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Voices Heard: Microsoft Decides To Remove All Xbox One Used Game & Internet Connection Restrictions
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Most people use the internet to complain about all the things, big and small, that life drops on on our doorsteps. Most of the time these complaints are pointless or heard by only a couple of friends. But sometimes, when a great deal of voices combine into one very loud voice that speaks strongly and passionately about a particular topic, it’s almost impossible to ignore. And that’s when we see response, and we see action.

Recently we the gaming community found out that all of the restrictions that were rumored for (but seemingly impossible to get a direct answer about) the next video game console from Microsoft, the Xbox One—the “always on” connection; the used game restrictions—were in fact true in one way or another. Much outrage ensued. But the company walked into E3 confidently and showed off the one thing people are excited about, the games, without talking much about the actual console. That left the door open for Sony to land a devastating blow. Then Microsoft was asked about how people who had absolutely no internet options would be able to enjoy their games, and their response was gasoline dumped on the wildfire.

Now, after all of this angry chaos, Microsoft is finally making some changes. People, after all, can’t play your games if they refuse to buy your console. Continue reading to see what the company has to say.

Basically, Microsoft has decided to kill off all of these planned restrictions. No more used games block. No more connecting to the internet every 24 hours for updates and so they can “check in” on what you’ve been up to. None of that. The only tricky thing is that you will still apparently need to connect to the internet the very first time you turn on the console to set it up, which would be just as difficult as daily connections for those with no access to internet. Aside from that it sounds like, for the most part, things will be almost exactly how they are now with your Xbox 360, only with a newer, more powerful system. Which is what fans of the 360 have wanted all along.

Microsoft will have to swallow hard after the move, because it’s a massive blow to their plans and “vision” for the future of gaming. In order to offer these changes, some of the things they’ve previously announced, such as being able to play without the disc, had to be sacrificed.

Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business for Microsoft, made this announcement on their official website:

Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

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.

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.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

* 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.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console “” there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.

Most people, myself included, don’t care about going digital and trusting this all-powerful Cloud, and all that noise Microsoft considered the future of gaming. They thought controller-less gaming was the future too, and most gamers don’t want that either. All we really care about is the games. Make them as big and as realistic and as mind-blowingly awesome as they can be, and we’ll be happy. Instead of forcing your “vision” on the world, ease into it with options players can try if they want to, and use if they choose to.

Now, apart from the price tag (Sony’s PlayStation 4 is still launching at $100 cheaper than the Xbox One), these two juggernauts appear to be on a collision course much closer to what people initially expected. It also now leaves the blocking of used games entirely on the publishers (how long before EA reintroduces the Online Pass?), some of which will still require you to enter their codes.

Everything is still words at this point, and I’ll personally still be waiting until people get their hands on these next-gen consoles and report what the cold hard facts are before fully trusting those words.

But for the moment, this is a step back for a company in order to take a step forward in the right direction for the fans, and Microsoft deserves credit for listening and acting instead of ignoring completely.

What do you think of Microsoft’s decision to remove all of these restrictions?

[Source: via Kotaku]

2 Comments »

  1. I say it’s about time that these big companies start paying attention to what, we, the consumers, and the players, have to say. It is OUR money after all that keeps them in business. If we stopped buying their consoles and their games, they’d have no company at all. What Microsoft was doing, with all of their rules and restrictions was FORCING us to play THEIR WAY by THEIR RULES, and they were making sure that they RAN THE SHOW. They planned to dictate to us when, where, and how we were going to play their games. Their “Always On” system, meant they could easily turn the tables on us and use their sensor to keep an eye on us in our own homes. Using the provisions of “The Patriot Act”, they could also gather and record information for law enforcement authorities and government agencies, as well. As I pointed out to many of my friends, there are some people who still do not have and do not want Internet connectivity. Also, our world in caught up an financial turmoil. Many, even though they are working every day, are barely getting their bills paid, and putting food on the table. Often, they must make the choice between paying for their Internet service and buying groceries, prescription medicines, or some other important necessity…so they skip the Internet payment for that month. Some are living on fixed incomes and often can’t afford to make that Internet Service payment. So, in both cases, the service is cut off. These companies are in business to make money. They aren’t one bit interested in your financial problems. If you can’t pay, off you go. Period. Losing a couple of customers doesn’t hurt them at all.

