Xbox Live outage reignites conversation about online requirements

The Xbox Live outage is reigniting the conversation around online requirements.

On Friday, Xbox gamers began experiencing issues connecting to Xbox Live and purchasing games. Also, playing purchased games has become impossible even when trying to play offline. online services have been inconsistentfor the rest of the weekend, sparking a renewed conversation around DRM recordings for offline single-player games.

As of this writing, many gamers are always pays issues, such as being unable to play games they have purchased, even though the game has an online requirement.

More recently, Xbox Support on Twitter hinted that the issue should be fully resolved “in the coming days”, with the release of a new update.

The service outage has dug a larger conversation that dates back to the launch of the Xbox One. Microsoft’s strategy at the time to have an always-online requirement was met with frustration from the players.

DRM – which stands for Digital Rights Management – is used to ensure that the gamer opening any software application on a console has the right to do so, either through direct purchase or subscription service.

In the case of games played online, a DRM registration or lack thereof is less significant, as the game in question would not work if the services were down anyway. However, DRM recordings affecting offline games are another matter.

This is also an issue that remains unique to Xbox, as the Twitter account Does it play? confirmed that games on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch will remain playable offline and won’t have the same issues.

For many game curators, DRM can be an obstacle to preserving the history of video game media, negating Microsoft’s efforts to ensure backward compatibility of Xbox Series consoles. Last year, Microsoft even brought about the preservation of the gametouting a major effort to preserve the game’s story as “more important than ever”.

This statement came a few days afterSony has announced the closure of the PS3 and PS Vita store, a decision that has since been reversed. On the other side of the coin, Nintendokept his word to deleteSuper Mario 3D All-Stars from the Nintendo eShop, and announced the closure of 3DS and Wii U eShops for March next year.

Altogether, the Xbox Live outage highlights the messy nature of DRM and its potential impact on the preservation of video games. It will be interesting to watch the reaction to the news and see how the conversation surrounding online requirements evolves going forward.

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David Carcasole is a freelance games journalist whose work has appeared in GamesIndustry.Biz, [lock-on], In the spine, and others. Find him on Twitter @SlyBowser, where he likely longs for the days when PS Vita games were still in development.

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