It's no secret that Microsoft has been criticised heavily for its intrusive, backward and draconian DRM for the Xbox One, to the extent that it put off some gamers from wanting to purchase the new console completely. Some of those DRM policies saw region locks, no trading of games, a 24 hour always online 'check-in' requirement and many other restrictions. This caused a massive backlash against the company seeing many gamers 'change sides' in favour of buying their DRM-less rival, the Sony Playstation 4.

It seems that Microsoft isn't feeling so invincible anymore, and is starting to feel the weight of their decisions. They have decided to reverse a majority of their DRM policies. Here is what they have revised:

  • 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

Microsoft has stated their Xbox One FAQ is no longer valid due to recent feedback from the 'Xbox community'.

Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business for the Xbox One confirmed Microsoft's recent change in heart in an update to the Xbox community which you can read here.

I must highlight that this still doesn't remove change that you will probably still need to connect the Kinect to the console for the Xbox One to work. Never mind the fact that the TV-related side of the Xbox One records how many people are in the room viewing content and will charge you additionally for it if there is more than one unregistered 'audience member' in your household, I'm personally am more concerned about the Kinect's 'always online' intrusiveness and ability to cloud stream data back to Microsoft with recorded and visual data.

There is also the issue that independent developers can't self-publish. This is something I hope the company can review in the near future as independent game development is a pretty important factor nowadays in both the console and mobile gaming market.