Supposed Microsoft Engineer Speaks Out on Xbox One DRM; It’s All Fake

"Trust me, I'm an engineer."

When I read this 4Chan post written by an apparent Xbox One engineer explaining the vision of the Xbox One and the DRM, I imagine the meme and all of the ridiculous photos of temporary fixes.

I remember photos of frying eggs using shopping carts and photos of people combining the hot and cold water taps from your bathroom tap with a plastic bottle. This post regarding the Xbox One's DRM proves no different.

Last year I took a whole class dedicated to researching. It was the worst. However, I did come away with something useful; I learned how to properly validate a source of information.  

First you find the original source of the post. The person claiming to work at Microsoft as an Xbox engineer decided to post on the message board, First mistake.

If this anonymous Microsoft employee felt the need to clarify the vision of the Xbox One, why not reach out to a credible news outlet and still remain anonymous? Anyone can post on the internet and anyone can post on 4Chan's message boards. Reaching out to a writer to layout the long term vision of the Xbox One, represents a story that benefits readers, the website and the apparent engineer who felt the need to speak up. The engineer can't do post without the writer.

As multiple people messaged me today about this story, all of them expressed their new found comfort when buying an Xbox One at launch. I would not base any purchasing decision, regardless if $399 or $499, on an anonymous post that reads more like an Xbox One fan's attempt to justify their own purchase, rather than defend the project an engineer worked on. Here are some exerts that immediately caught my attention since they read as fanboyish comments rather than points with intellectually thought out reasons.

"Yeah we passed that around the office at Xbox. Most of us were like "Well played Sony, Well played". That being said they are just riding the hype train of ZOMG THEY ARE TRYING TO FUCK US FOR NO REASON."

"Everyone and their mother complains about how gamestop fucks them on their trade ins, getting 5$ for their used games… Well, if you want the @#[email protected] from Gamestop, go play PS4."

"If you always want to stay with what you have, then keep current consoles, or a PS4. We're TRYING to move the industry forwards towards digital distribution… it'sa bumpy road."

"PS4 is status-quo. XB1 is trying to push some things…"

"Honestly, if you care about anything other then pure games AT ALL. Xbox 1 > PS4. If all you do is play games, and nothing else, PS4."

I won't point to the anonymous poster's grammar and horrible spelling as a reason for the obviously fake nature of this post (although I would think a Microsoft engineer can better articulate their points) but I will break down the content of his arguments.

What does the PS4 have to do with the vision of the Xbox One? Constantly mentioning why your console rises above PlayStation 4 automatically means that the without the direct comparison, the core of each point fails to convince in itself.

The post then draws comparisons to Steam's launch and the backlash Valve saw regarding their online platform. Valve cut out retailers and aimed to sell games digitally. The post then explains the Xbox One's vision of achieving a similar future that removes disc based games. But the anonymous poster claims that "the goal [of the Xbox One] is to move to digital downloads" and then positions DRM as one of the reasons for online checks every 24 hours.

You can play games in offline mode in Steam. You can purchase PS3 games day one and play offline. You can download games and play offline on the Wii U. Why can't the Xbox One? Because the Xbox One engineer in Studio A doesn't exist. He didn't write this.

To bring some credibility to their post, the anonymous engineer mentions which studio and the address of the building the engineer works in. According to the anonymous poster, proving his identity doesn't make good use of his time, but writing a 1500 word forum post and then not backing it, remains the better option.

"It's not worth my time to prove it, or risk my Job. I work in Studio A, 40th ave in Redmond, Wa. The thai place in the studio cafeteria has double punch wednesdays. Go ahead and call them and verify if you want."

I called the three nearest Thai restaurants, the closest located a mile away. None of them ever heard of "Double Punch Wednesdays."