Rectify Gaming

Report: Xbox Series X DRM Withholds Offline Play And Could Long-term Handicap Backwards Compatibility

Posted on May 28, 2021 by Nick Moreno

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While the two now-current-generation consoles sit to differentiate it what each offers when comparing Xbox Series X|S to PlayStation 5, there are certain caveats to note. What Sony’s machine does not have for instance is support external solid state drives. Although Microsoft enabled it on day one for its systems, the same cannot be said for the latest PlayStation. But, it is reported that will inevitably arrive this summer, Bloomberg wrote previously.

However, it appears that one of the biggest takeaways for the Xbox Series X|S also happens to be one of the advertised features for its system: backwards compatibility. Now with four generations of titles being supported for the newest Xbox, Microsoft is posed to be the pinnacle for game preservation. But, one report indicates that Microsoft is shooting itself in the leg in the long-term.

According to YouTube Modern Vintage Gamer, one who previously praised Microsoft’s backwards compatibility feature, returns with great concern for the future of the platform. In that, the online-required DRM that enables players to set-up systems, install needed patches, and even play previously titles emulated requires an online connection. But, for future reference, this could end badly for the platform.

You can view the video below:

Upon installing Rise of the Tomb Raider, a base Xbox One title, it is discovered the game cannot be launched without an internet connection. Additionally, the same can also be said for Xbox 360 & original Xbox titles as well. While Xbox One titles require the proper updates to function, older legacy titles ask for an online connection as the physical disc acts as a license which unlocks the emulation via Xbox Live.

Howbeit, the problem becomes more eye-opening with Smart Delivery-supported games. While Microsoft has touted the tool in the past, here it proves to not be as helpful for users. On the surface, it is expected to offer both Xbox One & Xbox Series versions on one disc, but that does not appear to be the case. Ultimately, the only working client appears to be native Xbox Series X|S discs when offline essentially.

Looking ahead, this could be problematic for the platform as previous platforms ask for online connections to function. Even more, with platform servers inevitable to shutoff after a great amount of time, this could turn discs into ‘ewaste’ in just a couple of years. However, the problem at hand does not appear to be the end of the world – if resolved effectively.

While Modern Vintage Gamer does approach the topic, YouTuber SomeOrdinaryGamers further elaborate that the problem has been resolved before i.e. the Xbox One launch. But, if Microsoft goes on to properly enable these avenues for players without requiring Xbox Live authentication might be a simpler fix now rather than a titan to take down years later. You can watch the video below:

The YouTuber continues by comparing the backwards compatibility offline for both Xbox Series X|S & PlayStation 5: one Xbox, Assassin’s Creed Origins finishes downloading before walling him to launch while PlayStation installs and boots the base version of the game (no patchwork). While Microsoft claims to push it system as a legacy machine, it is not an authentic experience if online connection for even single-player games asks for Xbox Live.

In total, this issue might only be a problem for a select few now and not really affect many players that use the feature. But in the future years ahead, the current problem might become one that does not get relinquished with satisfactory for Xbox users when it’s too late to do something.

What are your thoughts on the DRM problem on Xbox systems?

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