Both Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch new gaming systems later this year with Sony looking like the clear winner up until now because it did not make any significant changes to how the Playstation 4 operates.
Microsoft on the other hand announced several changes that turned the gaming world around for part of the company's audience. Among the features that Microsoft introduced were 24-hour online checks to play games and harsh used-game restrictions.
Today, the company announced that it has made the decision to axe several features as it listened to its audience who criticized them heavily ever since they were revealed.
Xbox One users can play offline games on the Microsoft system without Internet connection.
That is right, Microsoft has removed the restriction from its gaming system so that you do not need to connect the console to the Internet every 24 hours to continue playing games that require no Internet connection.
Lending, reselling, gifting, renting and trading-in works like today
This is the second big change as several of the options were either highly limited or not possible at all before. This levels the playing field with the Playstation 4 and gives users the same rights that they have today when it comes to these activities.
No regional restrictions
Another surprising change. Microsoft notes that Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console eliminating any regional restrictions.
Kotaku reports that several other features got removed from the system as a consequence as well, or at least won't be available on launch:
The changes will be made available as a patch on launch according to the gaming mag which means that owners of an Xbox One need to connect it at least once to the Internet to download the patch.
It is rare to see a big company like Microsoft changing its way before product launch. A couple of factors have certainly played a role in the decision. First that Sony did not follow the company's used games policy or always online policy. Then certainly the criticism the company received after it made the announcements, not only on gaming sites but also mainstream news portals and newspapers.
Hats off to Microsoft for making the decision to reverse those policies but not for removing them. It should never have gotten that far in first place in my opinion.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.