Back to the Future. (One which play in 2005 and 2020)

MSFT pondered for several weeks to do a 180 and revert back to 360 way for DRM. That is the safest route for quick change. Their initial vision has quite a lot of permutation. It is difficult to communicate if they perform a middle ground change which can meet their original vision and support current DRM. Fast switching of entertainment and entertainment anywhere are some of the experience which degraded due to the support of Disc base DRM.

MSFT might have already ponder thru the following middle ground. It is complicated, especially to communicate it to public. However the world is filled with genius who can make this work and communicate in a simple way.

It is not easy to implement DRM changes after a platform go live. Games are installed and machines are in customers premise. So it is now or 7 years later. Therefore we need to propose a way for gamers to live in the past and also the future, now.


Goal of the Game. Balance rights protection and usability choice, so as to sustain the ecosystem

MSFT need to satisfy game publishers, developers rights to protect their IP. And they also need to support customers rights to use their purchase the way they want to use it.

    Total offline gaming with Disc in tray, as per current practise since the beginning of time
  • For users without Internet connection, due to disaster or coverage. This option is required.
  • Game will be installed and when a interval check happen and it detected related Disc, everything work as per normal.
  • These feature absolutely does not involve Internet. User can bring this to friend house and share it with him like today.
    Disc-less Gaming with interval check. Game could be from disc or XBL marketplace. (original 1 hr interval on friend console or other console which is not registered under users Microsoft ID; 24 hrs interval on own console.)
  • For users who have Internet and do not mind the interval check, they are able to install and play it w/o disc after installation. If Internet is unavailable when check happen, game will prompt for connection or disc.
  • This gives user the ability to truly fast switch between games and other entertainment. Smart Match will work as per designed. When they found game, one can switch from Blu-Ray watching to online gaming instantly, without changing disc. This is the most flexible.
    Advance offline Disc-less Gaming without interval or 24 hrs check. Game is installed from disc.
  • For users with unstable Internet and want to enjoy fast switching and Disc-less gaming.
  • To protect game publishers/developers from potential revenue leak caused by possible scenario whereby user would just pass disc to friends for unlimited offline installation. XBL is required to coordinate the installation.
  • Hence Internet is required during installation to prevent this game disc being used to install the game on unlimited number of Xboxes.
  • After installation, a special key, hashed by CD+Console+MicrosoftID+XBL special Key for that game, will be placed into some secret place in box.
  • When interval check occurs, if it cannot find disc and online connection. It will look for this special key.
  • If user pass this disc to friend to perform such advance install. XBL will user to request former owner to remove the previous copy of installed game, which will generate a key for this user to key in to XBL to change and update to this console.
  • As per account migration, a cooling period might be implemented after the success installation to a new console.
  • If former user do not want to remove his copy. New user will not have ability to use this disc to install for disc-less gaming.
  • When boxes encounter problem and is beyond repair. MS will need to update the related gamers XBL Microsoft account to make advance installation available.
    Advance offline Disc-less Gaming without interval or 24 hrs check. Game is downloaded and installed from XBL marketplace, to registered console under user Microsoft ID.
  • For users with unstable Internet and want to enjoy disc-less gaming and fast switching. And bought it from online marketplace.
  • Since one of the vision is to enable user to access his game library from any Xbox One. And also support for offline game, without interval online check.
  • To protect game publishers/developers from potential revenue leak caused by possible scenario whereby user download and install it to numerous consoles. XBL is required to coordinate such advance installation.
  • Since game is download, Internet is presence and required during installation. 02 options provided during installation. select 'on friend console with interval Internet check' or 'advance offline gaming on my box'.
  • After installation, XBL will send a special key, hashed by Console+MicrosoftID+XBL special Key, for that game to some secret place in box.
  • When interval check occurs, if it cannot find disc and online connection. It will look for this special key.
  • If user performed an advance install of this copy wrongly to friend console. Even if he left his Microsoft ID login to friends console. When XBL detect user login from registered console, the other connection will be log off.
  • If friend disconnect from Internet for offline gaming. That will still work. And XBL will not be able to log off that account remotely.
  • if 'friend' refuse to uninstall that game and give owner the code for XBL to release it to his/her actual console. Owner will only lost ability to play it without Internet interval check.
  • Once 'friend' come online XBL can help to coordinate.
  • If owner decide to leave the other copy as gift. They just need to transfer to friend Microsoft ID. If friend accept, owner will be transfer with cooling period for next 'transfer' of limited numbers.
  • When boxes encounter problem and is beyond repair. MS will need to update the related gamers XBL Microsoft account to make advance installation available.

There is a loop hole whereby XBL is unable to revoke rights when abuser keep their box offline.
The proposed process encourage disc owner to take responsible of which machine they opt to perform advance offline disc-less install.
If their 'friend' play them out, noted that they can still play the game they purchased but their experience will deteriorate. From then on, they will need interval internet checking if they want to enjoy fast switching and gaming anywhere.

The cooling period for the mentioned advance offline disc-less install, need to be long enough to deter abuse. And when such boxes come online, offline rights on that old box will be revoked. Xbox enforcer might need to investigate the related XBL account, disc and boxes.

Issues of physical disc being passed around for offline gaming will still persist. However such current 'sampling' behaviour is slower since physical transportation of media is required. If those disc ever come online, XBL can track, take note for study, since it is legal.

Some publisher might also have fear that special key reside is compromised. That is like pirated disc or mod box problem. That would be reduced if users like multiplayer online gaming or DLC. Their business model will be able to solve them and encourage their deserved support.

There might be other unforeseen loop hole. An open source way of studying process will help to cover those holes. And all gamers can enjoy the future, past and everything now.

Thanks for reading.