Yesterday evening, Microsoft announced their plans to perform an almighty 180 on their DRM and ‘Always on Policies for the Xbox One, in the form of an open letter-esque blog post from the companies President of Interactive Entertainment, Don Mattrick.
You can read the post for yourself through the link above, but here is the basic jist of what was announced;
- 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.
So there it is. Microsoft have listened to the fan revolt and taken a complete u-turn on the matter. But the question in my mind is thus – was this a true intake of community feedback, was it just one big marketing ploy to build more hype around the Xbox One, or was it a combination of many factors? Including the horrendous pre-orders in which the Xbox One has suffered?
The subject of flexibility is the dominant topic in the post. Gamer’s will be free to share, lend and trade-in these games – principles shaping what traditional gaming has become today and also shaping the future of gaming retailers.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction for Microsoft, I’m sure many of us are hoping for a pricing re-structure as well. With the announcement of the Xbox One came the pricing and let’s be honest, it’s a huge price to pay for a piece of hardware that comes with potentially unwanted (at least from me) software, the Kinect.
I’m sure many gamer’s would agree with me when I say that while this is a step in the right direction, it’s not enough to surpass the current Sony vs Microsoft battle. In fact for me, it hasn’t built any excitement or gone on any way to solidifying the notion that I want this console over a PS4.
Say what you will, but Microsoft have a long way to go before this battle is won. Let us know what you thought of this recent announcement in the comments below. Are you pre-ordering an Xbox One?