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Xbox One makes changes to ‘always on’ and DRM after listening to critics

By Simon Kay

June 20, 2013 | 3 min read

Microsoft have U-turned on some of the Xbox One’s most criticised features such as the always online requirement and the inability to trade in used games due to pressure from fans and the games industry.

After the console’s disastrous unveiling at E3, gamers were angry that an internet connection was required for use, and that they would be not be able to trade in used games. Many critics stated their preference for the Playstation 4, which doesn’t have these features.

Xbox One, which will cost £429 in the UK, has been designed as an entertainment centre with more focus on being connected to social networks and the television services, a vast departure for a games console.

As a result of the U-turn users will be able to run the console after a ‘one-time’ connection and will be able to trade in their games, but the move was a big loss for Microsoft who will have to shelf positive features like Cloud stored games and game sharing with family members, at least for the time being.

Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business, said in his blog: “Today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360.

Here is what that means: “An Internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

“Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360. In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today.”

Before the decision, on users who couldn’t run the console because they have no internet connection, Phil Spencer, Microsoft Game Studios vice president told Destructoid: “Let’s say I live in an area that doesn’t have cell service. I wouldn’t go buy a cell phone. Now, I might roam in different areas where my cellphone becomes active.”

“The 360 ecosystem is a great ecosystem for somebody that’s in a purely disconnected state for long periods of time. We have built a natively connected device with Xbox One and we think the experiences are moving in that direction.”

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