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Microsoft Software The Almighty Buck XBox (Games) Games

Xbox 720 Might Reject Used Games 543

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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:38PM (#38831507)

    Because you should turn around twice and walk away.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:43PM (#38831583)

      goddamnit if you started facing it you'd just turn around twice and walk into it.

      • 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 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.

  • Every new generation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FrYGuY101 ( 770432 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:41PM (#38831557) Journal
    "Hey the PS2 is going to prevent you from playing used games!"

    Oops, no, you can just fine...

    "Hey, the PS3 is going to prevent you from playing used games!"

    Nope, wrong again...

    "Hey, the next Xbox is going to prevent you from playing used games!"

    At this point, I'm convinced it's just a way for the hardware people to wrangle a little bit extra developer support before launch, where inevitably they aren't stupid enough to do something that would alienate their core market...
  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:45PM (#38831615)

    After some years of neglect, since the late 1990s some libraries, universities, and other cultural organizations have realized that videogames are an important cultural artifact, so are worth preserving just like films and other bits of culture are. There are now things like this at Stanford [stanford.edu], and quite a few others. These are usually put together by buying used arcade cabinets, cartridges, CDs, etc., from anything from flea markets to eBay (in addition to donations from individuals and collectors).

    Videogame makers seem to be doing whatever they possibly can to make this as difficult as possible, especially for organizations like libraries that need to follow the law. It seems like if videogames are actually documented/preserved as interesting cultural artifacts, it's going to be by less-official organizations that crack them.

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

    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 The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <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 alen ( 225700 )

      WTF is hard to find titles in 2012? you can find any game anywhere in a B&M or online anytime. and this will have downloadable games so you can just pre-order and it will download a few weeks before release and activate on release day like steam

      • you can find any game anywhere in a B&M or online anytime.

        Where can I find a lawfully made copy of Earthbound? Nintendo refuses to release it on Virtual Console. Or are you referring only to current-generation games?

    • First they realize that digital bytes can, by their nature, be copied trivially (unlike physical mediums). So they employ unusable DRM and ridiculous laws like the DMCA just to make their digital media behave like physical media.

      Now they've got such a hard on for DRM and their ability to lobby that they want physical media to behave more like digital media. It's like they're twisting the knife.

  • 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 tepples ( 727027 )
      What will they play instead once Microsoft shuts off Xbox Live access for Xbox 360 games, just as it has done for original Xbox games?
  • 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.

    • Somewhat along the same lines of an earlier post claiming that piracy will solve this issue.

      I agree that if someone wants to play the game in 18 years. They will play the game. Emulators rule. I love that MAME exists and give me strolls down memory lane without sucking quarters out of my pocket in that stuffy, over-heated, converted room behind the Mini-Golf rental shack.
      http://mamedev.org/legal.html [mamedev.org]

      Read their "Legal" section if you think that "piracy" is the only solution.

    • by Tsingi ( 870990 ) <graham.rick@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' 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.

    • The idea has been around for awhile. This is the one and only goal of DRM for games. It is not there to prevent piracy, it is there to stop you selling your used games or even giving them away to friends or family. This has even been stated by some game producers. Everyone knows pirates will just get cracks to get the game anyway instead the legal owners of the games are prevented from using their legal rights to do what they want with the game.

      This is the Steam model. Steam has a horde of dutiful fans

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        This is the Steam model. Steam has a horde of dutiful fans who back them up; it's convenient for those who have super fast internet so they will defend the entire model of Steam just to keep that convenience. Some have even defended the DRM as only hurting places like GameStop or other sleazy resellers. But the owner's rights are being restricted and that should never be accepted just because of convenience. There are even worse places than Steam too with much more restrictive DRM (the Steam fans sometimes defend them as "it could be worse").

        With all the due respect, think of Steam like WoW without the monthly fees. If WoW were to shut down tomorrow it's not an argument that OMG you've spent 10000 hours building a character and money on games and expansions and fees and DLCs and buying shit on eBay. Oh there would be massive outrage but there's nothing legally binding them to provide service except prepaid game time and even there they could issue a refund for the future days you lost and nothing else. You don't have any recourse if they change

    • You appear to have never heard of a suicide battery [arcadecollecting.com]. As I understand it, it's fairly common for some kinds of arcade games to lose their programming after several years because essential decryption keys are stored in battery-backed SRAM.
  • that you the publishers spent millions of dollars on absolute garbage like mindjack and no one wants to buy it?

