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Microsoft shuts down latest Xbox One DRM rumours - console works "exactly" like the Xbox 360

Problems with Call of Duty: Ghosts offline play related to pre-release code, says Penello

Happy Monday all - here's a nice hot helping of next gen controversy to get the old motor running. Microsoft's product planning director Albert Penello has sallied unto NeoGAF to shoot down a rumour that Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox One can't be played offline, as reported by Twitter user Moonlightswami.

Moonlightswami is among the lucky recipients of a pre-release Xbox One console - as you may have read on Saturday, retailer Target has accidentally delivered a number of the machines ahead of schedule, cue info blow-out. Microsoft has now temporarily banned all the consoles in question from Xbox Live till nearer the official release date, in order to uphold confidentiality agreements and "put the finishing touches" to certain games and services.


Moonlightswami has claimed, however, that he's unable to play Call of Duty: Ghosts at all, even following the downloading of the console's all but mandatory day one update. [Clarification - It appears the file he downloaded isn't, in fact, the day one update required to enable many of the console's features.] This has caused a large number of internet pundits to assert that Xbox One is, in fact, an always-online machine, despite Microsoft's declaration that it had retired that particular policy in June.

Penello is now looking into the details, but has already denied claims of re-implemented DRM on GAF. "We still have two more weeks before launch - the console is in a pre-release state," he wrote. "We are doing regular updates - I personally took one a few minutes before he posted. His build is now old. This is why we were saying we didn't want people on early - it's not done yet.

"This behaviour is only because we are in pre-release. When we launch, console will work exactly as you expect today on 360," he continued. "For sure this has nothing to do with requiring a connection. There is no "DRM removal" in the Day One update because none of the consoles were ever built with that stuff in it.

"This also has nothing to do with COD. The Day One update just brings the SW up to date with the latest versions vs. what's on the box. But there is no 24 check in, that's for sure."

Penello has already posited that Xbox One's original online policies are unlikely to return as regards "content you're buying today" . The DRM was necessary in order to protect game copyright while offering certain digital sharing features, he explained in August - those features have now, of course, been dropped.

"I don't see that ever happening with content you're buying today either on disc and digitally," Penello observed. "All of that DRM stuff was in place because there was no physical security on the disc itself, so all the licensing was done digitally.

"When you build that type of model, then you need to make sure people can't install games on a bunch of machines, then unplug them. That would have made us an awesome Pirating machine, and that can't happen for obvious reasons.

"When we went back to disc security, those DRM policies weren't necessary. So no reason to turn it on later."