Microsoft does a 180 on DRM in the Xbox 360++

As the specifications for Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One have emerged, more and more gamers have expressed, forcefully, their dismay at the developing picture of a console that is totally built around DRM, taking away cherished customer rights like lending or selling their games. Microsoft has stubbornly refused to acknowledge that this might even be a problem (see their talking points memo for an example of the lengths the company was prepared to go to in order to dodge this question), but the pressure appears to have built to a breaking point. Yesterday, the company abruptly announced a complete 180' reversal from its rigid DRM commitment, such that the Xbox One will have about the same level of DRM as its predecessor, the Xbox 360 (which, it must be said, is DRMed up to the eyeballs).

“After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One,” Xbox executive Don Mattrick wrote in a blog post, “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.” Mattrick added that Xbox One would be region-free; any Xbox One disc would function in any Xbox One console.

Additionally, Mattrick wrote, players will be able to “trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today. There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.”

Xbox 180: Microsoft Fully Reverses Xbox One’s DRM Policies [Ryan Rigney/Wired]


  1. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should never believe a manufacturer when they swear, up and down, that the device that they’re coming out with is designed from the ground up to include a feature set that you don’t like.  They can always change it.  And this is also why you shouldn’t believe that Microsoft wouldn’t change it BACK the very nanosecond they thought they could get away with it.  And why you shouldn’t believe Sony wouldn’t do the same thing with the PS4.  Remember OtherOS?

    1. Successful corporations don’t take half measures. They tow the company line until they decide to change something, and then they change it as though it’s the most natural thing in the world. The technical term is saving face.

      1. “Conspicuous lack of reversal on the sleepless creep-camera is conspicuous”

        The Alex Jones-style conspiracy regarding the Kinect is hilariously ungrounded.

          1. Let me know when they yank the physical cameras from their laptops (WHICH IS FAR MORE LIKELY TO GET HACKED THAN CONSOLES), then I’ll take them seriously.

            Consoles don’t get viruses, they don’t install malware, maybe if they were buying it to run pirated software on their XBO, yeah. But with conventional discs or downloadable titles? It’s absolutely ungrounded paranoia.

          2.  you say that like the government won’t twist Microsoft’s hand in to giving them a back door access to this thing.

          3.  This console has integrated Skype and is designed to background/multitask. I’m constantly appalled at the default permissions in MS products, so I expect an exploit before long.

          4. My camera has a bandaid on it, literally. NSA might know how to watch me play Mass Effect through the bandaid, but I don’t think Microsoft is there yet.

          5. Well, my laptop, and iPad cameras have tape over them already but I think the point you’re missing here isn’t about what’s more likely to get hacked – or even that Microsoft or the Govt. is spying on you.

            The real problem is that people (like yourself) grow complacent in the belief that there is no risk in letting an unknown entity have eyes and ears into your private space.

    2.  Yes, isn’t it funny that only after becoming Meme’d to death suddenly the “core functionality” is so easily changed?

      They’ve invested decades stomping on standards and maiming the desktop experience. I hope their failure makes the WiiU blush.

  2. That the Xbox One is going to be devoid of region locking is actually an improvement from the Xbox 360, so at least there’s that. Even though most games released for the 360 don’t region-lock, the 360 does allow publishers to enable it, and there are handful of games that do it.

    Region locking is such a dumb, customer hostile design decision, and it’s nice to see Microsoft saw the writing on the wall.

    1. Personally, I’d wait for the Xbox 45. By then maybe it won’t insist on giving you a physical every time you pass in front of it.

  3. And there you have it folks – the power of the interwebtubes.

    (isn’t the headline incorrect? it should be “Xbox One” not “Xbox 360”)

    1. Nope, sorry. Microsoft was quite happy explaining to the frothing Interwebtubes why their insane DRM was absolutely essential to the visionary consumer experience. MS changed their tune only after Sony’s gleeful announcement and a looming mass exodus towards the PS4. I would hail Sony as the champion of the common gamer but I suspect they just saw a more money in easily grabbing a massive chunk of the market than implementing a comparable publisher-friendly DRM. If they had, MS would’ve been under no pressure to give in to the demands of the Interwebtubes.

