Microsoft: We Won't Render Your Xbox One Games Unplayable Long-Term

The very first question in this r/games interview with Xbox Live director of programming Major Nelson elicits an encouraging answer, one that Microsoft should be trumpeting, not whispering.

The question:

After the Xbox One servers are shut down at the end of the new generation, will Xbox One games still be playable?

The question is highly relevant, because Microsoft says that the Xbox One must connect to the Internet at least once in a 24-hour period for any games to be playable on it. Imagine, a decade from now, Microsoft shutting down whatever server checks for that. Imagine then trying to play any games in an Xbox One library. If we're taking Microsoft's 24-hour check as real policy — and they've given us only a bit of fine print to suggest that anything will ever change — then it sure seems like an Xbox One's game library would be rendered inert down the road. And that would seem like a very major reason to be leery of spending money on Xbox One games.

Major Nelson's answer (emphasis added):

I'll just say this: We haven't even started this generation, so it's kind of early to talk about the end of the generation. That's certainly something we would not do. That's not the way the system is designed. It's designed for flexibility. But let's get the system out there first.

Interesting and encouraging answer, but also a telling one that speaks to some of the disconnect between Microsoft officials and anxious gamers.

It's not too early to be talking about whether an Xbox One is a good long-term gaming investment. It's actually the exact right time. Anyone who is buying a game console is buying into the future. Buying into a future that kills your games dead in a decade or two due to an arbitrary corporate decision to shut down servers is a future that many serious gamers don't want a part of. That's why I find Major Nelson's response both encouraging but curiously tone-deaf. These are answers gamers need.

Back at the May 21 Xbox One reveal, Microsoft exec Phil Harrison told me about the 24-hour requirement in an interview. We reported it, but honestly hadn't fully processed all the consequences.

Later that day, I thought through the long-term problem: even those of us for whom the 24-hour check-in wouldn't be a big deal would eventually face a day when Microsoft might shut down its authentication servers. This isn't some paranoid view of the gaming future. EA regularly stops supporting most of their online games after the games are a few years old. Imagine that happening for an entire console. And then I'd never be able to play my Xbox One games again?

I saw Harrison at a mixer later that evening and asked him about this. His answer was similar to Major Nelson's response to r/games. It was, essentially: why would we do that?

Why, indeed!

What I think Microsoft folks might be missing as that we're trusting Microsoft that their policies are real, and we're believing them when they say they have to do this 24-hour check-in thing. And if we believe them that they have to do that, then it's hard to understand how they'd be able to remove that requirement in five or 10 years. Or, if we believe that they can remove it then, then why can't they remove it now? My gut tells me that it has as much to do with how they want to manage manage rights to Xbox One games as it does supporting the Xbox One's TV services. But I don't know.

I just know that we have two Microsoft people telling us not to worry long-term, not to expect their policies to last forever. That's good news, but it'd help if they'd be explicit.

Go on the record, Microsoft. Tell us what your long-term policy is. Tell us that our Xbox Ones wouldn't become bricks. Tell us you'll drop the 24-hour requirement when you launch the console after Xbox One. Tell us that you understand that gamers like to believe that their Nintendo cartridges will work in the retro systems even in the Wii era and that their PS2 games will still play in their PS2's even when the PS4 is the hot new thing on store shelves. No one wants to buy a $US60 game to discover they just had it for a 10-year rental.

Now is the time to be answering this stuff. And if you have good answers, there's really no need to be tight-lipped.


    Use of the line "Now is the time!" always brings back memories of Auron up front at the start of the Yunalesca fight for the first time not knowing how utterly and completely ass raped you are about to become.

    To be honest the features sound really good has a lot more potential then people are giving it credit for

      That's because for most people shitty policies and DRM outweighs a few good features

        Doesnt really bother me I'm used to it on PC and I'm always on xbox live when I turn it on, and if internet ever goes down longer then 24 hours I got my phone to log in with

          Getting annoyed at people using PC as an argument. Steam has an offline mode and even if that fails, 90% of the games can be run straight from the HDD (avoiding steam all together) so long as they have been verified through steam initially. There is no daily required check-in or online requirement for PC games in general (unless we're talking about MMO's or Ubisoft games or something >_<).

          On top of that as people have said countless times, your internet is irrelevant, you are being required to check into Xbox live every single day to even play your games. When the Xbox servers falter, get hacked, shut down, whatever (all of which is surely to happen, I have played my 360 long enough to know microsoft don't have a perfect record with server reliability) you will be left out in the cold.

