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Microsoft makes Xbox DRM changes to allow offline play

No more terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days

Microsoft has made quiet but significant changes to the way it’s controversial Xbox DRM operates in a recent update.

Xbox Engineering Lead Eden Marie confirmed on Twitter that compatibility checks were no longer required to play on discs.

Since the launch of the Xbox Series X, the console had required an internet connection for players to launch games on Xbox One discs they had bought and paid for. While never a problem for Xbox Series S owing to its lack of a disc drive, even games installed on a Series X via discs required a stable connection to play.

Dedicated Series X discs were not subject to the DRM but given that a major part of the physical releases for Xbox Series X were Smart Delivery titles, they still required an internet connection to download their next-gen upgrade. This system also meant that — like Xbox One games installed via discs — an internet connection was still required to play Series X versions of certain games.

Players will still need an internet connection to set up the Xbox Series X console and also to access the large range of backwards compatible Xbox and Xbox 360 titles.

Even despite that, the Xbox DRM changes are welcome and understandable given that a server outage earlier this year meant players were unable to access games for an entire weekend. Thanks to this new update, Xbox players should be able to spend more time mashing their thumbs and less time twiddling them.

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About the author

Ethan Dean

I've been an avid gamer since my dad shoved a controller in my hands and brutalised me in one-sided bouts of Tekken 2.

Since 2020, I've written about videogames in whatever capacity my journalism studies have allowed.

When I'm not plugged in to whatever open-world, action-adventure is the flavour of the month, I'm painting Warhammer miniatures and role-playing a bard in D&D.