    What SHOULD be dying is all the garbageware game publishers!

  • by kni52 ( 598886 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:56PM (#38831747)
    Actually i will if this is the way it will behave. The same goes for any console that does this kind of thing. I buy most of my games used, and keep my gaming systems for as long as they last. I stay away from any game that links to online services or verification in order to function properly. If i want a time-limited gaming experience, I'll visit one of the few arcades that are left (which I do whenever I'm near one).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:56PM (#38831757)

    Limiting features based on not having a key is a better idea.

    Such as limiting a certain number of weapons to be held, or certain number of AI bots in a game, or even limiting the game up to a certain point, removing side-quests, etc.
    It would give more reason for people to want to buy the game first, or get a new key.

    Getting rid of brick and mortar stores is a terrible thing for them and the industry, as is going entirely digital.
    A lot of companies make a large chunk of money on limited editions and the like, such as coming with original artwork (or rather, scanned original artwork), some models, whatever.
    Not only that, getting rid of them would be getting rid of a large chunk of your market because NO sane person is going to sit and download their double-digit gigabyte games.
    What with bandwidth caps and slow speeds, and of course the triple digit numbers of people ALL DOING IT AT ONCE, yeah, come back in a couple decades when the backbones of most countries aren't made out of crap.
    Better idea, CDN in each country. Each store signs up for a licence to have a hub installed in their store. This then downloads the games to them on release. People can come in with some memory device (SSD, HDD, flash, whatever), pop the game on, it gets copied, take it home, copy to console, done.
    If they have no device, they rent a device from the store to take it home. (this could be an avenue for the stores to make a bit of money for those who have no memory storage)
    You could also allow sync to be done via this method. They hop on over to the store, they upload their achievements and the like to the hub. It all gets uploaded at off-peak times at once.
    Obviously there is a lot to workout with such a system, but it is better than telling your fans with no internet to beat it.
    You now have the best of both worlds, people who can internet and people who don't have decent internet or none at all.

    The fact that Steam, PSN, XBL all suffer bad times even with upper-average traffic, what makes you think it'd hold up against everyone ever on those services using it all at once?
    They'd literally DDoS the poor servers, which I can't count how many times has happened when, say, a new huge game has came out on Steam. Switching locations like a madman to find something that will at least work, even if slow as hell.
    They'd have to have an insane number of load-balancing at the front of the network to prevent it dying so hard.

    note: I always buy brand new wherever I can.

  • when at least half of your target audience will wait a few weeks/months to buy your game used from a store like Gamestop ruining your companies projected sales/income and it makes it difficult for you to get funding for games, its a problem. why bother making anything other than a game hoping to cash in on the COD market for sure income, then to make a niche new original game that wont have as many sales and more than half are still lost to store resellers. that said, when games have no replay value and af
  • by lazycam ( 1007621 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @02:57PM (#38831781)
    I know it's a small part of their business, but how will this decision affect a rental company like RedBox. The other day I noticed they rented out titles like Skyrim and Call of Duty. Moreover, what about companies like Gamefly, whose entire business model is based on the ability to share titles? Along with regular customers, I imagine these companies will not go down without a fight.
  • 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.

  • There are scores of people who will not buy a new game unless they can resell it. There are also scores of people who will only buy used games. Both of these groups will not buy a new gaming console if they can not take part in the used game market.
  • "This is NOT a new player. In order to play this game, please replace the current player with a new one, and start again."

    "This system does NOT accept used players."

