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?


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.

  • Exactly my thoughts.
  • There was some anonymous Microsoft engineer who went on a rant about this last night lol. Just google it funny stuff....
  • Funny, but really good and informative. MS should find a way to get that same info out to the masses, or at least make that pastebin doc go viral. Something!
  • I've been doing some research on that anonymous tip, but it may be fake.
  • http://www.neowin.net/news/anonymous-xbox-engineer-explains-drm-and-microsofts-xbox-one-intentions
  • He mentions the lower prices. If One games are £15 - £20 cheaper due to this then they can turn the hate around.
  • They probably won't be lower than $60 at launch (even AAA Steam games are launched at $60) but I think their path will help them lower the prices quicker than PS4 can, and provide some great sales/deals as well eventually.
  • Steam games are only 60$ because of GameStop. GameStop basically says to publishers "If this is cheeper on steam, we wont stock your game".
    And GameStop has a similar agrement with MS about Xbox games, this includes that there must be a 2:1 ratio of digital:physical copys of every Xbox 360 game, or GameStop wont stock the games at all.
  • I understand that, GameStop's policies aren't the most gamer friendly. 
    Could you explain your ratio point a bit further. I'll admit its before 6 am here so I may just be reading it wrong, but are you trying to say that certain games cannot be digital? or that there has to be at least 2 physical copies of a game to for Gamestop to sell?  Steam is able to (now at least) reduce the game prices faster than retail stores do, and offer good sales as a result. Whether or not this will be where the X1 ends up, I think this is where Microsoft is trying to take it.. their end game seems to be to for consoles like steam is for PC's. Also, people forget that Valve is making a steambox, if Microsoft didn't choose the route it did with then the steam box would dominate in digital distribution, and that would be bad for gamers on as a whole (not that steam box would do well, but any single product dominating the industry would be bad)
  • Except, game stop doesn't have any PC games in the store at all. They use to have a huge selection years ago. Then they dropped down to a 3 foot rolling unit, now they have nothing. They don't even buy back PC games any longer.
  • Who goes to gamestop.  Everything they sell is overpriced, except the games and that only because they can't overprice them.  Only idiot kids who don't know any better go there.  Anything they sell, except games, you can get cheaper somewhere else.
  • Prices drop extremely fast on Steam though. Furthermore, Steam does amazing deals all the time. I got Borderlands 2 for $20 just a month after release. I could never get that price for Xbox or PS. However, I could pay $60 on launch and play for a month then sell it for $40. That is no longer an option. I can sell it back to Gamestop yes but Gamestop is a complete ripoff and will give next to nothing for a game. To me the DRM thing is not a problem it is the rediculous prices that are being charged for games. If Xbox One games have good price drops and monthly deals like Steam then I may consider getting one but if not then I will stick with my 360 and Steam on PC.
    On another note, I would really like to see Microsoft add support for the mouse and keyboard or a new controller. A controller like the Razer Sabertooth or a Scuf that has buttons that allow you to play games with out having to remove your thumbs from the sticks. I really like the idea of the Hori Tactical Assualt Controller for the PS3. I just wish there was a 360 version. However I do understand that this is a preference thing but I personally would like to chose between controller or m&k. Depending on the game i use both except on the 360 although I am currently saving to get a XIM3 to run with the Logitech G13 and mouse.
  • I think with the x86 architectures and WiFi-Direct you will see more 3rd party accessories for what you would like than we saw with the 360
  • Games have apparently been confirmed at $59.99. Which, I hear is the same as current prices.
  • Is this it?
  • No! We are Microsoft fans after all,we use Bing ;-)
  • I love Microsoft products too but xb1 isn't getting my money until they take it easy on restrictions. There is nothing wrong with being a fan but because of restrictions I never bought any apple product after iPhone 4
  • How do you expect to have a digital experience where you don't have disk to play your games and be able to use any Xbox and share your library with 10 friends without the need to check for a license?
  • I've come up with a way for Microsoft to get out from under this...
    Don't make the check-in necessary for ALL games.  Just make it a rule for games that you have made available for lending and games that were installed from disk.  All downloaded games work indefinately (or at least a year without checkin) on the console they were initially downloaded on (so long as they aren't marked for borrowing).  If you remove a game from your borrowed list, it goes back to working if your console misses a check-in.
    This would also encourage downloads.  Also, they could just say they needed to clarify the 24-hour rule.
    It's not perfect, but it's better than what's out there. 
  • Geez listen to yourself. Buy a PS4 and call it a day.
  • X1 or none! I'm a PC Gamer and I approve this message.
