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Microsoft Kills Xbox One Phone-Home DRM

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the take-this-cloud-and-shove-it dept.

Microsoft 547

One of the biggest criticisms of Microsoft's recently-announced Xbox One console was that it would require an internet connection once every 24 hours in order to keep playing games. Enough people complained about the DRM, and Microsoft listened. Today, they announced that they're removing the phone-home requirement. "After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360." They've also scrapped the game trading and resale system they'd built, which allowed publishers to set their own rules with regard to used game sales. "There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360." Unfortunately, that also means users won't be able to take advantage of the good parts of the original system, such as trading and gifting games without needing the disc, or sharing games with remote family members. "While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds." Also noteworthy: they've dropped region-locks as well.

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Whoosh (5, Funny)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year ago | (#44054119)

Whew, that chair was clos.....

Re:Whoosh (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44054319)

Whew, that chair was clos.....

That they even thought of such a concept and it was approved, which it must have been, at the highest level, Mr. Ballmer should be wary of himself wielding chairs and he may be his most worthy target.

Does anyone reading about this Phone-Home DRM hold out much hope of a re-org which will position Microsoft as a viable and large player in the business (and consumer) markets in time to come?

Re:Whoosh (4, Interesting)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about a year ago | (#44054387)

Yeah exactly. How could they not see this coming?? Another scenario of people creating a product that they don't use..

Re:Whoosh (0)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#44054517)

This has the smell of shareholder pressure to monetize every available corner of their product line in the face of a declining share price. I see no reason to believe that the engineers and devs on the xbox have no passion for the product they have been creating.

Re:Whoosh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054525)

Yeah exactly. How could they not see this coming?? Another scenario of people creating a product that they don't use..

Easy. Cynical ploy to get us to all think about the not-so-much-suck parts now and think Microsoft's not so bad. They were never going to go through with those crazy ideas in the first place. Now we're all going to be talking about them again and putting them right in the public consciousness again. Thanks for falling right into their marketing trap.

This has been a free lesson in psychology that the internet wishes it could ignore: Hatred is so easy to exploit and control. How's it feel to be a tool? Does it make you want to RAAAAAAGE all over the internet? Good, good, you'll be useful to them later. They'll find you when they need you.

Re:Whoosh (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#44054445)

Meh - I smell a trial balloon that fell with a thud.

I can see them floating it out there to get reactions, that they can then show the bigger and more assholish game studios (*cough*EA*cough*) and say "See? We told you this is a bad idea." ...that or Ballmer really is that frickin' stupid...

Re:Whoosh (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44054581)

Meh - I smell a trial balloon that fell with a thud.

I can see them floating it out there to get reactions, that they can then show the bigger and more assholish game studios (*cough*EA*cough*) and say "See? We told you this is a bad idea." ...that or Ballmer really is that frickin' stupid...

Next think you hear they'll put the kabosh on the glove on a loaded spring which throws a creme pie in the face of the new owner upon the box opening.

I just had this conversation with a coworker: (2)

stillnotelf (1476907) | about a year ago | (#44054125)

I just had this conversation with a coworker:

"Microsoft has--"

"Yeah, I saw."

"Well...they didn't have a choice. They're halfway there."

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054171)

Hope that conversation made more sense at the time.

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (4, Insightful)

stillnotelf (1476907) | about a year ago | (#44054221)

If you've followed the Xbox One conversation at all (there, I used the real word, now I can call it Xbone), you know that there's only one thing Microsoft could possibly do as damage control at this point, and they just did it. Everyone has expected them to tone down the phoning home and used games policies. The "halfway" is, as many commenters below have pointed out, that they've yet to remove the built-in Kinect.

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44054363)

If you've followed the Xbox One conversation at all (there, I used the real word, now I can call it Xbone), you know that there's only one thing Microsoft could possibly do as damage control at this point, and they just did it. Everyone has expected them to tone down the phoning home and used games policies. The "halfway" is, as many commenters below have pointed out, that they've yet to remove the built-in Kinect.

