Microsoft Overhauls Achievements and DRM for Next Xbox - Report

Big changes coming to the Achievement system according to new rumours.

by on 26th Apr, 2013

Polygon sources have revealed that the Microsoft's as-yet-unnamed next Xbox, due to be unveiled on May 21st, will see a radical reinvention of digital rights management (DRM), the Xbox Live Achievement system and Xbox Live Friends.

XboxNext will come with a "next-gen" approach to video sharing, anti-privacy protection and social networking as well as a major reworking and expansion of Achievements.

The console will provide players with the ability to record and share games in a similar fashion to the PlayStation 4 about which Sony went to great lengths to demonstrate the capabilities of the DualShock 4's 'Share' button. As with the PS4's Share function XboxNext owners will be able to upload captured footage to Facebook or Ustream.

According to sources Microsoft have not yet finalised how this will work though gameplay will be recorded as DVR, meaning you play back through it and select highlights and the feature can be turned on or off allowing players to, for example, record footage of acquiring a specific Achievement.

While the console will feature a form DRM and allow for player identity to be confirmed via an internet connection Microsoft currently plan on allowing individual game publishers to determine whether or not to make use of these features. Offline play, always online and one-time checks are all available options for developers and publishers to make use of as they see fit.

Microsoft plan on allowing for cross-platform Achievements meaning gamers can unlock an Achievement with a XboxNext game but then pick up more with companion apps Window 8 PCs or Tablets or even Xbox 360. XboxNext developers and publishers will be able add additional Achievements to a game without needing to create DLC.

The goal of this change is to allow developers to encourage gamers to play a certain way by, for instance, exploring a certain area of the game world many overlook. In addition, Achievements can be tied to specific events such as weekend challenges. Publishers can also issue cross-game Achievements which unlock when players get to a certain point in two of their games for example.

The current cap on Xbox Live friends will be removed and users will have the option to 'follow' someone, in a similar fashion to Twitter, without them following back. 

Microsoft job listings appear to have confirmed that the console will have a X86 architecture while "early November" is reportedly being considered for the console's launch. 

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