Microsoft in Xbox U-turn after backlash over game restrictions

MICROSOFT has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn over copyright controls for its upcoming Xbox One console, saying it will allow gamers to trade and rent titles without restrictions.

The reversal follows a heated backlash from gamers, which was seized upon by Sony as the two companies gear up for a Christmas console war. Microsoft’s controversial policies would have meant that Xbox One users would see titles locked to their own internet account, restricting gamers’ ability to trade, sell or lend them.

The restrictions would have also required users to connect their console to the internet in order to play the games. Sony, whose PlayStation 4 will cost £349 compared to the Xbox’s £429, had taken advantage of the consumer anger, boasting about the lack of restrictions on its own console.

“Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback,” Don Mattrick, the head of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment unit, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday night. “We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback.”

Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are expected to go on sale in November.