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Let's Talk: Xbox One DRM - it's not your worst enemy

With the announcement of Microsoft’s Xbox One, there has been a collection of hatred focused on new video game DRM restrictions. Unfortunately many users don’t truly know the actual measures being put in place on Xbox One video games. In addition, there are a collection of new benefits that come with Xbox One games that are being overlooked. Let’s take a look and talk about how Xbox DRM licensing will actually work. My goal is to help you understand Microsoft’s decisions and see some of the benefits of the new DRM system. If you are still angry at the end of the article, which is fine – PlayStation 4 is a great alternative and I hope you enjoy it (Just let me know how good “The Last of Us” really is).

Obtaining your favorite games

Let’s talk about “step one” – buying content. You will be able to buy a video game on Xbox One, physically or virtually, on the same day. Want to jump onto the “no physical media” bandwagon – go for it! Still want to buy discs and display your favorite titles on your shelf – that is cool also.

A promise that Xbox content will be on both disc and digital the same day, means that gamers can skip the midnight lines and start gaming. No more waiting for a game to show up on the Xbox Live marketplace and no more having to sit next to the guy in line who hasn’t showered in a week, to pick up the latest Halo game.

Even if you choose to buy a physical copy of the game, once installed, no discs are required. All of the content you buy will be linked to the Xbox cloud in addition to being stored on your console. Scratch that game disc and afraid you will never be able to play it again – that was the past!

Sharing with friends and family

Here is the best part, because your game is in the cloud, you can head to your friend’s house, login, and play your games there! That’s right, you can actually play your games while chilling with friends at their house; this has been one of the biggest misunderstandings for the console. So go ahead, head to a friend’s house and play Call of Duty Ghosts multiplayer - Microsoft is not stopping you.

In addition to sharing with your friends, any accounts on your Xbox One can play games installed to the unit. Does mom want to play Dead Rising 3? Does dad want to play Peggle? Even if players aren’t related to you, if their gamertag is on the console, they can access any video games installed.

The fun doesn’t end there, up to ten family members can log in and play shared games on any Xbox One console. Which means when your brother heads to his friend’s house to play his copy of Forza Motorsport, he will also be able to access all of your shared games.

Reselling and trading

Now, let’s talk about reselling your disc games and trading with friends. You will still be able to trade in your games at participating retailers. In addition, Microsoft won’t be charging any fees to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of games. Enjoy playing that game and then head to a store to trade it in for something else – reselling is not dead.

Giving your games to a friend isn’t dead either. Xbox One allows you to give your games to friends with no fees attached. There are two requirements though: the first is that you can only give games to people who have been on your friends list for a least 30 days and secondly, each game can only be given once.

The new collection of DRM rules and restrictions attempts to allow friends and family to enjoy each other’s content while ensuring developers get paid. I know a lot of you like to think of game publishers and developers as “the man”, but truth is – the team of programmers and artists working on your favorite titles are trying to put food on their own family’s tables.

Take a second and step back from your viewpoint, if you work on a video game for years and then one bloke pays $50 for it and shares it with half a dozen friends – is that really fair? Sure, it makes life easy for you, but aren’t you slapping your favorite developers in the face at the same time? Xbox One allows you to still play your game with your friends and even completely give it to your best friend later, while allowing developers and publishers to get paid for their content.

Also let’s think how awesome the ability to access your entire library from any Xbox One console, no discs required, will be. In my house we have three Xbox 360s and if I’m downstairs in the living room and want to play a game, I have to trek myself out of my couch and upstairs to my man cave to grab the disc. Now, with Xbox One, I simply turn on the living room console and sign in to access my copy of RYSE. Microsoft’s latest console works closely with the cloud to ensure your content is everywhere you are.

24 hour check-ins

Let’s not forget to talk about Xbox One’s 24 hour check-in with Microsoft servers. This need to check in with Microsoft’s servers goes back to helping to protect one copy of a game being installed onto a dozen different Xbox machines. Remember, Xbox 360 didn’t actually have the ability to install games completely to the hard drive – this feature is completely new for the Xbox One. Microsoft’s previous gaming system didn’t need a check in because you always needed to have the disc on you. As we move into a world void of physical media, a system has to be in check to ensure piracy doesn’t run a rampage.

Other consoles and systems

After reading this, a percentage of you will most likely say “well that is definitely better than I thought, but PlayStation 4 is DRM free.” The answer to that remark is, no – it isn’t. Sony spent a lot of time talking about how they aren’t imposing DRM restrictions on their games and how awesome they are compared to Microsoft. What Sony didn’t spend a lot of time telling you, is that publishers can put DRM content onto their games if they choose to – and let me tell you, most will choose to.

Sony has more of a mess on their hands than Microsoft does; instead of having a system where all of your content is setup the same and accessible from everywhere, you will have a content system in which games may or may not be restricted in various ways. Some games will be accessible from everywhere and some won’t; it will be a toss-up and you better hope you get what you are wishing for.

Many of you shouldn’t even be bothered by the ideas above, specifically PC gamers who have been buying game after game on Steam. The digital PC game marketplace doesn’t allow you to trade with friends or sell for resale. Let’s not forget that after purchasing content you have to go into “Offline mode” if you know you won’t be able to access the web.

I have friends who have hundreds and hundreds of DRM restricted games on Steam, but scream “that’s Bull $%#@” when they hear that Xbox One has some (and less restrictive) anti-piracy methods in place. Excuse me, but – hypocritical much?

Wrap-up

Not all of you will agree with me (trust me, I’m ready for the angry comments), but understand that with the slight DRM restrictions in place – Xbox One gains a new generation of features including disc-less gaming anywhere at any time and faster access to the latest game releases.

On a final note, take time to think of the restrictions in place and how they will affect you; Do you actually not have internet at home (and for those who don’t currently, Xbox 360  will continue to be supported for years to come)?  How many games do you actually sell and when you do - how many are at a store like GameStop or FYE? How often do you just give away your games to friends -and how often are they people you have known for less than thirty days?

DRM is not your worst enemy as long as it is implemented correctly. Whether you like it or not, developers have to get paid or the industry will collapse. Microsoft is working hard to implement DRM and to continue making gaming a great experience. Before you become a hate machine for the boys in Redmond - let’s remember how much you loved the Xbox 360, Halo, and other Microsoft goodies. Put down your angry fists for a second and think about what is actually happening – in the end, you might feel differently.

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Reader comments

Let's Talk: Xbox One DRM - it's not your worst enemy

682 Comments

Remember that Steam was not received positively when it launched, but now it is a favorite for PC gamers. What Microsoft is doing will have growing pains, as they are trying to advance the industry towards  digital distrubtion. Why should they simply stick with the status quo and do the same old shit all the time.
 
And privacy issues? Microsoft has already stated you can fully customize what the Kinect does, and what the console sends back to Microsoft in the from of metadata. You can even turn it off from listening for Xbox On. The whole NSA thing is a government thing, and should be addressed by them. Microsoft is not responsible for what the government does, not should they be held accountable for those actions either. Fact of the matter is that the government could demand user data from any company, not just Microsoft. 

Another confused soul who bought into that extremely vague PS4 theatrics at E3. You obviously didn't see the interview with Jack Tretten (John?)... He explained Sonys policy on used games and its pretty much the same thing as Microsofts. How will they enforce DRM on third party games remains to be seen but I can say with a certainty there will be some sort of authenticity check just like with the xbox one. Their first party games on the otherhand will not habe any restrictions. That's the only big difference. Xbox One so far in my opinion has a far better exclusive lineup so far. Time will tell. Personally I'm buying both don't want to miss out on some of those great PS4 exclusives but XBox One will be my main console its features services and titles impress me way more. Nice try though still don't believe me use that wonderful google machine :P

We pay for access to games. We never own them. Guess what? Swapping and loaning games to friends is illegal. Plain and simple. That would be pirating. Game studios have gone under because of this behavior. This is why im all for it as long as prices start to come down with the reduced piracy. PS4 would seem to continue to support that kind of environment. What does that tell you?

If letting a friend borrow a game is why a company fell then that company should have made a better game. All the studios that do well are the ones who make games so good that "friends" can't wait to play thus everyone says you know for that 60$ is worth it. If you think that this will stop piracy your wrong. Those crafty law breaking people have always, and will always find a way. Until piracy laws are forced at an extreme rate this will never end. People like us who try our best to follow the law will keep having to jump through these hoops to enjoy our games. Its a sad affair but its criminals that have made lots of our lives a lot more difficult in order to thwart them. This is just another one of those times. We get these ridiculous rules to follow why the criminals will make a way and continue on.

The future will be downloading all your games from Xbox Live. There's no doubt that's the direction the industry is going!

Exactly, and Microsoft is being a leader and making the hard choices now, instead of being a follower. They may make a lot of bad choices along the way, but eventually they will get there. 

The only thing that I don't like is the 24 hour check-in. I don't care about the 1 hour check-in at friends.

This is my main issue is the 24hr check-in requirement.  Furthermore, another site did discuss how MS alienated the whole military community because they do not always have broadband,  I expect MS to make adjustments and make a big announcement during the next gaming event like Gamescon as Germany will have an issue with MS based on privacy.

The online check in is to confirm whether u have sold or lend ur disc to ur friend and u are still playing the game because in Xbox One u don't need a disc inside the drive to play games ..

They should have made it so that if the disc is still in the drive, you can play the game offline without a check-in

I have said this about 3 times in this article alone. The check in is for ALL of your games, not just the game you are playing. Removing the check because one disc is in the drive would not serve any purpose towards authenticating all of your licenses.

Sorry I am new to this discussion. What's the problem with the check in? You have an internet connection I assume.

I actually don't. I'm looking to get it before the XB1 drops, but if it was out now I wouldn't be able to get it. I would like to see no check-in required with the disc in the drive, but I understand the reasoning behind it. Personally, I'm glad to see MS stand up to resellers and software pirates on behalf of the devs. I forsee it creating an environment where grateful devs develop kick-ass titles for XB1 first or even exclusively because MS risked lost sales to help protect their interests. MS gaming systems will be perched atop my entertainment center for the next generation and beyond.

Nope they are gonna flop and rightfully so...we never had this problem in the past but now everything seems to be a huge problem without any real problem. Buying used games has been happening for years and studios seem to be making more money then ever before. Remember a little game called modern warfare which sold gangbusters it's opening weekend? Who said that companies were losing millions? Maybe the ones making crappy games nobody plays. Besides I buy games based on playing it at a friends or they bring the game to my house and if I like it I buy it. If you are on the game developers side then do the movie industry a favor and stop watching your movies with friends and letting them barrow them. I will miss halo but this is too locked down for me.