  • I'd also like to point out that it was "good guy Valve" that properly introduced DRM with half life 2... Couldn't even play campaign offline, and if there was a blip in your connection.... Cut off there and then.... Steam box is goin to be DRM 100%... Prolly even more restrictive... That leaves only ps4 DRM free... You think third party devs aren't gona see that and jump at the chance to close the market so the consumer has no choice but to buy DRM... The other reason they'll jump at the chance is they'll see Xbox, steam,PC,Wii u working with it and just implement it on all cross platform.... Anyone who thinks it isn't happening is an idiot
  • The world is ran by the internet.. Who honestly cares if you have to have internet in order to play a game? If it goes out maybe you should work on fixing it, or go outside and play a game of LIFE.
  • Who honestly cares if you have to have internet in order to play a game?
    Anyone in the military.  If you're not stationed in the continental US, you're pretty much unable to use an XBox One.
    The 1/3 of the US that doesn't have broadband Internet:  yeah, they're going to have issues, too.
  • Wrong, if you're stationed in Afghanistan at a base with any type of satellite comms you can most certainly get a connection once every 24hrs.. It's not like back in 05 when we couldn't even get a call out.
  • Armed forces internet blocks XBL. Have fun with that. 
  • Internet drops a lot over there but it's not impossible to get to nowadays, where'd you hear they block XBL? I personally have a friend that I mail a few games to each year that was serving and never heard that.
  • Google it. The internet requirement is a giant F U to service members. 
  • Like I said you can get an internet connect to validate the Xbox at least every 24 hours.. Even in Afghanistan.
  • You do not understand. 
    XBox Live is blocked from armed forces internet. Armed Forces internet is not free, open internet. Many sites and services are blocked. 
  • As it stands right now it is not blocked, and as it stands most bases have a lounge that has free internet available when it is available. That's where 98% of our armed forces play Xbox, in the lounge.
  • Thing is, armed forces internet isn't the same internet the soldiers are personally using. The one with the restrictions is the one the government computers are connected to.
  • Here's the thing, you only need to make a connection once every 24 hrs. You don't need to game online. Plus you can use your phone to make that connection if that's an option.
  • I think 1/3 of the U.S. that does not have broadband internet is incorrect. I live in a state that most of the state does not have broadband, but most of the population lives where there is broadband (closer to cities).
  • I don't get to play games at work.
  • It works over dialup. Its a ping...
  • So our big futuristic Xbox One has a modem? Right....
  • Dialup models are pretty cheap...
  • Sure.. how do you propose connecting a dialup modem to the XBOX One?   Got a router that will manage it?  Plan on running a proxy off of a machine running a 56k modem?  And, FYI, it's more than a ping, it has to send and validate licenses, so it's not a micro-transfer.
  • Great! In that case, I won't have to hear them complain about it on the internet or try to play multiplayer online with their crappy/non-existent internet connections.
  • I'd much rather play life at the kitchen table, but to each there own lol!
  • The game of life is much more fun. You can have sex and smell the flowers after.
  • They don't currently, EA just discontinued their use of it on current gen...
  • Very well written article. I've been preaching this exact stuff to X1 naysayers for days!
  • You, me, and the rest of the educated folk :) lol
  • E3 is a PR and While Sony won round 1, there are still many many rounds left to go.
  • You know, I keep hearing people say Sony "won" E3, but I watched both their press conference and Microsoft's. Sony doesn't have many exclusive titles, and the cavalcade of stuffy white guy executives presenting their stuff didn't exactly fill me with confidence that they give a rats-ass about what they are doing. They may have had the clever jabs with the DRM disc issue, but if you look beyond that their presentation was kinda lame. I didn't come away feeling like anyone won... except me. I'll stay out of the next gen water and catch up on all the AAA titles I've missed over the years when they go on ridiculous sales. Somewhere along the line I'll pick up a copy of Watchdogs. ^_^
  • Now slight restriction and latter on they will impose full restriction, this is how they play. Before you know you are in their trap. This is our worst enemy.
  • That is sorta paranoid. The DRM is less restrictive than Steam. Did you read the article? You install the game disc and can play the game on any Xbox One console you access with your account. You can sell you're used games. Next gen won't have discs. Get used to DRM unless you want only free to play games.
  • Cut you liberatian BS its nt like MS and hove government are spying you... Tell that to google and grapple and ask yourself why you get so many penis enhancements spam
  • Uncalled for: I'm generally libertarian and think this MS policy is fine. On net, I think it's a win and progress. I do worry some about the privacy aspects (especially with the Kinect combined with the Internet connection requirement combined with the NSA announcement that they are monitoring much of this), but MS has shown a much greater respect for user privacy than, say, Google, who makes the lion's share of their revenue by using the data in it's users' e-mails and search choices.
