There was a largely euphoric reaction online in the hours after Microsoft reversed its policies for the upcoming Xbox One game console, which had restricted resales of used games and required a constant Internet connection.
A Facebook message about the changes gained more than 75,000 likes in three hours. On gaming forums and sites like Reddit, most hailed the reversal as victory, though some said the incident would still drive them to rival Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4.
But others mourned new cloud-based features that Microsoft will eliminate as part of its policy changes. As originally planned, the new Xbox would have allowed digital games to be shared with ten friends and family, allowing others to log in and play the titles. A cloud-based system also meant that software would be available from any console, even without a physical disc, and downloaded titles could be shared and sold.
“It sounded pretty awesome to me, far better than the current physical media dominated model,” wrote a user on Reddit.
“Sadly, removing the DRM [digital rights management] on the Xbox One also got rid of all the amazing sharing options it had,” wrote another on Twitter.
Microsoft announced the changes via a post titled “Your Feedback Matters” from Don Mattrick, president of the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business.
“We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games,” he wrote, but the company will now make the new console similar to current generation.
“The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray,” he added later in the message.
Microsoft executives had repeatedly defended their plans for the new Xbox in recent weeks, saying the requirements were necessary for a new generation of cloud-based gaming. Rival Sony had openly mocked the company, pushing its more traditional stance for the PS4, including in an online video that has nearly 13 million views on YouTube.