          Finally there is the issue of principles. I can't speak for you but most people simply don't like throwing their money away at people or companies that think of them as shit, ignoring anything you have to say or want. In order to use an Xbox One to it's full potential, you 'MUST'

          1. Live in the US (half the features aren't available anywhere else) because Microsoft don't care about you otherwise
          2. Have a high-speed extremely reliable broadband connection (because 40% of the US don't exist according to Microsoft - and if your internet is too slow, you should just get a 360).
          3. Pay $7.50-8 a month just to use half the features.
          4. Suffer millions of advertisements, because your monthly fee apparently isn't enough.
          5. Then you get to pay the high RRP for new games :)

          If you're happy giving money to a company that likes to treat it's customers like that then fine I suppose personally I prefer to stick to companies that actually listen to their fans. Using the example from before of Steam/Valve, they're not perfect but they do try, such as Greenlight being added to address issues with the method of games being added to steam.

            Couldnt be bothered reading your argument all the restrictions do not bother me I dont return i dont trade I dont lend I'm always online and hate to tell you the drm is the same as Pc whens the last time you could lend return or trade a pc game... Also I'm buying both console so no not a fanboy just saying it how I see it

              Also the check in things is automatic does it even while it is off

                the question's about when they turn the servers off in x amount of years and whether we'll be in posession of liquid black bricks (if we bothered to buy one in the first place) because the machine can't check in to a server that doesn't exist anymore. did you read the article?

                  Did read the article did you watch the video he didn't say yes or no and who's gonna be playing it in ten years

                You've got red on you.

              You probably should read it, because he utterly demolished your 'PC does it too' argument. But if you still don't mind for other reasons, I'm not particularly fussed.

                not really i just DRM not anything else

                Last edited 17/06/13 10:40 am

                He's not talking about green light or pointless fan boy stats he's talking about the comparison of
                PC DRM to xbox one how you cant return or trade PC games jezz some people on here need to chill and 90 % far as I knew there are a lot of games running on steam the are required to run it and require you to fully update before allowing you to play in offline mode

                  Yeah, but his whole point is that the Steam experience is the same as that offered by xbone, but that's only true on a very superficial level. Hence why I said he really should read the post.

              Sorry but, "The PC does it too" isn't an argument for this crap being okay on a console. We're all sick of it on PC too.

              "... Also I'm buying both console so no not a fanboy just saying it how I see it".

              People saying this for the PS4 and Xbox One baffle me. I can't see anything close to a worthwhile exclusive that would make me consider buying both. Besides the DRM they seem closer in tech than any other generation.

              whens the last time you could lend return or trade a pc game

              I think you are failing to see the whole point here. your above comment (question) is irrelevant you are more then capable of trading a PC game (as long as you do not buy a digital copy) I have three PC's in my house and all of them have most of the same games on them.

              M$ is taking away the ability for any one to play their games on another system all together, no one has even looked at or asked the question (What if my xbox dies and I need a new one, do I keep my games or do I have to re-buy) yet..

              But with that aside the only thing stopping me from buying the xbox is the online check-in.. We as customers have not just been released from prison and should not have to visit the parole officer's just to play games.. (Thats what im calling their check-in crap)

              I should be able to drive out to the middle of the forest plug my xbox and small HD tv into my 240v adaptor for my car and play my xbox with no issues while im camping.. with the stupid online check-in you cant do it.

              There is not one single good reason why you have to check-in to play your offline games.. OFFLINE... I understand why for multiplayer games an such.. but for single player games (I.e. Grand Theft Auto) why do we need to log in to play? Not one good reason at all.

                the one good reason is SOOO many of you pirated for soooo long... well look at the end result

                and accounts aren't bound to consoles... you can login with your library on ANY xbone

                Last edited 17/06/13 5:07 pm

                  Yeah there was a huge market in chipped 360s and Wiis this gen. I always felt that being banned from the console's online features was a good deterrent but with half of all 360s offline i guess theres a decent percentage of pirates. So you see what they're trying to achieve but it ignores the fact that consumers have always gravitated to the consoles that have less DRM (PS1, PS2, wii, DS)

              Some gamers are the most butt hurt losers I've ever had the displeasure of meeting or in this case reading.

              Did you all just down vote winter soldier because his opinion with regards to being affected by Microsofts policies, don't match yours? Absolute losers.

