Xbox One: Pachter predicts DRM retraction ahead of time, discusses Microsoft’s ‘poor’ communication

Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:03 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One’s DRM, online check-ins and used game policies were dropped last night, and what’s weird is that Michael Pachter predicted that Microsoft would admit it was wrong. In a new episode of Pach Attack, the Wedbush Morgan Analyst discussed the issues at hand regarding Microsoft’s policies, and

In the episode – taped June 18 – he said of the backlash aimed at Xbox One, “I think the consumer dissatisfaction with DRM is not going to go away unless Microsoft changes the policy, or unless Microsoft does a far better job of communicating its intentions. I think Microsoft has good intentions.

“The company really created ‘always connected’ because they want games to have the ability to not only switch from game, to game, to game; but to switch from game to Skype, to game, to internet browser, god knows what else,” and added, “you really can’ do those without an internet connection. So the always on is to light a switch.”

Pachter added that Microsoft did a “poor” job of communicating its intentions, but when predicting what might happen next, the analyst said that he expected the company to admit it was wrong.

He said, “The part that I think they might consider here – which is way out of character for them – is an acknowledgement that they made a mistake, and I think in this case, Microsoft’s been a bit paternalistic. It means they’re making decisions for you because they think they know better.

“And the truth here is they do know better – they know what the box is capable of, and they really haven’t explained it to any of us. They’ve made the decision that you want that ability to switch between different services, so desperately that you will need to compromise your digital rights, and you’re willing to give to them the giveaway that you will log in at least once a day.

“I think a lot of gamers would rather just play solo games, single player games, and when they’re ready to go online, and want to go online, then they’ll log in. Then I think Microsoft has carte blanche to wipe the download off the hard drive. So I think that the correct solution is to enable disc-based gaming with no restrictions on transfer, and have the consumer sign a contract or end-user licensce agreement that says, ‘If I choose to download the disc to my hard drive, then I consent that you will log on once a day’.

Pachter then suggested that those willing to play offline only be exempt from the old rules, and voiced concern over the issue of overseas military players.

Here’s the best bit, “My best is, Microsoft’s smart enough to know it made a mistake, they have no intention of incurring this type of wrath. They would like to make everything right. They will absolutely – certainly – engage in some type of education effort to make it clear to people what they’re trying to do.

“But I think if they’re really smart, you would see a retraction of the DRM policy and they will say ‘status quo: you can play disc-based games, disc only, swap them, give them away, re-sell them, use them as coasters, do whatever you want with the disc, and we support that’.

“If they’re smart they’ll do it pretty soon. This was taped on June 18, and I’m hoping that they do this before November, but sooner is better. The sooner they retract the policy, the better for them. Good luck to you if Microsoft doesn’t, then I understand why you’re moving away to PS4.”

What do you make of the above then? Does Microsoft still have some convincing to do? Let us know below.