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Xbox 720 Might Reject Used Games 543

Posted by timothy
from the insert-coin-to-continue dept.
silentbrad writes "Online passes are a recent staple in staving off used sales. Limiting what used buyers can access is a protective measure for publishers, much to the chagrin of parts of the gaming community. Chris Kohler of Wired argues that the death of used games is inevitable, and passes are the first step toward something exactly like a native anti-used game something integrated into consoles. He notes, of course, that digital is the future of buying games, but in the meantime we may be looking at 'an interim period in which the disc as a delivery method is still around but ... becomes more like a PC game, which are sold with one-time-use keys that grant one owner a license to play the game on his machine.' Also at Kotaku, the source for the Wired article (which is the source for the IGN article)."
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Xbox 720 Might Reject Used Games

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  • by decipher_saint (72686) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:45PM (#38831619) Homepage

    If the secondary market becomes impossible, piracy will spring up to take its place, if anything else to increase availability of hard to find titles.

  • by alen (225700) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:46PM (#38831625)

    2010 bought x-box
    bought Black Ops
    played it, sold it and bought GoW new double pack
    played it sold it and bought new copies of ME1 and ME2

    if i have to pay $60 for games, and no resale then i'll buy a few games like ME or Dragon Age where you can replay with different characters to get some value

    or just keep playing x-box 360 games. lots of GOTY and other super editions with DLC and add ones out there for CHEAP.

  • In related news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lectoid (891115) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:46PM (#38831635)
    In related news, Gamers might reject the Xbox 720
  • by Howitzer86 (964585) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:49PM (#38831669)

    So in the future, lets say... 18 years from now, you won't be able to legally play that game that came out in 2013 because there are no more keys left and the servers are down. You might still have the console, and the disk, and perhaps you paid money for it, but with that game, with that anti-used-game protection, it's useless. And of course, going around the copy protection would be the only way to play it again, which is illegal.

    Where is in modern times, you can play an 18 year old game without breaking any laws. Buy a Sega Genesis or a Saturn, buy the game, and so long as it isn't scratched up you can have a nostalgiagasm.

    It stinks, won't stop anybody, and make criminals out of everybody, eventually. This idea is worthless.

  • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:52PM (#38831719)

    Personally, the online keys were the last straw for me.

    The fact that used games were available at half price was the reason I was playing in the first place. I trade the first 6-12 months of a game's release for the discount. I wouldn't pay $60 to cram into Modern Warfare on release day with everyone else anyway.

    This is the miscalculation the game companies are making - they won't be able to force us into playing $60 and up for games we'd previously bought used for $30, we just won't play the games at all.

    They are also missing the point that the presence of a used market drives sales, because you aren't so skittish about blowing $60 on a game if you know you can recoup some of that later.

    This is a bad idea. I know that suits and PHB's think "Well, they can't get used games anymore - they'll buy the full priced ones instead!" but they've got another thing coming.

  • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:55PM (#38831737)

    You're beyond the pale of /. orthodoxy.

    Microsoft is the enduring force for truth, justice, and the American way - in the console market. Sony is the devilish corporatist plutocrat outfit in this sector that we love to hate. If you want free mod-ups, you have to bash Sony in game threads, MSFT in PC threads :)

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt.gmail@com> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:58PM (#38831793) Homepage
    I believe at least one publisher has stated used games are a BIGGER problem for them than piracy. They receive no money for either one, but used games are legal and you can just walk into a store and buy one so it's more accessible for more people. It would not surprise me if devs are trying to kill them, though obviously they have to be careful or else lawsuits will likely be thrown their way (perhaps legitimately so, I should be able to resell my own property that I don't use anymore).
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:00PM (#38831823)

    KIlling the used game market is going to backfire because the sale of used games subsidizes the purchase of new games. A lot of people make the calculation that they can buy a ~$50 game, play it until they are tired of it and then sell it for ~$20 - making the effective price only $30.

