Microsoft has revealed that it was surprised by just “how negative” early consumer reaction was to the Xbox One and the console’s originally proposed DRM restrictions.
With Microsoft originally planning use DRM restrictions to lock Xbox One games to individual consoles, a move that would have seen the pre-owned games market and even sharing titles between friends come to an end, the company was forced into a very public U-turn following intense consumer backlash.
“Was I surprised that people had a reaction to it? No. I mean, we knew it was going to be a controversial decision. Was I surprised how negative the reaction was going to be? Yes," Albert Penello, Microsoft’s Director of Product Planning said in a recent interview.
Speaking with Rev3Games he added: "We were surprised at how vocal it was, we were surprised at the reaction and the assumptions that people had about what we were trying to do. So we did the famous '180'."
With the Xbox One DRM issues coupled with news that the console will cost £80 more than the rival PS4 at launch, Microsoft’s next-gen console got off to a rocky start, with Penello, revealing the DRM stance was the company’s biggest mistake.
"If I had to go back and wish that I could rewind time and redo one thing, that would be the one thing,” he said.
"I think with time, people have understood what we were trying to do, and in fact I'm sure you've seen it with the fans. They were saying, 'God, I wish some of this stuff would come back.”
He added: "People got in their minds that what we were trying to do was evil or anti-customer when, in fact, we were looking at what Steam does, we were looking at what iOS is going, we were looking where the customers were going and saying 'I think we can actually give you a better all-digital experience."
Looking ahead to the future, Penello has predicted that similar features to those axed from the Xbox One could make a reappearance as games continue to move to a predominantly digital platform.
He stated: "Nobody debates there's going to be a world, whether it's this gen, or next-gen, that discs are going to go away, it's gone away in just about every medium.
"I think if anything we thought it was going to happen sooner than the customer. We took a hard stance on it.”
Earlier this week Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox One release date will be held in 13 countries on November 22. Although beating the UK bound PS4 release date of November 29, Sony’s next-gen gamer will hit the US a week earlier on November 15.
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