So they've only shot themselves in one foot so far and are reloading for the other one ... still a chance to save that sock a holey demise.

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44054407)

Electrician's tape.

So few games actually require or are enhanced by a video connection that most people will just close the slider
or tape it closed. The mic is still a problem.

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#44054527)

to 'fix' the mic problem, do the following:

1) find an old wall-wart power supply
2) open it and remove the filter capacitors (yank them out or unsolder them)
3) feed the low voltage output to the mic wires

what you've done is created a NICE 60hz hum that will be so strong, nothing the mic will pick up will ever come thru.

(you're welcome)

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (2)

stillnotelf (1476907) | about a year ago | (#44054547)

Yes, the tape solution has occurred to me...I've so far avoided buying a computer with a built-in webcam, but that's the solution I'd use. I fully expect there to be DIY microphone disconnection demos online within a week of the console releasing (who knows what functionality it would gimp, though).

How awesome would it be if there was a line-in instead of an actual microphone? You could hook it up to something that would play pre-recorded taunts over Live (like that great robot-voiced "I am the alpha and the omega" from Unreal Tournament). Actually...maybe that would be a bad idea...

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44054425)

It's a trap. They will just make more games online only, no disc and thus no lending or resale or offline play.

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (1, Insightful)

earlzdotnet (2788729) | about a year ago | (#44054535)

I expect to get modded down, but what's so bad about not having to keep track of a silver disk to play a game? Steam has that model. It enables a huge amount of awesome things, such as being able to play the game anywhere, and publishers like it. Publishers end up getting more money, so they end up with a much better relationship with the service and can offer ridiculous sales (like Steam) because used sales aren't a "problem".

Am I the only one that very strongly hates that if I buy a new game from Gamestop and sell it back a month later, i'll get $10 back, but they'll gladly sell it to other people for $55. (woo, $5 cheaper). Gamestop provides absolutely no value to the gaming market with their used game money.

The big problem I had with their plan was the phone home being every day (why not every week or two?), the fact that they were going to half-way support some broken used game model, that would've been terrible(they should've just left it out completely). And lacking the ability to permanently play a game offline (like Steam)

In summary, their plan wasn't perfect, parts of it were really horrible, but at least it was advancement from this $60 for a 12 month old game on a piece of spinning aluminum(that if you lose, you might as well have never have bought it) crap we currently have.

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054477)

That why the name is stuck as Xbone... It used to be Xbone-head thanks to their bone head policy at E3.

Right now, there are still a few policies that the PS4 camp is better:
- $100 cheaper without having to have a camera/mike in your living room
- on xbone, you need to have a publisher to make games where as on the PS4, you could be an indy publishing your own game.

Re:I just had this conversation with a coworker: (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44054543)

The "halfway" is, as many commenters below have pointed out, that they've yet to remove the built-in Kinect.

No need to remove it they should just add a physical "off" switch, maybe with 2 cents worth of plastic sliding over the web camera. Then the paranoid geeks can pick it apart and confirm that yes, it really turns off the power and the tinfoil hat brigade can breathe a little easier. How many have you seen that have say taped over the Facetime camera on their Mac Books? Oh right, they assume OS X isn't secretly recording them. I honestly don't people see that as nearly as big a deal as the always-on.

Meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054131)

It's still recording while you masturbate.

Sounds like... (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | about a year ago | (#44054135)

they understood they were going to get buttfucked by PS4 at launch...and reversed their stance. I was seriously going to get a PS4 instead, glad they came around. After all "It's only software" right?

Re:Sounds like... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054231)

It's hilarious people are running back to them so fast. There's nothing stopping them from putting DRM in a year from now. It's still 100$ more than PS4, still has worse hardware, it still has Kinect, even though you're the type of person who doesn't care about rights it still makes the system less powerful as a segment of it is reserved for this telescreen

Enjoy your Halo kiddo

Re:Sounds like... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054553)

Well, we Americans have an attention span of what 4 seconds?