    If the publishers make it impossible to resell that game, that amounts to nearly a doubling of the price for a new game and thus a lot less people will be able to afford it. These game publishers should be care what they wish for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:04PM (#38831871)

    Game companies don't care that you won't pay $30 for the used game anymore. Remember, THEY don't get that $30. They get NONE of it. To them, this is perfectly fine.

    I'm not saying that they should be doing this, I'm just saying they did think it through.

  • by Tsingi (870990) <graham.rick@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:05PM (#38831879)

    It stinks, won't stop anybody, and make criminals out of everybody, eventually. This idea is worthless.

    We already have a situation where everyone is a criminal. The result of that is people have less respect for the law. And rightly so, if it is illegal for people to do the things that people do every day, then the law no longer serves society.
    We know this to be true. The law serves those who own and control the government. The law serves 'artificial' persons. Real persons, can rot in jail.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:13PM (#38832007)

    What you're missing is that, without a used market for buyers of new games to recoup some of the cost of their unwanted games with, they simply won't buy as many new games.

  • by bondsbw (888959) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:16PM (#38832035)

    It's not just about the cost. Today's games also focus on building up a community. Even games like Halo have a huge following of people who play just to have fun with their friends, and who would never play if not for that social interaction. (I am one of them.)

    If Joe Blow can't buy a reduced-cost copy of Halo, he won't be part of the growth of such a community. And if I can't sell my copy, I might not be willing to try it out to begin with.

  • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:18PM (#38832063)

    Without a used market they won't sell me a new console, controllers, etc.; they'll lose revenue on the few games I would actually buy new; they'd lose any money I might spend on digital purchases as well.

    There's also the risk I would be driven to a competitor's product, or lose interest in gaming altogether, which costs them down the road.

  • by residieu (577863) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:18PM (#38832067)
    Next up. Madden 2014 will stop working when Madden 2015 is released. People who keep playing old games are picking the pockets of the developers. They're still playing old games when they could be buying the new versions and playing those.
  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:26PM (#38832159) Homepage

    How can these corporate dunces not understand that the used game market is what fuels new game sales ?

    On the few occasions where I've sold a game, in my case it's because I didn't like it, and wanted to free up those funds to buy something else. My most recent example was last year's Splinter Cell game (which I dubbed "Gears of Splinter Cell"). I spent $60 on it, didn't like it, sold it to someone else for $45 or so. Then I turned around and spent another $70 on Black Ops. So far, the game industry has made $130.

    If I were unable to sell the game, due to arbitrary restrictions enforced by the platform, the other guy would not have gotten his hands on my unloved Splinter Cell, and I would have had $45 less to spend on my next game. Restricting that private sale then directly results in one less retail sale.

    Now, I only rarely sell games. I'm more of a collector, and I like to revisit old games every few years. I can afford it, so I'm not the typical used-game-market kind of guy. A lot of my friends are, though, and they rarely have more than 4-5 games in their possession at any given time. They beat one, sell/trade it, get a new one. That's the key factor: they keep buying new ones with the money from used sales!

    The people who are buying used games ? They're not even on the radar. $70 for a video game is fucking expensive, considering most modern titles are hastily-polished turds. About half gamer guys I know in the 25-35 age range are broke asses, working retail jobs and having less than $200 left after rent and necessities. The used market is the only way they can afford any games, so they may not contribute directly to the game industry's bottom line, but it keeps them addicted. How often have I heard these guys go "Man when I get a 2nd job I am so buying a PS3"... but kill off the used game market and these folks will find other hobbies, and you lose them as a customer for life!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:27PM (#38832181)

    (perhaps legitimately so, I should be able to resell my own property that I don't use anymore).

    Ah but it is not your property. Thanks to the EULA you only have the right to use it when and where the owner of the property says you can.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:32PM (#38832251)

    Like St. Creed says below, the used game market helps drive the new game market.

