New Xbox requires “Always-On DRM”? I call BS.


I know that there’s all this hype that the new Xbox (Codenamed “Durango”) has all these restrictions placed on it to “Make more money for content publishers” or some other shock and horror phrase that will likely get people pissed off for no reason.
Here’s why that’s BS.
1: Microsoft isn’t stupid. They’re based in the United States. They know exactly how horrid internet access is here. Windows doesn’t have Always-On DRM for this very reason. Why make their biggest money maker, their main OS phone home and lock out innocent users when it works just fine to phone home rarely.
The latest iteration of Xbox, the 360 already has a form of “Always-On DRM” and you probably didn’t even consider it: Live. Without Live, you get very little out of your Xbox experience. You get the ability to play your game, and that’s it. You can’t sign in properly to a roaming profile on a USB drive or a memory card, you can’t save achievements, and other things are just a broken without Live.
2: As per point 1, Microsoft has seen the backlash to the whole EA and Sim City problem. If these current rumors (I saw one today saying that it’ll only work for 3 minutes before it locks you out) are true, then they’re also rather old.
3. “No Used Games?” Try “No Used DLC” like we have now.
Here’s another example. I finally purchased a working 360 for my second semester of my 3rd year of college\university. It was an arcade model with a 20GB HDD and NO GAMES. I hit up the local eBay and purchased a used copy of Forza 3 for $10. That’s $0 going to the publisher, and $10 going to some guy who resurfaces used games. HOWEVER, There are huge piles of DLC still available for Forza 3. I can’t see MS stopping the DLC servers for at least 5-7 more years. Each item costs between 80 and 400 MSP (Microsoft points) at $5 for every 400MSP. I haven’t made a full list, but there were at least 4 track packs, and 5 car packs, plus avatar widgets and whatnot. so 9 400MSP items ($45 if I got all of them) and then about 400MSP in avatar junk. That’s $50 that can’t be transferred to someone who buys a used game. That’s $50 that the game studio gets a cut of, and will possibly get another cut of from a used game sale.
Before DLC, used games = $0 for publishers. Now DLC can be the actual profit maker.
Why stop there? If DRM is blocking piracy, but is also easily cracked (My Xbox has a flashed drive, as I keep one in my dorm room, and I keep the second console in the fiancee’s room, allowing me to keep the game in both places without risking cracking the discs in transport) what’s to keep pirates from buying DLC? Hell. why stop there? Offer a limited version for FREE or $5 on Live, but then buy additional items for extra cash.
If we used that example with, for example, the Halo franchise, and split the game into many little DLC packs, you’d have more people owning the game. I’d buy Halo if it cost $5 for me to play some of the missions, and I”d pay another $5 to unlock multiplayer online. I’d probably pay a total of $15 to have the game, + co-OP campaign and additional levels. That’s the cost of a used copy of Halo 3 on eBay right now, but instead of some commercial disc resurfacer or used game store getting the cash, it’s going right to the publishers and MS for hosting the content. That’s the future of gaming. Not punishing gamers, but treating them like the sensible and gullible people they are.
And finally, 4: It won’t work. Microsoft knows that DRM doesn’t work well. They put it on, but even Windows isn’t heavily loaded with DRM. It’s got a product key, and an activation. Nothing more. I could see them doing product keys, but I doubt they would. It would alienate the userbase.

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Someone who feels the need to help others using the information that I have discovered. If someone else finds it useful, I'm more than happy to have helped.

3 Responses to New Xbox requires “Always-On DRM”? I call BS.

  1. Traxxion says:

    I hope you’re right, because it will basically be an own goal if the machine cannot be used offline. My 360 is hardly ever connected to the internet because I’m not interested in online play anymore and if I was, I would be using my PC not a games console. Its bad enough that they ripped out split screen and LAN multiplay from the Xbox360 and that this had a knock on effect for PC. The Xbox didn’t quite make it to the top and an online only policy would be the final death knell.

    • pizzaboy192 says:

      I don’t know what happened to your Xbox 360, but all the games that I own for it allow both multiplayer split Screen, along with Local LAN or Live. I know that some games tax the console enough that split screen just isn’t possible due to technical limitations, but I’ve yet to run into one of those.

      • Traxxion says:

        Well, admittedly if I was more of a gamer I would have noticed that there is a small, but fairly decent list of games on 360 with system link and splitscreen. I think mainly I was upset when I noticed in for example the Need for Speed series of games they ripped both splitscreen and system link out and this transferred to the PC versions. A very clear ‘online only’ agenda from EA.

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