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No DRM, No 24hr check in for Xbox One, Will Microsoft change it back once they get us to buy?

Microsoft’s announcement, No DRM, NO 24 hour check in was huge news when it broke, a backtracking “heard ’round the world” if you will, which prompted the gaming community to dub the Xbox One the “Xbox One-80” of course feeling very appropriate because of the 180 degree turn that the company took in regards to their policies.

Definitely a reactionary move that caused for some celebration, I could see it now gamers all over the world high-fiving, blowing horns, screaming at the top of their lungs that the console they would so love to support/not give up on but couldn’t justify why up to this point is now again a reality.  But wait! This whole time the perception and message — everything leading up to this blockbuster announcement was “We don’t care about gamers, We care about mass market”. Which effectively says without saying: “The only reason we’re changing it is because of our competitions stance on it”.

Funny, normally that’d be cool, in business it happens sometimes and I believe gamers would agree that they would rather have a company that demonstrates humility that leads to change rather than a stubbornness that goes beyond reasoning. The concern though, I believe comes in when it potentially exposes where their loyalty lies, So for instance if Sony all of sudden jumps in the DRM pool or God forbid got knocked out of the console war what’s to stop Microsoft from implementing it right back? Or reintroducing it down the line when the console is already on the market and we have all bought in…literally.

One could assume a lot of money and time was spent on the software side; R&D,  so is this Microsoft saying they’re willing to take the loss if it means in the end gamers win? Or do they have a plan in place to recoup?

Since it seems like the software can easily be flipped on and off like a light switch is this a ploy to get us to buy only then to turn around years later an reimplement it? Of course all speculation, we don’t know exactly how much time it will take to make sure every “box” doesn’t behave in the matter it originally intended but you get the point.

Now before you say “they can’t do that” I turn your attention to Sony and some of their side-talk in this current generation with the PS3.  Remember backwards compatibility?  Remember the OS?  I would bet some gamers didn’t even know the system use to have an OS (exactly) but yes you were able to run Linux on your PS3 once upon a time. Anyway these features were promoted for straight-out-the-box, day one goodies only for years later to be stripped away.

Now some may argue about the OS but definitely BC was a selling point. Did I mention years later? Significant because of  the obvious but also because we as gamers already heavily invested in the console. Games have been purchased, accessories have been purchased, DLC has been purchased, Dare I say PS2 games have been purchased! Now you snatch away the things that helped us make the decision in buying the console in  the first place?  Now I don’t think it was done with the same intent that the article’s title question suggests but nonetheless the damage was done.

Now this could be a realistic question…unless you’re one of those that believe  this was done for the publishers sake not the gamers, even though Microsoft’s reasoning —  specifically Don Matrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft was aimed toward this change being spurred on by the gaming community; “Your Feedback Matters” . If you don’t believe or are inclined not to believe him it may be safe to say that No DRM, No 24 hr check in is here to stay! You should have nothing to worry about  as I don’t think Microsoft wants to lose its 3rd party support or put them in a unhappy place.

Then there is the percentage that feel the Xbox One just got worst, noting things like no more game sharing between friends feature. If you’re not familiar with it, prior to the change you were allowed to share your game with ten of your friends and when I say share, your friends could download any particular game you purchased and play it right off their console without you ever having to physically give them your copy. The benefits? The oldschool way would be you lend a friend a game and you have to wait to get it back, on top of that if you have ten friends that want to borrow the game they would each have to wait to get their crack at it. Now they could all just download your game and all ten of you could play at the same time.

Now this would give the “Publishers Theory” more credibility because if one person could buy a game and share with ten of their friends then that’s ten people potentially not buying their game.  However I think Microsoft saw it as the lesser of two evils: What’s worst? Limiting the sharing to ten people and thus potentially getting you more money on the back end? Or not seeing any profit from all the used game sales, that would certainly exceed those numbers? It’s ultimately hard to tell though.

And I guess the software is one central network where you can’t turn off one (no pun) without turning off the other. Think of a parallel circuit vs a series circuit with the Xbox One software being a series circuit. Unless the “Publishers Theory” is true, how else would you explain them not just keeping the features that benefits gamers? Game sharing; No physical copies needed and turning off the features that were not so compelling  DRM;  24 hour check in. Punishment?

All of this is to say if you go with the “theory” you should have nothing to worry about but if you believe this move was for the gamer watch out! Because if they so choose —  Microsoft, once they hook you could very well put the policies right back.

No DRM, No 24hr check in, Will Microsoft change it back once they get us to buy? CCU wants to hear from you.

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One Comment

  1. In fairness, most people will still have their “One” hooked up to the internet all the time anyway. So, although I don’t think that Microsoft will make the check in mandatory, as that would piss off a lot of people, I’m pretty certain that the console will check in every 24 hours for “updates;” sending metadata back to Microsoft.

    Hopefully hackers will keep an eye on the Kinect2 to see if recorded video of “One” owners is being sent anywhere. That’s the problem with the cloud computer thing. Data can be hidden and transferred, and I seriously doubt that cloud computing will be worked into any games. It’s obvious just a way to spy on everyone.

    Cloud computing can’t work with most people’s internet connections, as the upload rate is too slow.

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