Skip to main content

Microsoft eased up on one DRM hurdle for disc games on Xbox

Microsoft eased up on one DRM hurdle for disc games on Xbox

/

The mandatory internet check-in on the Series X is gone.

Share this story

Picture of the Xbox Series X, showing its power button and vent.
Put a disc in and play.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Microsoft is making it easier to play games on your Xbox Series X, even if it’s offline — as of the 2208 update released earlier this month, you won’t be forced to do an online compatibility check to play a game from an Xbox One disc (via Windows Central). Instead, you can just pop the disc in, install the game, and play; no internet connection required.

The change, which isn’t listed as a feature of the 2208 update on Microsoft’s site, was confirmed by Xbox engineering lead Eden Marie, who tweeted that the check was removed because it wasn’t necessary “in the vast majority of cases” when playing a cross-generation game on the Series X.

YouTuber Hikikomori Media has a good breakdown of what the situation was before, but the TL;DR is that there’s kind of a mixed bag when you buy Xbox games on disc. Some will be branded as Xbox One games, which obviously contain the version of the game meant for Microsoft’s last-gen consoles. Other games, however, are branded as working with both the Xbox Series X and Xbox One (the Xbox Series S doesn’t have an optical disc drive to insert games into) — but sometimes, the version of the game on the disc is for the Xbox One. Before the update, you’d have to be online to finish installing these games, so your Xbox could download info that allowed them to work with the newer console.

Now, you’ll be able to install the Xbox One version of the game straight from the Xbox One or cross-generation disc and start playing it. Of course, if you want to download any updates or enhancement packs for the Series X, you will still have to go online. You’ll also have to go online to play games that don’t have all of the install data available on the disc. Those caveats mean its not a full-on victory for game preservation, but in theory if Microsoft ever shut down its servers, you should still at least be able to play the version of the game you have on disc.

According to a new video from Hikikomori Media, the situation for Xbox Series X-exclusive game discs and games downloaded from the store is the same as it was before the update — you can play them totally offline (though if you want to do so for the latter you’ll have to be on your home Xbox). If you pop in an Xbox 360 or original Xbox disc, though, you still won’t be able to play it without going online first; Marie says this is because the data on those discs “can’t be used directly.”

Microsoft has been working on making it easier to launch and play games on Xbox overall. It recently began testing badges on the console’s home screen that make it clear at a glance whether a game is currently playable.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 21 minutes ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

M
The Verge
Mary Beth Griggs21 minutes ago
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothAn hour ago
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther Wang12:00 PM UTC
E
Twitter
Emma Roth7:16 PM UTC
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom7:13 PM UTC
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard Lawler6:54 PM UTC
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom4:29 PM UTC
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma Roth4:13 PM UTC
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins3:37 PM UTC
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James Vincent3:17 PM UTC
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James Vincent3:03 PM UTC
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto2:41 PM UTC
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler2:09 PM UTC
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.