              I'm in the same boat. I'm getting both consoles and I think Microsoft had the superior showing at E3. Their policies won't affect me and I'm genuinely looking forward to both new consoles.

              Down vote away :)

                Yes, the down vote does mean we don't agree with him - that's what it's for. We also down voted because they failed to comprehend the article, their analogy about PC games was wrong and when someone came up with a comprehensive counter argument, they ignored it.

                  No the down vote is for disliking what someone has said. I might down vote a troll or someone who us being rude, swearing excessively etc. I have up voted many people despite not agreeing with their views because I think they made good points.

                  He was down voted simply because he said the Microsoft policies don't affect him. That is being butt hurt.

                Thank you :)

                  your correct wintersoldier, i agree with you as well consoles are catching up and the microsoft cloud based computing is gonna be really good for the industry, publishers, producers, and the quality and content on the games, I think, however i get downvoted and my comments have to be approved by a moderator now

                  Online dynamic worlds or bust, cloud computed on mega servers that you will never own yourselves

                  and those that say the servers go down, have you even read how much network infrastructure and MANY MULTIPLE SERVERS there gonna be for the xbox 1

                  Last edited 17/06/13 4:35 pm

                Personally I down voted because of his 'couldn't be bothered to read your argument' and then him rehashing his points. If you don't want to read other people's responses, don't continue the discussion.

                He was definitely downvoted for not being bothered to read the comment that he was arguing against. I don't care if someone has an opposite opinion, but if you can't even be fucked to take in the other side's points before shouting your own opinion across, you're not bringing anything useful to the conversation. Period.

                  I was down voted regardless of my opinion I didnt care because I know the difference I was saying that the DRM is same to PC I dont care about stats I've seen them all before its called copy and paste

            1. Half the content you can't get over here on any console here. If you talking about tv and voice stuff, as said it is coming. When was AUS not the last to get a feature?

            2. Don't need a high speed Internet connection. Authentication required kilobytes not megabytes. If you had an issue with authentication you wouldn't be logged into kotaku.

            3. The gold subscription is to play multiplayer which PS4 now has to as well.

            4. If we had a problem paying and seeing ads, why do people pay for foxtel? The ads on the Xbox don't slow you down or stop you from moving to the next screen.

            5. When steam first started, same issue with pricing. In fact AUS still get screwed over by pricing even on steam.

            I will happily pay the money for what MS and Sony are asking. I just think MS are looking further into the future that what everybody thinks. I guess we won't find out until we are there.

            Steam games are also a hell of a lot cheaper than the average console new release.

              I just looked on steam to see how much cheaper these so called prices are, considering I don't play PC games.

              Steam: Dead Island: Riptide $69.99 (US)
              Jb Hifi: Dead Island: Riptide $59.99 (xbox360) $59.00 (PC)
     Dead Island:Riptide $47.95 (Xbox360) $38.66 (PC)

              Steam: Tomb Raider: $69.99 (US)
              JB Hifi: $44.00 (Xbox 360) $49 (PC version)
     Tomb Raider $44.95 (Xbox 360) - (PC version) $35.95

              Am I missing something, seems that the steam version is actually the more expensive version by far?

              Last edited 17/06/13 7:59 am

                The witcher 2 Steam $6.79, JB-Hi - $24 (It is the sales that steam get their low price reputation from)
                They are also examples of games that have convict tax added by the publisher, base price is $40 & $50 for those examples.

                Usually steam is cheaper, for other times there are sites that give you a steam key for less then steam (international prices).

                Dead Island Riptide: $39.99 (less another 20% with a deal they run almost always - not right now but I'd say wait a week and it'll be back)
                Tomb Raider I'll admit it is $49 atm but again it's just a case of timing, I picked it up about a month ago for $26 (Pretty sure I got it at GMG, might've been somewhere else...)

       posts sales, deals, whatever (mostly for PC but also posts some console stuff) and it's Australian based so it includes things like Big W/JB rather then Best Buy lol

            I'm miffed by the RRP for new games in Australia.
            Dead Rising 3 for Xbox One - $59.99 USD at Game Stop vs $118 AUD at EB Games.
            Got to love the Australia tax.

              To be fair all the EB PS4/Xbox One prices placeholder atm. That said I doubt they'll change much

          The difference with pc is if you dont like the drm you can just apply the crack, then the server checks dont matter

            as a pure Online Multiplayer Gamer i just cant see all your singleplayer viewpoints anymore, it died for me over 10 years ago... i mean quake and ultima online are how old now?