    As a libertarian-leaning guy, aside from wanting limited government invasion in my life, I also believe in private property rights. That means I want authors/developers to have the maximum right to control the distribution of their hard work and investments. MS has now given them more options and more control. That's all MS has done here. If developers abuse this, now consumers can choose to buy other X1 games from other sources who don't enforce controls they don't like, so there's a clear market incentive on developers not to go so strict that most consumers won't buy their games. And, to set ther bar, MS has said that they will allow the games they publish to be resold at the "open" end of the range. This both sets a benchmark and provides a competitive incentive for the other publishers to do the same.
  • +infinity. But you know internet rage, its contagious and it's still cool to hate Microsoft. I've informed people of Sony's slick tongue, but they have to read it for themselves. Sony won't have DRM restrictions on their 1st party titles, but third party can set whatever restrictions they want..... A total clusterfuck. Microsoft learned handily about fragmentation and lack of a unified game plan. Sadly Sony is still playing catch up. I hope they all do well and I will enjoy my preordered Xbox One.
  • Actually the 3rd party DRM has always been allowed for 3rd party titles going back to the Xbox and PSX models so this isn't exactly something new. Third party publishers have always had the ability to implement forms of DRM such as the online registration that EA enforced with their titles this last generation. The real difference lies in the way DRM is implemented on each system . 
    Microsoft has built a model where if the publisher wants drm they can have a serial # encoded into each disk that will automatically register with your console and keep the disk locked to it unless they participate in some sort of program. 
    Sony on the other hand has no drm options built into the console itself meaning the publisher must implement a system for DRM on their side. 
    TBH Both models suck. I do like Nintendo's approach to DRM wich has been if you make good games people won't sell them. Really it's the shitty or short games that line the shelves of your local gamestop games you would regret paying full price for in the first place. I think DRM is just going to make people be much more selective in what they purchase rather than actually putting more money in the hands of developers. 
  • I know what you're saying, and I never fault the gamer for wanting to trade their game in. Now borrowing or selling it privately, I'm not to keen on because I seriously believe in supporting the devs/publishers. They work hard to bring us these experiences, and I think they should get the rightful recognition for their hard work. Gamestop on the other hand is largely to blame. When a new game would come out, they would give gamers massive incentives to beat and trade the game in quickly. Then they would line the shelves with those newly released used games, sell them for a lil cheaper alongside the new product and pocket all the money for themselves. In essence, they were cheating the developers and publishers. I mean, its a brilliant tactic, but it's also unfair and underhanded. I blame them and stores like them for the fall of so many developers and the lack of innovation from developers because they are now too scared to take a risk. And DRM is even more necessary now because you can pay the game without it being in the console tray. I'm kinda curios to know how Sony is going to handle that problem when they start doing more cloud computing next year. Will they prevent you from fully installing games to the HD or what?
  • Thank god someone understands.
  • Exactly. Very good article. Nice to see someone spell it out.
  • Ppl will be bitching even more after they buy ps4 and realize what they have, ill be right here with my Xbox One laughing
  • Sony isn't being transparent. I just want GameFly support. Seriously.
  • I'm a ps3 guy so this doesn't change my mind. However, the way they have actually explained it makes it much more acceptable for everyone. The issue with it was the initial impression they gave everyone. If they had taken time to actually explain all of this then it would not have had the landslide that occurred.
  • Yeah, I'm not totally sold on the scheme Microsoft has chosen, but I can see positives in addition to the negatives.  Someone needs to send all the MS people who might ever speak in public - or write or approve a public statement - through a "cliche but true" course, starting with - and frequently revisting - "you never get a second chance to make a first impression."
    I think this may be even more important than it would be just in the console market since now MS is rebranding all their entertainment (e.g. Music/Video) services as Xbox.  If they screw up the Xbox brand, it'll potentially spread across a huge swath of their products.
  • They did explain it. I understood the system perfectly after watching E3. People just have trouble with cognitive dissonance... Or they just need to get the sh*t out of their ears and listen.
  • Or just don't read Endgaget or the verge.
  • Lol, so true!
  • Think about what you are defending. This console is useless without the backend servers. If this is the policy, then the console should be free or close to free, as its a means to the content. Then, id have less of an issue with it. Microsoft had been nothing short of arrogant this time around. Their comment of "well, if you don't like it, there's always the 360". They've also given me no reason to stay in their ecosystem. The other problem I have with this is that it really doesn't matter what I think. I have friends that are very much against this, and they're not getting one, so this leaves me in a predicament as well. Whilst I'd like to take a stand against this with them and get a PS4, the games there just aren't as compelling. I just think they made a mistake with this policy. I don't think that the console the games were originally downloaded one should be victim to being disabled (like on the 360). This would be a non issue then. Just because its digital doesn't mean it has to be so inconvenient.
