UPDATE: Xbox Series X Reportedly Has Online DRM Activation for Physical Xbox One Games, Disc Drive Issues

Xbox Series X always online DRM One

UPDATE: We are hearing unconfirmed reports that games work when the Xbox Series X is set to home Xbox. However, the original report from DoesItPlay reports that the game can cease working after 10 minutes, while the video only shows a few seconds. We will continue to investigate the validity of all claims.

UPDATE 2: Users on NeoGAF are also claiming the issue no longer persists when the Xbox Series X is set as your home console. Kotaku further reported that “When you designate an Xbox as your home Xbox, you’ll be allowed to play any of your downloaded games at any time, even if you’re offline.” However, this does note downloaded games, not physical ones.

UPDATE 3: Speaking to Doyle in direct messages on Twitter for further information, he revealed that Twitter user Voxelsaurus_Vex had similar issues. Now, that user has revealed that Xbox One games may require online activation, but not always online DRM.

“When installing an XBOX ONE game OFFLINE, from the disc, you will not be able to play the game offline,” Vex explains, “it will force a sign in/update. However if you update the game it will then run OFFLINE, I have tested 10 different games this way to confirm.”

Doyle has also further stated “The disc drive issues we received and the reboot sign in requests are according to Xbox support potentially caused by a faulty system.” He also stated to another user and to us in Twitter direct messaging that his drive issues were resolved after formatting the console.

UPDATE 4: Voxelsaurus_Vex has now produced a YouTube video, showing that Xbox One games (even once installed) need to connect to the internet to finish installation on Xbox Series X. For the game he tested, this then installs a 10.25GB update. He further confirms the game will work offline, once this update has been installed.


Original Story:

The Xbox Series X has launched, with users reportedly discovering issues with the disc drive and always online DRM for Xbox One games.

Always Online DRM, along with online activation DRM, has been loathed by the gaming community for some time. One of the most prolific of these was the Xbox One announcement press conference.

It focused on being a home entertainment system rather than a games console, having always online DRM checks preventing players from playing used games, and a Kinect constantly watching. The latter two features were removed, after much mockery from consumers and rival corporations.

This included Sony Interactive Entertainment; who during their E3 2013 press conference made special mention that the PlayStation 4 would not have DRM. This lead to open cheering and chanting from the crowd. A comical used game instructional video was later release.

Now, DoesItPlay (a Twitter account dedicated to testing physical games) has discovered that Xbox One games require an online connection to play [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. They initially tested with Gears of War 4 on Xbox One, finding that when a game was installed while the console was offline, and refused to play unless the console was online.

“We then went online as instructed and it unlocked the game,” DoesItPlay explained. “We then turned on ‘offline mode’ and turned off the console. After 10 minutes the game will no longer play offline”. They further claim they have heard reports of this occurring with other games, and that the online check seemingly starts on booting up the console.

Further; Ninty Media’s creative editor Jon Doyle [1, 2] shared similarly damning experiences. He stated “This console is the 2013 Xbox one by everything bar name;” in clear reference to the Xbox One’s original always online policy.

On setting up the console, Doyle claims he was “immediately greeted by a internet required set up (the same as Xbox one).” He too discovered the console needed to connect to the internet every time it booted up, and that playing an Xbox One game required to be online each time the console is rebooted.

“I have completed this process now many times and no titles work. The Xbox series x is no different to the 2013 Xbox one, @Xbox and @XboxP3 have snuck the 2013 drm back into the system. They absolutely do not care about media preservation.

They have created a system that works against it. One day every Xbox series console in the world and every single digital and physical game you buy will not work. They will be useless, but that matters not. All that mattered was your money”

None of Microsoft’s prior trailers or promotional efforts for the Xbox Series X made mention of the always online DRM check. As some consumers may not have a stable internet connection, some may deem this as false advertising, or failing to disclose information important to the consumer.

Microsoft had previously boasted the Xbox Series X featured over 600 titles that were backwards compatible on the next-gen console, including Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. We shall keep you informed as more information about the always online DRM surfaces.

In addition, we are also seeing reports (thanks ComicBook.com!) of users complaining the disc drive is very noisy when running a game (to the point users were concerned of a serious fault), and in some cases refusing to draw the disc into the console [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Of note are the recent claims of the Xbox Series X smoking and catching fire; however these have been debunked as being fake. This is by blowing cigarette or vape smoke into the console while it is off, then turning it on to produce a cloud as though it caught fire.

Image: Xbox, YouTube



Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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