In a stunning reversal, Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced a complete revision of its plans regarding software licensing and online requirements for its upcoming Xbox One game console.

Microsoft has been under fire since last week, when it unveiled its proposed next-generation policies at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the world's largest video game trade show, in Los Angeles. Microsoft's proposal looked even worse when compared to the much more liberal policies of its chief competitor, Sony.

Since then, a flood of online polls show consumers favoring Sony's PlayStation 4 to Microsoft's Xbox One at a staggering 80-20 ratio.

But Microsoft on Wednesday did an about-face and reversed nearly every controversial decision on which it originally bet the Xbox One's future.

Perhaps the biggest change is that disc-based games will no longer come with any limitations. Microsoft's original intent was to tie a physical disc to a specific console, effectively eliminating game lending, rentals, selling used software on eBay and more.

Now the Xbox One will treat physical software the same as the Xbox 360 does, the same as any CD, DVD, book or baseball bat. Whoever possesses the disc can play the game on any system at any time.

Additionally, Microsoft canceled the requirement of connecting to the Internet for authentication at least once every 24 hours, even to play games offline.

Don Mattrick, Microsoft's president of interactive entertainment, credits consumers for the policy changes.

"You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc," Mattrick wrote in a message posted on the company's "Xbox Wire" online site. "The ability to lend, share and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world." .

Mattrick went on to outline the changes to Xbox One regarding "how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360."

However, loosening the restrictions on disc-based games comes at a potential cost.

Microsoft is staying with its decision to offer downloaded versions of all games available at the same time as disc-based versions, but players will no longer be able to share or resell these digital versions.

It has not been confirmed, but it appears Microsoft's plan to allow up to 10 "family members" to access a software library in "the cloud" is gone. "The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc," Mattrick wrote. "Also, similar to today, playing disc-based games will require that the disc be in the tray."

Microsoft did not address whether the planned requirement that gamers load the entire game on their hard drive remains intact.

While Wednesday's reversal will certainly help Microsoft recover from the devastatingly bad word of mouth surrounding its new console, there are still a few sticking points.

The system's announced price of $499 remains $100 more than the PS4, a cost largely attributed to the advanced Kinect camera. Microsoft would be wise to play up the benefits of this device if it hopes to offset the negativity of the additional cost.

It's also rumored that the PS4 offers considerably more power. This hurdle might be more difficult for Microsoft to overcome if Sony developers can translate that power to what gamers play.

Still, Microsoft's announcement is a step in the right direction. For better or worse, gamers were not ready for the company's ambitious plans. The company was smart to put those plans on hold and to embrace consumers' wishes.

Now, Microsoft must wait to see if its reversal will translate to system orders.