Xbox One Reveal: Microsoft Aiming To Block Second-Hand Games?
What’s a reveal event without a little controversy. Although nothing was mentioned regarding used games during the Xbox One reveal itself, rumours and somewhat of a confirmation by Microsoft after the event seems to indicate that the Xbox One is being designed to effectively “cut out the middle man”.
Microsoft answered in official Q&A after the event:
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“We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later.”
Now at first that sounds like a rather awesome idea. Being able to sell your titles digitally and still play games for a fraction of the cost is a rather enticing prospect. But sadly, that’s possibly only one side of the coin. And the other side doesn’t look as good.
With this type of design, the Xbox One could possibly restrict used games not purchased through this new system. In fact, according to a report made by Wired, the Xbox One might restrict and link games to a single Xbox LIVE account, making it a bit of a problem for anyone with a sibling who shares their console.
What follows naturally from this is that each disc would have to be tied to a unique Xbox Live account, else you could take a single disc and pass it between everyone you know and copy the game over and over. Since this is clearly not going to happen, each disc must then only install for a single owner.
Microsoft did say that if a disc was used with a second account, that owner would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc, which would then mean that the new account would also own the game and could play it without the disc.
But what if a second person simply wanted to put the disc in and play the game without installing – and without paying extra? In other words, what happens to our traditional concept of a “used game”? This is a question for which Microsoft did not yet have an answer, and is surely something that game buyers (as well as renters and lenders) will want to know.
Now that’s a bit of a scary prospect, but for now it’s just a rumour. However, Microsoft’s answer in the Q&A doesn’t exactly reassure me. Take it with a pinch of salt for now, but rest assured that we’ll be keeping a very close eye on this.