      1. Microsoft was quite happy explaining to the frothing Interwebtubes why their insane DRM was absolutely essential

        Very true.  That’s what I loved about seeing this picture after the Xbox One80. (see at bottom)

        Maybe it’s time to stop buying from companies that lie right to our faces?  What does that say for our own self-respect when we allow corporations to gimp us this way?

        Also, how long before an “update” comes along and they switch some or all of the DRM back on?  As many love to say, they are a private company and they can do whatever they want…

        Microsoft is the king of bait and switch.  They’ve bought out many great software companies over the years promising to better it – only to later completely discontinue the software.  Just a blatant maneuver to kill competition and hurt consumer choice.

        I think people have to be out of their minds to buy an Xbox and risk a bait and switch after what Microsoft just pulled.

      1. In a few different programming languages, putting “++” on a variable increments it. So if you said:

        x = 1

        x would then be 2. “Xbox 360++” means the next iteration of the Xbox.

        1. Yeah, I took an understanding of iteration as a given.  My comment was just that the device has a name at this point which wasn’t used. So rather than using the actual (but dumb and confusing name), something that simply alluded to it being the next iteration of the Xbox was used instead.

    1.  You know, I’ve owned both MS consoles and never owned any of the Halo games.  I just don’t enjoy FPSes without mouse and keyboard.  Tried it once, didn’t like it.

      1. I like FPS, I play most FPS with a gamepad, and I’ve owned a 360 for four years or so.  I’ve played about 5 minutes of the first Halo on a friend’s Xbox OG and that’s about it.

    1. Would you like to be signed up for the PRISM program?Yes, I would you like to be signed up for extremely intrusive services, including the ‘Home Invasion Cam.’No: I think I want this, but I need another 14 days to decide.

  4. I wonder how much effect it had when people in the military loudly, and openly, complained that they’d not be able to use it on deployment.

    1. None.  Customer complaints have value zero in these situations.

      When people in the military started announcing the desire to get PS4s instead, THAT matters.

        1. Not customer complaints, bad pre-sales. Sure, it’s sold out in certain areas, but compared to the PS4 (and possibly the Wii U, sadly), the sale’s aren’t even close.

  5. Dear Microsoft/Xbox One: Oh praise be to you great one for finally relenting after a hailstorm of protest since your unveiling for ALLOWING us mere mortals to continue to do with our video games what we’ve been able to do since 1985 (i.e. buying/selling/trading the games we bought and paid for as well as play our games offline for longer than 24hrs at a time) even though Sony was going to allow us to continue to do so from the start. Once again, thank you all powerful as MERCIFUL Microsoft/Xbox One for bestowing upon us our given rights that we’ve been utilizing since 1985!! Praise be to you powerful one…. Eat shit.

  6. The problem is the DRM was enabling some interesting features that they’ve now had to kill. No more 10 people family sharing, no more diskless play. It’s a shame that the vocal minority have forced them into making a console for the early 2000s rather than the all digital future. Long live the luddites :(

    1. MS could have done all that had they considered and designed their DRM architecture with a view to customer satisfaction.

      Ever since wax records came into existence; fuck it – books; consumers obtain something that is theirs to control and use as they see fit.  Obviously, you cannot profit maximise off that.  But that is the paradigm, and it happens to be one I for one like a heck of a lot.

      Nothing to do with Ned Ludd.  This is all to do with not getting fucked over.

      1. That’s only an accident of history though, if somehow we’d invented paper after computers we’d have a different opinion. I was looking forward to a world of cheaper games where publishers can actually make some money on the used games market (or ideally games being so cheap people just buy it from them 1st hand). People made the same complaints about Steam when it first launched. I don’t have a problem with supporting the people (artists, authors etc.) who make things I like and if it takes DRM to do that and I get some cool features in return I’m happy enough

        1. an accident of history

          Given that history is fact, it isn’t accidental.  And if it were, who cares – that’s the status quo.

