'tool' to fix XBLA DRM fiasco next month

After literally years of skirting around the problem, Microsoft is finally ready to properly address the DRM-issues that have plagued their Xbox Live Arcade service since 2005, and were only exacerbated by the RROD epidemic. In a jam-packed interview with Next-Gen, Microsoft's Marc Whitten says that, while there won't be a traditional "Spring" Dashboard update, "the team will be releasing a new digital rights management (DRM) tool next month that will allow you to better consolidate your licenses for downloaded content to a single Xbox and allow you the freedom to be able to play your content both online and offline." Well, that's all well and good, but what's that mean for Joe Gamer?

If you've had your Xbox 360 replaced, or if you've upgraded to an Elite and used the inelegant Xbox 360 Hard Drive Transfer Kit, you may have found yourself with a handful of XBLA games that were tied solely to your gamertag and not to your console. That meant you couldn't play them offline or on another account tied to your system. This new tool purportedly solves this dilemma by giving consumers much finer control over the content they've purchased (go figure!).

This article was originally published on Joystiq.