Confirmed: Microsoft To Reverse Xbox One DRM / Always On Policies

by on June 19, 2013

Update: Microsoft have now confirmed that for the company’s new policies to take effect Xbox One owners will be required to download a day one patch.

That’s a day one download that will (obviously) require an internet connection.

Original story: Microsoft’s Don Mattrick has confirmed in an open letter that the Xbox One will no longer require an internet connection to play games and will support the used-game market.

The open letter reads:

“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.

  • 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.”

News of what is arguably the single biggest u-turn on videogame history was first broken by GiantBomb, who cited multiple sources at Microsoft and listed all the changes prior to the official announcement.

A statement was also seen on the company’s website on the pages where they had previously outlined their policies prior to E3 last week.

It was at E3 that  Sony announced that the PlayStation 4 would not require an internet connection and would support the used game market. Prior plans for the Xbox One made extensive DRM systems available to publishers.

The wave of negative feedback that Microsoft faced has obviously been a problem and is the most likely reason for Microsoft calling off all interviews with its executives following their E3 press conference.

Changes of this magnitude always seemed highly unlikely but it obviously remains incredibly good news for the consumers.