  • I know exactly what I am defending. I'm defending a console that has adopted the Steam model that still contains sellable discs. Hate it all you want, but eventually PS will do the same thing. MSFT actually created something that works better than Steam. Albeit they had to have a "check-in." Seriously though, how often is your console not hooked up to the Internet? (Travelers and Troops aside, I know that sucks for them.)
  • My kids have taken the 360 to grandmas for the weekend and there was no Internet there. The checkin is the source of most peoples hate here.
  • Tether from you cell?
  • "(Travelers and Troops aside, I know that sucks for them.)"
    Huh. That was there and you still commented.
  • Microsoft doesn't have to cater to everyone. Obviously if you are traveling you are going to pick a console that fits your needs. However, if I want a console that allows me to access my content from anywhere then I think that's a great option. Don't hate a console (or anything else for that matter) just cause it doesn't cater to you.
  • I think the 'buy a 360' comment is a valid one, and is not arrogant. Fact is MS is now marketing and selling two consoles xbox one for the always connected experience, and 360 for those aren't/can't be always connected. They are still developing new content for the 360 and have announced some titles will release on both consoles.
    There are valid reasons why always connected may not be an option for some, but clearly xbox one and its cloud enabled services is not the console for those customers. 360 is a great alternative and i see no issue in him making that recommendation to those customers. What should he have done, recommended the competition?
  • Ok, my bad. If I can play all the same games on the 360 as the One, then you're right, it wasn't arrogant.
  • Thank you, Michael, for this write up. There is so much misunderstanding about all this and I'm glad you're able to clear it up and explain it well. I'll be sending along this link to anyone that claims to understand the situation but actually doesn't.
  • You assume that dissenters are misinformed, but some of us are just unhappy with it. I know the situation of it, this stuff if not news. However, it is still a downgrade from the situation of the 360, in my opinion.
  • That's why I specified about people who aren't informed. Sure, some people are fully informed and still don't like it. That's understandable. I can agree with you that it definitely is a step down from the policies around the 360, but these ones don't bother me enough personally to not buy the Xbox One.
  • I'm at the exact same place.  I already bought my Day One device. 
    Everyone following the devices this closely at announcement understands the situation, so assuming people don't understad sharing, etc. is pointless.  The article describes a nice fluffy bed, with great pillow, high thread count sheets, and a warm comfy blanket.  Unfortunately, there's that 24 hour spring jabbing you in the back.  Some people will avoid the whole setup to avoid the annnoying spring in the back, some will take the good with the bad.  As I said in another post, Micrsoft blew the message and made a mess of things with an arbitary "24 hours then we cripple all games" choice.  That idea popped out of some dark stinky place and there have already been consequences.
    1. Microsoft's "coolest" device took a huge black eye
    2. Microsoft just reminded everyone of the "Evil Empire" emotions they held a few years ago.
    3. The PS4 is now the "cool" device that all the "cool" game nerds will buy and recommend
    4.  The Xbox franchise just lost it's chance to help make other struggling devices like Windows Phone and Surface "cool"
    5.  In all likelihood, the PS4 is now going to kill the Xbox One at Christmas and they'll be hundreds of "Microsoft is Dead" stories this fall. 
    If they only would have removed the "24 hours til we cripple all your games" restriction, or at least pushed it out, they could have avoided all the fallout and need to scramble and try to recover.  My fear is they will wait until everyone is saying the Xbox One is a failure to make changes.  By then, the gamers and game developers may be abandoning the device.
  • Developers will not abandon the Xbox One because Sony sold more units. Developers are the ones asking for these restrictions. What they will do is start to come out of the closet and speak up, you will start to hear stories from devs soon on blogs, TV, and Podcast explaining why they feel Microsoft is doing the right thing. 
    The 24/hr check-in that most people are complaining about is almost laughable to me.
    1st It is being done for the betterment of all games.
    2nd even my satellite TV box check in every 24 hours now and I don’t hear people complaining about that. Yes that’s right every night at 3am the box updates.
    3rd People really don’t understand how this check-in will work; it is not going to be when you start to play a game the Xbox One will say wait let me see if you own that game.  The check-in will happen overnight to update your system and make sure your game list hasn’t changed. That’s it. Most people will never know it checked-in.
