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An industry that needs Xbox One DRM is a failed industry photo
An industry that needs Xbox One DRM is a failed industry
by Jim Sterling

It looks like we're going to do this dance again. So soon. In the wake of Microsoft reversing its Xbox One DRM policies, brave corporate warrior Cliff Bleszinski wasted little time in telling us how this would be a bad thing for the industry and gamers. Make no mistake -- he's not the only one. Disconcertingly, his views are echoed by angry press members and naive customers alike.

"More studios WILL close and you’ll see more PC and mobile games," warned Bleszinski, preparing us from the grim darkness of the 21st Century. "... Brace yourselves. More tacked on multiplayer and DLC are coming. You’re also about to see available microtransactions skyrocket. HATS FOR EVERYONE."

Bleszinski is joined by Gizmodo in his portents of despair and misery. Claiming that "we" all made the Xbox One worse as a result of our complaints, writer Kyle Wagner used no evidence to claim Microsoft's DRM would definitely have been great for everybody, and would lead to a world of cheaper games. Because the game industry has demonstrated many times that, when it has a monopoly, consumers benefit. Except, y'know, not. 

It takes a lot of naivety to trust so willingly in Microsoft, a company that's done absolutely nothing to earn our trust. It takes even more to believe that an industry so dependent on heavy-handed consumer control deserves to survive. Frankly, any industry that suffers due to the reversal of ONE console's DRM policies is an industry that deserves to suffer. 

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Jimquisition: Xbox One No DRM Emergency Special photo
Jimquisition: Xbox One No DRM Emergency Special
by Jim Sterling

Xbox One Eighty more like HA HA HA HA HA!

Jimquisition rushes to bring a half-baked opinion in the afterfall of Microsoft reversing its DRM policy on Xbox One.

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6:00 PM on 06.19.2013

Day-one patch needed for Xbox One DRM policy changes

Sony went in a different direction than Microsoft with respect to always-on requirements and used games, and the latter company didn't hear the end of it. We certainly weren't buying the explanations. But that's in the past, ...

Jordan Devore



Microsoft to drop Xbox One DRM, region locking photo
Microsoft to drop Xbox One DRM, region locking
by Jordan Devore

[Update: It's true. Microsoft has reversed its policies. There's only a one-time system setup that requires an Internet connection -- no daily check-ins. Discs work like they have in the past -- they'll need to be in your console's tray -- so trade-ins aren't going to change. Also, no regional restrictions. Best part? The update was written by Microsoft's Don Mattrick.]

After what already feels like an eternity of warranted criticism over Microsoft's mandatory online check-ins for Xbox One and other related DRM policies, the company has seemingly taken the backlash to heart. The always-online requirement has been dropped, meaning users won't have to check in daily and game discs will function as they do currently, reports Giant Bomb. Sources tell the outlet that the new polices will result in the following:

  • No more always online requirement
  • The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
  • All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
  • An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
  • All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
  • No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
  • Region locks have been dropped

The official Xbox website's FAQ for Xbox One has been updated today stating that "As a result of feedback from the Xbox community, we have changed certain policies for Xbox One reflected in this blog. Some of this information is no longer accurate -- please check here for the latest." At the time of publication, the link is unavailable. We'll know what's been changed soon enough.

I was so convinced that Microsoft was committed, that it had the infrastructure in place and wouldn't turn back no matter how much heat it took. It feels so great to be wrong.

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Jimquisition: PS4 - Doing Nothing, Meaning Everything photo
Jimquisition: PS4 - Doing Nothing, Meaning Everything
by Jim Sterling

Sony created a magic moment this past week at E3, declaring for the world that PS4 would not restrict used games or utilize DRM. Power to the people!

Of course, it can be said Sony didn't actually do anything, yet is being lauded as a hero. Does the PlayStation 4 deserve special kudos for maintaining the status quo? Jimquisition thinks so ... kind of. In this case, doing nothing means everything.

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Xbox One has 'single handedly alienated the military' photo
Xbox One has 'single handedly alienated the military'
by Jim Sterling

Regular gamers have expressed quite a bit of upset at Xbox One's ridiculous DRM policies, but nowhere is the disdain more keenly felt -- nor more justified -- than that coming from America's armed services. Considering the troops have a lot of downtime, and games are a good way to soak up the hours, the Xbox One is absolutely useless to them.

An article in the Navy Times calls the Xbox One's DRM "a showstopper," and explains to its readers exactly how they'll be unable to use the Xbox One, should they be stationed aboard ships or overseas. 

"Microsoft has single handedly alienated the entire military. And not just the U.S. military -- the militaries of the entire world," stated naval aviator Jay Johnson. 

