Microsoft Pivots on Xbox DRM

So, the incomprehensible mess of game licensing on Xbox One that no one thought would work out well didn't even survive a month of publicity, and now you'll be able to swap games, sell them, and take your console offline without your games refusing to play until they phone home. All good, yes? Well Gizmodo doesn't think so, and Kyle Wagner goes into great detail about why it's a disaster for the future of gaming, and why those with nothing to fear shouldn't fear the new face of DRM:

Fair enough. But compare that to the benefits of DRM. It helps build an ecosystem that is easy and convenient and, most of all, affordable enough to draw customers. That's what Apple did with iTunes and music, and it's what Amazon did with books. The content was just too easy to get and too cheap to bother with pirating it. We could have had that with the Xbox One and games.

Except that's not what we had, or at least not what Microsoft managed to articulate. What we had was Plays For Sure, and a confusing jumble of requirements that would have scared most normal consumers away and in the direction of Sony. A complete 180-turn is dumb from a technology standpoint, but this is about marketing. Expect more on this as both Sony and Microsoft try to work out how to take things forward, whilst not terrifying their core audience.