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back to article Microsoft caves on Xbox One DRM and used-game controls

Faced with a growing tide of angry gamers, Microsoft has pulled a U-turn on its forthcoming Xbox One console's terms and conditions to allow game sharing and internet-free gaming. Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, announced the about face in a blog post, saying he'd appreciated the " …

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Pint

Yep knew it would happen.

I said we'd see some major U-turns.

Though it might also have been the fact the new EULA for the Xbox One used up 800MB of ram to store.

All good news I guess.

Also Mattrick looked a major dick throughout this whole affair. I predict he'll be announcing his 'moving on' soon?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yep knew it would happen.

Common Eadon, time for another rant about what Microsoft need to do to make you happy.

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FAIL

Re: Yep knew it would happen.

Indeedy! No U-turn on the fact that the kids shiny new X-Box will be spying on them and their parents and filing real time reports to the NSA. This is why my Win8 became Ubuntu, the kids x-box became PS3 and my Phone 8 became a Geeksfone FirefoxOS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yep knew it would happen.

I'm not sure they have. They've probably just pacified a very vocal minority. All they've said is that they wont put any restrictions on physical disks. The last 2 games I bothered to buy were downloads. I expect more and more games to be released as download only. Of course I'd only know this for sure, if say a few games companies released figures for physical sales V download sales. With the number of games retailers going bust in the past couple of years, I'd expect that download sales are becoming the more popular means of buying games. Of course, I could still sell my download game, I just have to sell the email address I registered it to, along with it

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Silver badge

Re: Yep knew it would happen.

a Geeksfone FirefoxOS.

They good? Still not managed to get hold of one myself.

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Devil

Or are they hiding something?

When I first heard about the draconian DRM measures I was wondering what they were thinking, but then I realized that nobody is talking about the ridiculous privacy issues around the new "I know who you are, and which friends you visited" Kinect any more. So maybe they just designed the EULA as a distraction from the privacy issues, intending to U-turn "we do listen..." all the way.

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Re: Or are they hiding something?

I think they'd be willing to walk some of that back too, but unlike the DRM issues it's not just a case of gutting vast swathes of code from the ROM.

The whole XBox user interface now depends on Kinect to work. It's their answer to the question of how TV remotes are going to work in the future. Having to ditch Kinect would mean they'd have to slip their ship date by as much as a year while they go back to the drawing board.

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Boffin

Re: Or are they hiding something?

They could cut back a bit on the Orwellian aspects of the new Kinect, but it'll always be part of XBone.

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Big Brother

Re: Or are they hiding something?

my response to the Kinect issue is, just unplug the camera when your not using the console. Not that difficult, but not something you could do to get round the DRM.

The idea that you have to have it plugged in while using the console sucks a bit, but not anywhere near as much as having a camera (and microphone) watching me all the time im in my living room.

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Big Brother

" just unplug the camera when your not using the console"

And after 6 months the connection jack will be knackered. The Console will just brick itself and you'll wish you never bought it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Or are they hiding something?

my response to the iPad issue is, just unplug the camera (and microphone) when your not using the tablet. Not that difficult, but not something you could do to get round the DRM.

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Anonymous Coward

"Gamers Without Internet Can Stick With Xbox 360, Says Microsoft"

This proves M$ are just bullies.... Scare them back and they just run away tail between legs....

"Gamers Without Internet Can Stick With Xbox 360, Says Microsoft"

“We have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity; it's called Xbox 360.”

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Facepalm

To which the majority replied...

Yes, we know another one.............. It's called the PS4

I don't doubt another u-turn will take place once they are firmly entrenched, although if they are thinking about long term future they won't make that mistake, but who knows.

Now, all we need is a complete u-turn on TIFKAM and we are good to go.

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h3
Bronze badge

Re: To which the majority replied...

The only difference between Sony and MS is Sony is quite happy to materially change things after a product is releases. MS at least up to now has not done that.

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Anyone actually surprised?

Surely this U-turn doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. It would've been commercial suicide.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anyone actually surprised?

Surprised at U-Turn?... No! Surprised at speed of U-Turn? ...Yes!!!! M$ is so greedy they clearly wanted the tastiest slice of the 2nd hand market, with its entirety under their absolute control... They also wanted $ from tracking users and their friends for advertising dollars. The new hardware was possibly even to be a new kind of Ad machine with the TV tie-on.... The 'AdBox1'....

