Xbox Series X DRM (Digital Rights Management) Issue Explained

Xbox Series X DRM (Digital Rights Management) Issue Explained
Xbox Series X and S DRM

It’s really looking like Microsoft is making quite interesting decisions for the Xbox Series X around Digital Rights Management (DRM). Several YouTubers yesterday noted that they are not able to play some titles without first connecting to Xbox servers. Modern Vintage Gamer tried to use a disc he owned for Hitman, 3, Rise, and Tomb raider while playing offline, only to find out that he couldn’t play offline.

It seems like both Sony and Microsoft don’t really care about legacy games and their history. The Digital Rights Management that is integrated within the physical consoles is upsetting fans and making them feel alienated.

Sony’s PS4/5 Having DRM Issues

Back in April, a CBOMB issue was uncovered for PS4/5 by Does it Play? where if there was a dead battery and no access to servers all sorts of playability issues cropped up. Essentially if the console could not sync its clock up with Sony’s server, you can’t play any games. At least on the PS5, you could play PS4 digital games with this issue.

A major cause for concern is the effect the issue has on digitial titles. As stated, without the battery and an internet connection, all digital titles stopped working. Whilst this is a bad thing for all PS5 owners, it is particularly troubling for PlayStation 5 Digital Edition owners.

That console has no option to play physical media whatsoever, making the eventual expiration of all purchases made on the console inevitable and unavoidable. Unless Sony patches the issue, it is simply a matter of time before all digital purchases cease to function.

Xbox Series X DRM Problems

If you think Sony’s DRM issues are bad, well Xbox owners need to listen closely here what is going on. Even though Xbox has been always been viewed as pro-preserving game history/backward compatibility, something nefarious may be going on. We thank ReviewTechUSA for explaining the issue further and breaking it down.

Modern Vintage gamer made a comprehensive video explaining the cause for concern. Essentially, when you put an original Xbox/Xbox360 into your Xbox Series X  and if you don’t have a connection to the internet, you cannot play the game because your system requires you to download a patch file. 

Having a disc for an old school game is basically just having a license for the game, when you put an Xbox one game in your Xbox Series X, you can download the game. If you don’t have an internet connection you are pretty much out of luck. Even cross-gen games like Hitman 3 won’t play without the internet when you try to put the game on your new console.

What actually works without Internet?

A Native Xbox Series X/S game that is not cross-gen and does not require cross-delivery like Devil May Cry 5 special edition does work and you do not need to be connected to the web. In MVG’s video, he purchased Resident Evil: Village (a single-player title) which was already on his hard drive. When he tried playing the game without an internet connection, he was let down.

Xbox Series X Digital Rights Management Explainer Video

At the end of the day, fans just want to be able to play the games they purchased and not have to rely on Microsoft or Sony’s servers to enjoy the titles they already spent money on. We will follow this story and let you know any updates!

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