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A new update for Xbox Series X has finally removed the online DRM (digital rights management) required for Xbox One discs.
The new 2206 update was rolled out to all Xbox Series X and S users, and while it’s been available since earlier this summer – users are only now starting to realize that it lets you insert Xbox One discs and play them offline.
To summarize: Microsoft, Sony, and in some cases even Nintendo require you to be online to play some games, even if you own the physical disc. This was pushed as a standard practice now that game discs are essentially a way to redeem a “license”, but Microsoft took a step in the pro-consumer direction.
The news was confirmed by Xbox engineering lead Eden Marie, who said they “determined that the online compatibility check” isn’t actually necessary for “the vast majority of cases” with Xbox One discs. The Xbox developer noted that some games will still require an online update “to ensure the best experience.”
Microsoft famously received tons of backlash for their initial hardline stance on the Xbox One, where you absolutely had to be online to play any games at all. Sony got one of those easiest wins in game history over the bug so now Xbox One games can be played offline just like Xbox Series X games.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll need an internet connection for classic Xbox and Xbox 360 games via backwards compatibility, due to how the games are authenticated to your game library.
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have been available since November 2020.