Here's my issue. As a WP user, I'm used to digital downloads. My games still work on my phone if I turn on airplane mode for 2 months. Same with my Zune Pass content. How about some consistency here?

360 license lasts for as long as the device.
Zune license lasts about 45 days, not actually sure here, but whatever it is, its reasonable and unobtrusive.
Xbox One license lasts 24 hours, also the device itself is $500.

Come on Microsoft you are smarter than this. Surely there is a better alternative without being condescending.

The distinction here I think is quite simple. With your phone those apps are purely digital download, there is no way for you to take that app and copy it to another phone. However, with the X1 they are transitioning into DD (digital distribution) by using discs still. Those discs install in to the X1 and are no longer required for the game to play. Without license authentication you could take that disc and install it in countless other consoles. If Microsoft were to however go directly to DD without using discs as transitional media then I don't think the authentication process would be what it is like now. 
Also, because their are discs still you will be able to sell those games, which you wouldn't be able to do if it was a purely DD game. 

MS should make digital downloads cheaper and exempt from the 24 hour check-in. That would shut up all the nay-sayers immediately.

I agree with you all digital download should be cheaper. Just the fact alone that there is no packaging no print out, no instructions, no shipping, and no middle man. Those things in and of themselves would cut price down.

While I 100% agree with your reasoning, I think an effect of that would be retailers telling Microsoft that they won't stock physical copies of games because the competition with digital downloads isn't level and fair. I mean, walk into a retail store and count how many physical copies of PC games are in their video game section. While its a brilliant idea, I think Microsoft would anger a few of their retailers.

Oh for christ sakes, the check-in is for ALL of your games, not just for one game. 
 
Sorry for being a little short but I have said this multiple times in the last 20 minutes. The check in is not for whatever game you are playing, it is for your entire library that is installed on your HDD, so unless people plan on only keeping 1 game on a 500 gb HDD these eliminate check if disc is in the drive, or if it is a digital download suggestions are completely pointless.

The best part of this (I hope) is that developers will bring some of those Steam style sales to the marketplace because a solid DRM scheme is in place to make sure they can better control their revenue. Forget paying 5$ for a scratched Gears of War disc, how about 7$ for a new download attached to my account.

Im not angry never was. I support buying games. Wait long enough get a game for unde r$10 on steam. Can't wait to do the same on xbox

I think that is exactly the path they are trying to forge, a digital distribution platform where they can lower the prices quicker than physical discs are, and can offer good sales. In fact, I think one of their execs has even said as such (or perhaps that was the anonymous engineer)

Finally someone is willing to explain it. I appreciate it man. Cause all these ps4 fan boys or ex Xbox fans are hating on the X1 and jumping on the PS4 bandwagon. Saying oh o don't have to pay to play. Wrong you do. Hope that everyone that buys a ps4 gets hit with a stricter DRM by the developers lol

That was my thought as well. What if Microsoft set up a separate type of bulk game license (not unlike Office for enterprise users) for companies like Gamefly?
 
You pay your membership, but instead of sending you a game on a disc, they send you a text or an email with the license key. Or better yet, the service automagically starts the download of the next title in your queue once you let them know that you're "returning" the current game. That would be amazing, and I'd pay way more than $17/month for a service like that. You could switch out titles at work and have it waiting for you when you get home. Everyone is happy: Microsoft and the developers have a constant revenue stream from bulk licenses, Gamefly doesn't have to worry about shipping physical media across the US (and losing discs, etc.), and users have instant access to games as a part of their subscription.
 
Hire me Microsoft, I'm full of good ideas!

It really depends on how much they're willing to work with MS and the developers. MS could make rental discs attached to an account that allows sharing of games an unlimited amount of times. They send out the game, the customer installs it, plays it, send it back, then the game is checked-in at their warehouse, diabling it from the customer's Xbox.
 
Really, it's not hard to figure out if you think about it.

That's a good idea regarding the renting process on X1. I'm sure the people at Microsoft are thinking of a way also to figure out renting, but the event that an unauthorized person should get their hands on a type of account like that..

I've been wondering about this myself. Is Microsoft basically gonna force gamefly to go bankrupt?

Gamefly will do it to themselves. I've tried their services 3 times now and they never send games quick enough to me. They'll get a game and it'll take 3 days for them to even change my queue list...

About the shared games, will both you and your brother be able to play shared games at the same time? As in I can buy Forza motorsports, and my brother could play it at the same time?

No, only one person can play the game at a time.  Think of it as if that person had your disc for that game... only then can play then, right?  Same thing here... (it's all about usage licensing).  And what Zeeshan360 said is also true.  If you're on the same console, you can both play, just like before.  On different consoles, only one of you can use the game at a time.

This should be clarified. I read anothet article two can play the same game on different consoles. Own halo and play it with your brother that lives on another state pm hos Xbox. Only two per game, and the other 9 family members have access to the other games.

Yeah, I think two people can play the game at the same time (almost like multiplayer), but no more than two.

Thank you so much for writing this article. I'm trying to explain to my friends that DRM isn't even THAT bad. Now, I can refer them to this article. :)

DLing a new release on launch day and skipping the line is great, but ONLY if they allow pre-downloading. If the download isnt available until midnight and I skip the line and go the digital route , I'll be downloading that thing all night long while my buddies who went to GameStop or WalMart are busy playing it!

