Microsoft loosens DRM restriction on many Xbox games


Most Xbox games released in the last decade are less likely to become unplayable in the future. That’s thanks to a change Microsoft has quietly made to the way its current consoles handle user rights to their games.

Why is it important: It’s a victory for video game conservatives and anyone who imagined running recent Xbox games in the distant future without worrying about the state of remote servers.

  • Microsoft is essentially dropping an approach to digital rights management, or DRM, for some games.

Details: The change removes the requirement for the disc version of most Xbox One games to verify an internet connection before running on new Xbox Series X consoles.

  • In “the vast majority of cases” the discs will simply install into the system and run the game, according Microsoft engineer Eden Marie, who addressed the change on Twitter this week.
  • Microsoft made the change in its mid-year Xbox “2206” update, according to Marie.
  • Fans who have been passionate about this Microsoft DRM policy first noticed it this month and are now widely applauding the change.

Between the lines: The change brings Microsoft closer to rivals Nintendo and Sony, whose systems do not require online verification for disc or cartridge games, according to data aggregated for Axios by the operators of the does it play online advocacy account and some like-minded actors.

  • Previously, these gamers viewed Microsoft as an outlier because Xbox One game discs wouldn’t work if inserted into an Xbox Series console that didn’t have an internet connection.
  • This issue was not only relevant for games of the Xbox One generation. Many current Xbox Series games come with only the Xbox One version of the game on the disc and therefore would not run under Microsoft’s DRM restriction.
  • Note: There are tighter DRM restrictions for downloadable versions of games on all major platforms.

What they say : “Thank you Microsoft for something that should have been there all along,” YouTuber Hikikomori Media said. in a video test the update.

  • “They did well, so I have to give them props.”

Yes, but Microsoft’s DRM Critics always want the company to remove the requirement for every new Xbox console to go online before it can operate.

  • This presents its own conservation headaches.

The big picture: The digital nature of games goes both ways in terms of preservation, giving games advantages and disadvantages over trying to preserve, say, hardcover copies of a great novel.

  • Digital media can be stored and transferred with relative ease.
  • But the code requires a platform to run it, and depends on those platforms continuing to run and allowing these games to continue running.

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