In one of the most spectacular 180 degrees turn of the history of gaming, Microsoft decided to backpedal completely on its DRM policies for the upcoming Xbox One console.
With today’s announcement we learn that the “always online” requirements have been dropped, and an internet connection will only be required when setting up the console for the first time. Consumers will be able to resell and loan out their game disks at leisure and they will work exactly as they do today on the xbox 360, with no authentication or connection required.
In a further joyous notion, region locks will also disappear from the picture.
Unfortunately, as good news pretty much always come at a price, the rather great “family sharing” feature is also set to disappear, replaced by old fashioned sharing as we do it today, by handing the disk to friends and family members. Playing games will again require the disk in the tray.
You can check out the new official policy here, and rejoice on the fact that gamers can push world-spanning corporations around when they really put their foot down.
This is exactly what I suggested at the end of a previous article (I know, it was such an easy an obvious suggestion that I can’t really take credit, but they took long enough to get there). Now they just need to drop the mandatory Kinect and sell a $399 SKU without it, and we’ll all have a group hug.