Microsoft preparing response to Xbox One DRM concerns

Larry Hryb, director of programming for Xbox Live, recently stated that Microsoft is listening to negative feedback on Xbox One's digital rights management issues, and now it appears responses to those concerns will soon be provided.

Responding to a Twitter user, Hryb said he will provide answers for DRM concerns and reiterated that Microsoft is listening to consumer feedback and that he is working on a response to address concerns. Hryb didn't say, however, if consumer feedback would have any impact on Microsoft's plans for the recently announced console.

Microsoft hasn't been clear on the exact DRM restrictions imposed by its upcoming console, causing confusion about how often it has to be connected to the Internet to work. Additionally, the company has said it's working on a feature "to enable customers to trade in and resell games," though it won't reveal how that method works until later.

Users of the gaming website NeoGAF recently started a campaign to bombard Microsoft and Sony with feedback on DRM issues such as persistent Internet connections requirements and similar issues, prompting Hryb's statements that Microsoft is listening to feedback. Microsoft had been expected to address DRM concerns at its E3 press conference on June 10, though the backlash may have sped up those plans.

Source: Larry Hryb on Twitter

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There's probably no way they're going to eliminate the used game "blockage" they've announced already, or the periodic need to have the console check in with them online once every day. Both functions are tied to each other.

For many years now there's been speculation of game consoles being sold without an optical drive or any other physical delivery medium such as a cartridge, making them a "online digital delivery only" system. Well, this is as close to it as it will get before the physical medium is eliminated.

So far the argument was that broadband internet wasn't readily available for 100% of the user base, with this scheme that Microsoft has announced games basically have the same licence as Steam or mobile phone games, except that they eliminate the need to download the game by providing the installation media to the consumer, then the consumer can't complain that their internet connection doesn't allow them to download a 20GB game.

As it's been pointed out, the only reason Sony hasn't seized the opportunity to do a PR mockery of Microsoft's used game stance is because they've probably come up with the same system or something very similar to what Microsoft is doing. Simple as that. About Microsoft's "we're listening" statement, yes they're listening to the negative response to their announced used game policy, and the only thing they're "working on" is some more carefully crafted PR statements on the matter, and some sort of clever spin on how this is in the best interest of the consumer. Nothing more, nothing less. As long as games are required to be installed to the hard drive and are able to be played without the bluray in the optical drive there's just no way around this, else people would be able to install the game on their xbox and all their friends' xboxes too.

Unless they back off and require the disk to be present in the optical drive there's just no way around this, but we know that's most likely not going to happen. PS4 and X1 are very likely the last generation of game consoles with a physical delivery medium for games.

The one thing I'm most afraid of, is that games will take much longer to come down in price, since Microsoft and the publishers are forcefully inserting themselves between the consumer that the used games resellers. Used game stores will no longer be able to dictate when to lower the price of a used game, since Microsoft and the publishers will ask for a particular amount for each used game sold. Just look at the games on demand prices on Xbox Live and PSN, games that can be bought new for $10-$20 go for $40+ online, ridiculous! Unless this madness is reverted, this next console generation will suck for consumers.

erickdj said,
Microsoft and the publishers are forcefully inserting themselves between the consumer that the used games resellers.

This will not just be a Microsoft and publisher thing. It will be a Microsoft, Sony and Publisher thing.

Yes, that is my assumption as well. I just didn't want to include Sony just yet, since they haven't really said what their plan is. However, I'm pretty inclined to believe they will do the same sort of thing Microsoft is doing.

If they eliminate the DRM (both the "always on" phone home requirement AND the used games BS, AND they eliminate the Kinect requirement, I MIGHT buy this console. I doubt the will do this though. They might cave on the used games, but they are still going to try and shove their spycams down our throats.

from the article you just sent me to:
"Microsoft has more than ten years of experience making privacy a top priority."

From the first Google result from "Microsoft security breach":

"Microsoft is picking up the pieces from a data breach on its Xbox Entertainment Awards website, after thousands of voters entering a prize draw had their personal details inadvertently published on the site."