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Re: Anyone actually surprised?

Didn't stop windows 8 from shipping

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Stop

Re: Anyone actually surprised?

Eadon you forgot the bit about the Xbox One "phoning" the NSA all the time - you know, since you've been banging on about that every chance you get.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anyone actually surprised?

Why not screw the whole thing up and make Eadon happy by announcing the XBOX ONE will run Linux, so he can sudo himself into a post coital frenzy.

Reach for the tinfoil hat and disconnect from the internet, turn off your mobile phone and don't go outside if you don't want to be spied on - you can't put the genie back in the bottle Eadon, not even you, with your super-powers.

What planet are you on? We are spied on CONSTANTLY - if you think the Xbox One is the greatest threat to your privacy - you're delusional. Adverts and product placement are EVERYWHERE and have been for years.

King Cnut (how apt) trying to order back the tide.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Adverts and product placement are EVERYWHERE and have been for years.

That amounts to CONSTANT SPYING? You know the people in the adverts can't see you, right?

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Re: Anyone actually surprised?

"King Cnut (how apt) trying to order back the tide."

Just a small point: King Cnut's followers claimed he could hold back the tide, such was his divine right to rule. Cnut himself denied this and went out to *disprove* the claim. By failing to hold back the tide, he succeeded in proving *his* claim.

Strangely, he could easily not have tried at all, with the same results but less effort.

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Silver badge

Re: Why am I not swayed by this argument?

Is it because you never listen to any argument that could possibly paint MS in a positive light? Is it because it's you paraphrasing someone else's argument and fucking it up? Is it because you are a strange person who likes to end his posts with capitalised nonsense?

I don't know, to be honest it's difficult to work out what your motivation is. You seem to be some kind of reverse psychology advertising construct from microsoft, sent here to make people who don't use MS products look like nutters...

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h3
Bronze badge

Re: Anyone actually surprised?

Well the PS3 did run Linux but look what happened there for a great example of why Sony are far worse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Adverts and product placement are EVERYWHERE and have been for years.

"You know the people in the adverts can't see you, right?"

Not as yet. But Kinect...3D camera...?... M$ can do whatever it wants It always has!

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I am not unhappy with the prices, the previous generation was close to $1000 AU at launch with games and accessories. 18 months after the PS3 launch I spent over $900.

The current prices are better than the past. I traded in a bunch of games and received $400 so that covered most of the PS 4 asking price. Games prices are cheaper now than previously too, I remember paying $120.00 AU for a SNES game.

There may be some price discrimination but it is not as bad as in the past and we are getting the console at launch not 6-18 month later.

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Anonymous Coward

Untrustworthy Microsoft

The switch can be flipped back on at any time. Read the terms that come with the console. Or get a PS4.

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3uwz1t/

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Re: Untrustworthy Microsoft

Yep a PS4 doesn't have any self-updating mechanism that would enable Sony to add the self-same DRM...oh wait...

MS took the blow now, but the publishers will start demanding this again once the consoles are in peoples homes, and as they now know it can be done, they'll have Sony over a barrel if Sony refuses cause they honestly 'care about gamers'.

Hell the entire entertainment industry would love to take a cut (that they think they're due) on 2nd hand sales.

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Re: Untrustworthy Microsoft

Sony will almost certainly fight back for a while, they've already had a pretty hard lesson in bad PR over rootkits and PSN network hacks, so they won't want any more of the same over DRM if they can avoid it.

All they have to do is hold out until M$ cave and game sales tank on their platform. After that they can say "told you so" to the content owners and claim the moral high ground again.

Frankly, I'm surprised that M$ even thought their DRM restrictions were going to fly, they've been trying for 15-20 years and the consumer has repeatedly shown they won't have anything that's too restricting (unless I've missed massive sales of PlaysForSure devices somewhere). They're more or less ok with things that prevent casual copying, but as soon as you start telling them they can't sell it on or loan it to friends and family then it stays pretty firmly in the shops.

