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Xbox Responds To Series X's Always-Online Problem

The Xbox Series X|S has a serious DRM problem. In order to comply with the console's DRM policies, the Xbox must be connected to the internet in order to verify that purchases are legit. Understandably, this is a problem for any gamer that wants to, well, play offline (via nicheGamer). While the world may be hyper connected to the internet, even gamers need to unplug sometimes, and the Xbox Series X|S doesn't make that an option. Now, after fans sounded their displeasure, a verified Xbox developer stepped in to try and explain why the Xbox Series X|S has to be online in order to work properly.

Oscar K., verified on Reset Era as an Xbox developer, explained that "we (Xbox) need to improve our on-console error messaging." Oscar said that the word choice of the messages "clearly add confusion and can lead to mistrust of the system." Oscar said he would pass along the complaints to the rest of the developers. However, the developer also had some explanation of why consoles need to connect to the internet, even at inconvenient times.

Home consoles and the always-online dilemma

Oscar K. had previously addressed complaints of DRM issues with disc games, noting that the Xbox One needed to be online to both install discs and update software (via resetera). The Series X|S needs to be online if the disc in question uses Smart Delivery, which combines information from the disc and Xbox Live. Oscar also stated that Smart Delivery discs vary because they might have been made at different times or used different technology. Remanufacturing discs is costly, and developers often aren't willing to repress games just to use the latest Smart Delivery technology.

Another reason Oscar K. provided for the always-online dilemma is the issue of Home consoles or primary consoles (in the case of Sony's PS5). While Sony allows players to have both a primary PS4 and primary PS5, Xbox only allows one Home console, meaning that games do not properly register to additional consoles. Also, transporting games between consoles via an external hard drive isn't a great idea, as the new console will not register the games properly, leading to aggravating error messages in the future. 

While Oscar K.'s explanation sheds some light on why the error messages are plaguing players, it doesn't solve the issue. Xbox isn't the first game company to come under fire for strange DRM policies. EA and Blizzard have both been the subject of criticism, especially considering the always-online policy of "Crash Bandicoot 4" on PC. It's unclear how Xbox might solve the issue of internet connection, but hopefully developers like Oscar K. will continue working to explain and correct the problem.