      I agree. I'm a PC gamer, and I've only ever bought Nintendo consoles because they do what my PC cant. Looking at all the info tho, the XBOX looks a generation ahead of everyone else, even PC. The PC gaming landscape has been very static, and pc sales themselves are in the worst state in over a decade. PC is now changing to survive. Intel for a while now making desktop pc components more tight circuit, being more focused in all-in-one style designs that work on the pc, laptop, hybrid and tablet. Microsoft have been something similar by making your "computer" experience the same no matter if you use a PC, laptop, console, web, hybrid, or tablet. These 2 companies together are keeping the pc market alive by evolving it, just like they did the last time the PC market was dying. A lot of companies are also switching over to service style products and the ones that don't are not doing so well.

      When it comes to the new consoles, the xbox one with it nearly syfy level tech seems a whole generation infront of the pc, ps4 and wii u.

      You have voice recognition (that can clearly hear a human voice from under noise no human could ever distinguish).

      Then there's insane visual recognition( allowing for full skeletal tracking of 8 people, mood reading(automatic raising and lowering of difficultly, horror games being able to scare you better), being able to tell if someone is "engaged" with the xbox, can tell if someone is talking from mouth movements alone, heart beat tracking, reading the amount of energy in body movements(proper human effort based power levels in attacks), etc..).

      Follow that up with proper computation cloud support(allowing for massive planet side 2 (1000's of players) matches, awesome player ghosting allowing for friends to play you offline and visa versa, allowing generally 4x more computation power then the physical box can provide, truly dynamic rpg worlds based on generated events rather then "scripted" events that you just stumble upon, the little things like dynamic achievements that are more the simple game stat counters, a proper match making system that using skill, reputation, language and location to find the best players for you, dynamic system weighted reputation system that intelligently applies reputation not by user ratings but by user actions and reactions to a user.

      All that is just pure game stuff, and Im sure there more that can be done that can only be done on the xbox that guaranties voice recognition, visual tracking, and true cloud support.

      The other features that make it awesome are a windows 8 os on the box, this enables a whole host great stuff. You get everything that on the windows store, so you now have apps that work on your pc, laptop, hybrid, tablet, phone, and now console,, natively without any dev needing to port the program. And since each windows app is automatically backed by the azure cloud (the same cloud that powering the xbox one) when your using an app on you pc, it auto saves and resumes on the console or any other device. This includes games on the windows store, so you also now have another library of games on your console.

      The windows 8 part of the xbox powers the snap part of the console, so any dev can make apps that snap to the side of a game, movie, tv station, etc. The skys the limit here thanks to this. Someone can easily (programming for windows store is childs play) make an app that shows you faqs for games your playing, live stats and skill level of the players in the current match, an app that shows you the combined viewer guess of an answer on a tv game show like who wants to be a millionaire, a trivia app that shows related trivia to the current episode of a show your watching, etc. There are thousands of possibilities thanks to this.

      The best part of all this tho is how it all works together, and how this in itself benefits the individual parts. For example, thanks to the Kinect voice recognition AND the windows 8 powered snap view, I could be playing a game, and if I wanted to live steam what I'm playing, all I say is "broadcast" and it snaps to the side, shows the chat window of my channel. I keep playing without any interruption to my gaming,,, and that's awesome. Same with in game features thanks to voice recognition, I can change loadouts, order squadmates, call for support, all without having to enter a menu or remove me from the game in anyway.

      This stuff is awesome for gamers and can only happen on the xbox one because its the only platform that guarantees that it actually has voice & visual recognition and cloud support. Since voice & visual recognition, and cloud support can not be guaranteed on the other platforms, the chances of these features being taken advantage of on those platforms are slim.

      I have heard what people are saying about the downside to the xbox, and I completely blame Microsoft for not getting the message across better, but nearly all the downsides have been rumours that have been dismissed or issues that are essentially, non-issues. First there was the rumour that you cant trade games, which is false. Then there was the "xbox is always watching you thing". If you take a deep look at microsoft, you would notice that they are the most qualified company in the world to handle private data. Do you ever hear of microsoft losing millions of users credit card information? (hinting at the company responsible for the other major console here) If your using windows, or any other ms product, then chances are you've seen a dialog that asks you to send anonymous usage information to them. This is windows and microsoft we are talking about, this os is in government departments and secret installations all over the world. Its scrutinized by security experts continually, have you ever heard of windows/Microsoft sending secret information back to ms hq? the argument that the xbox is watching you all the time is silly to anyone who takes a second to think about it, and also show to be implausible if only to bandwidth caps. Then their was the issue with needing to be always online, which turned out to be a once a day check-in for making sure your games still belong to you (to make the trading games system work).

