Microsoft Xbox One policy switch makes user forums explode

After the tech giant announces that it's backtracking on its much-derided Internet connection requirement, social media, comment threads, and gaming forums light up.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Microsoft's Xbox One gaming console Microsoft

Relief, disbelief, and some leftover bitterness surround Microsoft pulling a 180 on its Xbox One "always-on" policy.

Gamers have taken to forums, comment threads, and social media to express how they feel about the tech giant flip-flopping on the series of rules and restrictions that would have required Xbox One gamers to connect their consoles to the Internet once a day to prevent game piracy.

Microsoft announced Wednesday that it was backtracking on this much-derided policy, causing a flood of user reaction.

On Xbox's Facebook and Twitter accounts, tens of thousands of users have commented on the new policy change. On Facebook, as of this writing, nearly 55,000 people have liked the status post (which has been up only an hour) and more than 17,000 people have commented.

Overwhelmingly, people seem quite happy with Microsoft's change of heart. Besides the typical "Thanks Xbox" and "Yes!!!" people are also saying that now they'll actually buy the upcoming gaming console. "Xbox, thank you sooooo much for reversing the policies on Xbox One, I am officially buying one now, you guys rock!," one user wrote.

Some people, however, are still skeptical. One user wrote, "ya still not gunna hold my breath that they'll keep this promise." While others continue to be peeved about Microsoft even suggesting the policy in the first place. "Too late!" one person wrote and "I'm sorry Microsoft but you have lost my trust," wrote another.

Twitter is seeing much of the same reaction with more than 7,500 people retweeting Xbox's announcement and 2,000 people making it a favorite, as of this writing. In fact, in light of Microsoft's about-face, a new hashtag -- #Xbox180 -- has been created just for people to opine on the policy change.

Gaming forums are also coming to life with people either commending Microsoft or continuing to complain about the policy. On the GameFAQs bulletin board site, one user wrote, "The damage is done already," and another wrote, "Watch them pull a 360 later on."

Microsoft faced a huge backlash when it announced the policy, just before the E3 video game conference earlier this month. Then, the company said it would allow gamers to play offline for up to 24 hours on a primary console, or 1 hour if they were logged onto a separate console accessing their library of titles. At that point, offline gaming would be disabled until players re-established a Web connection.

Now the new policy doesn't require a connection every 24 hours and Microsoft says the console connectivity will work just like the Xbox 360.

"An Internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games," Don Mattrick, Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business president, wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "After a onetime system setup with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc-based game without ever connecting online again."