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June 20, 2013

Microsoft rescinds is DRM, but no more free ride

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 9:41 am

Pressure from the backlash of the online community, or was it rumors about higher number of pre-orders for the PS4 vs XBoxOne, Microsoft has dropped it’s 24 check in DRM. Games will not require a 24 hour Internet check-in, but a one-time Internet connection will be required during system set-up. Games on disc may be lent, resold, given away and rented, but now that disc must be sitting in the drive tray to be played. But no longer will you be able to share free copies of games you bought to your friends and family so you can play with them, nor will there be an online marketplace to trade/sell your games you don’t play anymore.

If Microsoft had announced  this during the Xbox One announcement in May, BEFORE E3, and taked about how you can share and trade your games with friends, this whole DRM outrage we’ve seen for the past month would have been a just a wispier. I think Microsoft did this backwards and they could have handled this a lot better. It was just the other day I heard about the sharing of games, and having a marketplace to resell your games to others. If that was supposed to be the trade-off for their DRM DRAMA, then WHY DIDN’T MICROSOFT SAY THIS IN THE FUCKING FIRST PLACE A MONTH AGO? OR at least make this announcement at E3.

For weeks I was having a hard time trying to justify the always-online draconian DRM Drama Microsoft was trying to push, unaware of this sharing feature, and a marketplace to buy/sell/trade your old games. I had this gut feeling that the DRM was largely rumor (and therefore exaggerated, and likely false), or that microsoft had something else to balance out this DRM bullshit. Low and behold there WAS, and then it was yoinked days later. Microsoft could have handled this a LOT better. you’d this a company this old would have better PR team.

I still don’t understand why we can’t have both. Xbox Live already has a large offline user base, we call them SILVER members. These are people who didn’t pay ($60 a year) for a Gold membership, probably because they don’t have broadband internet, or have no internet. Why not give these people the non-DRM always online, no game sharing. While we GOLD members who ARE online all the time can share games, use the power “of the cloud,” resell/trade games buy games online, and be able to take the disc out of the drive and still play our games.

Keep in mind STEAM has more DRM in their platform than what Microsoft was proposing to do with Xbox One. But Steam has been around for over a decade. Even I beta tested it for a short time, but back then it was no more than a IM client for gamers and I had zero interest in yet another instant message client, with AIM/ICQ, Y! messenger, etc all. However Steam had evolved exponentially in the past 10 years to be the one-stop-shop to find games on the PC. I tend to agree that if Steam didn’t exist (or something like it didn’t exist) PC gaming would be almost dead and we’d only be playing MMOs and facebook games.

So Microsoft saw what Steam was doing, and wanted to copy that model, even one-up it. If Mircosoft timed this better, made the announcement up front about sharing games with your friends and family so that your single copy you bought you can give out FREE copies to your family and friends so you can play your new game WITH THEM, and being able to trade/sell your games you don’t play anymore would have been a HUGE hit and would have made the 24hr DRM check-in just an afterthought.

Sony’s E3 press conference really nailed it in about how bad DRM and always on internet connections was. And really smeared this all over microsoft’s face. But people seem to forget that Sony also had an EVIL history regarding DRM. Remember the root kits that would be embedded into your PC if you tried to play a DVD movie released by Sony?

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