Microsoft makes it easier to restrict DRM on many Xbox games

Most Xbox games released in the last decade have less risk of becoming 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 it matters: It’s a win for video game preservationists and anyone else who imagined running recent Xbox games in the distant future without worrying about the state of remote servers.

  • Microsoft is basically backing down on a digital rights management, or DRM, approach for select games.

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

  • In “the vast majority of cases” the discs will simply install into the system and run the game. according to Microsoft engineer Eden Marie, who addressed the change on Twitter this week.
  • Microsoft made the change in its Xbox “2206” update in the middle of the year, according to Marie.
  • Fans passionate about this Microsoft DRM policy I noticed it for the first time this month and now they are very much celebrating the change.

Between lines: The change brings Microsoft more in line with rivals Nintendo and Sony, whose systems do not require online verification for disc- or cartridge-based games, according to data compiled for Axios by market operators. Play? online defense account and some like-minded players.

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

What they are saying: “Thanks to Microsoft for something that should have been there from the beginning,” said YouTuber Hikikomori Media in a video testing the update.

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

yes, but Critics of Microsoft DRM I still want the company removes the requirement that every new Xbox console go online before it can work.

  • That presents its own preservation headaches.

The panorama: The digital nature of games works both ways in terms of preservation, giving them some trade-offs compared to trying to preserve, say, hardcover copies of a great novel.

  • Digital media can be stored and transferred relatively easily.
  • But the code requires a platform to run on it, and is subject to whether those platforms will continue to work and allow those games to continue running.

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