Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Never, ever, trust anything to microsoft DRM

I have an Xbox 360. It is a toy, but a fun toy. The kids and I love playing games on it. A few weeks ago I got the dreaded "Red Ring of Death" on the box. Thankfully, I am covered by the three year warranty for this exact problem. So I send it off to Microsoft. Their solution is simply to send us an already fixed box rather than making customers wait to have the machines fixed. Great, sounds good.

So I get the new xbox today. In it is a note. To transfer my downloaded content to my new xbox I will have to connect to xbox live and redownload every single item (all 58 of them) to my new console. This will transfer the licenses and then they will work offline. This is HUGELY important to me, as I don't have internet at home. So without the DRM transfer, I cannot play many of my games. Incidentally, since the "media update" which allows it to play aac's and every kind of video I care to watch is also protected by the drm, the console is significantly hampered without this transfer.

Included in the box are instructions on how to do this. Connect to live. Redownload everything. Things should work now. Included is this line: "License restoration will only work on this console."

So, I follow the instructions. Works when I'm connected to the internet, doesn't work when I'm not. Looks like it didn't transfer. So I call Microsoft. They give me a bunch of useless steps to take, and it still doesn't work. They try other things, things that will probably create more problems when I get this home, and it still doesn't work. I am getting annoyed.

It's been an hour, and my xbox still isn't working properly.

Thankfully, this is only a toy. If this stuff actually mattered, I would be hosed. What if this was a license to my server? What if this was something that the church required to operate for a weekend? Yeah, sorry.

DRM is evil. This is exactly why. Paying customers are inconvenienced to the point of sheer frustration. I'll bet if my console was hacked and I had pirated all of this, I would be back up and running. DRM punishes the people who do things legitimately. Anytime anyone says "the future is online content" remember this lesson. If it isn't DRM free, it is likely to not work at some point, no matter how much you've paid. Once that happens, it's useless.

I hate Microsoft, and I hate DRM. Put them together? Bad news. Bad, bad news.



Armor and Sword said...


Chrisrivers said...

WOW! I cant believe you don't have the internet at your house. Your amazing I tell you!!!

renewingmind said...

We are remote enough that we only have two options: Very slow, very expensive satellite, and very slow, very expensive wireless...

Our phone died about a month ago, and the repairman said we should have DSL this year as they are putting FIOS everywhere and putting the old equipment in areas like ours. I hope he's right.

We don't have broadcast tv or cable either...