Microsoft has stealthily fixed its Xbox DRM problem
Xbox consoles will now let you play disc-based games you own offline after a recent update
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny
🙏 Microsoft has quietly improved the Xbox consoles’ DRM system, which has been criticized in the past for being too aggressive
👍 The Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One will now let you play more games offline without needing an online check
👮 DRM stands for “digital rights management” and requires online access to check whether you own a license to the game you want to play
✅ The DRM update was confirmed by Xbox’s engineering lead, Eden Marie
Microsoft has substantially improved how Xbox handles DRM checks after users noticed they could play disc-based games offline.
The change was spotted by YouTuber Hikikomori Media, who highlighted that the Xbox Series X and Xbox One no longer require an online check on installed disc games. You also won’t be prompted to install the latest updates.
This new update doesn’t just affect discs, either. You can also play any digital titles you own, even if the console is offline, without needing a check-in with Microsoft’s servers.
There is a caveat, however. Disc-based versions of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games will not work offline, as you’ll need to connect online for a license check and update. Xbox Game Pass titles will also require an online check, as you might expect.
For games that don’t contain the full version of the game on disc, such as Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite, you’ll have to connect online at some point to download the rest of the game.
In response to the news that Microsoft had fixed its Xbox DRM problem on Twitter, lead engineer Eden Marie confirmed that Microsoft rolled the new digital right management changes into the 2208 update.
The change will be a huge relief to Xbox gamers who may have found they’re locked out of their titles whenever there’s been an internet shortage or issues with Microsoft’s servers.
It’s worth noting that the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One still need an initial online check when you first set them up, but it’s pleasing to see Microsoft has taken steps to ensure its consoles are less reliant on an arbitrary internet connection.
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