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Microsoft Kills Xbox One Phone-Home DRM 547

One of the biggest criticisms of Microsoft's recently-announced Xbox One console was that it would require an internet connection once every 24 hours in order to keep playing games. Enough people complained about the DRM, and Microsoft listened. Today, they announced that they're removing the phone-home requirement. "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." They've also scrapped the game trading and resale system they'd built, which allowed publishers to set their own rules with regard to used game sales. "There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360." Unfortunately, that also means users won't be able to take advantage of the good parts of the original system, such as trading and gifting games without needing the disc, or sharing games with remote family members. "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." Also noteworthy: they've dropped region-locks as well.
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Microsoft Kills Xbox One Phone-Home DRM

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  • by VinylRecords ( 1292374 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @05:20PM (#44054197)

    Forcing you to buy $100 Kinect with the system? Tracking your gaming habits and selling the data if you are connected? Tracking your movements with Kinect at all times? Putting online features that are on the discs of games behind an XBL Gold paywall? Forcing XBL Gold subscriptions to use other online services through your Xbox? Paying MS money for XBL Gold only to be bombarded by advertisements?

    I'll pass still. This is looking like a weak generation for gamers. Both the PS4 and XB1 have online locked behind paywalls (even for peer-to-peer games). The Wii-U is severely lacking in quality games geared towards older gamers. Hopefully the PC gaming developers take charge and win back some of the console players this generation.

  • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie&hotmail,com> on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @05:21PM (#44054207) Homepage

    The fact that the Navy blasted XBONE ( [] ) is probably the biggest reason Microsoft took such a drastic 180, not us regular consumers.

  • Re:Sounds like... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @05:27PM (#44054289) Journal

    After all "It's only software" right?

    Yeah, it's only software which you don't control and where updates can be required by specific games. So control of the users can be re-implemented in a future update, once they've got a sufficient market presence (locked-in customer base). Sony did it with the Other OS feature on the PS3, and Microsoft can do it with the call home "feature" and no-sharing "feature" on the XBone. Best if we just skip buying consoles or anything else with proprietary operating systems (RMS is quite right on this one).

  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @05:31PM (#44054359)

    If they were so quick to listen to the gaming community, why have they been so deaf to the feedback about Windows 8?

    Because there's no EULA prohibiting you from selling your 360 to someone else, so those consoles will always be plentiful on the secondary market.

    Meanwhile, Windows 7 can be pulled from stores and you are prohibited from transferring your license to any other computer, whether you own it or not.

    In short, you don't have to listen to your customers when they're locked in and you control the market scarcity.

  • Re:Whoosh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cod3r_ ( 2031620 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @05:33PM (#44054387)
    Yeah exactly. How could they not see this coming?? Another scenario of people creating a product that they don't use..
  • Re:Whoosh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @05:56PM (#44054617) Homepage

    If it wasn't for the PS4, MS would have never dropped those requirements.
    As it was, PS4 was vastly superior (atleast on paper) to the XBone offering.
    Now, the XBone is on par on some key consumer issues and may just be able to offset expense, inferior hardware and lack of indy gaming with their Kinect.

  • Re:Sounds like... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @06:11PM (#44054765)

    Nobody is taking out DRM from XBOX or Playstation. They're only talking about taking away region locking and phoning home for daily authentication. You're still going to have to deal with Ubisoft and their uPlay bullshit and redeemable one-time codes and so on.

    People also seem to be constantly conflating DRM with used games. The two have little to do with each other. Sony has said they won't infringe on your right to own your purchases and lend, give, trade, sell them and they won't let others do that, either. That doesn't mean DRM won't still be used.

  • Re:Herp, meet Derp (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @06:41PM (#44055075)
    I don't understand why people keep making this suggestion. I'm going to buy an expensive piece of hardware then purposely wreck it?!!

    Just don't frigg'n buy it in the first place.

    They're going to find ways to know if you've disabled the camera or mic, most likely the stupid thing isn't going to work at some point if you can't feed it a voice command and last time I checked an infra red camera that sense heat can also see through a thin layer of tape. I'm almost certain in a years time we'll be reading about people that lost access to hundreds of dollars of digital media because they broke the XBone ToS by disabling the Kinect.
  • by Manfre ( 631065 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @06:48PM (#44055155) Homepage Journal

    Only a security risk if it has internet access. Without the mandatory internet access, it's easy to keep it off the internet.

  • Re:Whoosh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @06:58PM (#44055261) Homepage Journal

    Well it would be kind of interesting to see what the legal case would be in Europe etc, if you buy one without having internet connection now.