Just like the PS4, the Xbox One allows you to start playing after a certain amount of the game has downloaded, streaming the rest of it.

As a programmer, the thought of not getting paid would be awful. I don't work in the video game industry, but there's a reason for that. Its a nightmare. Perceived piracy losses often come out of the salaries of developers, not the company.

In five months, people will forget about DRM. That's not really the biggest issue when it comes down to whether or not the XBO will sell. The fact that it is 100$ more than the PS4 on the other hand will kill it for college and high school kids either scraping their own funds or petitioning their parents to buy them a video game toy.

The XBO will do just fine. It would even be plenty competitive at 400$, or even 450$. Steam is doing fine. At some point or another though, its going to come down to price.

^This^ Soccer moms will go with the cheapest console. Especially during the holidays. Gotta stretch that money.

With the enforcement of DRM MS would be able to charge less for games, like Steam, since every sale is a sale instead of a re-sale where publishers get nothing.

After trading in my PS3 and accompanying games, my Xbox One and Ryse preorder cost me $135. As a college student, this was pretty manageable.

On current gen, which has the benefit of physical disc with an encrypted key to drive firmware with reciprocal key.
As we move to Digital Distribution, that element dissapears and we are now left with code on disk or "blob" in cloud. They absolutely need to make that cast iron - which is why the DRM exists.
 
Listen, the only people whining are people who are up in arms over used games and their misunderstanding that they think they will have 0 value. Which is not the case, as the articles articulates :/
 

DRM it's not my concern is the ability to use it outside of the us or one of the supported countries

That's one of my biggest complain. I realized yesterday that I cannot download Fable 3, because I'm not in a supported region. So it means all the new digital downloads won't apply for my, and the Xbox One is region locked ... so this is going to be worst. PS4 does not have this region atrocity and it is supported in my region.

A valid concern indeed. I live in Canada and am always sad when I see things that say US-Only. This doesn't just go for Microsoft thought, but a lot of other US based companies.

You should add to the article,that you can still do everything else your X1 can do when not checked in within last 24h,than play games. Some of my frienda thought that after that 24 line you have to buy a new X1... Please tell that to us!!

Thank you for this.  I have been telling people the same things but they are all barking the same nonsense they heard someone else bark.  MS has given me exactly what I have been wanting in a console and people are bashing these telling them to change it.  There are options,  and I hope the people who were never going to buy this anyways don't make MS gimp my experience because they are short sighted and have a herd mentality.

Very well-laid out article. A couple things: MS won't charge any kind of used game resale fees, but they'll allow publishers to do so. Also, verbiage suggests the family plan only allows one person to be playing a particular game at a time.

Anywho, I don't have a problem with their DRM, per se (it's honestly necessary for their vision), but I'm concerned about losing access to our licenses years down the road. I need to hear more about that from MS.

Thats not true at all. You can get the serial key from some games. Of curse, there is a limit of how many times you can activate a game. Usually 5 times per game.

Really?  You think that justifies 24 hour checkins?  If that was really the reason, why not do the checkins only when playing a game that you've shared or has been shared with you, instead of across the board?

I'm glad you know exactly how the 24 hour check-ins will work. You might want to call MS and let them know, since they're still working on it.

The check ins are not on a game by game basis, it runs once every 24 hours (or as soon as you connect it to the internet after a prolonged downtime) and authenticates your entire game library. Why make it more complicated than it has to be.

They haven't said that, all they said in regards to what you are saying is that if you are playing on any other console than your home console then the checks are every 1 hour. You do realize that the system is cloud based right? You can't play your home/shared libarary anywhere that wouldn't have an internet connection. What is crap is how people don't seem to understand the purpose of those check ins. You people need to  get  over it, either you have internet or you don't have it, if you don't then don't buy the X1, it's simple. You don't go buying cell phones if you don't have cell phone coverage in your area right? If your internet is shoddy then go talk to your god dam ISP and bitch, it isn't Microsoft's fault that your net is shit, and they shouldn't have to cater to it either. The 360 will be supported for at least the next 2-3 years, and will still get a majority of the new games too, use that if your net sucks or you don't have it. 

Do you realize how little competition there is for Internet access in most places? And how little ISPs care about how shoddy their service is, since they know they have little to no competition? They have you by the balls. You'd better hope MS doesn't end up enjoying the same advantage someday. How about trying to think outside your own situation and have just a shred of consideration for those less fortunate than you.

I do, and people less fortunate than me should be making decisions based on their situation. 

Yes ISP's have a lot of power, and hopefully that wil change in the future, but a company should not be locked in to what they make because of the inefficiences of other companies or markets. 

Currently there is ~80% Internet penetration in NA, that means 80% of the population has internet in some from. Every year more and more places around the world get internet access. Microsoft is obviously looking towards the future, and while that may not work for some now does not mean it will not work for them in the future. 

Why do consumers think that a company should make products specifically for their needs/wants, as soon as a company changes their marketing strategy they are branded as anti-consumerist. I'm sorry, but I don't feel I'm entitled to have a company make any product for my needs/wants. If the don't fit with me I don't buy them, just like people who the X1 doesn't fit for will not buy it. There is nothing wrong with that and people need to get over themselves.

At the prices they sell games for on Steam your freind would have any trouble paying for one, two or three.
Live games will be expensive and overpriced no matter what.