      This one check-in system is currently the biggest arguing point against the xbox atm, but if you see what it lets you do in return, I think most people would welcome it. The xbox allows you to associate games with your account. Think of steam but not as stupid. You can go to any xbox in the world and play your games. This is awesome. Now you can simply walk to your mates place and just play your game, or more often then not, while your at your mates place, you can decided to play your game which wouldn't be passible currently because you would have to go back to get your game disk. Which brings up the point about disk. You don't need to have disk anymore. You don't need to carry them around with you to your mates place, or forget them, or not bring them on holidays when your at someone else xbox, or break the disk, or keeps them locked under key, or get them out every time you want to play a game (as a pc gamer this stuff annoys the hell out of me when using the wII u (once I'm sitting on my couch I'm to laze to change the game disk). The account based system also allows you to assign 10 people that are allowed to play any of your games, how awesome is that. I can give it to my whole family and some choice friends, and they can give them back. Now we can play any of each other games, on anyone console. The only limitation is that a copy of the game can only be played by one person at once, which, if this requirement wasn't there, then it would essentially be getting a free copy to the game if all 10 people could play the same copy all at once, so no surprise on that one.

      I see the stuff that the xbox, and microsoft are doing and I'm so happy to be alive. For me its no brainer what console to get (I say that after buying the wii u, which at this point is making me regret it). The xbox has nearly all the exclusives, has the big name game companies behind it, has the big name entertainment companies behind it, and the big name tv producers and story writers behind it. It has the features that no other platform can offer, and the integration with the rest of the computing ecosystem.

      If we look at the wii u. Well it has failed to get any solid games to be made for it, even 1st party games which is nearly insulting. The ps4 on the other hand is essentially a computer in a new box( i already own a pc...), with a share button on the controller. The ps4 biggest features are the broadcasting, which every other console can do, generally better; and the game streaming feature, which relies on streaming technology that failed on pc 3 years ago. They've also lost all the big name games that you would associate with ps to the other consoles. The ps4 is a joke. When it comes to the pc, and I hate to say it,,, its stagnating to much. The biggest chance pc has atm is kickstarter, which is making some really promising games atm, but we have yet to see most if any of the game kickstarter project to be release. The other problem is the kickstarter games are still generally the same game categories we always see, with a twist,, but nothing really new.

      I know this was a long read, but I hope I've pointed out that when you look at what is really happening, it become pretty crystal clear as a gamer to which console you should get. Now where my pay check.

        M$ should employ you in their PR team because you've made a better argument for it than anybody else.

    he was sweating alot, the sweat was runnign down his face, its possilb ehe could by lying about some of it

      look at what he is wearing.. can you blame him for sweating lol

      If I was trying to give the hard sell of a console that is less powerfull and $100 more exspenive than the competition and that also has dracionian DRM and a kinnect gimmick no one asked for I would be sweating bullets too.

        point taken, the best use ive seen for Kinect was a shopping trolley you ddint have to touch in "Stephen Fry gadgmet man"

          I saw that on telly a couple of weeks ago. It was so much more entertaining then using the thing for games too.
          I hope its the near future as I hate supermakets lol.

    "That’s not the way the system is designed. It’s designed for flexibility."
    Like playing in any country you want....or importing games.....or playing used games......or playing without an internet connection from day 1.....or playing without Kinect plugged in....

    Yeah sorry, I'm not getting the flexible part...

      They'll just keep the Xbone authentication servers running for when they launch the Xbox TWO. Hah! Bet ya didn't think of that!

        or they'll disable xbone's servers when they implement xbox two, be unable to explain why servers no longer work and they'll make it up to customers by adding xbone's game library to xbox two's arcade for re-purchase.

    Why would you invest potentially thousands of dollars into a gaming system that might be rendered 100% useless in the future. Why even take that risk when there are alternatives?

    Always trust a guy who says "trust me", right?

    I'd much rather take the safe bet than the gamble.

