Gamers petition Microsoft over Xbox One DRM - are we missing out?

More than 17,000 sign a petition asking Microsoft to bring back controversial policies

Usually the topics that get gamers excited are next-gen graphics or – if we’re feeling particularly cerebral – issues of plot and character. But at this year’s E3, with the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One setting the blogs ablaze, there was only one topic on everyone’s lips: DRM.

Amazingly Microsoft actually responded to the fan outrage and reversed their decisions – users were told that yes, they could freely share games, there would no longer be an internet connection needed every 24 hours and there would be no region locking for the console.

Yet now it seems that certain sections of the gaming community are still not happy and have launched a petition on change.org, demanding that Microsoft “give us back the Xbox One we were promised at E3”:

To quote the petition text: “This was to be the future of entertainment. A new wave of gaming where you could buy games digitally, then trade, share or sell those digital licenses. Essentially, it was Steam for Xbox.”

“But consumers were uninformed, and railed against it, and it was taken away because Sony took advantage of consumers uncertainty. We want this back. It can't be all or nothing, there must be a compromise.”

With over 17,000 signatories on the petition it seems that Microsoft just can’t win on this issue, but the question is, what are gamers actually missing out on? For a start, the loss of tight-leash on DRM means no games in the cloud, and no more ‘sharing library’ – a feature that would have allowed gamers to share titles with up to ten members of your family.

Some think that in reality the proposed DRM  changes would actually have encouraged sharing. Rather than relying on passing the physical disc along gamers could – depending on publishers’ restrictions – have swapped games without ever leaving the house.

And although the mandatory 24-hour internet check would have been a massive annoyance for certain sectors of the gaming community (soldiers overseas were often namechecked), for the majority it wouldn’t have been an issue – and Microsoft had even promised that the daily check could have been accomplished by hooking up your phone to the console.

Following the announcement of the Xbox policy reversals a self-professed “Heartbroken MS employee” vented via pastebin:

“Being part of the team that created the entire infrastructure to include the POS (point of sale) mechanisms I must say that I am extremely sad to see it removed […] We didn't do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model.  We spent too much of our time fighting against the negative impressions that many people in the media formed.”

Ultimately it seems that there just wasn't  enough information. Sharing games licenses online would have certainly been a step forward for the industry, but with the decisions left in the hands of publishers who would have had very different takes on what constituted 'fair' use (I'm looking at you EA) it might have been great, but it might equally have been terrible.

I can see why people have petitioned Microsoft for the 'promised' Xbox One (I can also see why people might sign up for a joke - to those people I ask, are you really trying to 'troll' a poll?), but the whole situation is just a mess of might-have-beens and who-really-knows. For those of us that think digital license sharing might be a good match for console gaming there's really nothing to be done except - and this is just another maybe - wait on the Steam Box.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

    £13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior IT Support / Projects Engineer

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Director - Product Management

    £75000 - £85000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the largest and fastes...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence