Xbox One DRM rumours re-surface after Call of Duty: Ghosts offline issues, Microsoft replies

Monday, 11th November 2013 10:29 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One DRM concerns appeared again over the weekend after one gamer got his paws on a console and copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts ahead of the machine’s November 22 launch. It was claimed that the shooter couldn’t be played offline, and Microsoft’s Albert Penello has now stepped in to address the matter.

Twitter user Moonlightswami was among a few gamers who received their Xbox One console early via US retail chain Target. He then took to his feed to discuss his experience with the device.

We reported on premature Xbox One sales through the link. Microsoft caught wind of the slip-up and then banned all consoles from Xbox Live temporarily as a precaution.

While the ban applied to Xbox Live online features, Moonlightswami found that he couldn’t play Call of Duty: Ghosts offline either:

Word of the issue spread to NeoGAF and Microsoft’s Albert Penello took to the boards to address concerns over offline play restrictions. “We still have two more weeks before launch – the console is in a pre-release state. We are doing regular updates – I personally took one a few minutes before he posted. His build is now old. This is why we were saying we didn’t want people on early – it’s not done yet.

“This behavior is only because we are in pre-release. When we launch, console will work exactly as you expect today on 360. For sure this has nothing to do with requiring a connection. There is no “DRM removal” in the Day One update because none of the consoles were ever built with that stuff in it. This also has nothing to do with COD. The Day One update just brings the SW up to date with the latest versions vs. what’s on the box. But there is no 24 check in, that’s for sure.”

It follows Penello’s admission that the Xbox One day one patch is not “really an optional thing.”

Time will tell if there are offline restrictions in place, but given Microsoft repeated affirmation that there aren’t, it seems like there should be no problem come launch.

What do you think?

Via OXM.



  1. Xbone

    The full DRM thing will come back about 1 year after release. You heard this from me first.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Fin

    “This behavior is only because we are in pre-release. When we launch, console will work exactly as you expect today on 360. For sure this has nothing to do with requiring a connection. There is no “DRM removal” in the Day One update because none of the consoles were ever built with that stuff in it.”

    I don’t understand. If there’s no DRM in the system at the moment, why can’t he play offline?
    This was a telling thing on the back of the PS4 box for Ghosts:

    #2 1 year ago
  3. raftos

    “When we launch, console will work exactly as you expect today on 360.”

    Yep, 720p even.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Hcw87

    Sony also did this:

    They’ve been riding the easy waves ever since E3 and MS’s fuckups.
    I bet there are some uninformed people who still thinks XB1 requires the 24hr online check, and Sony will ofcourse take advantage of that any way they can.

    What i think is happening here is either he’s running on old firmware, or they’ve locked the console so that it can’t be used until the launch date.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Fin


    Neither of those make sense – he was able to play Ghosts previously, with whatever firmware he had. If the console can’t get on to Live, neither the fw of Ghosts can be updated, so he can’t be on an old firmware.
    With the other point – are you saying you think MS can reach down into your system and disable it from playing games offline?

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Hcw87


    ”UPDATE: Microsoft clarifies that the planned day-one Xbox One update, which Whitten told me, will “complete some of the software that won’t be there,” is actually not a result of today’s DRM policy change. Rather, it was always planned and will simply be required for playing off-line, among other things. Not a patch, they say. But, yes, your new Xbox console would have to connect online once in order to do the things Microsoft described today. And then you can keep it offline and play games without re-connecting to the Internet forever.”

    So again, he’s playing on OLD firmware, and he won’t be able to properly use his console until the day one update (at launch). Also, isn’t his console banned? Ofcourse he can’t connect to XBLive.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Fin


    Ah, so you mean more “pre-release” than “old”. That makes more sense.

    Still makes me uneasy that MS have an effective kill switch over offline play though.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Dragon

    Why cant people play retail games on X1 without downloading the day one patch?

    I expect some network issues at first since every X1 owner has to download the patch to play any games. Although it should not be a problem thereafter, as MS said so themselves.

    The fear of “return of DRM” are probably exaggerated since it would be the death knell for X1 if it returns, and MS guys are way more intelligent than that.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Fin


    Yup, MS’s CDN had better be good enough to support a few million people simultaneously trying to download the fw patch. Apple’s often falls over with new software releases, so I wouldn’t be confident.

    “MS guys are way more intelligent than that”

    Don’t think you’ve been around for the past few months!

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Dragon

    Add to that MS is doing a simultaneous “global launch”, unlike Sony which has a staggered launch, probably reducing server load one of the reasons for that.

    Still, I think we have to give them a bit of credit for 180ing so quickly on unpopular issues. Obviously, not having them in the first place would have been better, like what Sony did.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Gekidami

    Pretty much. They’re going to start saying games need the cloud to function more and more, and that means it needs to be connected to the internet. And so the cloud becomes the DRM excuse.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Dragon

    Yeah, one of the reasons I am not a huge supporter of “cloud”. I am more of a SP guy.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Lloytron

    THis doesn’t bode well for people who want to play an Xbox One without connecting to the internet at all. SOunds like without the day one update some games may not even work.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Hcw87

    Everyone has internet these days.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Fin


    Yeah. And anyone who doesn’t can just buy a PS4 instead.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Hcw87

    Considering both need patches to function properly, not really.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Fin


    Nope. PS4 needs patches for DVD, Bluray, some online functionality, but you can play games on it without connecting to the internet. Can’t do that with X1.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Joe Musashi

    @13 “Well, for those without the internet, Microsoft have a product for you… ”
    Don Mattrick, 2013


    #18 1 year ago
  19. Ireland Michael

    Mountain out of molehills as usual.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Kreion

    If you don’t have the internet – get the internet. It’s quite simple really. You wouldn’t buy a t.v without electricity and then bitch at the manufacturer would you?

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    @20 That’s ridiculous logic. You shouldn’t *need* it to make the machine run properly. You *need* electricity.

    The reason they (both Sony and Microsoft) are creating these hefty feature patches is to push people towards signing up for their online service as a practical requirement.

    What happened to putting firmware on the discs?

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Hcw87

    Nothing is stopping you visiting a library and downloading the update onto a USB.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. monkeygourmet


    “What happened to putting firmware on the discs?”

    There’s no room left after they’ve hidden all the ‘on disc’ DLC… ;)

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Fin


    I assume future games will contain fw patches, but launch games were pressed before final firmware versions.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Ireland Michael

    @22 Again, that’s not the point. You shouldn’t *have* to. The machine should work as advertised straight out of the box. I shouldn’t have to download a patch for countless basic functions to work.

    The PS3 patch is especially embarrassing in how much it limits without it, many of which make no logical sense to not be in there to begin with.

    @23 Hah! Funny. =P

    @24 The final firmware should be prepped and stable before the games hit the production line, or you have no idea what potential problems could arise.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Kaufer

    More “Deal with it” ‘s from Adam Orths

    #26 1 year ago
  27. viralshag

    Most of my tech these days relies heavily upon on the internet, I’m not sure why consoles would/should be any different.

    If I didn’t have access to the internet I wouldn’t have bought a tablet, PC, smartphone, smart TV and in truth none of the current gen consoles either.

    Sure some might work without it but probably not as well as they should.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. TheBlackHole

    I love how this has distracted from the more interesting DRM news today, regarding Sony’s new T&Cs.

    And NO, Microsoft have nothing in their T&Cs forbidding game resale without their (and the publisher’s) approval.

    Sly Dogs.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. Kaufer

    Nice distraction.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. Ireland Michael

    @28 There’s absolutely nothing in those shots that isn’t already true of current console hardware already, unless you can specifically point out what the problem there is. Just typical over reactionary stuff.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. DrDamn

    @28 & @30
    The back of the original Motorstorm for example …

    #31 1 year ago
  32. Junior

    I remember that when Microsoft did their DRM 180, they said that it would require an update, at launch, for the system to work without the once-a-day check.

    Did people and microsoft forget that they said that?

    I am pretty sure that Sony, at their first show of the PS4, say that the camera would be included. But that is a story for another time.

    I just find it funny that these companies, and people, forget what is said just a few months before.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Ireland Michael

    @31 What about it?

    #33 1 year ago
  34. Dragon

    Even current gen retail games come with “don’t rent,resell without permission” stamp, which obviously no one cares about and they don’t matter one bit (#31 beat me to it).

    Oh, and did anyone read the new interviews with Adam Orth?

    #34 1 year ago
  35. DrDamn

    “Resale prohibited unless authorised by SCEE” – the point being this isn’t new, wasn’t and will not be enforced.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. Kaufer

    @32 There was a 500MB update when Moonlight first used his X1. Now they are saying it will recieve either a second update or a different first update. I guess since there wasn’t a version number nobody can tell yet.

    And about the camera I remember that being a rumor if it was indeed confirmed from Feb, VG would have said otherwise.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. RussellGorall

    Seeing as both consoles had the same DRM on it this Summer, I am not going to get into a fanboy war.

    I just want Friday to come fast, I want my PS4.

    #37 1 year ago
  38. Ireland Michael

    @33 Ah right.

    Yeah, pretty standard stuff. Those kind of “terms” were penned decades ago by media companies mainly to be used in courts for combating piracy groups. The average consumer is not even remotely affected by them.