    Microsoft can remove this check with an update with a patch towards the end of the product cycle that reverts The console to handle games the same way that the 360 does; disc in tray and the game will load, that's easy and could do it before launch but publishers want to get in on the revenue of the used games ecosystem and MS has built their console with that requirement in mind. The problem I see is the cloud computing stuff that they are trying to push, what happens when that gets switched off, I dread the thought of how dependant the next few halo games will be on that system and how playable they will be when it cannot rely on that extra processing power :-(

    I think they have a very strong (although also very shitty) reason for not trumpeting this as you suggest: if they do, people will say "hang on, if you can let us play without phoning home then, why are you going to make us phone home now?"

    All due to their incredibly stupid decision to shut down even single player games if you don't phone home.

    The fact that they need to clarify stuff like this shows you the problems they have.

      Not really. Most digital purchases are locked to your account (like Steam) and you lose them if yo get banned. This is different from anything else

        Its easier to lend a steam account than an xbox, less to carry :D

    Good 'ol Chloe - FYI her dad invented the lightsaber.

    What if I don't want to share my games? Or if I don't need my games to be available anywhere? Being able to opt out of all these "features" would make me consider getting an Xbone, instead I'll probably just plug in my N64 or SNES.

    Seems pretty obvious they need the requirement, because the system supports full installation of games with no Disc-as-DRM requirement. The benefits are, we can play all our games, without ever needing to change discs, and if we delete any title off our hdd, a physical backup remains on our libraries.

    Obviously if there was no online requirement - you'd only need to borrow a game, install it, and its yours.

    Now, you'd imagine that these servers would be active as long as the console was being sold/games being published for it - at the very least. Once they're not selling any more newly published games - why would they need to keep the requirement? Amazing PR after the Xbox Ones cycle to just say, install away, we're not selling new games for it anymore (ie. Making any money) - free games away. Last Gen is now abandonwarez.

    Likely? Just as likely as them not doing it. Why would they shut activation requirement servers off , without deactivating the requirements, if they stood to make no money at all (ie once servers are shut down, they can't charge an activation fee) - it'd make very little sense.

    Although it stands to reason you wouldn't announce that now, the same way you don't announce the next 3 price drops before launch. But some semi-official declaration (like the "if Steam ever shuts down, we'll remove all DRM"semi-promise) - a pledge if you will - would calm a lot of people down. Major Nelson would love to be able to make that pledge.

      Wow, it's like you have a rational thought.

      People are so insane, it's complete insanity from SO many angles if MS made all of your Xbox one purchases useless at the end of the life. It's like there's this knee jerk reaction that when a company says "Hey, this is the way we're doing things" people get all up in arms about it.

      So much of the internet hates on Apple for doing things the way they do it. I don't personally subscribe to their ecosystem but it's fine, people are loving the service. According to every paranoid anti apple fanatic they should have taken over the world by now.

      I think everyone needs to take a chill pill. I agree it's not ideal to login every 24 hours but surely they're doing this in the best interests of the consumer (directly or indirectly (by indirectly I mean saving money through the boatloads lost through piracy)).

    My guess is that they'll just push out a patch in the future so you can play the games offline when the Xbox one is no longer supported. However, they'll be wary of saying this upfront now as the immediate response from just about everyone will be " so why do we need to be online now to play single player".

      Nah man, Microsoft hate consumers. They want to make us pay for everything and then take it all away from us because they're sick like that VIVA LA PS4 !!!!


      everquest servers are still running, UO servers... still running... the servers dont shut down on people willy nilly you know.... if anyone can see 40 years into the future please tell me

    We all understand that if we sell a game then we loose the ability to play it, so I actually agree that they should require a check to see if I've sold my game. But if I actually have the disc in the machine or it's a download and it doesn't need online, then I should be able to play it in a nuclear sub.

    I see a lot of people saying things like "But my internet connection is great so it doesn't bother me" or "... so it wont affect me". You know what though? It should worry you and it will affect you. Do you think its phoning home every 24 hours because it misses the mothership (or is that mother cloud) and just wants to talk? No its phoning home to check to see if it should reset the count down on the "kill switch" in your console, maybe the console wont stop working but all your games will so it amounts to the same thing (well ok you can still watch TV). Yeah I know "but I can just reconnect even after it has been flipped and it will be reset", and that is true in the current 'normal' circumstances, but you are giving MS the ability to alter those and enforce rules on a whim. What if MS implements a policy you don't like, so you decide to not update your firmware and no longer play on line. Well in 24 hours your single player games wont work either.

    What if they decide to charge a subscription to let you play your single player games after the consoles end of life?

