Under fire, Microsoft dumps Xbox One restrictions


Microsoft's Xbox One is scheduled to be released in November. (Microsoft)

A surging tide of negative consumer sentiment has resulted in a sea change at Microsoft, who today said it would drop many restrictions announced for the upcoming Xbox One gaming console.

Multiple tech sites are reporting Microsoft is “heeding gamer feedback” and changing how the eighth-generation console, due to be released before Christmas, operates.

Gamers flooded the internet with complaints after the tech giant announced the $500 machine required an internet connection to play games, wouldn’t play used games and even required the motion-detecting Kinect sensor to be connected.

Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment business, said in a blog post titled “Your Feedback Matters” that an internet connection will no longer be required to play games on the Xbox One after its initial setup, and users can share and play games like they have on the Xbox 360.

“You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you,” he wrote. “Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.”

Sony, whose PlayStation 4 is also due out near Christmas, had made a point of telling gamers that its game machine will be $100 cheaper, not require internet check-ins and will play used PS4 and PS3 games.

GiantBomb.com tech writer Patrick Klepek writes:

What does this mean?

  • No more always online requirement
  • The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
  • All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
  • An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
  • All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
  • No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
  • Region locks have been dropped

Video game fans flooded Reddit with generally positive comments, but many were not in the forgiving mood.

One commenter, RetroHolo, summed it up well:

“I kind of expected this, but a lot further down the line. I guess the huge backlash was more than they could take and they couldn’t hold out for longer though. Will be interesting to see how this changes the playing field again, I’m fully expecting Sony to keep a huge advantage in the console war for some time. It’s going to take a lot more from Microsoft to regain the trust of the consumer.”

Still, he says he’s buying an Xbox One.

What about you?

22 comments Add your comment

Xavier aka XMAN202043

June 19th, 2013
10:24 pm

I’m not to happy with Microsoft but guess they are trying to gain our trust again. Now my only concern is the price. Would they try to match the price as PS 4?? Or just said the hell with consumer and stiff us with 499.99 price? Cause I thinking it would be one hell of a war with Sony.. If they were to match the price!!!


June 20th, 2013
6:17 am

this is great news, indeed, but I think MS is swinging and missing on the One. I do not need it for anything other than playing video games and would be paying too much of a premium for the ‘extras’. It’s time to switch to the PS4 (I never thought I would say that) and I am looking forward to their exclusives.


June 20th, 2013
6:17 am

Don’t worry, all these “features” and more will be back with their next version.


June 20th, 2013
6:37 am

I’m not crazy about the always on connect. Don’t really like the idea of someone being able to see into and listen into my home. Can you spell NSA?


June 20th, 2013
6:38 am

Excuse me I meant Kinect.


June 20th, 2013
6:39 am

Reminds me of Apple and their ‘update store’ and their iTunes ’store’. Apple operating systems are just one big ’store’. There is big money in hounding your users.

Jeff H.

June 20th, 2013
7:08 am

$500 to play games? Really?
Microsoft is an evil corporation, and I only use their crappy software when I get paid to do it. Predatory, monopolistic companies like them and Walmart are a big reason we are in our current situation. Boycott them.

Curious George

June 20th, 2013
7:24 am

Why didn’t Microsoft ASK their core customer base what it collectively wanted in an updated gaming console BEFORE trying to tell them what they were going to get (& like it) and avoid this public-relations disaster in the first place?

Conscious Warrior

June 20th, 2013
7:32 am

I wont spend $500 on something to occupy that much of my time. I can do a lot more with that $ than sit in front of a TV getting no exercise. Gates and Co. dont care about you. Didnt you see the family guy episode when he called the people ants? They say a lot of truth is said in jest…..just saying. :)
Jeff H. I agree with you buddy. Sony’s up there on that list too.


June 20th, 2013
7:42 am

Never, ever, ever will I buy a Microsoft game console again after the hardware issues and failures the 360 had. Microsoft rushed out a product that wasn’t ready, to beat Sony, and the first couple generations of 360s had major hardware failures, which MS denied at first, then eventually began replacing with refurbished units. Thanks but I think I’ll stick with PC gaming.