    #38 1 year ago
  39. livewired500

    The more disturbing part of this is the “Ship it and fix it” attitude they are taking with a retail electronic device. This crap has already become a massive disease with games and now they are testing it out on the hardware side.

    #39 1 year ago
  40. DSB

    This is a non-story. I’m pretty sure you had to realize there were no meat on those bones Dave :p

    That being said, considering how hard it is for Activision to keep an authentication server running for Ghosts, I’m not really looking forward to the cloud.

    A lot of people are getting shut out of the game, and it seems like classic authentication lag. It’ll get stuck on connecting, and then fail you. But it may let you in like 10 seconds later.


    #40 1 year ago
  41. Ilovesony

    Interview With Penello III

    Me: So now we are hearing you need the “Day One” Patch in order for the system to work is that right?

    Penello: Yes everyone who buys a Xbox One will need to download the patch in order for the system to work properly

    Me: So what about those with no internet access at all?

    Penello: (Snickers) W..what?

    Me: Yes there are some people out there with no internet or a very weak internet connection

    Penello: (whispers under breath) Well they gonna be waiting a long time….

    Me: What was that sir?

    Penello: there arent that many people out there who dont have internet access silly willy!!

    Me: Uh Yes there is.. its not like every home in america has internet

    Penello: They Dont?

    Me: No.. and its not like wi fi hotspots are all over the place

    Penello: Its Not?

    Me: No!!

    Penello: but.. Cant they just steal a wifi signal from a neighbor or something?

    Me: No! what if that neighbor has a password on their Wifi?

    Penello: Then they can just ask the neighbor for it cant they?

    Me: I can tell sir you have put no thought into this interview and I think your company is gonna make a huge mistake…

    Penello: NOW wait a min!! Sony’s maching wont work completely on day one without a patch either!!! you need to download it to even watch blu ray movies and stuff!

    Me: That may be true but we can play games right out the box without an update but Your system is basically a brick until you update is that correct to say sir?

    Penello: NO.. No.. thats not what were are saying.. we… our system… it boots up…See… what had happened was…. Damn.. I thought everybody had WiFi…

    Me: Well now you know sir.. Maybe Getting a PS4 wasnt a bad idea..

    Penello: Yeah… its seems… Wait!! I didnt say that!!! dont quote me on that!!!

    Me: Have a good day sir

    Penello: Have you heard my “Future” Speech?!!!

    #41 1 year ago
  42. Hcw87

    You’re taking the fanboy act way too seriously.

    #42 1 year ago
  43. The_Red

    Penello seems like a cool guy but that was a fun read. While not Albert, I’m absolutely sure that thing kinda happened with some of MS higher ups that were behind initial DRM strategies for X1.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. bugmenot

    #44 1 year ago
  45. bugmenot

    #45 1 year ago
  46. Henry

    I don’t understand how this story is related to future online DRM.

    His console doesn’t have the latest patch, and it got banned by MS. Some functions might be locked up. It’s supposed to not work properly now. Any error can happen.

    Why predict how the console will normally work by its behavior under an unstable state?

    And even if MS does plan to implement online DRM later, they can add it to the console anytime. They don’t need to plant the feature in it before launch, then hide it by day1 patch, then reactivate it again in future. It’s stupid.

    #46 1 year ago
  47. Fin


    The point is the banned console can’t play games offline, which is awful similar to MS’s original intention, whatever the cause.

    #47 1 year ago
  48. Dave Cook

    @46 we didn’t say it was related to future DRM, but DRM rumours *have* literally started again on other sites and forums because of this.

    #48 1 year ago
  49. bugmenot

    #49 1 year ago
  50. bugmenot

    #50 1 year ago
  51. bugmenot

    #51 1 year ago
  52. Dave Cook

    @51 You’re going to get banned if you keep this up. Not kidding. Stop it now.

    #52 1 year ago
  53. KineticCalvaria

    @52, Calm down, Edward Snowden will save you.


    #53 1 year ago
  54. Cobra951

    So, I was right. Microsoft is preventing buyers so far from using their own property, even when they don’t try to go online. If it’s a retail box, it should not need to connect to anyone to work offline, ever.

    #54 1 year ago
  55. N2O1990


    You know what?they can do that for the 360 too

    #55 1 year ago
  56. noamlol2

    you put your trust in microscam and this is what you get

    #56 1 year ago
  57. Henry

    @47 Maybe because MS never promised you can play games offline with a banned, un-patched console before launch.

    We don’t even know if this “ban” that Moonlightswami got is the same as those normal “ban” that players will get in the future. This is a special case.

    #57 1 year ago

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