          IOS got it right.  You can’t share the game, but it’s so damn cheap you don’t care – Angry Birds, anyone?  To change a paradigm you have to induce, not force, consumers.  If Rovio had charged $60 for Angry Birds, and people had realised you couldn’t share it, I think the answer would have been “No”.

          You don’t have a problem supporting those people – have you ever sold a game?  Anything?  Do you send a cheque to the creator?  I bet you never have, and never will.

          Mass media would never have gained mass if people could not have shared it.  45s wouldn’t have been passed around classrooms with more and more people getting exposure.  The whole industry wouldn’t be here.

          The media companies are in a quandary in every field.  They can’t figure out why they can’t meet the profit maximisation model.  It’s because the majority of their product is rubbish, 1% is good, and only .001% of that exceeds customer expectations that they’d overpay for it.

          Are you paid by Microsoft?

          1. The cheap games is the future everyone just said no too, the sharing and re-sale of games hurts the bottom line of the publishers so they price that into the only sale they have control over.
            I’m not paid by Microsoft I just understand their vision. I’m a professional developer (though not games) and I like to be paid for my work if I choose (I have free apps out there).
            Status Quo means the existing state of affairs, if everyone thought like that we’d never make any progress.
            In this age of instant information I don’t believe people buy rubbish anymore. You just wait for the reviews to hit metacritic or you download the trial and see for yourself.
            Mass exposure is hardly a problem for anyone but the smallest indie devs anymore (and that is a big problem for them)

          2. I wasn’t clear on your contributions to creators when you passed things on – could you just clarify?

          3. Trading games helps publishers because secondary markets drive liquidity into primary markets by upholding the value of commodities in both.

            Said simpler, what the fuck do you think those trade-in dollars are spent on?

          4. Profit maximization is not the same as making a solid profit.  The world is being destroyed by companies, and investors, that insist that the classic rates of profit enjoyed through most of the 20th century are no longer sufficient.  Their greed has led to the massive overuse of chemical poisons, snooping technologies, criminal prosecution of customers, etc.  The Grateful Dead knew this decades ago:  if you let your customers do what they want, they will love you and loyalty will follow, which means money as well as good intent.  They let their customers record their concerts freely and distribute them to each other, even to make money from that distribution.  The music biz nowadays is clueless why their profits keep dropping.  They blame it on their customers illegal downloads because they refuse to see that their product largely sucks and is getting worse every year.  Most pirate downloads are by people who would either never buy the product otherwise, or who love to sample products and find what they want to buy.  In neither case does the company lose money and its easily arguable that they benefit.  HBO has finally hipped to that with Game of Thrones.  I would hope that other companies enlighten themselves soon.  Control does not maximize profit, it only alienates and pisses off potential customers.  Making partners and comrades of your customers is the way to prosperity.  Fear is the way to kill business.  Sweetwater music is a great example:  they spend lots of money to hire and train knowledgeable salespeople, and will spend hours discussing products with you.  If you have a problem they will ship you a replacement BEFORE you ship the defective product back, and don’t gouge customers on prices, shipping, etc.  Their customers love them, and will keep coming back, and constantly recommend the company to their friends.  Do they “maximize” profits?  Well, they pay their staff a living wage, so I GUESS NOT ;).

          5. The cheap games is the future everyone just said no too, the sharing and re-sale of games hurts the bottom line of the publishers so they price that into the only sale they have control over.
            I’m not paid by Microsoft I just understand their vision. I’m a professional developer (though not games) and I like to be paid for my work if I choose (I have free apps out there).
            Status Quo means the existing state of affairs, if everyone thought like that we’d never make any progress.
            In this age of instant information I don’t believe people buy rubbish anymore. You just wait for the reviews to hit metacritic or you download the trial and see for yourself.
            Mass exposure is hardly a problem for anyone but the smallest indie devs anymore (and that is a big problem for them)

        2.  “…if somehow we’d invented paper after computers we’d have a different opinion”

          And if my ass was a 3D printer I’d shit out my own XBone – and I guarantee it wouldn’t be that square brick design.

