Citing numerous sources within Microsoft, and the fact that the XBox Q&A section is currently being updated. (UPDATE: It’s official now. ) Giant Bomb was first to report, via an exclusive that pretty much brought their site to a standstill, that Microsoft will be announcing a complete about face on, well, everything dumb about the XBox One today. To get more specific about what that means, though:
- No more always online requirement
- The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
- All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
- Authentication is no longer necessary
- An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
- All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
- No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
- Region locks have been dropped
Again, the official word from Microsoft hasn’t hit just yet (though multiple news sources on Twitter caught a fast glimpse of the announcement on XBox Wire before it vanished), but Patrick Klepek, the gentleman who broke it originally, is vetting highly for his sources. And really, this was pretty much Microsoft’s only viable move. Everything out of that company since May 21st has been like watching a YouTube video of Sideshow Bob stepping on a rake for a month straight. Eventually, it starts being sad.
So, technically, Microsoft may have just bought themselves back in the game. With a system that’s still $100 more than its competition. They still have 4 or 5 months to win back the folks who already threw down to pre-order a PS4, but are gamers going to put up with a company that stood so firmly behind not having their best interests in mind? Dunno. All the DRM smoke-and-mirrors aside, they actually had a decent showing of games at E3. We’ll see if they can leverage it to dig themselves out of their own grave.