This u-turn was unexpected, but now it's here, it makes sense
After claiming that their new console, The Xbox One, would require a quasi always-online status – meaning your game licence would be checked every 24 hours – Microsoft have decided that was a very bad idea indeed, and scrapped those plans.
How did they come about this marvellous epiphany? Well, loads of people told them the idea sucked, so, it was pretty easily actually. In a well-worded memo released on the One’s website, Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business, basically said ‘sorry, we’re sorry, we won’t be doing that anymore’ but with far more business jargon than that. “Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback,” he said. “I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.” So now, on the Xbox One, “you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again” and “There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.”
This will come as a huge relief for Xbox fans, some of which were reluctantly moving over to Sony’s PS4 and forfeiting their chance to play Microsoft exclusives like Halo. Sony have outgunned Microsoft so far; their E3 conference was a success, and they even mocked their next-gen rivals with special videos showing people how to trade games – something we thought was impossible with the Xbox – and a well-calculated undercut of the One’s price. Now, it seems, those margins are closing in, and the battle for next-gen supremacy is growing tighter thanks to Microsoft’s canny move.