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Xbox One DRM could return, but unlikely

by William Schwartz

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The most controversial feature of the Xbox One when it was initially unveiled was the system’s rights management scheme. The Xbox One DRM policies have since been scrapped, but that doesn’t mean that Microsoft can’t revisit them at some point in the future. According to Microsoft’s Albert Penello, the company is unlikely to do a double 180 and head back to their original policies.

“All of that DRM stuff was in place because there was no physical security on the disc itself, so all the licensing was done digitally. When you build that type of model, then you need to make sure people can’t install games on a bunch of machines, then unplug them. That would have made us an awesome pirating machine, and that can’t happen for obvious reasons.”

So now that people are largely content with Microsoft’s policies for the Xbox One, what about the future? Penello says “it’s possible”.

“IF WE ADDED BACK some of the those family sharing ideas we had in the beginning, we’d have to reintroduce similar types of policies. So IF you wanted to have a game and have that family sharing, always-in-the-cloud, and digital loaning – then we might add those requirements back. You can imagine a world where we have both types of models at the same time.”

With only a couple of months until the launch of the Xbox One, we’re unlikely to hear any other big bombshell news items from the company. It seems like they’ve found their vision for the console and have been really hammering on the system strengths for the last couple of weeks. IF we hear anything about the re-introduction of the family sharing and rights management scheme, it won’t likely be until the console has entered a lot of homes.

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