Steam's offline mode is only meant for 30 days, what that article address' is cheating the Steam system, and is grounds for Steam to ban his account.

Wrong.  The official response from Valve in that thread says very clearly:
 
"Offline Mode is designed to be indefinite. You can't access any of Steam's online features such as friends lists or saved game synchronization, of course, but the client should allow you to run in Offline Mode for as long as you like."

My bad then, but Steam has also had 10 years to perfect their polices, what's not to say that Microsoft may not revisit their policy, or evolve it over time. Keep in mind though that you cannot share Steam games like Microsoft is going to do with the X1, and Steam uses CD key activation DRM which Microsoft is not using with the X1

What, like they're evolving their policy in going from Xbox 360 to Xbox One?  I think they've made it pretty clear which direction this evolution will progress in.  It's really sad that people defend ever less consumer-friendly policies.
 
By the way, Steam doesn't use "CD key activation DRM".  When you buy most games on Steam, there's no key that you have to enter.  You click "buy" and the game is downloaded, installed, and playable.  Some publishers have their own DRM that works independently of Steam which is where keys come into play, but they are in the minority.

They certainly have developed new policies since they launched the 360 and evolved them. What is sad is the hivemindedness that spreads like wildfire. it's fine though you can all stay with the status quo and buy the PS4, but when Sony follows Microsoft into primarily digital distribution in the future (and it will happen) just remember to look back and remember how much you bitched when Microsoft did it. It will be the exact same scenario as is happening right now with XBL and PS+, 8 years ago you all complained that MS charged for MP, but now that Sony is doing it it's suddenly completely acceptable to you.

And Steam uses product keys (CD key  DRM). Just because you don't see it when you purchase a game via the steam store does not mean it is not being used in the background. This is why steam games sold elsewhere (humble bundle for example) give you a product key to enter into steam. It locks the game to that user account indefinitely, you cannot sell, trade in, or lend  your games.

Ok you're right, clearly I was wrong to question our MS overlords.  Have fun with your Xbox One!  I hope you enjoy it a great deal.

I have no problem with what you said except the sharing part. I've loaned my car, power tools, vacuum cleaner, ladders etc. I personally believe if you buy something you should be able to loan or sell it if you choose to. I don't see why game developers are entitled to get paid twice. I understand I'm in the minority on WPCentral but that's how I feel. I totally respect your view. It's just not right for me.

The kicker there, as others here have said, is that you're not really buying the game. You're licensing it. That was the case even with disc-based games. You own the disc, but not the bits and bytes on the disc.
 
Your car, power tools, appliances, etc. are all physical goods that you purchased outright, so you own them. Software is completely different because it can be copied so easily. If you read the fine print on any digital/downloadable medium (eBooks, music, TV shows and movies, etc.), there's always a section saying that you are buying a license that can be revoked at any time. There was an article somewhere talking about how the Amazon "Buy Now" button should be renamed the "License Now" button.

That's the entertainment business for you. Sadly, we can disagree with it all we want, but it will never change.

You can sell it, just not in every way you want, but they still provide you the opportunity to.

And being able to share your entire library online with 10 close friends/family is not good enough for you?

I totally agree with you. I don't kknow why everyone is upset because they need Internet. If they post here is because they HAVE Internet or a smartphone (probably WP) for example. Even if your service provider is not working you can still use your smartphone as a Wi-fi hotspot. I have some more pros:
1) You can share your games with up to ten friends (not necessarily family) and you don't need to ask them to give you back your disc or they won't have the problem that you are still playing it.
2)Cloud processing. This DRM systems assumes everyone has at least once a day Internet  connection.
3) Constant game updates.

I'm gonna go with the PS4. I like most of the concepts for the XBox One..... except for that whole used game non-sense. I'm glad Sony remembered the basics that made them a household name.

You could still share games with 10 people but in a different way .. U would be sharing games online & ur friend can access all ur game library on the cloud

so what will  you do when games require you to be always online or have some sort of code and it will make it difficult to resell or share your games??
do you really think ps4 is drm free? are you that innocent? Sony game 3rd party publishers freedom to do whatever they want. but you think publishers would want drm in xbox one but not in sony console?
 
really... i dont know when people will stop writing nonsenses.

It's gonna be a big slap in your face to learn that Sony's official policy is the same as Microsoft's - developers/publishers can apply any usage restrictions, fees, or online requirements they choose. It will be an even harder slap to your face when the games you buy for the PS4 have the same (or worse) restrictions/requirements as they do on Xbox One.

Don't think for even a minute this is about Microsoft vs Sony. The publishers are driving this policy. They make the content - the games! - and so they have a ton of influence over each console manufacturer's policies. Without games a game console is pointless. Likewise, publishers will not make games for consoles if their returns (profits) aren't worthwhile. Consoles became the dominant gaming platform, far surpassing PC gaming, because developers earned a greater return from console games. PC gaming is seeing a resurgence because of DRM systems like those on Steam that provide more revenue for developers - once again making PCs viable for games that aren't subscription-based MMOs or ports of consoles games after their revenue plateaus on consoles. Don't forget that AAA titles cost tens of millions of dollars to make and have to sell millions of copies to break even.

So don't be surprised when you get hit with difficult to manage DRM that's different for every game from different publishers on that new PS4.