Microsoft is an evil company. They are part of those people/corporations that want to "rule the world" in some fashion. The only reason that they changed is that they are also a publicly traded company and could not weather the loss of sales that they were threatened with.

Now for the test: "Microsoft is an _______ company" Fill in the blank. Did you add "evil". If not, you are the real problem.

Re:Sounds like... (1, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year ago | (#44054289)

After all "It's only software" right?

Yeah, it's only software which you don't control and where updates can be required by specific games. So control of the users can be re-implemented in a future update, once they've got a sufficient market presence (locked-in customer base). Sony did it with the Other OS feature on the PS3, and Microsoft can do it with the call home "feature" and no-sharing "feature" on the XBone. Best if we just skip buying consoles or anything else with proprietary operating systems (RMS is quite right on this one).

Re:Sounds like... (5, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#44054333)

The world where triple A titles will be on a system that RMS approves is the same world where communism works.

That is, not this one.

Re:Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054497)

The world where triple A titles will be on a system that RMS approves is the same world where communism works.

You keep using that term. I do not think it means what you think it means.

uuh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054141)

Well, duh...

no way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054145)

screw them, they dont deserve my money

GUYS~ GUYS~ (4, Insightful)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | about a year ago | (#44054147)

Hmmm... but what will happen now? This might be good news, but this is what should have happened from the very beginning.
So, even though they took it off for the Xbone, I fear that they simply paved the way for draconian restrictions by the next gen (if that happens someday).

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | about a year ago | (#44054159)

Either Sony or M$ can certainly implement DRM at any time in the future, of course this would be suicide to future sales.

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054239)

Do you ever write it as $ony?

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year ago | (#44054415)

I guess you haven't watched Sony financial news over the last couple of years, I think they WISH people could write it as $ony

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054437)

Either Sony or M$ can certainly implement DRM at any time in the future, of course this would be suicide to future sales.

Well it worked pretty well for Sony this generation.
The reality is that neither Sony nor Microsoft gives a flying fuck about this concept called "consumers". At the first occasion they will fuck you. Wether you're naive enough to not see it coming is your problem. But as sure as the sun rises east and sets in the west, these 2 companies will fuck you. Maybe not now, but 1-2-3 years down the road it's a given.
Buyer beware !!!!!!

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (2)

Rougement (975188) | about a year ago | (#44054187)

They lost this round but expect them to continue pushing their agenda. The only way to stop these anti-consumer tactics is to not buy an XBone. Sony doesn't get a pass either, their anti-consumer exploits are legendary.

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054389)

Microsoft's response was consumer friendly. They showed they respect their profits enough to respect the customers. They listened. I wouldn't not buy a Xbox now because of these issues.

Now Sony, their repeated fails and arrogant refusal to respect anything deserves constant punishment.

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (4, Insightful)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#44054507)

1) I wouldn't be so quick to forgive Microsoft. Be one of the first to buy an Xbox One and you may be repaid by a system update in the not-to-distant future slowly re-implementing, bit by bit, this DRM scheme that they have claimed to be discarding.

2) I do agree with you on Sony. Neither company can be trusted, really.

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year ago | (#44054421)

So you weren't going to buy one before when they were doing stuff you didn't like, and now that they've agreed not to do that you're still not going to buy one and think everyone else should do the same?

Maybe you weren't going to buy one anyways, but let's imagine you actually did manage to convince everyone who cared about the issue to follow your lead.

So then, Microsoft capitulates on the DRM, but despite the change the only people who buy the new XBox were people who were actually okay with that DRM in the first place. That would mean that A: Microsoft would have no reason not to just unchange their mind and put the DRM back in, and B: they would have very little reason to listen to consumer complaints about such issues in the future.

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#44054515)

So tell me - what's to stop Microsoft from dropping this in a year later, after they've convinced the public to buy a metric ton of these things (and more importantly, the games to with them)?

The more I see console maker assholery, the more I like using my actual computer for gaming...

