DRM Free Xbox One Comes at a Price: Family Library, Roaming Features Removed

The fans spoke, and Microsoft listened! Earlier today, Microsoft announced that they are doing away with all DRM-related policies on Xbox One. This means no more required internet connectivity or daily check-ins, no more activation codes, and no more restrictions on buying, selling, or lending used games. However, this change in policy comes at a cost; Microsoft has confirmed that one of the most intriguing features of Xbox One won’t be able to function on a DRM-free console.

People are wary of a system in which game ownership is tied to an Xbox Live account, but it does come with some perks. Xbox One was planned to have a ‘roaming’ feature that allowed players to access all of their games via cloud storage without having the physical disk. Essentially, you could go to a friend’s house, log into your Xbox Live account on his or her console, and access all of your games without having to pack them all up and bring them with.

Secondly, Xbox One was going to implement a ‘family library’ which allowed you to share your games digitally with family members. Up to ten people could be added to your family library, allowing them to stream the games stored on your hard drive to their console via the cloud, so long as you weren’t currently already playing the game.

Unfortunately, both of these features hinge on the idea that Xbox One games will be tied to your account and/or console, which is not the case under Microsoft’s revised policies. Without authentication checks or accounted-tied games, there would be no way of confirming from another console that you still owned the games you were attempted to stream via the roaming feature or the family library feature. You could hypothetically buy a game, put it in your family library, sell it, and continue to play it for free via cloud streaming to other consoles even though you no longer actually own it.

As such, Microsoft will be removing both the roaming feature and the family library feature. On the plus side, you’ll be able to physically share your games with anyone you please just as you can on Xbox 360, but no additional digital sharing features will be available without authentication checks. Major Nelson recently touted these planned features as the future of gaming, but it looks like Xbox fans would rather stick with the policies that they’ve grown accustomed to.

Source: Polygon

  • Primus

    The world isn’t ready. Nor do we want to be:p

  • Matthew Wesley

    Oh man, I’m shattered…. Not!

  • Matthew Wesley

    This isn’t the future of gaming, the future of gaming will be games that have AI that’s so smart, that it will change according to your actions, and environmental AI that’s organic; imagine it, an rpg where the npc’s and monsters are don’t just pop up, but in fact have their eco systems and behaviors that are extremely realistic and lifelike. The future is not tying people’s games to them with a chain, the future is not changing gaming ownership into a rental service where you’re leasing a game from a developer.

    • Morty

      I always thought about the possibility of true AI (because what is used now isn’t technically AI), to first be created in a video game. So no robot armies that start to question their purpose, but an actual video game NPC that goes haywire and completely fudges up the game.

  • Blake Wigert

    Only fools will buy this system, too much damage has been done. You can’t just take it back and act like it didn’t happen, it did and your company will suffer for it for a long time. I doubt us gamers will ever forget this

  • Terrence Aybar

    It sucks that I was looking forward to these features and now I won’t be able to have them, even if the DRM didn’t bug me in the slightest. People get what they ask for, I guess.

    • Patrick Rhoades

      yeah but now that they got it they still don’t want it saying it’s too late so why did you even care if it changed now it’s ruined for everyone way to go guys you complained and complained but now that it’s changed you say it doesn’t matter then why the fuck did you complain in the first place if you didn’t want it no matter what way to go ruined it for the people that actually wanted it because of the possibility of steam like discounts and roaming libraries.

      • Terrence Aybar

        As long as you know that I didn’t complain about it. :)

        • Patrick Rhoades

          Oh I know I could tell I was just supporting you and bitching at the people that bitched ruined it for everyone. Kind of like “If we can’t have it no one can”

          • Terrence Aybar

            I thought you were mad at me. LMAO