Sony going back to the basics in the context of being DRM friendly is the funniest thing I've read today, thanks! 
You may want to google "Sony Root Kit"

I agree... While I HATE that I can't carry my live games to the one and wonder what will happen when M$ turns the servers of for the 360 I do like that its been explained for this DRM mess

The servers for the 360 won't be shut off for quite a while. Sony was still making games for PS2 for 4 years after the PS3 was released. Expect a similar situation for the 360.

DRM sucks and is just another form of greed control so your article is just trying to justify all the bollocks, I pay for a disk and i should choose what to do with it so feck MS and their greedy bullshit.

Re-selling and trading has ALWAYS been legal. It's called the First Sale Doctrine. I can buy a game, and then choose to re-sell that product again at a later date, because I own and have full rightrs to that physical product. What I can't do legally is infringe upon the copyright, which would be copying and selling/distributing the content of that physical product while retaining ownership of the one that I purchased.
If re-selling and trading were "never" legal, then it wouldn't be a regular practice.

When Sony was asked if they were going to keep charging $60 for the games, they told the interviewer that they could no discuss that at this point. Microsoft had already confirmed that new games will be $60, so the only reason Sony wouldn't stick it to Microsoft again in a public manner would be if they were planning on raising the game prices.

Lol writing PS4 ftw .. What if developers put cd key on PS4 like steam .. U won't be even able to lend to a single person.
Here MS is atleast allowing u to share to limited people

Lol you're funny. If Sony was anticipating developers putting cd keys on PS4 disks, they wouldn't have even bothered announcing the DRM-free PS4.

Sony clarified in the interview that only 1st party games would be DRM free .. Third party publishers could put any DRM restrictions they want

sony is leaving the DRM to the publishers... the PS4 it self is DRM free, but the publisher of the games can choose the DRM method they want.alot of people seem to forget that sony just handed all the work to publishers so they can clean there hands

You think game developers for ps4 are going to just let you steal their shit? You need to get off the nitrous as well.

Are you really that naive??
You have only purchased a LICENCE to play the game...... And that licence is only really meant for ONE client.....

You have paid for the ability to play!!!

But, if you don't like that then go elsewhere.... But remember EVEN on PS4, you are ONLY purchasing a licence!

The more I see these sort of illogical complaints, the more I think its just Fanboyism!

Clearly I am going elsewhere (and saving $100 in the process). I know that when you buy software, you're really only getting a license to use it.

Just because I'm a fan of a MS product, doesn't mean that I have to blindly follow and agree with any and/or everything they come out with.

The DRM stipulations are dumb and need to be redone. Needing to be online at least once every 24 hrs? Dumb move too. A lot of people either don't have a continuous reliable internet connection and others might go somewhere for maybe a week or two that doesn't have internet access.

Yeah people might go away for a bit, but are they really going to be taking their console with them? Oh no, with the X1 they won't be able to.. whatever will they do? perhaps they can go outside and play the game of LIFE.

Not the End:
C) You can sell your games only to approved store (and not for example put it on ebay)
D) These stores usually take a huge margin
E) When Microsoft servers are down you can't play anything (esp. the 1 hour checkin at frieds)
F) Someday Microsoft will shut the servers down for good because most people use the XBOX THREE - then you can't play any of your games anymore
 
BTW: I'm OK with DRM in some cases, even no reselling if the single-user license is significantly cheaper. But if I buy a disk-based game I requiere that it should work in offline mode, too, when the disk is inserted.
 

They are going to still have to sell games slightly cheaper than the competition really sell this to some. I understand the why, but this can't be compared to Steam unless games are cheaper.

The real shame is the 24 hour thing makes the Xbox One useless for some people.

Remember that when Steam started they never had the insane sales they have now. Those type of sales didn't come for a few years, after they had established themselves and more consumers were adopting their platform.

It's not like XBox being similar to Steam is a good thing anyways. I do buy from Steam-sales. I buy games that I do not expect to play through more than once or twice, and the price has to match that expectation.

The problem i have with this is that I am in the Navy and go on 6 to 8 month deployments and am unable to connect to the internet. Maybe make a way to certify the X1 as used by military members and let them play the game offline. Deployment really sucks without games to get your mind off things and I do not want a PS4.

No, they have said they would consider it (was reading it last night)
2) Its a small install base
3) Its wrong to assume Troops don't have internet access (they do) and are on Xbox Live
4) Some sea based military cannot get Internet access (like folks in subs)
So, as much as you like to hate on MS for this, the military element is not that significant. Its also not _your_ situation - you are just using it as point to argue your case.

I'm not sure what you think you know but being on any Naval ship (not just subs) means you cannot hook up your Xbox to the ships LAN and get a connection. Just because we have access to internet doesn't mean we can go in Live and play. And don't ever pull that "not my situation" B.S. with me. I serve in the military and have been for 12 years. I'm not hating on MS (I have two windows phones, 3 pcs running windows 8, windows 8 in my car, a surface pro and 5 Xbox 360s. Don't assume or misinterpret a comment because you want to put someone down in order to stand on your imaginary soap box spewing biased information from the mouth of a derelict.

So that means if a friend gives me a game I can't give or sell that game to another person? So Im practically stuck with it? Ouch.

Only u and ur friend can use it ..
But if more of ur friends want it then they have an option of accessing ur Game Library on the cloud free of cost provided that u are a Gold member

In your article you have "Sony has more of a mess on their hands then Microsoft does" it should be "Sony has more of a mess on their hands than Microsoft does".

