Microsoft may be backing away from some of the restrictive software policies it had previously announced for its next-generation console, the Xbox One, potentially loosening requirements related to online check-ins, the ability to play games offline and region-locking.
"As a result of feedback from the Xbox community, we have changed certain policies for Xbox One," Microsoft wrote on its official web site, saying its previously announced policies were "no longer accurate."
Just prior to E3, Microsoft outlined its policies for Xbox One games, explaining that the console would require an online check-in (at least) every 24 hours to authenticate ownership of video game software. Failing to authenticate game software would render the game unplayable, even for offline, single-player games.
Microsoft also outlined a vague used games policy, saying that restrictions on used games would be left up to publishers. Xbox One owners would be able to transfer game licenses for software to friends, but those transfers had their own limitations.
Consumers reacted angrily to Microsoft's restrictive and confusing policies on Xbox One, rallying behind rival Sony and its next-generation PlayStation. The confusion over Microsoft's Xbox One plans was most recently reflected on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, when the host said the rival PlayStation 4 was the only console that would play used games.
Sony reacted to Microsoft's announced policies at E3, saying the PlayStation 4 would not require console owners to check in via the internet and that software could be resold and traded as it was on PlayStation 3.
Most gaming websites are reporting it and apparently it's official.
Looks like MS is reversing it's online/used game policies from the backlash. Good for them for listening to consumers although you can bet the reason for it is the lackluster Xbox One pre-orders compared to PS4, they know Sony will destroy them next gen if they kept all those policies.
Microsoft has changed its policies regarding Xbox One’s internet requirements, used game restrictions and more.
Contrary to the details announced earlier this month, Microsoft has now confirmed news originally reported on Giant Bomb that Xbox One will no longer require an internet connection to play offline games or need to check in every 24 hours; instead, internet will only be required when initially setting up the console. Like on Xbox 360, "playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray."
I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.
Xbox One will also no longer restrict used games, and will instead allow discs to be exchanged in the same way they are on Xbox 360 with no additional restrictions for trade-ins or lending games to friends. The system is also no longer be region locked and all downloaded games will function the same way whether your console is connected or not.
"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," Microsoft's Don Mattrick wrote. "I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One. 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."
Microsoft's decision follows mass confusion following the announcement of Xbox One in May. At E3 last week, Sony announced similar policies for PlayStation 4, which will not require an internet connection or periodic authentication and does not restrict used games.
Yup, no more used game restrictions and no more always online policies. Good job MS for listening.