Re:GUYS~ GUYS~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054397)

The problem is, one of the best features in this up coming gen really requires it. For all the DRM hate it did enable them to do one killer feature, i.e. share your games library with family and friends without having to give them the disk, that feature is now good as dead as it isn't really feasible without DRM.

Xbox 180 Confirmed (5, Funny)

Spaztian (1041588) | about a year ago | (#44054151)

This new Xbox 180 pretty much evens the console war again, it's going to be an interesting new generation.

Re:Xbox 180 Confirmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054295)

I see what you did there...

Re:Xbox 180 Confirmed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054301)

Until the bastards alter the deal. Remember Sony's "OtherOS" removal? Both companies can blow me.

Re:Xbox 180 Confirmed (2)

Mishra100 (841814) | about a year ago | (#44054355)

The new Xbox One Eighty?

cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054155)

was really hoping microsoft would shoot them in the foot on this one, looks like they are doing the "right" thing

selective listening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054163)

If they were so quick to listen to the gaming community, why have they been so deaf to the feedback about Windows 8?

Re: selective listening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054347)

They've listened. The massive waves of complaints have led to the apology that is Windows 8 and to the start menu returning in 8.1. I hope you're all happy, plebs.

Re:selective listening (4, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#44054359)

If they were so quick to listen to the gaming community, why have they been so deaf to the feedback about Windows 8?

Because there's no EULA prohibiting you from selling your 360 to someone else, so those consoles will always be plentiful on the secondary market.

Meanwhile, Windows 7 can be pulled from stores and you are prohibited from transferring your license to any other computer, whether you own it or not.

In short, you don't have to listen to your customers when they're locked in and you control the market scarcity.

Re:selective listening (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#44054373)

Most likely because they've got an expensive machine to sell with the Xbox One (is it it acceptable to just call it Xboner for short from now on?), while with Windows... for the most part it's just software and their traditional monopoly products that fuels it (MS Office...). Not to mention, I figure they've got more to lose with their video game systems, since that market seems to be continuing to expand and has has had some pretty stiff competition for decades now. But who knows... maybe the guys in the Windows division just have more balls, or the Xbox guys care a bit more about their customers' view of their products. It's Microsoft, we'll probably never really know. All I know is that their true desires and intentions have been revealed, I wouldn't just give them a free ride after finally doing the "right thing" in the end. I would consider them highly suspicious of similar activity in the future, whether the Xboner is still the current-generation system at the time or something else has succeeded it.

Herp, meet Derp (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44054169)

We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds."

Actually, we just want one world: The one we had before. And thank you kindly to get your creepy kinect out of our living rooms, thanks. We're already giving the paranoid, who thrive quite well in an anarobic environment, a veritable algae bloom of justified looking over their shoulder. You stepped in dog shit like you were laser guided, Microsoft.

I don't think your reputation can be salvaged at this point... most people have already decided on the PS4, and will be leary of signing up since you're just a firmware update away from returning to putting 'em over a barrel. And yes, we do think you'd do just that, once the furvor dies down. We saw your memo. We know how you think. You won't give up this easily on your DRM locked down to hell shitty ass XBone.

Re:Herp, meet Derp (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44054205)

I'm tired of being called "paranoid" for not wanting the NSA to log my phone calls and Microsoft to install a webcam in my living room. Speaking of the world we had before ...

Re:Herp, meet Derp (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44054501)

It will be interesting to see if the Xbone still works if you open the Kinect up and physically disconnect the mic and webcam, or otherwise disable them somehow.

Or, just buy a PS4.

Re:Herp, meet Derp (1, Troll)

SJHiIlman (2957043) | about a year ago | (#44054591)

Or, just buy a PS4.

Sony doesn't deserve money, either.

Re:Herp, meet Derp (0, Troll)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44054211)

"I don't think your reputation can be salvaged at this point... most people have already decided on the PS4, and will be leary of signing up since you're just a firmware update away from returning to putting 'em over a barrel."