He is helping fix the spelling, which is somewhat important because an article with poor spelling/grammar will not be taken as seriously as one with good spelling/grammar. 

Thank you so much for this article. Helped me understand DRM more and and as I expected, it's not at all the big deal people are making it out to be. I will never notice any of the "restrictions." Thanks!

This cloud thing makes me laugh. Yes, your games may be available everywhere, but maybe not INSTANTLY available. The reality will more likely be: you go to your friend, wait 5h for your 40GB game to download, then play (good luck if you intend to place your Xbox in a room with only WiFi access)

Considering that even G routers have transmit speeds higher than most broadband connections I don't think downloading over WiFi is going to be a problem (if you are trying to say that a wired connection would be better.

I have to admit that some of your thoughts are true, but...
shares it with half a dozen friends – is that really fair?

Is it realy fair that you buy a BluRay for 25$ and then watch it several times with friends? Damn yes it is, so it is with physical games.
And the "24h hours check in" is just shit. Sorry, but it's as simple as that. I'm living at the university and have problems with the internet frequently. And as you say, it is to checking whether you have the rights to play games or not, but the consumers want to have the right to fucking OWN a game completly. Sure it is the decision of MS to make it that way, and it is our right to say that we don't want it.
 

You can't own a game. You can own a license to play a game, but you can never own a game. You didn't make it.

Same thing for movies. Showing a Blu-ray movie to a large audience is actually prohibited by law, it's just not easily enforced.

24 hr check in is to confirm whether u still own the license or u sold ur disc to ur friend .. U can play games without discs on Xbox One , so this problem has arised
I think Microsoft should allow playing offline if disc is in the drive .. Online check in should only be for playing disc less

The sharing feature makes sense. You have 10 friends on your list and any one of them can access any of your games at any time. This is no different then lending your games, except takes out the distance. At the same time you will always have access to your games, think of it like you have two licenses, one on your HDD and a shareable one in the cloud. 

And the authentication will take a small amount of data to complete, so unless you are without internet for over 24 hours at a time then you have nothing to worry about.

And people want to own their games completely? tell that to the millions of Steam users.

Finally!!!
Now hopefully people will shut up about it....

If you don't like the idea of DRM, just kindly fuck off and not get the XB1.... Maybe now people will move on with their lives

Not sure if any of you guys bought into the $99 " entertainment for all" Xbox that you had to sign a 2-year Xbox live contract for...it also has to be online to check the status of your contact...if you miss a monthly $14.99 payment, your Xbox WILL NOT work...i learned this the hard way..lol. Your Xbox will turn on, after about 30 seconds a screen pops up with a big red X and says please update your payments, or something like that, then shuts off your Xbox...i have never heard anyone complain of this..

That's different... that situation doesn't happen if you paid full price for your Xbox, instead of doing the installment plan as you describe.

What your missing here is DRM is bs and sucks. I don't need some new restrictions on my gaming period. I'm so sick of musicians, game developers, and movie execs crying poor mouth.

Give me a break it's all about money and always had been. People at the bottom het exploited more than any exec ever has.

Trust me the cooperation's of America are well represented in Washington, after all they buy the congressman and buy the laws that have punishments that are disproportionate to the crimes.

It's simple. Console gaming is on the decline. Game studios are feeling the pain. MS and devs are trying to enforce the policies that, ignored, are partially responsible for sucking the blood from the industry. But to you, it sounds like greed and political conspiracy? Well alright then.

When I play a game, I rarely play offline, if I don't have an internet connection, I usually go outside instead, and cries.. MULTIPLAYER ALL THE WAY! 

Microsoft would have number of people playing Xbox 360 online vs offline .. And the Online demographic would be more

Oh no, with the X1 gamers will need to go outside when their internet goes down.. LOL. Some of these complaints make me think that these gamers spend all their free time on their consoles.. and if they can't use them they will go into withdrawls.

I highly praise this article! The stupidity people and the tech community made themselves to look. They should feel ashamed and embarrassed of themselves. I honestly thought those gullible negative folks are PS fan boys getting paid by Sony to do hack jobs.

...and about the always on online. Every tech community was just hammering MS with negative articles. But when Xbox Live goes down, they also bitch! Who the F are these people!

Not every 360 owner complained when Live went down, just the ones that used the service. 2 very different numbers.

I have friend that has never had their 360 connected to the Internets.

I have ordered both Xbox one and PS4. There may be be perks but DRM has no benefits for consumers actually. Same thing apple did for years with iTunes. DRM is there to drive up the profit by controlling the market. But do most people care about it? I guess we'll see

If you look at game companies over the years, many good ones have died or been bought out. How is that? Even big name ones of late are struggling! But how? If DRM can help save them, wouldn't it be a good idea. By the way game industry is not same as music. Those music folks can still survive touring. Programmers tour for applications.