Get With the Program

June 20th, 2013
7:45 am

Come on people. Everytime these companies release new gaming systems, the prices are outrageous. Does no one remember when the last Sony Playstation came out it was it was $500 & $600? Then the price drops after the “newness” wears off? Same will happen here.

Curious George

June 20th, 2013
7:54 am

Has this initial (& botched) XBOX ONE rollout become comparable to the introduction of MyAJC.com to a discerning public whose collective advice to the provider/manufacturer was also ignored?


June 20th, 2013
7:57 am

Is there a real advantage playing console games versus a PC? I’m thinking of buying one, but then again, I’m thinking maybe I should just stick to my PC.


June 20th, 2013
8:24 am

bigdawg88: PC vs. Console? You’ll get a different answer from every person on that. One good thing about the console is that you also get a blu-ray/dvd player and movie streamer as well. But, you can do this from a PC as well. I prefer having a dedicated component in my system, so I like having a console. I actually bought a PS3 mostly to serve as my blu-ray player/video streamer and rarely even play games at all (I wanted the option though, so that’s why I spent the extra dough). If your PC has an HDMI out though, and you don’t mind the hassle of hooking it into the back of your stereo receiver every time you want to stream an HD movie, then go for it. If you are lucky and have an HDMI input on the front of your receiver (or have easy access to the back panel), then that would make the PC choice more palatable. One good thing about PC’s for gaming is that users can modify the code and add game options. There is not a clear winner, it’s subjective.


June 20th, 2013
8:25 am

@ Curious George at 7:24 AM – You would think a big company like Micro$loth would have put forth the time and money (oh, right, I forgot: they’re all for making money, not spending it) to perform a little market research (surveys, beta testing, etc.) and gather information from that research to determine what to change and what to keep. I’ll bet anything a majority of the test market would have disliked the fact it had to stay connected Kinect, and that they couldn’t play older games they already had, among other issues.


June 20th, 2013
8:47 am

Great, now can they give me back my start button for Windows? I hate Windows 8, and wish I would have bought a computer that had an older version of Windows.


June 20th, 2013
11:23 am

It seems that there is lots of grumbling on here from people that are not even the target demographic. Most of you had/have no intention of buying the console, so why are you here complaining?

Personally, I didn’t mind the notion of the 24 hour check-in. Having that feature would’ve allowed for a sharing plan that no other gaming service offered, as well as being able to switch titles without having to get up and change discs. Since people complained of the check-in, they did away with it and the features that came with it. Oh well. My only concern coming out of E3 was the restriction of lending/sharing physical discs with friends more than once and that has been struck down as well. I think I’m off the fence and will likely purchase one now.

To those complaining of the hardware issues of the 360, PS3 suffered very similar issues, but they weren’t as widely publicized since Microsoft was a more hated company than Sony at the time. After Sony’s network breach, they may both be on the same level of dislike now.


June 21st, 2013
8:44 am

Microsoft, like Apple, can go &^%* themselves once they begin to think they can tell me what I can and can’t do once I buy something.

Kerric Tyler

June 23rd, 2013
11:09 am

I’m holding off as long as they are making 360 games. I have zero incentive to upgrade as the One wont play 360 games. The PS4 will play PS# games. Those system owners can upgrade.

Class of '98

June 24th, 2013
3:09 pm

“Is there a real advantage playing console games versus a PC?”

I play consoles because I would rather lounge in my La-Z-Boy looking at the game on my 60-inch plasma TV than sit in a desk chair looking at a 17″ PC screen.


June 24th, 2013
4:01 pm

The Back doors are always open…..


June 25th, 2013
2:00 pm

Why does this articel lie and say the PS4 will play PS3 games ? PS4 will at somepoint have a service with can stream games from the internet if you have a PS 3 disc, but it does not play PS3 games.