Microsoft Abandons Planned Xbox One DRM, Used Games Policies; Won't Budge on Price

Pulkit Chandna

Xbox One owners won't have to put up with any draconian restrictions on offline play or the resale of used games

At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the Playstation 4 emerged as the clear favorite to win the next-generation console race, due to commence later this year. And it wasn’t necessarily due to any technical edge over the Xbox One , but on account of a set of controversial restrictions proposed by Microsoft in a bid to curb piracy and the sale of used games. Thankfully, common sense seems to have finally prevailed at Microsoft and there are no longer any clear favorites in this race.

Despite initially looking brazenly unfazed by all the criticism surrounding its decision to require daily online checks for offline play and allow publishers to restrict used games sales, Microsoft suddenly capitulated on Wednesday .

An Internet connection is no longer an absolute necessity as the console won’t be performing any daily online checks as originally proposed, but just require a one-time system setup. Further, game developers won’t have any say in the sale of used games and you will be free to “trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today.”

“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,” wrote Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, in a blog post. “ 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.”

In related news, Microsoft has made it clear that is has “no plans” to reduce the price of its upcoming console, which, at $499, is $100 more than the Playstation 4. "We are really, really excited about the value we're going to deliver on day one,” Marc Whitten, the chief product officer for Xbox, told CNET , alluding to the fact that, unlike the PS4, each Xbox One console will come with a new, improved Kinect sensor built-in.

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