If you’re a gigantic multinational corporation and you’re pouring billions of moneys into developing a gaming console, here’s a pro tip: when potential customers talk, listen.
And Microsoft, with the press-release equivalent of a whitened smile, have done just that: the Xbox One, once set to be utterly crippled by always-online DRM, will no longer be shackled to the back of a horse by that pointless exercise.
“After a one-time system setup with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc-based game without ever connecting online again,” writes Don Mattrick, the corporation’s interactive entertainment business president, in a press release. “There is no 24-hour connection requirement, and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on the Xbox 360.”
And that’s not all. Microsoft, you see, has taken some “candid feedback” – as Mattrick puts it – to heart. “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.”
Gone, too, is the restriction on selling and trading second-hand games. You’ll be able to “trade in, lend, resell, gift and rent disc-based games just like you do today”. (This obviously doesn’t count for downloaded games.) Other changes include the removal of region locking and the 10-family-member access limit, and the move from cloud- to disc-based encryption.
It’s all good news, in other words – and it’s about time, too. Until this point the Xbox One has been sorta fish-slapped about by Sony, who’ve been capitalising on the restrictions that were set to lock down Microsoft’s console.
“We appreciate your passion, support, and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity,” writes Mattrick in his concluding lines. Isn’t it heartening to see massive corporations sit up and pay attention to what all us walking dollar signs have to say?
If you’re still trying to decide between the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 (let’s not even pretend you’re saving up for a Wii U), just keep doing that, because all this faffing about will end up as little more than dry backstory. The games will be the deciding factor.