Games with Gold will be given a restriction that Microsoft has hinted at since the reveal of the Xbox One. DRM controls are back.
That policy we all hated from the moment the Xbone was announced last year will keep you from being able to play the games you get for free with the Xbox subscription service. The games will still be on your hard drive, but Microsoft will make it so that the console will need to be connected to the internet so the Xbone can check your Xbox Live status. If your Xbox Live Gold subscription isn’t active, the games you download for free will be unplayable.
Sony gamers can no doubt rejoice that they’ve won yet another round of the Xbox One vs PS4 console war.
While it makes good business sense that Microsoft is making you pay for your games anyway, gamers likely won’t see it that way. Unlike the Xbox 360 version of the service, you won’t get to keep playing if you’re not paying.
The reason why Xbox 360 owners will enjoy the free games even after their Xbox Live Gold status has expired is that only older games are available for free. Xbox One doesn’t really have any old games yet, since the console has only been out since last November. The Xbone Games with Gold restriction will be more like a game rental service with benefits, except that the more games you download with it, the less you’ll be paying per game. The cost won’t go up, just the value.
In this way, the PS4 vs Xbox One console battlefield is evening out. At least Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services will finally be out from behind the paywall.
Sony gamers could be relieved that Xbone gamers will finally be held to the same restrictions with the current generation version of the service. PlayStation Plus has always required you to be a subscriber to play the free games it offers.
PlayStation 4 gamers won’t see any changes to their service, but now the Xbox One will require a subscription to Xbox Live Gold and an internet connection in order to play Games with Gold downloads. Xbox 360 games will continue to be restriction free even after your Xbox Live Gold subscription expires.
Does the returning DRM policy for Xbox Live Gold on Xbone sound right to you? Should Microsoft change their Games with Gold DRM policy back after the Xbox One has some older games to offer, or should their online requirement continue?
[image via joystiq]