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Microsoft: Xbox One’s DRM Not Likely to Return


Xbox One’s original announcement of supporting controversial DRM features brought about a lot of frowns on the faces of consumers. The requirement of having to connect your console at least once every 24-hours to the internet was taken as an insult. While their policies regarding the restricted sale of used games was found unnecessary.

It wasn’t long before Microsoft decided on doing some damage control and surprisingly announced a complete reversal of all their DRM related features. With the DRM issue solved consumers quickly returned back to stand under Microsoft’s next-gen umbrella.

However, now there’s the concern of whether Microsoft would bring back the features post-launch. Discussing the issue on the NeoGAF forums, Microsoft’s Alvert Penello stated that the DRM policies returning for the Xbox One is never going to happen.

“I don’t see that ever happening with content you’re buying today either on disc and digitally,” he said. “All of that DRM stuff was in place because there was no physical security on the disc itself, so all the licensing was done digitally.”

“When you build that type of model, then you need to make sure people can’t install games on a bunch of machines, then unplug them. That would have made us an awesome Pirating machine, and that can’t happen for obvious reasons. When we went back to disc security, those DRM policies weren’t necessary. So no reason to turn it on later.”

He added, “If there’s ambiguity, it’s because it’s possible that, in the future, IF WE ADDED BACK some of those family sharing ideas we had in the beginning, we’d have [to] reintroduce similar types of policies. So IF you wanted to have a game and have that family sharing, always-in-the-cloud, and digital loaning – then we might add those requirements back.

“You can imagine a world where we have both types of models at the same time. Again, big IF, but the bottom line is I wouldn’t worry about us making those policies ‘retroactive’ which seems to be the issue I hear people worry about.”

Penello does have a point. Family Sharing of games was at one point hinted by Microsoft to be brought back in the future if the demand be. If it does return, there will have to be some security measures to ensure the licensing stays legit.

In that case at least some kind of DRM policy will have to be brought back.