As well as the region locking and online check-ins, the Navy Times highlights the "serious security concerns" with the built-in Kinect and its constant listening. Always listening. Forever listening. 

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1:31 PM on 06.12.2013

Sony: We're going to treat the PS4 like the PS3

It was rumored that Sony came to the decision to oppose DRM-laden policies very late in the game in response to Microsoft, but that's not so, according to Sony. At a Sony Roundtable today, President of Sony's Worldwide Studio...

Chris Carter

1:53 PM on 06.11.2013

Did Sony confirm DRM on PS4 after all? Not quite!

[Update: Sony has outright confirmed my initial interpretation. As reported by GameFront, Sony has stated that Tretton's use of the term "DRM" referred only to playing used games online. Essentially, they're talking about let...

Jim Sterling

9:55 PM on 06.10.2013

Sony details EXACTLY how to share games on PS4

Riding high off its announcement that the PlayStation 4 will have no DRM, no anti-used game policy, and will support game ownership, Sony has released a video detailing its incredibly deep and nuanced system for sharing physical copies of games.  This, right here, is the great video of E3 so far. Bar none.  Oh my GOD, is this stuff glorious.  Xbox Owned. 

Jim Sterling



PlayStation 4 won't restrict used games or use DRM photo
PlayStation 4 won't restrict used games or use DRM
by Joshua Derocher

Sony confirmed that they won't be putting any restrictions on used games. They stated that they believe people have the right to do what they want with the games they buy. Gamers will be able to sell, trade, lend, and rent video games as much as they want.

You also won't have to be online to play games, there won't be a check every 24 hours, there is no DRM built into the system, and an internet connection won't be required to use the system. 

Way to go Sony! They really stuck it to Microsoft with this one.

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Xbox One kills game ownership, here's what Xbox fans say photo
Xbox One kills game ownership, here's what Xbox fans say
by Jim Sterling

Microsoft finally clarified much of its policy on used games and online restrictions with the Xbox One, and the news is grim for those who actually believe in consumer rights. With its new system, Microsoft will take the final step in stripping gamers of their property ownership, and control every moment of their experience. 

Making you check in every 24 hours like a groveling lapdog, restricting your ability to lend and rent games, and effectively pursuing the industry dream of keeping goods long after they've been sold, the Xbox One is a corporation's fantasy machine that flips off the common end user. 

The Xbox brand's most vocal fans, those posting on Major Nelson's blog, were among the first to react to the news, and even among such die-hards, the reactions weren't pleasant. Gamers from all sides seem furious at Microsoft's publisher-friendly, consumer-kicking policies, with only a scant few gathering the nerve to defend them. 

Here's what folks have been saying. 

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Xbox One games require online verification every 24 hours photo
Xbox One games require online verification every 24 hours
by Jordan Devore

Spread across multiple blog posts, Microsoft has finally clarified some of its policies regarding online connection requirements and trading in used games. Describing the system as being "designed from the ground up to be ready and connected," the company confirms that users will need to check in to "verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend":

"With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies," reads the official explanation.

Another post describes licensing: "After signing in and installing, you can play any of your games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of your game is stored on your console and in the cloud. So, for example, while you are logged in at your friend’s house, you can play your games." Up to ten family members "can log in and play from your shared games library."

On the used games front, Microsoft says it's up to publishers. (Great...) "Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once."

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8:00 PM on 05.27.2013

eBay Germany supports Wii U's lack of restrictions

Whoever manages eBay Germany's Facebook page must be a huge Nintendo fan -- or at least is a master at capitalizing on current gamer worries and frustrations. It's apparent that Xbox One is charting a dark path, and the jury'...

Tony Ponce



Jimquisition: When The Starscreams Kill Used Games photo
Jimquisition: When The Starscreams Kill Used Games
by Jim Sterling

The Xbox One will kill used games and control second-hand sales, and some people think that's great. Jim Sterling is not among them.

While members of the gaming media attempt to see the positive side of murdering the used game market and snubbing retailers, all Jimquisition can see are greedy, cowardly Starscreams, waiting to sieze power and do terrible things with it.

Because that's what they do, and we have no reason to believe otherwise.

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8:30 AM on 05.27.2013

Gamers make it clear to Sony they want a DRM-free PS4

While Microsoft continues to flop around following the revelation of its Xbox One user restrictions, gamers have sensed an opportunity to suggest Sony steal some free PR points, campaigning for a DRM-free PlayStation 4. ...

Jim Sterling

7:15 PM on 05.23.2013

Former EA CEO: Gamers will learn to love always-on DRM

Former Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello has responded to the outcry of gamers worried about an always-online future. The recently resigned executive believes that, given time, we will all march in step with the industry an...

Jim Sterling