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UPDATE: Microsoft confirms stunning climbdown on Xbox One DRM and online check-ins

Microsoft has announced that it has listened to user feedback and will not insist on online check-ins for the Xbox One and has assured gamers that they will be able to trade, lend and sell games at their digression without any DRM restrictions.
He also confirmed Xbox One games will be region free!

Head of Xbox Don Mattrick has issued a post on the Xbox Wire blog confirming the changes to the company’s policy following reports (see blow) late on Wednesday evening hinting that an announcement was forthcoming.

Here are the key excerpts from the blog post:

  • “An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games. After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • “Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.”

Beyond confirming the u-turn on used games and DRM, Mattrick also announced that the Xbox One will now be a region-free console just like the PS4. He added: “In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console – there will be no regional restrictions.”

Our original story is below…

Microsoft could be about to announce the biggest climbdown in recent tech history by ditching the controversial online check-ins and game DRM plans that threaten to wreck the launch of the Xbox One console, reports claimed on Wednesday evening.

In what would be an absolutely shocking turn of events, home entertainment publication WhatHiFi claims the company is informing game developers of its decision first, with an official announcement coming later today.

The company has received an incredibly strong backlash from gamers over its insistence that the Xbox One must check in online at least once every 24 hours, along with giving developers the ability to restrict second hand game sales and trades.

Sony capitalised on the PR nightmare by announcing that it would place no such restrictions on the PS4’s second hand market and insisting that gamers would never have to go online to play locally stored content.

Along with the PS4’s lower price, the furore has dominated the discussion since the E3 expo last week; to the point where the games available for each console have become a secondary factor in some quarters.

Despite, arguably, offering a stronger line-up of launch titles, the Xbox One has been surrounded by negativity from gamers, retailers and the media at large. Many have claimed the issue has already become a deciding factor in the Xbox One vs PS4 next-gen battle.

It could be that Microsoft has decided to save face and redeem some goodwill with a shocking change of heart, if the report can be believed.

Usually this type of report could be dismissed as mere speculation, but in this case, the source is intriguing. WhatHiFi, a reputable publication to say the least, isn’t really known for its gaming coverage or its reliance on rumour and speculation.

It seems the publication has definitely heard something and judging by its report we’ll find out whether its information is reliable sooner rather than later.

There’s been nothing out of the Microsoft camp to suggest it is willing to back down and we’d also expect the company to stick with its policy until the console is at least out of the gate. However, stranger things have happened.

While we won’t be holding our breath, TrustedReviews will update this story should an announcement follow.

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