          All that 10 people sharing, interesting features and whatnot, is not magically possible if you sprinkle a little DRM on a product. They’ve made a choice, this vs that.

      2.  The thing is – they could have kept all of the DRM and the features and still turned off the 24 hour thing and such and made *everyone* happy with a very simple design change, and they could have done it from the start.

        The 24 hour thing, sharing, and such are based off of ‘install the game and it gets registered to your xbox account’ once that happens the xbox has to ‘phone home’ at least once a day to validate your game authorization keys.

        All they had to do – was let a user select a box that ‘tied’ the game to your account, with the provision that doing so required the once a day connection, etc.

        The *only* reason that it wasn’t done this way – is because Microsoft wanted the control over the ‘flag’ because they wanted to ability to control when you sold your game to someone (disk or digital – didn’t matter) – and they wanted to charge a fee for that process – envisioning a nice lucrative market for this ‘service’.

        In fact – retailers like gamestop had to ‘register’ with Microsoft and participate in special programs in order to resell the physical disks.

        They could still do this – it’d be a huge win for them as the ‘share’ features were very compelling.  However they don’t want to as it will forever close the door on the idea that they deserve money when you sell a game.

        There simply is no reason that the flag could have been user selectable – the feature required each disk made to have a mechanism to provide a key that locks the game.  In fact the ‘flag’ most likely already is in the software as resell and such couldn’t happen if they couldn’t turn off the ‘lock’.

        User selectable would have just required that if the flag wasn’t set – the physical disk needed to be in the system to validate gameplay, as the disk obviously has a key on it, you could even validate that it was the same physical disk.

        The results honestly are ‘we are taking are ball and going home whiny babies’.

        1. The way they announced it MS wouldn’t have made any cash from the resell process. It was the publishers who could optionally charge a fee

    2. I’m far from a luddite but I live in a rural area where my internet access is via expensive cell coverage that is spotty at best and satellite internet an overpriced and underperforming option. . The always connected/or daily connection requirement plan was/is intrusive and to me a deal killer.

      1. That’s reasonable, although I think a few kb for a heartbeat is manageable. I’m hoping they settle into the following
        No internet – Must have disk in drive, no diskless play
        Internet – All the sharing features come back, diskless play is allowed
        I can’t see a hole in that but it’s not what they announced and it seems obvious so maybe I’m missing something

    3. “no more diskless play”
      Uh, they’re still selling downloadable titles, so yes. There will be diskless play. The existing DRM supports this.

      1. Good point, I liked the idea of buying the disk for art/manual and then leaving it on the shelf, guess I’ll just have to go all digital instead

    4. All the features you’re describing have a shelf life. They all only work as long as Microsoft, the internet in its current form, and a whole bunch of servers and maintenance structures exist. All that shit stops working in a matter of decades… anything you bought online, anything on your hard drive… all of it becomes useless when the infrastructure stops working. Kind of like Phantasy Star Online for Dreamcast. There’s a game I paid $60 for which is now a fucking coaster. They wanted to have that same paradigm for a whole console. I’m not a Luddite for wanting something I purchase to still work after X number of years, like every. single. other. console I’ve ever purchased. I can still plug in my NES, SNES, Genesis, Saturn, PSX, PS2, Dreamcast and play any game I want. Xbone? No guarantee. And with what they want to charge for that monstrosity and what games cost, the games had BETTER still work a decade from now. 