This made me lol. It's as if you actually believe Sony can't and wouldn't do exactly the same.

Are you really that naive? really?

Re:Herp, meet Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054215)

Actually, we just want one world: The one we had before. And thank you kindly to get your creepy kinect out of our living rooms, thanks. We're already giving the paranoid, who thrive quite well in an anarobic environment, a veritable algae bloom of justified looking over their shoulder. You stepped in dog shit like you were laser guided, Microsoft.

I don't think your reputation can be salvaged at this point... most people have already decided on the PS4, and will be leary of signing up since you're just a firmware update away from returning to putting 'em over a barrel. And yes, we do think you'd do just that, once the furvor dies down. We saw your memo. We know how you think. You won't give up this easily on your DRM locked down to hell shitty ass XBone.

Ironic since that is exactly how Sony acted with the Ps3.
You know what the real difference is now with Microsoft ? Instead of fucking you from the start they'll just copy Sony and fuck you in the future. Once you have no option since you will have already bought the NSA approved Xbone1.

Re:Herp, meet Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054321)

Yup. the adventures of firmware updates with PS3 will be replayed with the PS4 and Xbox 1. You have been warned.

Re:Herp, meet Derp (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#44054219)

I win most: I ain't gonna get either :)

Re:Herp, meet Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054381)

Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

Re:Herp, meet Derp (5, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#44054399)

I don't think your reputation can be salvaged at this point

We've heard that before when Sony...

  • Shut down LikSang
  • Went through the rootkit debacle..
  • and the related tactless "damage control" ("why should users care")
  • Handled the PSN breach in about the worst possible way for about 3 weeks
  • Killed OtherOS

I could go on. And now of course people are talking about how great Sony is.

The point is, yes, their rep can be salvaged, because people really dont care that much for very long.

Re:Herp, meet Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054455)

Just like the PS4 is one firmware update away from doing all the same stuff, and is from a company that has a repeated a history of doing just that?

In other words, people care alot less about this than you think. Memories and convictions are short and weak.

Re:Herp, meet Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054571)

I'm not sure that not wanting to talk into an empty room would be considered paranoid.

Overheard at in an executive conference room at MS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054175)

"Oshitoshitoshit. That was bad PR. Let's backpedal a little bit and make them think we did them a favor."

"Make it so, xbox one."

We're all xboned, because the console won't be DoA, and they'll be able to go back to the original plan in a couple of years with a software update.

Re:Overheard at in an executive conference room at (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054337)

they'll be able to go back to the original plan in a couple of years with a software update

Anyone who can remember back a few years will realize that's what Sony is planning, too. You know they're both going to do it as soon as they can get away with it.

The cynic in me even wonders if they drew straws to see who would announce it first, take the PR hit, and then say "oops, I guess we won't do that." Then the other company (Sony) will take the next PR hit for silently implementing it as a software update, and then finally Microsoft will "follow the market trend" and do the same thing.

p.s. Enjoy your used games now. This is the last full generation of phsical game distribution; the transition to all-digital will occur in the PS4/XboxOne generation.

How comforting... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44054193)

"Hey guys! I used to be for DRM; but when I saw that it would ruin my launch, I became totally against it! Don't worry, though, just because it would be trivial to alter the deal at any future time, either over the internet or through exciting and mandatory system updates baked into new disk releases, you can still trust me!"

Re:How comforting... (5, Funny)

chuckinator (2409512) | about a year ago | (#44054409)

They are altering the deal. Pray they don't alter it any further.

Re:How comforting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054529)

They are for some form of rights management. If it's digital or not doesn't matter. Now the rights management just happens to be physical by having the disk.

Still no sale for me... (5, Interesting)

VinylRecords (1292374) | about a year ago | (#44054197)

Forcing you to buy $100 Kinect with the system? Tracking your gaming habits and selling the data if you are connected? Tracking your movements with Kinect at all times? Putting online features that are on the discs of games behind an XBL Gold paywall? Forcing XBL Gold subscriptions to use other online services through your Xbox? Paying MS money for XBL Gold only to be bombarded by advertisements?

