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GameStop Confirms Xbox One DRM Policy Reversed June 19, 2013

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I have to admit, I was heavily concerned for the Xbox One after the Playstation 4’s E3 showing.  People have been worried for weeks now about the policies that Microsoft had officially chosen to implement with the Xbox One including a required online check every 24-hours, the inability for users to play used games without having to pay extra money, the inability for users to sell their games more than once (and they can only sell their games to people who have been on their friends list for a minimum of 30 days) or for users to share retail games with their friends.  While Microsoft chose not to talk about any of this during their E3 Media Briefing, and instead chose to highlight a spectacular amount of exclusive titles for the platform, Microsoft had outlined these plans to retailers and the media prior to the event, and gamers everywhere have been in a fury ever since.

After Sony explicitly announced during their E3 press event that the Playstation 4 would have none of these features that harmed legitimate owners, many users, including many die-hard Microsoft enthusiasts, announced they had no intention of purchasing the Xbox One.  It was quite a shame because Microsoft announced many great games were coming to the platform like Quantum Break, Titanfall, Halo, and Dead Rising 3.  Since E3, faith in Microsoft has plummeted online to levels I never could have imagined, and many have deemed the Xbox One would be dead on arrival when competing with the Playstation 4.

Thankfully, it looks like this is no longer the case.   Tonight, I received an e-mail from GameStop I never expected.  Microsoft has announced they have reversed their policies on the Xbox One prior to E3. The Xbox One will not have the policies that I outlined above.  Instead, the Xbox One will require a one-time activation the first time it is launched, and there will not be a 24-hour connection requirement.  After the one time online console activation, you will be able to take the Xbox One anywhere you want to play its games, including other countries who do not sell the Xbox One.  You will also not be required to have an online connection to play single-player Xbox One games.

While it is unclear if there is any change in policy to the Xbox One’s installation requirements, such as the requirement for each game to be installed into the Xbox One prior to playing, this was not an issue I had with the Xbox One.  There are plenty of platforms that require their games to be installed prior to playing them, including the Playstation 3 or PC, and I was not concerned the Xbox One would have this requirement.  If the Xbox One will require that games be installed, it will likely be a technical requirement, and you will need to have your game in the Xbox One’s disc drive to play.

GameStop has also confirmed that there will be no limitations to using or sharing retail games on the Xbox One, and emphasized that game trading and sharing will work exactly like they do with Xbox 360 games.  This means you will be able to trade or sell retail discs you purchased, or share them with your friends regardless of if they were on your Xbox Live friends list.

This is without a doubt the best news to come from Microsoft in quite a long time.  I don’t know if this complete change in policy was due to the tremendous negative feedback from gamers online following E3, pressure from competition like Sony or Nintendo who were clearly not implementing similar policies, or just plain common sense, but the Xbox One’s launch is now looking a lot brighter.

The Xbox One is launching November 2013 for a price of $499 US.

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