    If they every re introduced that requirement I would thing you would a case under consumer law.

    Probably only aimed at the North American Market - the EU courts probably glare in Redmond's general direction enough they know better than to try any of that there.

  • Re:Whoosh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:18PM (#44055431) Journal

    I still don't buy it, they were quick to say DISC BASED games would be just like on the X360, but isn't the Xbox S (for Stupid God damned name) suppose to install ALL games to the HDD by default? Unless they completely changed the mechanism, which at this late stage would be kinda doubtful, they may just be playing a game of weasel words.

    You still have to have an Internet setup just to unbox the thing (so much for our men and women in the armed forces) and until I see the thing in stores actually doing what they say it'll do? Sorry MSFT, don't trust you, especially not after the head of the Xbox division said "just deal with it" and "buy a 360" as his answers to critics. BTW did they fire that jackhole?

  • Re:Whoosh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @10:10PM (#44056677) Journal

    Good! Its a fucking console NOT a PC! if the only way they will allow the game to be installed to the drive is to make the DRM in every. possible. metric. WORSE than the PC (Fuck Steam gives you 30 days offline and is trivial to bypass, MSFT was giving you not even a whole damned day before it would brick) then they can keep it!

    I'm just glad i got the boys off the consoles when I did, at least on the PC as i said you have options, hell you can even go Humble Bundles or GOG and not have any DRM at all, whereas the consoles seem to be in a race to see who can treat their customers like thieves worse. hell at least Steam gives me things for putting up with the DRM, like free MP, updates, chat, and matchmaking, fricking MSFT makes you break out a CC just to play an online session of a game you already bought! Geez MSFT, could you BE any more greedy? Maybe you should call up Monty Burns, he'll probably have some advice on how to gouge customers a little more, damn.

  • Re:Whoosh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by perryizgr8 ( 1370173 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @10:33PM (#44056829)

    yeah sure, you go ahead and play halo and metal gear solid on your linux steam. we'll wait.

  • Re:Whoosh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @10:53PM (#44056951) Journal

    Hell we have proof of that, look at the Windows 8 beta. You had no less that 3 betas, DP,CP, and RTM, and the entire time the testers were saying "OMG this fucking suuuuucks!" and the reviewers were calling it "Windows Frankenstein" and saying things like "Don't buy it" but what did MSFT do? Not only released that giant POS but we are now finding out Win 8.1 is everything you HATE about Windows 8 ONLY WORSE,, with even MORE focus on WinTablets (which nobody is buying), even MORE of the metro shit, its the Transformers 3 only without the cool robot battles to cover for the douchbaggery.

    So I don't see how anybody could argue that MSFT wasn't suffering from a MASSIVE disconnect with their customers, fuck you could have just walked into any shop that sold Windows PCs and we could have told you that shit wasn't gonna sell, i had people pass Win 8 systems for Win 7 systems half as powerful just so they wouldn't have to take Windows 8. Hell I didn't see as much hatred with Vista and WinME, the public DOES NOT LIKE IT yet they keep killing their sales by trying to force that piece of garbage down everyone's throats just because "hey Apple is big in tablets"...well you ain't fucking Apple so just cut that shit out already! YOU SUCK AT THIS, you know what MSFT reminds me of right now? You know the annoying "comic relief" they put in kid's cartoons that is always "watch how great I am...FAIL FAIL FAIL"? THAT is MSFT, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by just being terribly inept.

  • Re:Whoosh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MagusSlurpy ( 592575 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @03:57AM (#44058237) Homepage

    They killed the "Family" sharing plan entirely, whether you bought the game from the online shop or on disc.

    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.

    Personally, I think they should have kept the digital sharing plan - it was the one thing that was significantly better than what the PS4 or WiiU offers, and I think would have done a lot to bring back the people they alienated last week. Oh, well.

  • Re:Whoosh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MagusSlurpy ( 592575 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @04:30AM (#44058355) Homepage

    Same(ish) CPU
    More modern GPU of same brand with more cores
    Same amount of RAM, more bandwidth from GDDR5, but no SRAM on-die

    In other words, PS4=more graphical power, less effective memory management overall. So PS4 is at best slightly superior to XB1, not "vastly."

    And of course, one other thing to consider is that the power and heat management of the XB1 is better than the PS4 - which no one will care about until they remember RRoD and YLoD issues stemming directly from heat in almost all cases. []

    Now if by "vastly" better you meant in terms of the original DRM scheme implementations, then no disagreement here.

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