Mere days after Microsoft recommended that consumers wait to judge the Xbox One until after it launches, the company plans to lift DRM restrictions on games and requirements that the console consistently stay connected. (An update to this article is below, with a confirmation from Microsoft.)
Whathifi.com, citing unnamed sources, reported that Microsoft will announce publicly and to developers on Wednesday that it will no longer implement digital rights management restrictions that prevent gamers from sharing or re-selling Xbox One games. It will also repeal the need for Xbox One to connect online every 24 hours to confirm legitimate game installs.
After Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One at a press event in late-May, details of how the new console would handle used games were unclear. The Washington-based company later offered some clarification through blog posts that detailed a set of new restrictions.
Microsoft has since faced heavy criticism for introducing the constraints, something that Sony even used to its advantage at E3 when promoting the new PS4.
Upon facing heat from consumers, and after becoming the butt of many jokes from Sony, Microsoft explained to Pocket-lint earlier this week that its controversial plans actually empower the future of what the new next-generation console can offer. Microsoft also claimed the limitations are what consumers wanted.
Microsoft seems to have changed its tune, though, and it will provide a new plan of action at some point today.
Update: Microsoft issued a press release on Wednesday to announce a series of changes to the Xbox One that affect how users can play, share, lend and re-sell games.
The company revealed there is no longer a 24-hour internet connection requirement to play offline Xbox One games, but users will need a one-time system set-up with the Xbox One to play any disc-based game. Microsoft will also allow Xbox One users to share, trade-in, lend, resell, gift and rent disc-based games. The sharing of games will work as it did with the Xbox 360.
In other words: users who buy a disc can still share the disc, but users cannot share or re-sell downloaded titles. Moreover, playing disc-based games will require that the disc be in the tray. If users choose to download their games, they will be able to play them offline just like they did with the Xbox 360.
Microsoft further confirmed Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console - without any regional restrictions. The company said it listened to feedback following the controversy over DRM restrictions, and it heard "loud and clear" that users want the best of both physical and digital content.