    If Person A buys a game for $60 because they know they can sell it to "Used Game Store" for $20 when they get bored with it, then that's $60 in "Game Company Pocket". If Person A wouldn't buy the game for $60 if they couldn't sell it for $20, then that $60 that would have gone to "Game Company Pocket" never gets there.

    Person B will by the game for $60 anyway.

    Person C will buy the game for $30, putting $10 in "Used Game Store Pockets" and driving Person A to buy more games at $60. Person C may find new publishers/series, and may at some time buy a $60 game.

  • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:42PM (#38832393)

    I would like to see numbers on how true this is. I don't think a lot of people buy games with the intent of trading it in later.

  • by Translation Error (1176675) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:47PM (#38832447)
    Well, realistically, that's probably what most people will do--drool over the shiny new system, loudly proclaim they're not going to buy it if it won't play used games, turn their back for a while before drooling over it again a couple of times, and then go ahead and buy it.
  • by Teckla (630646) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:51PM (#38832497)

    Microsoft is still impressively thoroughly evil. This is just more of the same.

    You can't even stream Netflix with your Xbox 360 without subscribing to Xbox Live.

    There is no good reason for this, except Microsoft being greedy, evil bastards.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:51PM (#38832501)

    It's true for used cars, why wouldn't it be true for games? You think teenagers and 20-somethings have tons of cash to buy games and then throw them away if they don't like them or are done with them?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:53PM (#38832511)

    I don't think a lot of people buy games with the intent of trading it in later.

    That's the wrong way to think about it. Someone may not consider whether they can trade a game in when buying a new game, but when they do trade in a game, it's often to purchase a new game. The sales that will be lost are not the initial ones but the subsequent ones where gamers are applying their trade-in value to lower the cost.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:54PM (#38832523) Journal

    180, you stupid, spaghetti-slurping cretin - *180*! If I did a 720, I'd go completely around and end up back where I started!

    Seriously though WTF does this have to do with the 720, or the mii, or the PS4 for that matter? this is just some douche blathering on about what could possibly maybe happen sometime in the future. Well i might grow wings out of my ass and fly south for the winter but that don't mean its gonna happen, especially not with sony looking for any advantage it can get against MSFT. Can you imagine how quickly Sony would jump on that? 'You can't buy used or rent games for the 720 but you can the PS4. Come over to the PS4, its nicer here" and watch the 720 sales take a dump. MSFT may be dumb but it ain't retarded...well not THAT retarded anyway, Win 8 dev preview has made me lower my estimate of the collective IQ at Redmond by a dozen points or so.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:03PM (#38832607) Homepage

    It's true for used cars, why wouldn't it be true for games?

    Because cars cost lots more than games.

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:11PM (#38832717)

    Because the stores don't pay very much for used games. The used game that you bought for $30 (instead of $45 new or probably $20 on a Steam sale), the store paid $5. At most. Yes, the stores will occasionally pay as much as $10 for new and hot titles, but those get sold used for as little as $5 off the price of a new copy.

    The used games stores are bad for the industry. All the bad things that publishers say about games piracy? The loss of sales and money being diverted away from the people who make the games? The need to jack up prices to make up for sales lost due to alternate means of acquisition? All that shit is actually true about the used games industry. With the kicker that the people lost to the used games pawnbrokers are actually paying customers, which is something you can't say about the pirates.

  • by Pentium100 (1240090) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:37PM (#38833065)

    The same can be said about used cars, PCs, electronics, almost any physical object, so what? The way I see it, the industry wants to have it both ways:

    When piracy is concerned, the industry says "a copy of a game is a product, pirating it is pretty much like stealing a DVD (or a car)". OK, so I guess my copy of the game is just another physical object and I should treat it like that (after all, I do not copy a lot of physical objects).
    So, selling a used physical object is perfectly fine - I can sell (or buy) a used car, a tape deck, a PC and many other things. I have bought a lot of used equipment, mostly because I cannot afford new one or it is no longer made. So, if a copy of the game should be treated as a physical object, then it should be perfectly fine for me to sell it or give it away, assuming, of course, that I did not keep a "backup". Except that the industry really does not like it and takes steps to prevent it and make it so when I buy a game, I'm stuck with it forever. When I buy a TV and it turns out I do not like it I can return it (within 14 days) or sell it at a lower price - taking a loss, but still recouping some of the money paid.
    You don't hear Intel bitching about all those used PCs sold to people. Or Mercedes bitching about used cars. Or just old cars, the way Microsoft is bitching about the fact that people still use Windows XP and *gasp* do not want to pay them money for a slightly better OS.