Yes, more popular music acts can survive touring, but groups that have yet to break out? Not so much. Plus, another downside of the situation with the music industry is that it's increasingly difficult for really talented artists to get distribution deals because labels have lower margins and therefore less funds to "risk" on somebody that's actually doing something original. (read: not guaranteed to sell)

Every form of entertainment has faced the same hurdle as game developers. Musicians and movie studios have found different ways to adapt the same needs to happen for these guys. I love Microsoft but this is all in the best interest of business not the consumer. I don't see where I fit in the business model anymore. I drop $500 on a machine that's largely useless if I don't fork out additional cash for subscription services. Obviously I have a simple choice, dont buy an Xbox 1 if I don't like their set of rules. My problem is where this could potentially lead and what it could mean in the future. I don't have a blind loyalty to any company once they out grow their usefulness to me so I won't excuse what I see as the cost of doing business with corporations. I love my Lumia 920 I love my windows 8 laptop but I may sit this round of consoles out as I fear its clearly becoming more about keeping shareholders pleased instead of the people who actually play the games.

The only hole I see is that there is apparently no facility for renting games. I am more likely to pony up the whole $60 on a game I am curious about if I have had the chance to play it for a day or three. RedBox, your games were fun while they lasted...

The renting companies will either come up with a way to work with MS, or they will shut down. SImple as that.

You have to remember we're only hearing about the end consumer digital rights, not rights for companies. It's illegal for you to lend a movie to a friend to watch (yes it is), but Netflix and Blockbuster pay a lot more for the right to loan out the videos.

The only thing I'm worried about is the checking in feature, and how that will effect the fighting game community and tournaments.

In an interview on gametrailers, the lead designer for the new Killer Instinct game said that Microsoft is working on a solution to allow fighting game tournaments to the xbox 1.

The only problem I have with the xbox one are the region locks. Since I'm not in one of the initial 21 countries, who knows when we'll get support back here, if ever. And I really want to get an X1. I love the kinect integration, I'm really digging the voice commands and just controling with gestures.

I'm with you on that.  I just want to get my hands on one, but wonder what restrictions would there be if I imported one.

Honestly huge Xbox fan and Lumia 920 but I hold no allegiance to anyone. Just like MS I'm gonna look out for me. So ps4 and sell my Lumia because I don't agree with MS actions.

Nobody has to agree with me it my personal choice. However I will miss my 7 years as a MS Xbox consumer. Have some great online friends but my beliefs are my own.

This is just sad, really. You are ditching your 920 because of the Xbox? Come on man, get your head screwed on.

He does not want to financially support a business that he sees as supporting so anti-consumer practices, that's the idea. Similarly, though the EA Online Pass only applied to used games, I refused to buy ANY games (new, used, or digital) from EA until they got rid of that feature, because I thought it to be a horrid way to punish consumers for GameStop's actions.
 
I dislike the practices with the Xbox One right now, and I won't be buying one, but I do not have enoguh of an issue to part with my PC and Windows Phone as well.

Just curious, but in the article you say: "What Sony didn’t spent a lot of time telling you, is that publishers can put DRM content onto their games if they choose to – and let me tell you, most will choose to."
 
What evidence do you have that 'most will choose to'. Have developers had the option on consoles in the past??

EA did.
 
Also, when Sony sees how many exclusives Xbox will get, and how much cheaper they will be able to sell the games for, the publishers will begin implementing similar restrictions on the PS4.

Big publishers won't,make Xbox exclusive games if they do they will be, losing millions of dollars from consumers who own ps4. Don't forget Xbox and playstaion are the big dogs of console market

Electronic Arts has also been awarded worst company two years in a row by The Consumerist.
Keep in mind, this is not worst company as compred to the like of 2K and Rockstar. This is worst company when compared to the likes of CHASE and COMCAST.
Saying "EA did' isn't saying much at all.

Developers didn't have an option to differentiate because all the Console manufacturers used to have same DRM .. Now Microsoft changed it so devs could earn a part of re sale ..
Devs might put their own restrictions like cd key authentication , some might put always online , some might have online passes .. Everything will be fragmented on PS4
While on Xbox One everything would be same irrespective of any game

Michael, I agree with most of your points. The fundamental issue is who owns the game? Is it the customer or the developer? One of the posters above stated digital downloads and physical disks should be treated differently. I agree 100%. If you have the disk inserted no more online checking. If you have a downloaded version check online, perhaps once a week or whenever you load a game. Daily seems obsessive. Also decrease the cost of the downloaded version versus the physical disk, enough to compensate for the expected loss of revenue due to piracy and the tighter restrictions on the digital version. Then let the market choose!

Give me a break already. People have been swapping games since Pong. There is nothing wrong with it. Rampant would better describe the over-inflated egos in the gaming industry that believe working class people are stealing from them and taking food of their upper middle class tables. You want to sell more games? How about this, try releasing a game that is fun and not broken and in need of a patch out of the box. A game in which people can log onto your servers without complication on day one. And if you are going to Micro-Transaction the fun out of a game have the decency to sell it for less than $69.99. Talk about theft.

I agree completely, people are overreacting something insane, but that's the internett I guess.
 
One thing though, from what I understand the 10 "family members" don't actually have to be family members, if this is true, you can add your friends to that list, and voila you can share your digital games with friends.

"Microsoft won’t be charging any fees to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of games."
 
Yeah, MS won't, but any and all publishers can choose to, or even completely block the sales of used games, you seem to have forgotten to mention that.
I've not given up on the One yet, but it's not looking good so far, I'm gonna wait and see what happens.
 
As for DRM on the PS4, it's only for online passes, that's what publishers can chose to add, something the PS3 and the 360 already have. They can't chose to block used games altogether, or make you pay a fee for non MP focused things. It will work the same way the 360 and PS3 work now.

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