It’s still a rumor at this point, but people are saying that the next generation of Xbox will have Microsoft implementing a change to their console that would make it impossible to sell games used. By using a number of security features, the company would be ensuring that if you buy a game, it’s yours for life and only you, on your Xbox Live account, will be capable of playing it. It may sound complicated and ridiculous, and that’s because it is. It is, in my opinion, the worst possible thing they could do.
First and foremost, the system would require you to be plugged into the Internet in order to play games. This is in and of itself a load of crap. What about those of us who play primarily PC games and use their console as a fallback when the Internet goes down? Are we now relegated to having absolutely no gaming if disaster strikes or the router breaks? What about people that simply do not have any Internet (there are a few out there)? I suppose Microsoft would just write them off as not in the market for one of their consoles.
The next part of the security would be to have each game have an activation code. This code needs to be put in when you play and is intimately linked to your Live account. So if your friend says “Hey, can I try that game to see if I want to buy it?” you have to say no. Unless you feel comfortable letting them use your account, that is.
Again, this is all still rumor and Microsoft will neither confirm nor deny it, but if they do choose to go through with this, or something similar, it will cause major backlash. Game rentals, and thus sales, will begin to crash. The companies that make their living renting games will go under. People with knowledge will hack their consoles so that they can get around the security and others will simply stick to their old systems to avoid the nuisance. Not to mention that this would be a great opening for a third party to enter the console wars (I don’t count Nintendo as in the war anymore) and take over the market by ignoring the security precaution.
Just the idea of not allowing people to borrow, rent or purchase used games is ludicrous. Look at the movie market, for example. People rent movies, and those cost much more to produce and much less to purchase. Of course, perhaps if there were only two movie companies and they owned the rights to the DVD players you use to watch the movies they might try something like this.
I am really hoping that this rumor goes away quickly. Some of us just can’t afford to buy every game new and, to make things worse, some games are impossible to find except used. I’ll be crossing my fingers that Microsoft does not jump the gun on this one. I kinda like my Xbox and would hate to see them go under.