      1. We’ve already moved to a world where these things require an infrastructure. You’ll have to be careful never to buy any games needing a cloud service, seems a shame there are a lot of amazing things that can be done with a few servers

        1. I don’t have a problem with optional online stuff. Multiplayer, cloud saves, leader boards, whatever. All that stuff’s gravy and I won’t complain when it stops working, but fail to provide an offline alternative (LAN multiplay, local saves, etc) and I won’t be investing my hard-earned money. That would be like buying items in Facebook games. You don’t actually GET anything. Why on earth would I pay 60+ dollars for a game that only runs at the pleasure of the company I bought it from? I’m sorry, if that’s the future of console gaming count me out. 

          1. It’s not just the future of console gaming it’s the future of software & content everywhere, look at phone apps, kindle books, xbox live arcade, steam, Office 365, Xbox Music, Netflix, iRadio there are probably countless others. The days of buying things on disk to ‘own’ forever are numbered

          2. Dude, you’re either a Microsoft-employed forum zombie or you just think that most people are stupid. Yes, the “end-to-end digital ecosystem” thing is popular now since it makes visions of the content industry-that-was dance in executives’ heads but get real. You’re only fooling people who don’t think about their technology and content purchases very hard and there is a large, active, and growing group of people educating them and advocating against this sort of thing. The great thing about our ideas (I own what I buy) is that anyone can get behind them. Liberal, conservative, whoever, we all want to get our money’s worth and we will very willingly unite against corporations that want to deny us that. (As Microsoft found out)

            We aren’t resisting progress, we’re resisting being ripped off. All the cool online shit can still work without crippling the experience for people who don’t want to partake in cloud saving and cheevo sharing. As I posted before, reducing functionality isn’t progress and I am fairly certain history will prove me right on this.

          3. No they’re not.  Some things people will pay to “rent”.  Other things people want to own.  This will not change.  And price point does have a lot to do with that.  For $7 a month I can watch anything on netflix.  That is quite cheap so I don’t care if I can watch it after my sub ends.  But $60 for a single game that ends whenever the company say so?  Not a viable business model.  Sure companies salivate at widening their profit streams and switching people from single purchase to subscription-based.  But it only works in some instances, as this xbox180 fiasco clearly demonstrates.  I will not be buying that piece of crap.  All they’ve done with this customer is made it clear the switch to pc-based gaming is in my future, and all microsoft will get from that is at most a single OS purchase.  Great job MS!

          4.  Except streaming services (such as Netflix) my apps and games on my phone and steam can still be played offline without problems.

      2.  Yeah! Like this ET Atari cartridge dump quest that’s going on right now. Under this new paradigm,  old games won’t be possible to revisit. Which is dumb, regardless of what else we’ve accomplished.

    5.  Hm? The discless play is still there, as I understand it; you’ll be able to download and install most or all titles from the cloud.

      1. You’re right, I was thinking of diskless play after installing from the disk, guess I’m going all digital

          1. Which profile? I don’t use discus much so it won’t show much activity. Try looking me up on linked in or facebook. People are allowed different opinions from you without being paid to have them

        1. You had two dozen comments in this post, mostly all gushing about MS in PR flak language.  Your profile suggests that you do this on other sites.  And simultaneously claiming to be a web developer but not knowing what ‘astroturf’ means.  Feel free to e-mail me and explain why you’re legitimate.

    6.  I don’t understand why they cant still do diskless play. They should allow it if you have a live internet connection, otherwise not. Problem solved..

    7. Looking at your profile I think you’re astro turfing or in other words: you’re a paid shill.

      1. I don’t use discus much, the world is a diverse place, people can disagree with you without being paid to do so

        1. The majority of your comments shown in your profile are in relation to MS products (Skype, WP8, XBox etc.). Coincidence – I don’t think so.

          1. Why is it implausible that someone uses Skype, WP8, Xbox and Windows? They happen to be products I use and like, I hold what some may consider to be a minority opinion about MS, I like their products and services and don’t consider them to be evil (at least compared to Apple and Google). Look me up I don’t work for Microsoft. As I said more than one opinion can exist in this world

          2. It’s improbable that somebody is so obnoxious only about MS products, telling others what to do and what the future will be.

