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Microsoft kills Xbox One DRM

by on20 June 2013

Avoids disaster, but is it too late

After telling everyone that would listen that Microsoft would not change its DRM policy on the Xbox One, the company must have seen the writing on the wall. The company has confirmed that it has dropped all DRM plans. The Xbox One will offer full support for used games and will not require Internet authentication every 24 hours.

In the end, Don Mattrick said that his team had heard from so many that they like the flexibility they have now and they do not want to lose that flexibility with a disc-based console. While Mattrick admits that many of the features were targeted at digital software delivery and gaining new flexibility, consumers apparently want nothing to change with the Xbox One; they want to enjoy the same flexibility they have with the Xbox 360 today.

So, Microsoft changes its mind, listens to the consumers and makes a change it said it would never make to the Xbox One. They must have seen the pre-order number; and they didn’t look too good when Sony said they think they are going to sell out of the PlayStation 4 during the holidays.

Is it too little too late? We don’t think so. Those that are Xbox 360 owners and Xbox Fans will return to the Microsoft camp and likely upgrade to Xbox One over the PlayStation 4 (once they are sure Microsoft has no tricks up its sleeves). We don’t think they do. We suspect that they are going to get the word out and go on the attack. Hopefully, that will lead to more console pre-orders, which is what Microsoft needs to see. In the meantime, we believe that Microsoft has a better software lineup than Sony; so the bigger question might be whether Microsoft can execute and get the titles to market on time.

We will be watching the numbers, but right now pre-orders for the Xbox One should swing back toward Xbox One once the word gets out.

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