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:09PM (#38831945)
    why people continue to complain when they know that the console maker is going to do stuff like this makes no sense. You are accepting you don't even own your console when you buy it.
  • I hope they realise the number of gamers for whom selling used finances their buying new. Just like the car market, except there manufacturers absolutely covet the used car market. Many of the used buyers are kids who don't have the money to buy new games except at birthdays etc., or casual gamers who would never pay new prices. I note that the article refers to PC games generally being one-time use, I respond noting PC game pricing for brand-new games is almost always cheaper than used console games, quite

  • Incorporate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:10PM (#38831955)

    Create a corporation*, purchase the XBox and games through the corporation. When you want to sell, you transfer the equity in the corporation to the new owner. The h/w and s/w never change hands.

    Watch Microsoft fight a couple of hundred years of corporate law. Sit back. Laugh.

    *Yeah, I know. This will be prohibitively expensive for something like a couple of games.

  • 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.
    • Wasn't there talk a while back about Madden moving over to a subscription model? Which would be exactly what you describe.

  • 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 oh-dark-thirty ( 1648133 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:49PM (#38832473)

    ..when I purchased NHL 11 used for my 360, and didn't realize until I started playing that it required a $10 online pass for multiplayer. Nope, not gonna do it, and I would urge anyone with an ounce of sense to reject that model as well. EA doesn't even maintain servers for most of their current-gen games, they use P2P. The only thing they physically host are stats and whatnot, so it costs them very little to maintain; the bandwidth and storage requirements are minimized to a huge degree.

  • 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.

  • Should be illegal !! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fish_in_the_c ( 577259 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:55PM (#38832533)

    Attempting to keep control of a product you sell and prevent it's resale is bad for the economy and should be illegal, as it destroys whole ecosystems of commerce.

    I'm sure cloth retailers would love to put used cloths stores out of business.
    Do you think it would work if they started including a license with their cloth that required the item to be returned to them and not resold? I mean , just because you pay for it , is no excuse to think you own it or have the right to modify it , right?

    How about care manufactures, do you think people would put up with having to sign a license agreement for that required you to always have your car serviced at the dealership and return it to the dealer rather then discard it so as to protect 'their engineering' .
    Not that they haven't tired, there is all kinds of poor engineering that has cost car companies lots of rep and lots of money , in attempts to prevent people from fixing things themselves. Now with all the computers and key fobs etc they are starting to finally have some success. That should also be illegal.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:37PM (#38833057) Homepage

    Games are expensive. Many people feel they can buy games because they will have some re-sale value after the fact. But with being stripped of any resale value, I have to wonder if this will result in more "careful consumerism." But in the end, we are seeing consumers stripped of their rights when they buy things. (Yes, I know they are technically 'redefining' what consumers are buying and what their rights are, but the net effect is the same.)

    This kind of abuse simply needs to be outlawed. If someone buys a game in physical form, there should be no way to restrict their use of it. By making clever software, they are doing essentially what the DMCA says consumers can't do. They are circumventing copyright by inhibiting access to legal material copies which are owned by individuals.

  • by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:38PM (#38833073)
    I'm sure glad car companies don't feel the same way about people trading in their used cars.
  • by Liam Pomfret ( 1737150 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @05:42PM (#38833751)
    Realistically, blocking the ability of gamers to sell their used games isn't likely to be that much of a concern. PC gamers have already shown they're willing to accept that when coupled with reasonably sensible pricing schemes (eg. Practically any PC game download service, such as Steam).

    The real problem for a company trying to implement something like this is going to be with the stores. Historically, stores such as Gamestop have only minimal margins on the sales of actual gaming consoles. (The Wii is a rare and notable exception there, and the Wii U is unlikely to be different on that score.) It's the same kind of razor & blades business model that Microsoft and Sony use selling them the consoles in the first place (though not as extreme, since Microsoft and Sony usually lose money on each console sold.) This is why many stores try to up-sell you to a bundle when you're buying a console, since they make so much more on the margin of those games (even the ones that they seemingly discount dramatically for the purpose of the bundle).

    If you eliminate the possibility of these stores selling used games on a console, then you're leaving them only with new games (average margins) and consoles (minimal margins). What do you think will be the result of that? Most likely, they'll shift shelf space to something with better margins, if not eliminate the product line from their stores entirely. After all, when a games store sells you a console, they're hoping to continue to make money from you from game sales in the future. If you can't buy used games from them, then your value as a customer to them has just decreased dramatically.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.