I wanted to post about the subject of DRM for the Xbox One and explain why I think it's all a misunderstanding and why I think that it was a good thing in general.
When Microsoft put out information about the DRM process on Xbox One, many, many people freaked out about losing their rights and that makes a lot of sense. The problem is that people didn't really understood how it worked or what they were getting in return.
People have this impression about Microsoft that they are a money hungry company that is out to limit consumer rights and that they are evil, this couldn't be farther from the truth.
Microsoft had a problem....
1) Microsoft knows that the entire video game industry is moving towards "digital downloads". Steam is already there, but for consoles this is pretty new. Even Nintendo is going "digital downloads".
2) Microsoft knows that it's too early for everyone to join in with "digital downloads" because of bandwidth limitations with ISPs and some people like having the comfort of owning something physical.
3) Microsoft needs a solution to ween gamers off of physical disks.
4) Microsoft needs a way to combine the features of "digital downloads" and apply them to disks.
So, Microsoft created a way to do a fully "digital" console. Disks had all of the abilities of a physical disk, but also all of the abilities that Microsoft could do with "digital downloads".
The downsides is that DRM would be needed because you can just install the disk with the hard drive and give it away, there had to be a way to solve this.
Microsoft had a solution.....
1) Microsoft allowed you to install the game to the hard drive while playing and then after that without having the disk in the drive. This allows you to change games at will without getting up off the sofa and you don't need to try to find the disks, just use your voice and you are playing where you left off last. You can basically switch at will. Want to resume your single player Forza race, just tell the Xbox you want to play Forza and you are playing, want to switch to another game, just tell Xbox and you are on your way. Easy and truly a next generation experience.
2) Microsoft allowed you to have digital downloads and disk games to be digital so you can take them anywhere with you to any console you wanted and play them without physically bringing the disks with you. It doesn't matter if you purchased the physical disks or bought the digital downloads.
3) Microsoft allowed you to share your library of games with up to 10 people in your group and they are not time limited and they can live anywhere. With the only limit here being that only 2 people could be playing the same game at the same time. This cannot be done with physical disks. I live in Northern California, my brother lives in North Carolina. We can share our libraries of games, thus saving us a landfall of money.
Microsoft knew console gamers were going to be up in arms about this, but they thought with the pluses and the extreme flexibility that things would turn out fine. Most publishers were going to opt in to these features because they would face the huge backlash if they didn't go forward.
1) Microsoft wanted you to be able to still trade in your games. So, they talked to "GameStop" about doing this and taking the lead on this. If other companies wanted to do what GameStop did Microsoft was willing to talk to them.
2) Microsoft wanted you to have the ability to buy used games. This was very important to them because it provides a great ecosystem of gaming. They wanted the money to go to the publisher and it makes a lot of sense here. Right now when you buy used games from GameStop, the publisher or developer gets none of that money and the video game industry is a lot different than other industries and so they can't make their money in the same way that say the movie industry through Netflix does. Video games are far different than other forms of media.
3) Microsoft still wanted you to have the ability to share your games with other people, this is why they came up with the "Family Sharing plan". (+)
4) Microsoft still wanted you to be able to gift the game or to sell it, but there was one limitation here in that you could not sell it beyond that. (-)
5) Microsoft was working on a way that people could still rent games like from "Gamefly", but this was being worked on until after launch.
6) Microsoft has just bought over 300 thousand servers to be used for the 4 cloud based things I talked about in the document that I posted. They are not going to retire servers just to shut off the games. See this video about Microsoft Azure: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=JJ44hEr5DFE
So, what do we have, we have one (-) Minus meaning an actual limitation and one (+) means an actual feature that isn't a limitation but huge plus. The other features should be (+) as well because they are not limitations. However, I wanted to be fair as possible about this.
In the end the limitations are not limitations at all and is probably the most flexible "DRM" system in the history of DRM. Microsoft couldn't explain the benefits and the non limitations correctly and people freaked out. So, it's a communications issue from Microsoft and people not being rational and freaking out about their lost rights, which as you have seen is a complete fairy tale.
Bu....bu...bu...What about the Future!!!!!!
The future isn't lost. You can probably forget about the digital features on disks, but that doesn't mean that the other features are not coming back. They are definitely coming back, but it won't be after launch. I would suspect that they will be back for 2014, but that is just a guess right now. You will probably see this on "digital downloads" only. So, honestly I really wouldn't worry about it. This is a big set of features that makes them different than the competition.
If it was me, I would push "Digital Downloads" like this....
1) Offer all of the digital features ONLY on digital downloads (Instant Switching, Family Sharing plan, Games
available on any console without bringing your games, etc...)
2) Lower the price of the digital downloads on the same day as the physical media.
The same high quality game but with different pricing......
$60 for a "day one" game on Xbox One blu-ray disk.
$40 for a "day one" game on Xbox One "Digital download"
Here is the final link that I will give out in the OP. If you haven't read it, then read it with the above in mind and think, are they really evil or do they want to move forward with the rest of the industry?