I'll pass still. This is looking like a weak generation for gamers. Both the PS4 and XB1 have online locked behind paywalls (even for peer-to-peer games). The Wii-U is severely lacking in quality games geared towards older gamers. Hopefully the PC gaming developers take charge and win back some of the console players this generation.

Re:Still no sale for me... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#44054583)

This sounds like a golden opportunity for the oija.. erhm.. ouya console, and the steambox.

Those two groups should be grabbing hold of this shit with both hands, and giving sony and microsoft what for in the press.

In the Navy *humming to herself* (5, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#44054207)

The fact that the Navy blasted XBONE ( http://www.navytimes.com/article/20130614/OFFDUTY02/306140030 [navytimes.com] ) is probably the biggest reason Microsoft took such a drastic 180, not us regular consumers.

Re:In the Navy *humming to herself* (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44054491)

That article discusses the kinect being labeled a security risk. They haven't taken the kinect out.

MSFT has made enough anti-customer moves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054241)

MSFT has made enough anti-customer moves to have lost much of the confidence of their user base. Not listening to feedback on Windows 8, until 8.1 was "developed" and not listening to XB1 pre-release feedback proves them to be one of the most arrogant major companies today. There is only one person to blame, Ballmer.

That's nice. (0)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year ago | (#44054249)

They still lost a sale here because of the combination of hubris and stupidity required to make such a decision re: DRM in the first place.

It would've made a neat Jack Bauer "24" game (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#44054251)

While you are playing your games, the clock ticks down it the upper right hand corner, reminding you that need to play that other game in the background. Your quest is to find an internet connection before the "24" clock runs out.

And you get tortured and hounded by government creeps in the process. Feels real.

Re:It would've made a neat Jack Bauer "24" game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054479)

"the clock ticks down IT the upper right hand corner"...

Let me guess. You're American. WTF?

Lost downloading sharing (3, Insightful)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a year ago | (#44054253)

With this change they also removed the ability to share downloaded games, and the ability to share a game without lending the disk. Those must have been the primary drivers behind the phone home requirements.

Re:Lost downloading sharing (1)

Anaerin (905998) | about a year ago | (#44054559)

They were. You also now need the disc in the console to play the game at all times, which you didn't before. The DRM/Phone Home was entirely to enable the sharing features, including the "Play on a friend's console with your library". If the console can't verify you own a game, it won't let you play it (obviously). That stops you installing a game on your (connected) console, then giving the game to your friend to play on their (offline) console. Now the "Ownership" of a game is tied inexplicably to the disc the game comes on. So instead of "Digital Rights Management" you have "Physical Rights Management". Which is the step forward/backward is up to you.

Imagine The Meeting That Broke Out... (1)

AtomicRhino (1625057) | about a year ago | (#44054261)

Well this is a change of events. Glad to see the elitist attitude is now swayed.... slightly. The media has already broke with "Xbox One Is Going To Suck because (DRM/Phone Home/Etc)" so they have already shot themselves in the foot and really I think its a bit too late to save face when they've pissed off so many already. But congrats to listening to your customers, you've adhered to one of the core business fundamentals. Maybe they will actually sell some units now. However without Indie getting back on the rails, Its looking like my Xbox-console run will be changing to PS this generation.

Fool me once... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054267)

So they're going to sell Xbox One, wait a year or so after there's a good install base and then force a system update to play Gears of Halo 5: Madden Warfare which will of course reactivate all the restrictive DRM.

MS needs to stop assuming we're stupid (5, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#44054285)

The restrictions they put on the system were horrible their justifications for them were insulting.

Above and beyond this could only happen if they thought we were idiots and simply wouldn't understand. They need to appreciate the distinction between lack of interest/awareness and actually being stupid.

Most people are not stupid. They're oblivious. But not stupid. Explain the rules to people and they'll typically see what is going on pretty fast.