    8. Gits like you were noticeably silent over the last few weeks. It’s only since this announcement that suddenly a swarm of people have jumped online to claim that the way the Xbone was originally intended to be was amazing.

      Either cowardly or astroturfing. 

  7. The number of people who don’t get it, that is, the cloud, social media, always online, “what do we really mean with privacy?”… well, still very very large. We are at a stage where it really isn’t technological progress that is holding us back – it is people. In my organisation we work with win7 pcs and lock down all social media, and folder structures….why? People unfamiliar with social media and the cloud simply are not able to appreciate the enormous advantages (or we, the understanding minority fail to explain). Thing is, masses display herding behaviour, and they always prefer the treaded path, even if that leads into a swamp. It is the same with xbox…..unfortunately. But don’t worry, in 5 years from now Apple will grandly introduce “gaming in the cloud: we call it EternalPlay”, and the masses will love it. Very frustrating, but people are who they are, and commercial businesses need to take these guys into account even when leading the way forward.

    1. Exactly, MS have tried a few bold moves recently but it’s been a step too far for some of their users. It’s a shame that people are slowing progress

      1. Wow, you’re very pro MS.  Wondrous PR-y sounding words!

        People aren’t slowing progress.  They’re fending off an assault on their right to own what they purchase.

        If MS want to change this, they should advertise loud and clear that people are only renting the product license.  If they still want their games to retail at $60, fine.  See how the EBITDA goes.

        Down, down, down.

        1. You don’t generally own software, you’re almost always buying a perpetual license to use it, read the EULA next time you see one. I am pro MS, they are one of the few companies doing interesting things at the moment, you can accuse me of being PR all you like but it doesn’t make it true.

          1. I’m not anti-MS, but I do find all this funny.  I use MS every day, a lot, and that works for me.

            EULAs – people do not read them, and never will.  They’re tl;dr and full of legalese.

            The nature of consumer transactions, outside the dev world, is “I pay this, you give me that, I get to use it till it breaks, which if you’re any good, is never, or within the period of time I expect it to last”.

            MS might be doing interesting things, but this if just embarrassing.  You cannot expect to sell well and change the fundamental nature of the transaction.  People get that, and vote with their wallets.

          2. I agree with people not reading EULAs doesn’t change the fact that you’re agreeing to it (I blindly click yes too). I think the problem is the digital world doesn’t have to have the same rules as the physical one and there are some cool things we can do in the digital space that would be impossible in the physical space. I think over the next few years society will figure out what’s acceptable we’re just not there yet. People are changing the nature of a transacting already or have you never bought a Kindle book, a phone app or an Xbox live arcade game? They were just attempting to apply those rules to a $60 game. I do think game prices need to come down but I also think these kind of restrictions are a prerequisite

          3. Right – low prices, high restrictions.  I’m perfectly happy with Angry Birds Star Wars.  It could disappear forever and I wouldn’t care – it cost $1.  My lunch cost $10 – and I will dispose of that as I see fit.

            If consumers feel they’re being squeezed, or that a company is going after more than a right-feeling share of their wallet (especially if the vector is through influencing minors), they’ll get hellish mad.

          4. Yeah, I’m getting “PR Flack” from you too. MS is not doing interesting things. Where is the innovation in a games purchasing ecosystem that reduce the user’s choices? Reducing choice and functionality does not propel us into the future. 

            Look at you, dissembling about EULAs. Your argument breaks down at the word “perpetual”. See, that word actually means something when all you need to run software is the right hardware. I can still run AppleWorks on my Apple IIc, I can still play Metal Storm on my NES, I can still play Diablo and Fallout on my windows PC. Under the rules MS wanted to operate by, NONE of their games would work anymore 20 years down the road. How is that innovation? How does that bring value?

