I was initially going to write about something else today, but this news was just too huge to ignore or save for another day, especially after the E3 incident between Sony and Microsoft still lingering in the air. It seems Microsoft does really listen.
In my post E3 conference wrap up, one of my concerns about Microsoft’s press conference is that they seemed to ignore all of the negative press surrounding their console in the weeks prior to E3. While I commend them for cutting out the fat and focusing squarely on the games to make for a more interesting show, the complaints raised against them were just too loud to ignore. And then the whole Sony aspect later that day where they basically ripped apart every negative feature of the Xbox One really served to kick Microsoft while they were down.
Things seemed bleak and with everything seemingly going wrong since it’s initial unveiling in May, I had a feeling Microsoft wouldn’t be able to sit back and try to convince the public that their methods would work in the end. Who knows, maybe they were right and we just didn’t want to listen. Either way, it doesn’t matter as Microsoft has done an abrupt about face in regards to their DRM making the console arms race all the more interesting once again leading up to the end of this year. Kudos to Patrick Klepek for breaking the story before the official post by Microsoft.
So what does this mean exactly? Two major things:
1. The online DRM aspect where they system would require one check in every 24 hours is gone completely. You can now play games that have offline elements without needing to be connected. Now obviously, games like Destiny or Titanfall will still require an internet connection considering they’re online experiences so don’t expect that to change. Essentially though, the experience you have now with the PS3 or 360, that’ll continue going forward. With this news also means that “family sharing” plan is gone as well.
2. The removal of the DRM also means that you can now rent, lend, trade-in, and gift games without having to jump through a ton of hoops. The limitations and regulations have been scrapped.
Maybe it was Sony going for the throat last week or maybe it was the rising amount of negativity surrounding the console, but either way, gamers reap the rewards of competition. I have to admit, I expected a few changes but a complete overhaul of the system that they tried so hard to sell us on? Wow.
Makes you wonder if they’ll do anything regarding their indie games policy? I’d have to say probably not but then again, I said the same thing about their DRM policies. I guess there’s always hope, right?