MS tried to pull a fast one and was caught in the act. They've done this repeatedly with other product launches. It needs to stop.

Re: MS needs to stop assuming we're stupid (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44054495)

Microsoft has made their fortune assuming their users are stupid.

Surprising (4, Insightful)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about a year ago | (#44054287)

As much as I enjoy bashing Microsoft, they have redeemed themselves a little by listening to their customers.
They're reportedly on top of the security issue as well. A little focus on the areas of privacy, ethics, and standards might convince me to become a customer again.

Re:Surprising (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054509)

Make no mistake, MS were prepared to make this "generous" move from the word go. They figured they'd give the restrictions a shot first, but they implemented the firmware in a way that these features could easily be turned off if necessary. For the Xbox One to reach shelves in November, production pretty much has to have already started; if MS had indeed just suddenly changed their mind and altered the firmware at the last minute, they'd have to retest the whole thing and delay launch. No, this option has always been on the table, as plan B in case the public didn't turn out to be willing to bend over.

LOL nice try M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054291)

Still not buying one. They'll just turn all the DRM back on in 6 months after they've recouped their dev costs.

What one update giveth another may taketh (1, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#44054297)

They turned it off for now. What's to say they won't turn it back on a year or two from now?

Still its amazing given the public's reaction to the roomers about the always on requirements they had an opportunity to "fix it" prior to launch and just say it was always just roomers. Seems they could have easily avoided the embarrassing public back pedal here and loss of trust.

Complained? Not really... (2)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44054307)

People didn't complain. They simply told Microsoft off and said they'd choose Sony. Calling this complaining is like walking into your boss's office, telling him to go f*** himself, and walking out to another job that is just as good if not better that is waiting with open arms. Microsoft's response is basically like the old boss begging you to come back.

Re:Complained? Not really... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44054467)

Calling this complaining is like walking into your boss's office, telling him to go f*** himself, and walking out to another job that is just as good if not better that is waiting with open arms.

My. Ass. Nobody actually did anything, people only threatened to do things, that goes for Microsoft and it goes for the users.

Re:Complained? Not really... (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44054513)

Alright, let's try another one. This is more analogous to walking into a car dealership, them telling the customers something they refuse to change (and owners cannot change) they don't like about the cars they sell at that dealership, and the customers going to a different dealership, resulting in a change of policy at the dealership everyone walked away from.

Either way, it's not complaining. It's economics. Offer what people are willing to buy, and you win. Offer crap that people don't want to pay for, and you lose. Sure, you can change at that point, but you may still lose.

Now can we get the start menu back? (4, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44054309)

Now can we get the start menu back? and maybe even Modern/Metro' apps being able to run in a window. With out needed to use a 3rd party add ons?

Look like XBox is back on my radar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054311)

Seems XBox, by process of eliminating PS4 and Wii U is back to being a possible purchase for me. Its a known fact (http://www.cbc.ca/undertheinfluence/season-2/2013/06/02/trust-in-advertising-1/) that companies that listen to the customers - always fare better.

Announce Terminations! (1)

Mishra100 (841814) | about a year ago | (#44054313)

They should have announced some terminations to along with this news... That may have helped their story a little more.

*checks temps in hell* (1)

RichMan (8097) | about a year ago | (#44054325)

Wow microsoft actually reacted to customers before it all went boom. The lessons from Windows 8 and Surface must be hitting home hard.

How long till they flip-flop again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054327)

"But...but Microsoft, I've owned the console for 6 months, now you're making me connect to the internet again?"
"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."
"This deal is getting worse all the time!"

Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054349)

they'll roll it out later once they have your money.

    bet.

And you'll all fall for it. Piss and moan when they do it. And STILL buy their next version console next time.

it's easy to see the future when it's this obvious.