          5. Why does someone with a different opinion to you have to be a “PR-Flack” a few minutes googling me or looking me up on linked in would show you where I work. Anyway it’s about time I stopped arguing on the internet (which unfortunately isn’t my job) and get on with things 

          6. I’m not saying you are a flack, I’m saying you  sound like one.   Especially when all you say is “I’m not a flack” and don’t bother to explain how reducing functionality equals progress. An online presence can be faked, FYI. It’s a technique employed by actual astroturfer types. 

            If I have come off abrasive with you I apologize. I feel strongly that when I purchase something, whether it be hardware or data, that I should have control over it. I recently bought my first ever downloadable console game (Ni No Kuni, for PS3) and have been regretting not buying the disc ever since. I can’t freakin’ take it to a friend’s, yaknow? Anyway, it was nice post-sparring with you.

        2. The games on your smartphone or tablet are digital. You do not expect to be able to sell them. In exchange, they are cheap, social, and are updated instantaneously. All of this already exists, most notably on Steam for PCs. It was just marketed badly to a not understanding crowd. And that is very familiar – I see it every day. Try getting Facebook or twitter allowed on your corporate network and witness the stress reaction. Nothing pro MS about this, though I admire that they tried to take a step forwards.

          1. But all those things can still be played offline. There’s nothing wrong with building on the past, but not trying to remove every foundation of it’s like moving the floor out from under ourselves.

    2.  Yeah, gamers have had this for ten years now and know exactly what it mean.
      So get your head out of your ass and join the rest of us in reality.

    3. I guess what got to a lot of people (me included) was that these revolutionary features were dictated by Microsoft and didn’t offer that much of a benefit. I mean it’s fine if you want to go all cloudy and play your games while trekking in Nepal, but for me a console is a box that sits in my living room on which I play games. Boring, I know. I don’t need it to integrate into my social life because when I’m with other people I want to do social stuff like talking, dancing, drinking.

      What I really want from a console is that I can still pick up a used game-that-I-somehow-missed-but-which-always-looked-promising for a few bucks now and then. To sacrifice that for some minor benefits for me (but huge benefits for the companies) is comparable to selling a Manhattan Penthouse for a Snickers bar. Now you and David Hayes come along and exclaim “But guys! A real Snickers bar! With peanuts!”. Sorry for slowing down your progress (and delaying the onset of diabetes) but I just expect different things from a console.

  8. Please fire your president Nintendo!  fix your company!


    f u microsoft, my loyalty lies with those loyal to me

    SONY IS TAKING OVER NEXT YEAR! you just blessed them with $$$$$

    1. Nah, I reckon they’ve pulled back from the brink in time.  It’ll come down to titles now.  This will blow over, although I do think the moniker xbOne80 is going to stick.

  9. “Said simpler, what the fuck do you think those trade-in dollars are spent on?”
    Other trade in games mostly, a game can be resold multiple times without the publisher seeing a penny

    1. Sometimes they spend it on trade in games, sometimes they spend it on new games.  I’m sure there are some who just buy and sell used games exclusively, but I also know lots of people who get rid of their old games so they can buy the hot new thing.

      But why SHOULD the publisher have to see a penny from a used sale?  Do they deserve money if I let my friend play it too?  If I sell you my watch, should the watchmaker get a cut?  If you ask me the time and I show you the watch, do you owe the watchmaker a few cents?

      1. The difference is if you sell me a watch I get a secondhand watch maybe with some scratches. If I buy a game from you (ignoring possible damage to the box) the bits are still perfect. It’s a flawed analogy

        1. So… what?

          How does that matter?

          Long ago I bought something that I no longer want to use.  I sold it to somebody who wants to buy it from me.  Why are you, as the publisher, demanding extra money now?  If you wanted money from the buyer, YOU should be selling it at the discounted price that *I’M* selling it at.  Because clearly that’s a price that buyer’s willing to pay, and I’m sure, unless they’re a personal friend or something, they’d be much happier to buy it directly from you at that price, than from me.

