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?