Read more: http://www.itproportal.com/201...urity-breach/#ixzz2UuQIulUZ

So, an entertainment awards website (that was most likely made very quickly, maybe in a couple of months) has a security issue (not really a surprise given the time frame) means they'll have privacy issues with something they've had in development for "years" to get right? As a developer, I don't see the correlation, but alright. When it comes to devices/hardware, it's either on or it's not, the privacy features won't be that difficult to implement.

the funniest thing I've read so far with XBOX fan boys was a comparison between the XBOX One and PS4 "CPU Architecture"... they are basically the same thing! with a few small differences, the core design is the same! and they went on to say that the XBOX One has a more advanced instruction set then the PS4..... huh? it's x86-64 instruction sets! same across the two platforms!

neufuse said,
the funniest thing I've read so far with XBOX fan boys was a comparison between the XBOX One and PS4 "CPU Architecture"... they are basically the same thing! with a few small differences, the core design is the same! and they went on to say that the XBOX One has a more advanced instruction set then the PS4..... huh? it's x86-64 instruction sets! same across the two platforms!

Maybe, he may be getting at the fact that Microsoft have MASSIVE expertise in CPU design. A while a go they actually provided AMD with a lot of engineers so they could make a decent processor and Intel initially refused (MS and Intel actually have a love hate relationship). Anyway, the CPU will not be "custom" as in it had a differnent logo or some crap like that, it will be optimised for processing, efficiency etc GREATLY.

I'm also going to have to call you out on the "same thing". Just because two processors have the same "instruction set" doesn't mean they don't go about completely different ways to resolve the fetch execute cycle.... Common misconception is that an AMD x86 processor is practically the same as an Intel x86 one. This is totally and utterly false and it would not surprise me if the internals and logic within the XB1's CPU was vastly different from the PS4s but only time will tell.

neufuse said,
the funniest thing I've read so far with XBOX fan boys was a comparison between the XBOX One and PS4 "CPU Architecture"... they are basically the same thing! with a few small differences, the core design is the same! and they went on to say that the XBOX One has a more advanced instruction set then the PS4..... huh? it's x86-64 instruction sets! same across the two platforms!

Good that it's funny to you, but I don't really think you understand!

kaotic said,
And it will probably be more expensive. And you will NEVER see a noticeable different in the gfx.

First off, pricing hasnt been announced for either console. Your speculation on this is a bit premature.

Secondly, yes, you WILL notice a 33% difference in graphics power. Want a comparison? Go compare an Nvidia 650 to the 670.

im not buying these consoles, as i dont want them online all the time, hell my 360 is never on line its not even hooked up to the net

I think the One is a great name. Everyone I've talked to is pretty excited about it actually.

My sense is that certain gaming sites and bloggers have been fanning the flames of controversy to drive traffic. Lots of gamers seem to think that the rumors of no support for used games, always-on Internet connection, activation fees, etc., are straight-up facts. When the details are known, I think gamers will find that the Xbox One will remain a very gamer- and developer-friendly platform.

Yes and then they will all proceed to take credit for the decisions (that were already in place) so that they can feel like they are important watch dogs or something.

Seriously don't even call me a gamer anymore, I'm embarrassed to be associated with these children after the crap I've witnessed in the past couple of months. The reaction to hearing that DRM would be necessary was akin to seeing a kid drop his ice cream cone on the floor. The best word to describe gamer reactions to our DRM reality is "TANTRUM." You would think these people were oblivious to the existence of the PC and PC software. Perhaps they're so used to stealing everything on torrent they don't even know how software licensing works.

Consumers will never stand for a system that links the game they paid for to an online account, That forces them to use online services, That isn't made by Gabe Newell (if it is they'll go down on all fours).

TPreston said,
Consumers will never stand for a system that links the game they paid for to an online account, That forces them to use online services, That isn't made by Gabe Newell (if it is they'll go down on all fours).

And Steam sales continue to grow...

Steam is nothing like a console....
Steam offers games on sale constantly. Games on a PC can be modded, work with hardware from all ages ( as long as your pc is powerful enough ), and will allow you to play them offline, even if steam goes down. Consoles on the other hand do not provide those services, and limit you in even more ways.
Please, stop trying to compare apples and oranges.

shakey said,
Steam is nothing like a console....
Steam offers games on sale constantly. Games on a PC can be modded, work with hardware from all ages ( as long as your pc is powerful enough ), and will allow you to play them offline, even if steam goes down. Consoles on the other hand do not provide those services, and limit you in even more ways.
Please, stop trying to compare apples and oranges.

