Consumer backlash has led to removal of restrictive DRM policies regarding ‘always on’ requirement and used game sales.
Alan Sugar would criticise Team Microsoft for having an advert that didn’t match its website claims, but this sudden change of heart is far from cringeworthy. Rather than blundering ahead with unwavering belief in their decisions to restrict what people could do with their games and how they should use their consoles, Microsoft has intelligently responded to their lambasting.
After some initial rumours about the switch, it’s now up for all to see on the official Xbox Wire with some candid words from Don Mattrick to boot. The company’s head of gaming (or President of Interactive Entertainment Business, if you will) posts “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.”
Other flip flopping: Catholic priest says gays can marry lesbians
The update lays out a new regime in which physical discs will keep the functionality currently enjoyed by 360 discs. You can buy, sell, rent and gift to your heart’s content. Where once there was an ever so slightly elitist list of ‘approved Xbox One countries’ (still up at this moment), there is now a (metaphorical) blank page allowing anyone to use the new console. There are no more region-locks on games and no more checking in with HQ once every 24 hours, just a one off authentication. And you can still benefit from all of the cloud download magic that was promised. It kind of makes you wonder why they went down that dark path to begin with.
Some may feel that apologies are owed to Microsoft but I think Mattrick’s comments show the truth of the matter. “We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity” really drives home the effect that their critical crucifixion has had. It’s worth noting that when snide remarks were still an option, Mattrick had said, “Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity, it’s called Xbox 360.” All of those who were content with allowing Microsoft to plough ahead unchallenged should take note of the apparent power in consumers’ hands. Enough dissent really can solve our gaming grievances.
The only thing we have to worry about now is that Orwellian eye which cannot be unplugged…
Defeating Kinect: Online campaign demands Congress answer for PRISM scandal
Featured image: Microsoft