Xbox One Backtracks On DRM Policies



I know, I know, this is not exactly Nintendo news, however it could potentially affect future sales of the Wii U once the Xbox One is launched.  According to Kotaku, “Microsoft will reverse course on their DRM policies for Xbox One, dropping their Internet requirements and all restrictions on used games”.  This news has also been reported by WhatHiFi and GiantBomb.

GiantBomb created the below list, from multiple sources, which outlines some of the changes that Microsoft intends to make:

  • No more always online requirement

  • The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours

  • All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360

  • Authentication is no longer necessary

  • An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console

  • All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline

  • No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs

  • Region locks have been dropped

As of the time I am writing this article, Microsoft has not updated the Xbox One Q&A section to reflect the changes, in fact the page will not even load.  Although it is possible that this is an elaborate hoax to put Microsoft in a sticky situation and force them to make some tough decisions, the pieces seem to fit and point to it as being truthful.  Kotaku has reported the following (quoted from

Microsoft clarifies that the planned day-one Xbox One update, which Whitten told me, will “complete some of the software that won’t be there,” is actually not a result of today’s DRM policy change. Rather, it was always planned and will simply be required for playing off-line, among other things. Not a patch, they say. But, yes, your new Xbox console would have to connect online once in order to do the things Microsoft described today. And then you can keep it offline and play games without re-connecting to the Internet forever.

Microsoft has also released the following statement:

Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.

During the launch presentations at E3 of the PS4 and Xbox One, the Wii U seemed to be an afterthought when it came to who was a winner of the event.  Most seemed to ignore the Wii U completely while Sony was overwhelmingly declared the winner over the Xbox One.  Many fanboys have shown disinterest in the Xbox One and have stated that they will instead purchase the PS4, and/or Wii U.  So, what will this new development centering around the Xbox One do to those that seem to have abandoned the console?  is it too late?  If they do implement these new policies, throwing out the old, will the high price tag still impede sales?

Although I do not know the answers to those questions, and only time will tell, I feel that unless they come out publicly and admit their mistakes to the fans, their reputation might retain a permanent scar.  That is where I believe Nintendo will come out on top.  Nintendo’s history of honesty and support of their fans is unwavering.  They know what we want, they know what they want, and are willing to admit defeat if they do not deliver.  However, they also work hard to improve upon their-selves and their products.  Even when they bomb, they learn from their mistakes (*AHEM virtual boy).  Maybe Microsoft is taking some notes from Nintendo’s playbook here and catering to the needs and wants of a fan?  The choice is pretty reactive, but if Microsoft learns from this, there is no doubt that they could be reactive in the future.

Do you think that this news will help or actually deter sales from the console by leaving fans in doubt?  How do you feel Nintendo and Sony will react to this news?

Essel Pratt has spent his life exploring his imagination and dreams. As a Husband and a Father, he doesn't have as much time to write as he would like. However, his mind is always plotting out his next story. Someday he hopes to quit the 9-5 grind and focus on writing full time. Currently, Essel has three published short stories and is working on a handful of novels. Essel focuses his writings on mostly Horror/Sci-Fi, however is known to add a dash of other genres into his writings as well. In his spare time, he can be found playing one of the 40+ video game consoles in his collection, especially his Wii U (NNID: EsselPratt). Click the links below to follow Essel's exploits in the writing world, and be sure to follow his blog at as well as his articles on


  1. Definitely not good for Nintendo. Gamers would have been more likely to pick up a Wii U over a Xbone because of the bad policies. Allowed them to buy time until 2104 to get the big games out. Now…. not good. Nintendo better think of something to get them in the headlines.

  2. This is huge progress, but the required camera/mic are still a dealbreaker for me. Sure, they have software controls to turn them on or off. Anyone who’s ever used a flashlight app on a smartphone knows that the state of a little picture of a switch in a user interface is not a reliable indicator of the actual state of the corresponding hardware. Only when someone comes up with a way to completely dis-Kinect will the Xbone even be a contender for space in our living room. Even then, I’ll still be paying an extra $50-100 for hardware I explicitly do not want.

    Many people might say that about the Wii U’s tablet, but it doesn’t have an infrared camera and I really like the idea of being able to play with the TV turned off. The existence of Wind Waker HD just about guarantees that the Wii U will be the first next-gen console in our living room. (Nintendoland, SMBU and even Pikmin 3 aren’t enough to get me to whip out a card, but an HD version of a Zelda game I never got around to finishing, with some corrections for the annoying parts, very much is, and the new 3D Mario seals the deal even if it appears to have even more horribly linear level design than Galaxy.)

  3. I agree with Raindog469, the always-connected kinect, spying on you all day, is still a big problem in my opinion. But anyway, I guess many people don’t mind about it.

  4. I guess good and bad news. Bad – This will drive XB One sales up. Good – all those ideas failed badly so Nintendo and Sony won’t try them.

    As to what Raindog said… has there been any confirmation that the annoying parts of Wind Waker will be gone. I got so tired of the sailing mechanism that I never finished that game. I’m concerned that will still be there, or that they’ll force annoying options on to the gamepad.

    I’m holding our for a Wii U version without the gamepad anyway.

  5. @Lou:

    They DID add a sail that allows you to go faster, and they also altered the triforce quest. No details on HOW it was altered, but it they said they mentioned something about the pacing. Those are basically the two biggest gripes everyone had, and Nintendo is doing SOMETHING about them.

  6. Wow, I just noticed quite a few unnecessary words I left in the second sentence. :/

  7. The one thing that bugs me is that the Wii U is region locked. Some people might not look at this as a big deal but with Microsoft saying that X-1 will not be locked that makes two next gen consoles that won’t be. Does anyone view this as a good thing or a bad thing?