Testing company claims Microsoft can brick your Xbox One whenever it wants (Update)

Guess some of that old DRM remains?

[Update: Microsoft issued a statement, saying: “To be clear, if a console is suspended from Xbox Live for a violation of the Terms of Use, it can still be used offline. Microsoft enforcement action does not result in a console becoming unusable. Suspensions for both consoles and accounts are determined by looking at a number of factors. To avoid enforcement action including suspension from the service, users should follow the Xbox Live Terms of Use and Code of Conduct.”]

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier recently obtained an internal email from VMC, a contracting company that offers video game testing services, regarding the recent Gears of War remaster leaks. The email mostly contains information regarding the origins of the leak (Snapchat was involved) and a reminder to the remaining testers to adhere to their respective NDAs. However, one paragraph details Microsoft’s response to the leak.

Microsoft also permanently disabled [the leakers’] Xbox LIVE accounts (as well as other suspected accounts present on their Xbox One kits) and temporarily blocked all of their Xbox One privileges – meaning that for a period of time which Microsoft decides on depending on the severity of the offense, their Xbox One is entirely unusable.

This comes as a surprise, as Microsoft apparently relinquished the ability to control local consoles when it dropped the Xbox One’s DRM before launch. Now we know Microsoft has the power to completely deactivate a console for whatever reason it sees fit.

Microsoft Punishes Gears Leakers By (Temporarily) Bricking Xbox Ones [Kotaku]

Mike Cosimano