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Microsoft Pulls A Near Complete One Eighty

Meet The XBox One (Eighty)You may have heard about the whole XBone DRM fiasco that Microsoft had going on the past few weeks. Basically, your used games were no more, you had to connect to the internet every 24 hours and other strange restrictions on our rights as consumers. This was all a love letter to game publishers and AAA devs like Cliffy B and EA.

Well, that really didn’t go over too well with the people who Microsoft should have been catering to, the game consumers. Us. There was a huge blow back by game consumers who didn’t like these restrictions. This blow back came to a head when Sony nut punched Microsoft repeatedly at E3.  That really stirred the hornets’ nest. Everyone basically declared the XBone dead on arrival and a sure fire last place slot in the coming generation.

With all that happening, is it really any surprise to see that Microsoft has back pedalled? That’s right, they have decided that their plans are not what consumers want and that they will be removing some of the most onerous restrictions.

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.

I am glad to see that they were listening. It sure would have been nice if they started doing so a lot sooner. It probably would have made a huge difference in the lead up to E3 and after. Shoot, they might have even won the show and been on their way to winning the generation.

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.

What is really sad is that they didn’t realize any of this going in. Game consumers have been actively engaged in those activities for years, since the beginning of gaming. How could any self respecting game company think it wise to take that away without just compensation. Sure, PC gamers lost the ability to trade games years ago, but the trade-off was far cheaper games. Steam, GOG, Humble Bundles and more provide hundreds of hours of gaming for little money out of pocket. That was not something Microsoft was going to provide.

But what exactly has Microsoft changed? Here is the short list:

  • There will no internet connection required to play offline Xbox One games “after a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One”
  • There will be no 24-hour connection requirement for the console
  • Used game sales and borrowing of games will have no limitations
  • No regional restrictions

This brings it more in line with the PS4 and the WiiU, but still not quite there. The Kinect is still required for the XBone to function and you will not be able to completely turn it off or remove it. But at least we will be able to sell our games now.

But it won’t be a smooth transition. It will require a day one firmware update to all XBones when setting up.

In the end, the real question left is, “Will this be enough?” Will the people who left the XBox camp after the original announcement come back? Some will. In fact, I have already seen a few people say they will be getting one now. But there will continue to be that little bit of doubt deep down wondering when Microsoft will reintroduce those same policies. Other people have just been completely turned off by Microsoft’s bold direction and inability to keep a consistent voice on the subject. Those people will never return.

In the end, I applaud Microsoft for seeing the light and making this change, but I think this move is most likely too little too late.

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