    What if in the interests of revenue to get Kinect to record conversations during TV adverts (its not as far fetched as you may think) and you can't disable that? You cant just decide "Ok thats it, I am disconnecting from the network and not applying that firmware patch and will just enjoy my single player games". 24 hours later (at max) you will be hit by the kill switch.

    Is criticising MS on their forums or reporting that you have evidence they were hacked against the ToS? You know you are giving them a great tool to enforce their ToS right?

    You are giving MS the chance to hold every game you buy for the console to ransom. Think about that, we are not talking about some great friend who has your best interests at heart here.

    You know what the most worrying thing is? The way they are intentionally deflecting any questions or comments about the 24 hour check. Go back through the articles and interviews someone asks about 24 hour check their answer is along the lines of;

    "always on allows developers to expand their creativity"
    this is true (in some cases) but you know what? It's got nothing to do with their kill switch
    completely unrelated, neither one requires the other.

    "Enables shared games" (this goes for the family thing too)
    Really? You have to retain the power to disable all my games because I might want to add
    one to my shared list some time in the future? This is nonsense there are plenty of other
    viable ways of doing this, its not like license management of concurrent users has never
    been done before, yes this will require some form of online access at the time but not
    constant check ins and certainly not against my non shared titles or when I haven't shared

    If they are not prepared to talk about it now when people still have a choice then what makes you think they are going to be forthcoming about it or nice to you once you no longer have any choice? No I don't buy this "bad messaging" talk the conversation in interviews has been deliberately steered away from the really ugly parts, its just that some people haven't been as skilled as others when it comes to deflecting. I also don't think any amount of back peddling is acceptable if the phone home kill switch is still there, because to use Microsoft's words "This isn't a sprint", if they don't get all their wishes day 1 thats ok, as long as you are beholden to them to continue playing your games they can just start implementing what ever they want in little bits and pieces, and its a lot easier to get people to swallow those small changes than the BIG one you already got them to swallow (you know the one where your console phones home and can disable all your games).

    And lastly for those saying that its just like steam, no it is not like steam (and even if it was it doesn't mean you should just lie down and let them blatantly trample all over you just because someone else did it in the past and were gentle about it).

      I think you have a lot of trust issues, a lot of "what ifs".

      I could throw a bunch of what if's in your direction to counter argue everything you've said but I'm going to remain rational and have faith that a company isn't going to take my money and screw me over.

        I am confused? Does that mean all counter arguments you could think of where irrational? :)
        Seriously though, what has MS done to deserve my trust, to be honest in all my dealings with them they have done quite the opposite.

        It wouldn't be the first time MS has taken moeny and screwed people over at a later date. Not that I wish to implay in any way shape or form that they are the only company that would do so, far from it good customer service can be hard to find these days.

        Last edited 17/06/13 6:05 pm

          You don't have a girlfriend do you?
          Funny thing is, people like you trust Google.

    There's no telling what they'll decide to do down the road. Unless it's written down on a contract somewhere, who's to say MS won't descend further down the anticonsumer path and screw people over anyway. I can't help but be skeptical at the moment. I'll believe it when they actually do it.

    Also, how exactly do they plan to handle this issue down the road? Do they truly intend to keep these servers up forever? If the history of technology has taught us anything, nothing lasts forever. When the majority of people no longer use something, it gets dumped. On the other hand, if the xbox is actually designed to be played offline at some point down the road with say, a patch, that's just another middle finger to the consumer. Yes, we CAN make it offline, but nope, we're not going to even with all of your complaints.

    My God this guy is so fake and full of shit and spin!

    "I’ll just say this: We haven’t even started this generation, so it’s kind of early to talk about the end of the generation. That’s certainly something we would not do. That’s not the way the system is designed. It’s designed for flexibility. But let’s get the system out there first. "

    This equates to, no no please make the investment first and we will decide after you have invested whether or not to F*&(# you at the end of the console generation.

    Good luck with that Microsoft.

      Right - companies can (and often do) flip-flop on policies concerning this kind of thing. Call me cynical, but there's just no way he can assure us this is what Microsoft's policy will be 10 years down the track. We'd all like to think that in the end they'll do right by their customers, but their track record recently in that department is pretty ominous.

      whats the matter cant play your atari 2600 because you have no coaxial cable anymore.... first world problems!

    Doesn't change my opinion of the XBone much at all, but good on him for giving generally clear and concise answers without sounding too much like a sales guy or a politician. I bet not too many MS employees would be keen to get on camera and answer those questions straight up.