I wasn't aware I did, Thanks for the red herring stating what everyone already knows. but it doesn't change the DRM hypocrisy.

Ok when gabe does it, Outrage when Microsoft does the same thing.

shakey said,
Steam is nothing like a console....
Steam offers games on sale constantly. Games on a PC can be modded, work with hardware from all ages ( as long as your pc is powerful enough ), and will allow you to play them offline, even if steam goes down. Consoles on the other hand do not provide those services, and limit you in even more ways.
Please, stop trying to compare apples and oranges.

I'm aware of that. But the comment was the basic idea that tying your games to an account was something nobody would ever do. And yet they do every day. And last I checked, Steam doesn't only make great sales numbers during promotions.

Also, Microsoft has not stated you cannot play games offline. If I recall correctly they've said or at least mentioned that it would be just the opposite.

I still don't see how consoles "limit" you. They are for a specific purpose. They limit you in relation to PC gaming no more than a tablet limits you in functionality vs. a computer. It's a device made for a specific purpose. Expect limitations.

What would be cool is if they put a cellular chip inside so that people without internet could still use borrowed games to activate it that way. Also companies could charge for data for things like internet browsing, youtube, etc. lol.

J/K, don't do that.

My main concern is with the required online connection as some people just won't have the ability to connect regularly and the ability to loan games to friends... They really painted themselves into a corner on this one, so I hope they're working on a solution that is consumer friendly...

It depends on what that online connection is for, and how this games activation thing works (and its purpose)

Ideally, (what I'd like to see, but we'll have to wait for MS to actually explain what the thing does) the game activation and check in "features" work with the fact that all games install themselves to the HDD. What I would love is that once the game is installed, you no longer need the disc to be in the Xbox in order to play the game. The activation and check ins would be to make sure that your disc hasn't been used in another Xbox, if it has, then your HDD copy won't play again until you put the disc back in on your system. The Gamestop angle that we hear about would be that retailers like Gamestop would have a system that essentially says "This disc is up for resale, the previous user can no longer play it as he has sold it/traded it/loaned it"

And, ideally, if you have no persistent net connection, then the console would just ask that you always have the disc in the unit in order to play the game, just like the current consoles do

Sraf said,
It depends on what that online connection is for, and how this games activation thing works (and its purpose)

Ideally, (what I'd like to see, but we'll have to wait for MS to actually explain what the thing does) the game activation and check in "features" work with the fact that all games install themselves to the HDD. What I would love is that once the game is installed, you no longer need the disc to be in the Xbox in order to play the game. The activation and check ins would be to make sure that your disc hasn't been used in another Xbox, if it has, then your HDD copy won't play again until you put the disc back in on your system. The Gamestop angle that we hear about would be that retailers like Gamestop would have a system that essentially says "This disc is up for resale, the previous user can no longer play it as he has sold it/traded it/loaned it"

And, ideally, if you have no persistent net connection, then the console would just ask that you always have the disc in the unit in order to play the game, just like the current consoles do


That would be fair, but at the same time, it's trying to find a solution to a problem that they are creating... Why not continue to require the disc be in the console? Why require it be installed to the HDD? I have some theories on that, but who knows if I'm even close to right...

And with all due respect as well, the Google comparison above is ridiculous... I don't think anyone expects cloud services or web based features to be available offline... Playing an offline game should be just that and require nothing more than the box...

if people don't think the same content protection scheme is going to be on the PS4, you're going to be disappointed. EA isn't stripping online pass from all their games just to be nice. This activation program is going to be implemented on the new consoles.

And if Sony decides not to do it, guess whos ass publishers are going to be kissing? Not Sony. Content sells consoles.

vcfan said,

And if Sony decides not to do it, guess whos ass publishers are going to be kissing? Not Sony. Content sells consoles.

While you are correct on one side of the argument, it would still be interesting to see especially after reading some articles about a recent study done on the used game market. Wired has a write-up on it and the paper itself can be found here;

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2189871

Long and short of what I take from reading the actual paper is that depending on the scope of intrusion into the used game market, prices very well may need to come down on the price of a new games without seeing a drop in sales.

"And yes, we are listening."
Sounds more like they're asking publishers like EA to ease the DRM usage they want on the console after the backlash they got if I'm honest.

n_K said,
"And yes, we are listening."
Sounds more like they're asking publishers like EA to ease the DRM usage they want on the console after the backlash they got if I'm honest.