Way too late. (4, Insightful)

barc0001 (173002) | about a year ago | (#44054367)

Even the mainstream news cycle picked up the "Can you believe this shit" tone that was going around during and after E3. Many, many people have now firmly dismissed the Xbox One (or Xbone) as a choice based on that, and they're not going to be hearing that the restrictions have vanished because this correction isn't going to get nearly the traction the original story (and associated outrage) did. When you have active duty personnel penning columns in newspapers saying that Microsoft's basically decided to shit on all active servicemembers with the call-home and in-country requirement, a little retraction buried on page 29 isn't going to make it into many peoples' minds.

Until MS Changes Course and Re-Enables Later (2)

Ron Bennett (14590) | about a year ago | (#44054385)

What guarantee is there that Microsoft won't later re-enable the phone-home drm feature?

(even if the system is never reconnected to the internet again after setup, it's conceivable an update could later be performed via a game disc with little to no notice to the user)

Likewise, what guarantees are there that a game publisher itself won't roll out a game update that includes phone-home drm?

On a related topic, what promises has Microsoft made regarding the always-on camera? Seems to me there's really no guarantee it can't be accessed without the user's knowledge unless there's a hardware way to turn it off (ie. an opaque cover over the camera).

Re:Until MS Changes Course and Re-Enables Later (1)

Maudib (223520) | about a year ago | (#44054451)

"What guarantee is there that Microsoft won't later re-enable the phone-home drm feature?"

The only guarantee is that customers demonstrated they won't buy it. As long as thats the case, then they won't add it in.

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44054405)

I'll be getting one now. I'm guessing I'm not the only one, and the Xbox is back in the hunt for next gen success.

If this had been the fabled Steam Box... (1)

edelbrp (62429) | about a year ago | (#44054447)

I think the DRM would have been accepted a lot better. I think the Surface, Win8 and then the XBone had their flaws, but there is a definite piling-on mentality against MS. They just aren't sexy and their marketing and customer education/relations is awful and often just downright confusing at times. Again, I'm not defending MS or their products, they just seem to provide the perfect storm for consumer outrage and bad product launches where others might have faired a lot better given the same circumstances, imho.

Are you sure about that? (0)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#44054449)

Did they remove it or disable it until enough people own one they wont be able to do anything when they announce they are turning it back on. Or the more Microsoft approach, say you can get updates to new versions of software but have to have it installed.

why is this different (1)

xmousex (661995) | about a year ago | (#44054493)

If they had taken this same attitude with windows 8 it would have been a usable product a year ago.

Reminds me of a great quote (2)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#44054555)

Sadly, I don't seem to have it written down anywhere, but the gist of it was that advertisers and politicians have long known that the best way to get people to eat rat-shit sandwiches is to heavily advertise a "rat-shit and garbage" sandwich, then after that media blitz, start another blitz saying "we listened to you! Our sandwiches no longer have garbage in them!"

Sony is really no better (0)

TehCable (1351775) | about a year ago | (#44054565)

As a PS3 owner, and I surprised that I have not yet seen the following counter-argument to all the MS hating, thus Sony loving. Sony has repeatedly demonstrated a complete and total indifference to the user experience. The PS3 is experience is a constant barrage of being forced to watch a long progress bar (and then another one) before you can do anything else. I know, I know, they've fixed that specific gripe in the 4, but I'm speaking to the culture within Sony. Sony customer support is one of the worst I've ever had to deal with. They care so much more about fighting against people who might try to get content without paying for it than they do about their paying customers, that they are willing to remove core features of the product that they sold you, keep your money. They also completely fail to see the problem with that. I see all these posts worried that MS will pull a bait and switch over this DRM scheme. I haven't noticed any comments recognizing that Sony is the father of the console bait and switch. I want to be clear that I'm not defending MS; their attitude is clearly not pro-consumer. However, I just want to be the one to point out that nothing I've seen here makes them any worse than Sony, and a consumer-hating product from MS is NOT a valid reason to buy a similar product from Sony. I for one haven't even turned my PS3 on since I built a gaming PC last Summer. I don't plan on buying any console this gen. Maybe I'm just getting old. Or maybe it's the case that neither company deserves consumer confidence anymore.
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