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Editor’s Letter: Microsoft backtracks. Is the Xbox One better for it?

In each issue of Distro, editor-in-chief Tim Stevens publishes a wrap-up of the week in news.

DNP Editor's Letter Microsoft backtracks Is the Xbox One better for it

It’s not too often that we call a tech news story stunning, but that seems like an apt description for our reaction when Microsoft decided to pull an abrupt about-face and nix its controversial rights management for the Xbox One. We learned at the Seattle launch event that the system would have to call home once every 24 hours or every game installed from a disc would be disabled — even if you had the disc in the drive — and quickly the rumblings from the gamers started. They grew louder at E3 when Microsoft detailed the system’s DRM, a stream of complaints that quickly reached deafening levels on online forums and the like.

Yet, through all that, Microsoft stayed true to the party line, that the advantages of this system (being able to digitally share games, being able to change games without having to swap discs, etc.) outweighed the overwhelmingly negative reaction brewing among online gamers. That corporate message seemed to get bitter at times, weary at others, but never showed a sign of changing. Until, suddenly, a complete about-face this week.

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