Well, I woke up this morning, fired up my computer and headed to my usual video game sites to read up on the news. Two minutes later, I was howling with laughter as I read the news almost all sites were reporting — the announcement that Microsoft has removed Xbox One DRM, it will no longer require a once-every-24-hour internet connection and, oh yes, you’ll be able to play your old or used games on it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. An absolutely bloody classic 180 degree turn from a company that was getting its ass severely kicked by its closest competitor — Sony with its PlayStation 4.
According to Microsoft’s official Xbone site, it seems the company has had a re-think after its disastrous showing at E3 last week. As sales have been slamming every distribution website for PlayStation 4, with its no DRM, you can play any used game you want and no internet connection required philosophy, the Xbone has been losing thousands of customers every day to the PS4.
After almost a week of this, Microsoft had to act, tuck its tail between its legs and say “We’re sorry. We’re fuck-ups, and it doesn’t look like we had a bloody clue what our customers wanted or were willing to pay for“. Well, sure, they didn’t say that, but that’s what they meant.
Here’s part of the official Microsoft statement (you can read the rest on their website), from Don Mattrick:
“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:
He then went on to say there would be no requirement for a connection to the internet once every 24 hours to verify your games, Just a one-time connection to set everything up. After that, if you never access the internet again, your games will still be playable.
He also said you will have absolutely no limitations to playing or sharing your games, so lend, buy used, borrow your friend’s Xbox games, they’ll all play on the new Xbone One (I’m sorry, I can’t stop calling it that, as it’s a name it so rightfully deserves).
Finally, Microsoft has also removed all their regional restrictions from the console.
Nice to see them do this, I have to admit. But, when they proved with their initial announcement that they really didn’t give a damn about their customers or what they wanted, I decided there and then when I buy a console early next year it will be a PlayStation 4.
Because, after all let’s face it, this dramatic about turn has nothing to do with the consumer but everything to do with huge amounts of money heading PlayStation’s way and a mere dribble in the Microsoft coffers, doesn’t it.
GameStop, by the way, will be equally as thrilled as I am, as they make most of their money from used games. In fact, they were so incensed by the Xbone, they were even handing out flyers in some stores telling customers what they wouldn’t get if they bought an Xbone.
I'm a former radio DJ, an ex non-profit Director of Development, and a left-wing human rights advocate with a 20 year background in gay rights and HIV/AIDS rights advocacy. I'm also an avid video game player. Minecraft is my obsession.