I don't think either M$ or Sony will turn on DRM now, it'll completely kill sales of the console and games in under six months if they do, handing the win to the other side. The only time you could do it is once it's end of life and the new model is out - at which point it's just going to look petty and spiteful.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Untrustworthy Microsoft

Sony however aren't at the mercy of 3rd party publishers. They have 10x the number of platform exclusives that Microsoft have.

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h3
Bronze badge

Re: Untrustworthy Microsoft

Neither of the 2 will be able to stop EA doing what it is definitely going to. They are just PC's so origin / uplay and all that stuff will be put in anyway. (MS's DRM probably at least worked properly compared to most of the rest of the stuff).

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Xbox One?

Surely a name update for the console will be announced soon. "Xbox 180" sounds about right.

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Re: Xbox One?

I figured you'd have just gone with a multiplier of 3.7.

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Anonymous Coward

"Xbox 180"

So obvious, arrrrg!! That's the cleverest yet. I hope that sticks!

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Coat

Re: Xbox One?

They let the engineering team name it.

Because when you see the XBox One, you'll turn 1π radians and walk away.

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Happy

Re: Xbox One?

I'd have multiplied by 453778.25

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Mushroom

<3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

It is rather obvious that Microsoft's draconian ways would have remained unchanged if it wasn't for Sony.

So while yes, I can give them some credit for having changed their policies. For now at least. I do have a problem with the underlying mentality (read: greed) of Microsoft which will no doubt remain unchanged.

This is the power of competition, however. Fuckobe, oh sorry I meant Adobe, is unlikely to ever change their policies on Creative Cloud and their ludicrous subscription models, prices and activation requirements as all of their competitors have been gobbled up.

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Re: <3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

Oh right and lets not forget this little calamity as well: http://i.imgur.com/ByOK23t.jpg

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Boffin

Re: <3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

> is unlikely to ever change their policies on Creative Cloud and their ludicrous subscription models,

> prices and activation requirements as all of their competitors have been gobbled up.

Well, not all, but if you think about it, it's only competition for Flash (read: Java) is a memory hog, full of holes, hard to develop for (creating an animation would require tons of code) and is owned by an equally evil company, and for some reason The GIMP and Inkscape just isn't catching on despite being around for ages, just as capable, and, you know, completely free.

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FAIL

Re: <3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

"The GIMP and Inkscape just isn't catching on despite being around for ages, just as capable"

Go on, pull the other one.

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Pirate

Re: <3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

GIMP and Inkscape are free and Free. But Photoshop can be had for free, even although it's not Free. Since more people care about their wallets than care about Software Freedom, and more people have heard of Photoshop, that is what most of them choose. Adobe (purposely) don't chase up small-time pirates, precisely because they'd rather you were using a pirate copy of their software than a paid-up copy of a competitor's software. After all, if you ever get a job where you need to use graphics editing software, the company will buy what you know (and they do chase businesses for piracy).

Now, if someone were to argue that by not chasing up all copyright violations, however minor, they were invoking some sort of laches or promissory estoppel type of thing and risking losing the right to chase up major violations, then things could begin to get very interesting.

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h3
Bronze badge

Re: <3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

Sony are the masters of proprietary everything they do is greed related.

The reason is Sony (The home electronics part of it anyway) is doing awful so they cannot make this cost them tons over the short term.

Microsoft can lose another 6 billion this generation and it not be a problem. (In fact if they wanted to destroy Sony they should have done. Put loads more hardware in).

Their update bricks a PS3 and then they charge £80.

(Microsoft gave away completely free brand new 360's when they were in a similar situation).

What Microsoft should do is implement an xbox one personality for Windows 8 PC's above a certain spec.

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h3
Bronze badge

Re: <3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

Silverlight works better than flash (At least for me when it is done right it works tons better). Dunno why MS dropped it. (Same with XNA). Even more strange is why they built Flash into Windows 8

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Pirate

Re: <3 Competition. Still not buying an Xboner, however.

And the subscription model will be their undoing for precisely this reason, unless they manage to bend the schools over backwards to pay for the education of the masses in their software. Worked very very very well for Microsoft. Arts budgets in my schools definitely would not have stretched that far, thankfully.

But yeah - prevent your younger users from pirating your software, and a generation down the line, no one knows how to use your software. I'll give Adobe 8-10 years.

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