditching the Online Pass scheme just before the Xbox One announcement about their DRM in which EA had a major pressence at, and you think that the two events are entirely unrelated?

    Can't put it any more simply, All those "futurists" are imbeciles and should be shot in the head, the end.

    Nothing at all has changed. They were just a bunch of ignorant, selfish people too lazy to get off their couches to change a disc "oh god the horror of moving off the couch" and wanted to saddle bullshit DRM on everyone else for the convenience.

    The family sharing plan was also hogwash, there is 0, count it ZERO chance in hell it was ever going to give away 9 free copies to anyone that wasn't even family, its absurd to even have a wild dream about such nonsense. It was more likely to be the 45-60 minute full game demo and that's it.

    NOTHING ELSE has changed at all, so I really have no idea what these pompous muppets are raving about. We still have cloud gaming where computational power is offloaded so the consoles have more grunt for important things, we still have kinect 2.0 with its greatly improved capabilities that will actually work, everything about the "future" of the Xbox one is still there.

    All this clamoring over the "vocal minority" ( Your fools to think a billion dollar company changes it mind over a vocal minority) and how they ruined the next generation gets me more annoyed than the DRM did because its all 100% nonsense, its not even an arguable point. So seriously can we stop with these troll bait and idiotic articles.

    Last edited 23/06/13 9:54 am

      Shot in the head? Yeah. We should listen to you. Sounds completely reasonable.

      I think you have anger issues. Also, I sincerely hope you take the time to get accustomed to having no discs because that is where it's all heading. If the CD/mp3 battle is anything to go by, digital will take over one way or the other. Regardless if you think Microsoft were doing things selfishly or not, all the initial features on the Xbox One will be coming to console gaming.
      Also, shut up.

      Last edited 23/06/13 12:12 pm

        You were good up until the final line.

        All Digital will eventually happen, but not anytime soon. There are still plenty of places in the first world where it's just not practical to download games the size of current AAA releases, and a Disc is going to be the perfered option.

        Also put the crystal ball away. As we saw here Microsoft can only get away with what the consumer will let them get away with, and as long as gamers are against DRM it's just not going to get any traction. If people don't like it they won't buy it, if people don't buy it you don't make any money, if you don't make any money other people are going to look at what you're doing and decide not to follow that path.

    Is Sony any better/different? Are they trying to do gamers a favour by making the PS4 cheaper? As you've noted, both Microsoft & Sony are publicly listed multinationals. Their job is to "build shareholder value". However, that is not mutually exclusive with providing good entertainment experiences to its customers. And when I say "its customers" Microsoft clearly has a wider audience in mind than "hardcore" gamers. You just need to look at the financial performance of Sony's gaming division to see that there is no money to be made selling AAA games to dedicated gamers. 700 million revenue, 17 million profit - they would have been better shutting down the games division & putting their money in the bank (wouldn't you be looking to put the squeeze on intermediaries like retailers if you were making zero profit for all that effort?). The main game with Xbone & PS4 is the not games but the battle for the living room; movies, TV & music downloads/streaming & the 2nd screen. Games and the consoles are just a loss leader to get the device in your entertainment unit. Then the real sell will come over the next 5-8 years.

    So in summary;
    1. DRM - yeah, it's so they can make all the money and cut the retailers out of the loop, it's an old trick now right, ever heard of Amazon?
    2. persistent connection - so what. How many serious gamers don't have that anyway, seriously? Think about the potential for cloud connectivity with console games; real console MMOs, cloud saves, manage my FIFA team on my mobile, manage my Battlefield soldier on the toilet, manage my XCOM squad on the bus, etc, etc. Yes please!
    3. "MSFT are just in it for the money" - um, yes, they are, sorry to break it to you. Doesn't mean there won't be awesome games developed which you WILL play. Just you wait.

    Like a lot of other people commenting here I have no problem with always online internet. I do have a problem with the principle. Alienating people in countries that do not diplomatically agree with US policies or do not have reliable or even available internet.
    For me, my gripe is the use of the cloud to save games. Until this backwards country makes it illegal to charge for 1s and 0s I completely despise this policy. The cloud is an evil that should be opposed. I don't want to download my game saves every time I want to play. Nor should I have to be online to play it. Think about it, do you want a corporation deciding when and how you play YOUR games? Not me.
    I'm all for the future but not at the sacrifice of choice or availability. Long term future it would have been even worse. Xbox servers go and so does your ability to play your games AT ALL. Goodbye to retro gaming.
    If they really want to get rid of discs put them on flash drives!

    Good riddance to the original plan.

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