          Or, you can get money from the buyer at the price you think is fair, by convincing me not to sell the game in the first place.  But if you don’t want me to sell the game, you should be making a game that is so good that I don’t want to give it up.

          And you’re wrong anyway, as it’s not just the box: CDs actually DO degrade over time, develop errors, scratches, smudges… if you’re talking about a completely digital game, you might have slightly more of a point, but since you brought up ‘box’ in the first place, we’re obviously not talking about that.

        2. No, it’s not a flawed analogy.  It’s called the First Sale Doctrine, and it is US law (17 USC § 109).

  10. @signsofrain 
    “Dude, you’re either a Microsoft-employed forum zombie or you just think that most people are stupid.” Oh it’s definitely the latter but I prefer to (try) and maintain a civil tone and avoid personal attacks when I’m discussing an issue on the internet. History may well prove you right it doesn’t change the fact it’s inevitable. You are resisting progress, MS (and they did a terrible job of explaining this) offered family sharing, diskless play (i.e. install from disk, then never touch it), and a bunch of other stuff for the possibility of a publisher charging a fee to sell a used game. To me this was a reasonable trade, lots of convenience for the possibility I’d have to pay a few bucks to sell a game. I think market forces would push publishers to make the fee tiny or non-existent or the cost would be offset by cheaper games. Your ire would be better spent pushing the publishers to reduce prices in the digital space

  11. @signsofrain Fair enough, it’s hard to judge tone on the internet. I probably do sound like a flack but that’s a side effect of defending a minority position I think. Sorry if I misread your intent.
    I think it’s important to note that you would have been able to play “Ni No Kuni” at your friends house in the old way since the game would have been tied to your account. You could have logged in to your friend’s console and it would have downloaded. I live across the planet from a lot of my friends so it’s not much use to me but I like the idea of it.
    It’s going to be interesting to see how this all pans out over the next few years. There must be pressure on Sony and Nintendo to do similar things. As a hypothetical if the Xbox One was digital only would that change your views? I think part of the confusion/problem is they are mixing the physical (to keep EB/Game/Best Buy happy) with the digital (to keep publishers/themselves happy) 

  12. The code is written.
    The machine runs it.
    You don’t own what you purchase.
    Anyone else expecting to see another “Other OS” stunt?
    Wait till people own them and then just exercise their right to alter the agreement on a whim.
    I mean Sony installed rootkits on peoples computers and people still buy Sony.
    Sony took away other OS and yet people are lining up for the next console.
    Maybe its time to admit people are willing to be treated like shit as long as they can play a game title they REALLY like.

  13. I still feel like DRM is the only point of a gaming console anyway. The price point puts them into the PC market, the technical specs could be matched by a PC. Any peripheral hardware like what the Wii offers could be developed for the PC. The only purpose a console really serves is DRM and development licensing.

    I grew up on video games but have long since abandoned consoles. 

  14. I know developers and publishers want money for their work and they should get money for their work, but when a new copy of a game is sold they do get money. It may be worth remembering that second hand copies can’t exist unless new copies are sold first, so they did already get some money for that copy they’re worried about losing out on. They just see money changing hands in transactions that don’t benefit them anymore and think “How can we get a cut of every transaction, like how taxes work?”
    One reason that new titles can carry such high prices is because what you are paying for is an item that has physical value, not a one-off license that will expire when you expire (or piss off the company from which you bought it). It is also worth remembering that the sales figures of new copies of games are largely funded by cash strapped kids who are compelled to flog all their other games in order to be able to afford them. It’s kind of a cash eco system that won’t be as productive overall if you simply try to direct all of the funds to yourself, your customers need money too. To pay for your wares. How many of us have sold an old thing in order to be able to buy a brand new thing?
    Also besides all of this, digital download copies of games can be sold alongside physical copies, some people don’t have the time or patience to order or go to the shops so will set the download going on the day of release while the kettle boils. If the digital copy undercuts the physical copy price (which never happens) they would get customers happy to oblige their desired payment structure.

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