Hey! Companies! Leave my Digital Content alone!

Being late to the party, I’ve been playing a crap-load of Skyrim on the Xbox 360. As I’ve stated before, my preferred console is the PlayStation 3 but seeing as how Skyrim’s PS3 counterpart was, put simply, a mess, I picked it up on the Xbox 360. Like most people, I live in a multi-person household and have two of each current console. This makes playing games easier because if need be, I can game in another room if the other console or TV is in use. While playing the game, as will happen with most good games, another person was watching and wanted to experience the world of Elder Scroll Vikings for themselves. When they did start playing, the Dawngaurd expansion was nowhere to be seen.

It took me roughly half an hour to figure out what the issue was but while trying to correct this problem, my mind began to wander. With the PS3, installing DLC for multiple console usage is a breeze, simply download the desired content, DLC or a game itself, and then install. Once that’s done you and your family or roommate can game on with the second console. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, I recently bought the digital version of Transformers Fall of Cybertron on my PS3. Why did I do this? Several reasons, the main one being that I could download the game on our second PS3 and hop online with my brother, same with the DLC I purchased for it. Not only did we save the money from not buying a second game; we also saved by not having to purchase a second batch of DLC. This is how it should be. People who own multiple consoles in a single household should be able to access all of their digital content when they want, how many times they want. Now Sony recently limited the amount of times this can be done and while very irksome, I suppose necessary (I’m just glad I only have two consoles).

The solution to my problem on the Xbox 360 was a simple “click this option” and everything was good. To make sure further transaction go as smoothly, I just need to remember to download all digital content on the second console so that everyone, not just myself, have access to it. Up until now, I believed using just one hard drive between consoles was enough, apparently not though. Microsoft is so worried that they might lose ten or twenty dollars that they lock the content to a specific console. Get a grip! I know people will use any method they can to get free games but when you make it this complicated for someone who legitimately bought your digital product to actually use it, it’s time to re-think your strategy.

DRM’s and similar download restrictions on purchased digital content are a pretty hot topic and will be for some time. I understand companies are trying to protect their products and up until now, I have reluctantly given up the freedom I should rightfully have with a product. This was the first time I really felt restricted with these practices in operation. I’m not some lazy slack off who cracked your system to play free games, I PAID for these and should be able to use it HOW I want and WHEN I want to. If hacked systems allow you access your downloaded content as often and however you want, I’m starting to understand why people do it. Times are tough all of you MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR companies; throw your supporters a bone here!

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  1. cjmnews

    The consumer is always the loser in DRM usage, and it needs to change. Whether it is using the same DLC on the same account on two different consoles or it is the music or game you purchased from a company that is going out of business and you lose access to the content you paid for.

    The entire DRM structure must change to allow the user to retain access to their content no matter what. Companies that continue to ignore customer rights will lose customers. In your case, I would guess you would pick up more games on PS3 than XBox making Microsoft lose a customer because their DRM is too restrictive.

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