Which would mean that they are listening, no?

A lot of people don't like the Xbox One so far, even people on facebook, who aren't techies. Just average joes.

Every time I"hear the name "Xbox one", for a split second I think they are talking about the original Xbox. Every single time ...

warwagon said,

Every time I"hear the name "Xbox one", for a split second I think they are talking about the original Xbox. Every single time ...

Me too, as well as pretty much everyone else I know. It's a terrible name.

virtorio said,

Me too, as well as pretty much everyone else I know. It's a terrible name.

Your name is terrible but I ain't complaining... lmao... X Box is not the same as X Box One, regardless if you simply related with the first one. We had X-Box 360, did it mean it was the 360 version? No! Naming does not to follow a chronological order but I guess people always find something to complaint about.

It's causing confusion, so you're wrong that people are complaining for no reason. You sound just like the fanboys that defend W8 despite all the problems. It's great YOU don't have any issue with it, but a smart company considers customers as a whole. I suspect M$ had to change some serious DRM plans now that they know it might seriously hurt sales and growth. I believe they'll half ass it and then implement what they really want a year or two down the road once they have you invested.

coderchi said,

Your name is terrible but I ain't complaining... lmao... X Box is not the same as X Box One, regardless if you simply related with the first one. We had X-Box 360, did it mean it was the 360 version? No! Naming does not to follow a chronological order but I guess people always find something to complaint about.

Your post isn't funny, so don't laugh. It's confusing to call the third generation of a console the xbox one. Defending it by saying it isn't means you're being willfully ignorant. I imagine it will get a nickname at some point that everyone can agree on though.

warwagon said,
A lot of people don't like the Xbox One so far, even people on facebook, who aren't techies. Just average joes.

Every time I"hear the name "Xbox one", for a split second I think they are talking about the original Xbox. Every single time ...

I know a bunch of people on Twitter and facebook (even my own parents) that are excited about the Xbox One. I know a lot of people who actually watch tv that are excited about the console and I know a lot of gamers too.

kaotic said,

I know a bunch of people on Twitter and facebook (even my own parents) that are excited about the Xbox One. I know a lot of people who actually watch tv that are excited about the console and I know a lot of gamers too.

Oh, damn... this dude's parents are excited about Xbox One... better get my credit card ready for preorder.

mantequillas said,

Oh, damn... this dude's parents are excited about Xbox One... better get my credit card ready for preorder.

You can joke and be an ass all you want, but I definitely think non gamers will buy it.

Do these same morons think that the "HTC One" is the first HTC phone and the "Fitbit One" is the first Fitbit?

People complained about the name "Wii" more than any other console I've seen and it went on to become the second best selling home console of all time.

In the absence of marketing (and time) it is easy to complain about any name. If Xbox One commercials focus on it being the "all in one" box or "the one" box to simplify and manage all of your home entertainment, then the naming makes more sense. Pound people over the head with a billion dollars of advertising and suddenly the name doesn't seem so odd.

Hahaiah said,
It's causing confusion, so you're wrong that people are complaining for no reason. You sound just like the fanboys that defend W8 despite all the problems. It's great YOU don't have any issue with it, but a smart company considers customers as a whole. I suspect M$ had to change some serious DRM plans now that they know it might seriously hurt sales and growth. I believe they'll half ass it and then implement what they really want a year or two down the road once they have you invested.
Using "M$" really makes you look very smart, unbiased, and worth acknowledging. /s

As far as DRM, there is not much that can be done to change the plans. The system only functions by installing games to the hard drive. This necessitates strict DRM like Steam to prevent piracy since the game disc no longer serves any function once the game is installed.

In any case the game publishers are getting murdered by second hand sales so they need to manage the sales of used games and take back much of the lost revenue from these second hand sales. Just like Hollywood fought for royalty rights over DVD/video sales of TV shows (writers strike), the artists who create games are entitled to royalties from anyone who purchases their game (1st hand or 2nd hand). There are only 4 major publishers left in the western game business (Take2, EA, Ubi, Activision). If the status quo of GAME/Gamestop leeching half the profit of the industry continued there would likely only be 2 major publishers left by the end of the next-generation.

Edited by Avatar Roku, Jun 1 2013, 3:20am :