    Then, along comes Microsoft with its so called “vision”, and its fancy new XBox One, into which they PLANNED to incorporate all of the stuff that THEY think we ought to have, along with all of the options they KNEW they could demand the most money for. They hoped that the younger players – the kids between 10 and 18 years of age – would be so excited with the prospect of having this brand new toy, that their voices would be loud enough to drown out the others. Unfortunately, this time around, the PARENTS, the folks who would have to pay for all of this, just said no. The other young people – those between 20 and 30 – who have to work to pay for all of this, for a change, sat down and actually THOUGHT about it before handing over the cash. They actually took into consideration what they were giving up with this new system. And, they were giving up a LOT…such as the freedom to play from a disk, when, where, and for how long they wanted to, WITHOUT having to play in a “Virtual Room” filled with rude, foul-mouthed morons who can’t finish a single sentence without repeating the F word 25 times. These Bozos like to get together with their “Buds” and literally gang up on ANYONE who they see as an outsider, anyone they don’t know to make sure that they, and only they can score points. Finally, when things get too tough, and the cheating little jerks realize they aren’t going to win the game, they get out their Punters and simply Punt you off out of the game or even off line. I play a lot of MMOGs and MMORPGs and you can’t go more than a week without having your game interrupted by a Troll or a gang of Trolls who join the game just to disrupt it and cause trouble. THIS is one of the reasons why I held off so long in joining XBox Live, and The Playstation Network. I didn’t want to deal with these idiots!

    I also believe that when you buy something, that something becomes YOUR PROPERTY. You should be able to do with it exactly what you want to do with it – EXCEPT give it to someone that you KNOW plans to make illegal copies and sell them. But, you should be able to sell that game to a store or second hand dealership, if you decide you don’t like it and don’t plan to play it again. There is also no reason why a store shouldn’t be able to sell a used game and make some money from it. They ARE a store…in business to MAKE SOME MONEY! Once that disk is sold it is NO LONGER the property of Microsoft, yet they think that by using the “The game is only LICENSED to you, we still own it and have the right to tell you what you can do with it” rule they can have their cake and eat it to. And, the worst part of it is, We actually AGREED to the deal, when we checked the yes box on their service agreement. Had we all checked the no box, and and refused to fall for their nonsense at the very beginning – yes, even though by checking that box be gave up the right to use their games/s – they would have gotten OUR message – no, we do NOT agree to allow you to sell the game and retain ownership of it at the same time – and they probably would have decided to just sell their games outright, without any stupid license agreement. What good is a game company after all, if you can’t sell your games to anyone? But, no, we stepped into their trap, and now we have to learn to live with it.

    This decision by Microsoft to pull all their restrictions IS a step forward for us. We complained, they heard us and knew they had no choice but to give in. Too many we plainly refusing to give in, and others were asking for their pre-order deposits back, and transferring those deposit to Sony, whose Playstation 4 is pretty much the same system, only $100 cheaper. I’m one of those folks living on a fixed income. I’m disabled. So being able to save $100 on the price of a game console, for me, is a big deal. I had already decided that I wasn’t going to pay $500 for ANY game console. It would mean that I would have save for months on end, and have to do without some things to actually come up with those extra few dollars to put in the savings jar. I have only just finished doing that, because I needed a new PC. My other one was old and about as tired as they can get. So, I started saving, which meant giving up a LOT of my favorite casual games along with the monthly membership fees for my game clubs, along with a lot of other things that I enjoy, including my Satellite TV service. But, did need that new PC, so I had to make a choice. That’s how you do things when you living on a fixed or low income.

    All the same, I’m glad that Microsoft backed down. Not only are they saving people a lot of money, they’re saving them considerable aggravation as well. Now, if they’d just make it possible for people to be able ti use their 360 games on the XBox One.THAT would be a deal that even I might not pass up!

    Comment by Gloria J Puel — July 23, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

  2. […] UPDATE: Microsoft heard the criticism and have massively altered their digital rights management policies for the XBox One (GeeksofDoom). […]

    Pingback by What You Need to Know About the Playstation 4 & Xbox One aka How Microsoft Wants to Change the Way You Watch TV | We Minored In Film — June 15, 2014 @ 12:24 am

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