Microsoft confirms its recent Series X update lets Xbox One discs be played offline

Xbox’s online DRM was one of the biggest issues with Xbox Series X consoles, as outages and other issues resulted in players being unable to access purchased games. Another big complaint is that cross-platform Xbox One disc games weren’t accessible offline, even for games that don’t require a connection. Now, a new update means you’re no longer forced to do an internet check or download from an Xbox One disc, according to Engineering Lead Eden Marie confirmed in a tweet.

Users didn’t notice the change until recently, but it’s been in effect since the 2206 update earlier this summer, Marie said. “We’ve examined the data since the launch of Series X|S and found that in the vast majority of cases, the online compatibility check is not required for Xbox One discs. Some games may still need to be updated online after installation to ensure the best experience,” she added.

What was the problem before? The problem essentially revolved around Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system. Previously, when you inserted different types of Xbox One/Xbox Series X game discs into a new generation console, the game was not installed directly from the disc, but an updated version was installed via the Internet. This is despite the fact that the Series X consoles can play most Xbox One games directly (the main exception being Kinect games).

This means you can now play many Xbox One, Xbox One/Xbox Series X, Xbox Series X/Xbox One, and Xbox Series X branded games offline. However, without updates, you won’t be able to play original Xbox or Xbox 360 games because, according to Eden, the data “cannot be used directly.” (Of course, most of this doesn’t apply to the Xbox Series S, as it doesn’t have a disc drive.)

There are a few other exceptions. For example, some disc games known as “stubs” such as ForzaHorizon 5 or Hello infinity, do not include the full game – so you need a connection to use them. You also need the internet to download the latest versions of games along with expansion packs and so on. And Series X consoles require an account, so you’ll need to be online at least once to set this up. Still, the update is a good step and means you’ll be able to play a lot more games in the not-so-rare event that Microsoft’s servers go down.

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