      I actually have a fair bit of respect for Hyrb, he seems like one of the few MS employees who genuinely enjoy playing games.

    If you get your Xbox Live account banned, you will lose ALL of your games/media on it. Goneskies. Now I haven't modded my Xbox360 or PS3... but if you think about how easy it could be to get banned... say you logged into your friend's Xboff(assuming you were both silly enough to buy one) and he had his modded(again going with the silly theme), then you could very likely lose everything just by association. You might still have 20 or 30 physical disks with cases and instruction booklets and pre-order collectibles... but you'd never be able to play the games again without repurchasing.
    *Edit: Okay I posted this before watching the vid: I believe they stopped games on the 360 for banned accounts, but apparently stand corrected now. Still, it's something which isn't confirmed and M$ always will have the power to do it I believe. *
    *Edit 2:

    I have also read a few accounts and seen an incriminating photo of M$ sending employees to the Best Buys to dissuade people from buying the Wii U's which were set up for a demonstration event. So(if this is true), they're not just engaging in shady business practises on top of all the planned/forced DRM and limited game sharing... they're also kicking their weakest competitor while it's down. I like my Xbox360... but M$ have made me more and more biased towards its competitors due to its shoddy business practises. And I think I'm not the only one... the Amazon poll finished at PS4: 38984 to XBOne: 2162!

    Oh and also apparently they were running the Xboff content on Windows 7 machines with Nvidia cards at E3.

    Last edited 16/06/13 6:48 pm

    Guys, any system-level DRM requirements on these sort of devices are just implemented in the system-level software (OS). If a publisher publishes a game that relies on the Microsoft DRM scheme, it'll do so through either API calls or flags on the executables. If in ten years time Microsoft wants to shut down the authentication servers, they'll just release a system update that'll make these API calls just return a "good-to-go" response without even checking the servers.

    It's not a big deal, not a new, difficult, or scary problem.

    The thing you need to be scared of is any custom DRM implemented by the publishers themselves outside of the Microsoft scheme. They're far more likely to go belly-up than Microsoft, turning your game blu-rays into expensive drink coasters in the process.

    Better (and safer for the consumer) to have DRM implemented by the console vendor than the publisher, if for no other reason than a single patch can disable it for all games, rather than hoping for every game to be patched to disable it.

      How about a precendent for you, like the time MS shut down MSN music, everyone who pruchased DRM laden music from them was left in the cold, no updates to allow them to play the music.

      I think there is a greater chance that these won't be patched and will stop working. A "always" send OK response will mean anyone will be able to install the game from any disk. The console may no longer be supported but I can't see the games publishers agreeing to let everyone to install the game from disk, especially when they like to resell "remastered" version of their back catalog. Just because there are ways around these things (but its not necissarily going to be easy ) doesn't mean they will go to the effort of doing so, and given past history I think its safer to assume you won't get that patch unless someone specifically makes that commitment. If the concerns if you wont still be able to play of course is a completely differnt matter :)

        Okay, how about a "play-if-media-present" response? And if its a digital download, a "play-if-last-authorization-successful"? It's still just software.

        Your point regarding MSN music is a valid one, however in that case the DRM was intrinsic to the file rather than the device. To fix it in the manner I'm suggesting simply wasn't/isn't possible. In the case of device-level (console) authentication checks, it is.

    You can wear a stupid hat to try and lighten the mood, point to the sky and try and sound philosophical about the direction of the games industry and how your are 'giving everyone flexibility', but at the end of the day it's taking away people's options. If you haven't already realised, Microsoft, most people aren't buying it. Did you not see the overwhelming positive response to Sony denouncing always online DRM and the restriction of used games? It's making you look really pathetic and arrogant that you are so sure of your success in the face of obvious backlash ... there is NO amount of PR that is going to save you now.

    He did not say anything about the games always working though. He gave a vague nonsense answer.
    Major Nelson has always been a drop kick if you ask me anyway. Like a corporate guy who did a how to be cool and with it workshop for his employers or something.

    I don't know why, but I have this blind fanboyism in me that makes me want to buy an Xbone. I read every negative article and comment section too. That said, I'm going to buy a gaming PC and wait till I see something other than Below that looks interesting and/or less shooty before I make a decision about a PS4/Xbone.

      Also personally I'm not bothered by DRM, online checks, but I recognise that ethically and principally it's wrong.

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