Microsoft updated the terms and conditions for using its upcoming Xbox One console late last night. Originally it was a region-locked games console that required regular Internet “check-ins” to work, and its used game discs could not be played. Now, the console is a region-free machine with no check-in and no used game restrictions.
The move seems to be a response to widespread public criticism of some of the previous DRM policies. Microsoft has taken a step back to align itself with the much more open policies that Sony had already planned for its next-gen console, the PS4.
But as TheNextWeb notes, Microsoft has given the public more freedom in some places but apparently removed some freedoms in others. Under the revised Xbox terms and conditions, cloud-bought games (i.e., ones bought from Xbox’s Net-based store and without a disc) can no longer be shared, transferred, and even resold to other players.
Games consoles are critical to revenue for both Microsoft and Sony, so this battle will rumble on over the next several years.