  • by stevenvi (779021) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:59PM (#38833287) Homepage

    Because the stores don't pay very much for used games.

    Indeed, but you're forgetting that you can bypass used game stores and sell directly with sites such as Amazon [amazon.com], half.com [half.com], ebay [ebay.com], etc.

    So, for example, when I buy a used game for $30 -- because I never buy brand new games, and I don't care to play online anyways, I can sell it again in a few weeks for approximately the same price, minus the cost of shipping.

    The used games stores are bad for the industry.

    I disagree. If buying new were the only option I had, I would simply do without. It's the same argument for pirates -- if they had to pay full price, they'd simply do without. This isn't something that I personally lose any sleep over. It's very easy to stop consuming (overpriced) entertainment, and there are many alternatives in the world to occupy one's time with.

    Fair disclosure: I'm a software developer in the video games industry. (And I'm supposed to be writing some code right now. :-X)

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @05:15PM (#38833451) Homepage

    Yeah, that's stupid. They are both luxury items, especially when new. Or maybe you think the 75% of the world that doesn't own a car isn't getting by at all.

    Does not own a car != does not have access to a car. A couple with children that share a car have as far as I consider it all a car, so you can multiply the 1 billion plus cars with a pretty big factor. I don't own a car but it's because I live in a fairly big city with good public transportation so I only exceptionally need one and I have family I can borrow from and several leasing/pooling options as well. That does not in any way mean I consider cars as a luxury. I consider it a basic transportation tool that I happen to not have any need for on a daily basis. I think it comes down to your meaning of luxury, yes people lived before refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, TV, radio, computers, cell phones and even electricity. Some people still do, but does that mean billions are living in luxury today?

    Standards change, 20 years ago having a cell phone was a luxury. Today there's over 5 billion cell phone subscriptions (july 2010) and it's the standard of living for all but the poorest people on earth, and even they typically share one in some form. Cars have long ceased to be any form of luxury in any sense I'd care to define it. It has become the backbone of society that let people get around and if you don't have one because you can't afford one even though there's not any good alternatives then you are poor, not missing a luxury. Society adapts too, when so many drive to the store it becomes longer between shops. Workplaces place themselves in commuting distances, not walking distances. In many rural areas it's now difficult to function in society without a car, it might not strictly be a necessity but your quality of life will be greatly diminished without one.

  • by Pentium100 (1240090) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @07:46PM (#38834861)

    New games shouldn't have to compete with used games a week after the game is released.

    Why not? If a game is so short lived that it gets sold as used a week after release then it should compete with the new games.

    If you want your game to not be sold as used a week after release then make a game that will still be interesting/fun/etc a week after I buy it. I see the used games market as rental - it probably is harder to rent a game (like a movie) because you might want to play it for longer than a day, so you buy it and then sell it as used for less.

    Movies are also consumed - I buy it, I watch it and I'm done with it for some time (or I may not want to watch it again ever). So, instead of buying, I can rent the movie. If I want to watch it a few years later, I can rent it again. Or if I want to have it or watch more times, I can buy it and keep it.

    I also think that if people sold new cars after a few weeks and bought new ones, the car industry would be really happy. For one, the people who would sell a car after a few weeks will buy a new one from the dealership (not a car that is a few weeks old). So, the total number of cars would increase as the prices for older used cars drop. It would also displace old cars (after all, how many cars does one person need?), which means that the authorized mechanics would not need to support as many old cars as they do now.

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