    4th I have read a lot of people saying that Microsoft should get out front and talk about this as much as possible, I disagree because when you put DRM on anything some people will never be happy so  why keep talking about it to have a small group of people keep putting a bad face on your product. The people that buy the Xbox One in the beginning will see that most of these talk about restrictions are nonsense and the word will spread through actual users. That is much better than anything Microsoft can say.
    5th People that throw around the line that “Microsoft is Dead” have no clue. First they don’t know what the breakeven point is for the Xbox One. So it really doesn’t matter one bit if Sony sell more units at first if Microsoft turns a profit first.
    6th This ties in to 5 but Microsoft said over a year ago that the next Xbox would be profitable from start unlike the Xbox 360 which they sold at a lost for years.
    7th Most people that are complaining about the DRM are gamers but what I have seen in real life just yesterday was my sister in-law who could care less about video games ordered 2 Xbox Ones to control her televisions. And I repeat she don’t play video games at all.  
  • The 24 hours thing is integral to the system. Its not even a bad restriction. Your phone doesn't work at all without internet, try using an iPad without internet, see how much fun Facebook is without a connection. Things need the internet, tgats the end of it. But in exchange for this "massive penalty" that wont actually affect anyone. You get to use your games anywhere without a disk. Your family and friends get to use your games without a disk. You get instant switching, multiple games playing at once. All for the hefty price of something you were gonna do anyway.
  • I saw an interesting idea to rectify the potential for the 24 hr check in if you fail to have internet for more than a day.  Imagine you would be able to still play the game if you had the original game disc on hand.  This would essentially verify you're still the owner.  If you don't have the disc, you probably don't own it anymore.  Once you can check in, you can lose the hard disc again.  This will work for disc purchases, but not for the download only games.  Just an idea.
  • I had that thought too -- that would be a great compromise. While I generally support the overall MS policy, I do think the 24-hour check-in is a pretty serious negative. I think at MS, they may have a distorted view of how universal Internet access is. Or, maybe they just have market data that something like 95% of current XB360 users have Interenet and figure it's an acceptable limitation...
  • Or maybe unlike Sony, they're betting on the future, not what people have now.  With efforts like Google Fiber, Project Loom and the FCC offering tax breaks to companies that expand infrastructure, the U.S. should reach full saturation in the next few years.
    Not that I'm knocking Sony...  They'll make a great console that will give people the status quo features that they expect.  But if you look back at Microsoft and what they have offered, think about how much of that is ubiquitous expectation now.  The original Xbox caught flak for having ethernet and no modem...  Then Xbox Live proved why they did that.  The Xbox 360 allocated enough memory for the guide and resident OS for them to add features like 7-person party chat, whereas Sony promised to bring party chat to PS3 and never could because they had already burned through their memory allocation for the system features.  Xbox Live itself is pretty much the model that Sony adopted for PSN, though it is still not as robust as Xbox Live.  Now, it looks like PS4 will have the equivalent service to what Live on the 360 has offered for years, including the paywall to play online.  While they're doing what Microsoft has already done, Microsoft is introducing asychronous matchmaking that works in the background outside of games and then notifies you a match is ready while you're doing something else. 
    Sony has a history of giving gamers the status quo, whereas Microsoft takes risks on innovation.  Look at Kinect on 360.  They gambled...  24 million units and a pretty nice library of games later, it paid off.  Compare that to what Sony has done with their camera system over the last two generations, where they have really had very few games for them.  Now, here we are again with them making PSEye optional to the PS4...  whereas Kinect 2 is packed in with the system for Xbox One.  By doing so, Microsoft is ensuring that developers will know that the install base is 100% for Kinect and they can innovate with new types of controls, including controller + Kinect stuff like they showed at E3.  What did Sony show?  Vacuuming up virtual characters with a controller.  And given the low number of people who seem to be interested in the PSEye, you can bet that developers won't take the financial risk to make games for it, whereas Kinect will have a built-in market.  Stagnation vs. innovation.  Sony is giving gamers what they want, like they always have...  Microsoft is trying to give gamers what they're going to come to expect over the next few years.  And then Sony will put all of that into PS5, I suppose. 
  • That's a fair point -- leadership can require providing something people don't know they want and pushing the envelope of technology. However, the reason that's leadership and why not everyone does it is because there are risks. By definition, that means sometimes those risks don't pay off, and the company, intending to lead, falters for the gamble. Anyone remember Microsoft Bob, the paper clip in MS Office, the Kin predecessor to Windows Phone, or the graveyard of various applications that MS started and then ditched because they failed (MS Money comes to mind)? Don't forget, MS also bet on HD-DVD over Blu-Ray. But that's why the great market leaders deserver our respect,