Next gen Xbox won't support used games?

So, I recall when a topic like this came out for the PS3 a long time ago, about how they were trying to patent some new technology that would prevent gamers from using a 'used' disc on another PS3 system to combat the used game marker.  I am surprised I have seen little/no references to this yet amidst the other topics about the next Xbox and whether or not it will support used games.  Now, nothing came of that Sony rumor, just as a lot of times that kind of speculation never comes to fruition when pertaining to upcoming game consoles.

That said?  A very similar rumor has come up again - this time for the next generation of Xbox 360.  IGN posted about it here.

I love gaming - and I have been playing them for longer than most people.  I get very excited when I read reports that the next Xbox will be 6 times more powerful graphically than the current generation model.  But this sort of thing is a deal killer for me if it comes to pass.  A lot of people believe that digital distribution of games is the future, and it might be - but it's not the immediate future.  There's too many problems with that distribution model (not everyone has blazing internet speeds, and as games continue to age, they also grow in size.  Compare the 10 gb downloads we have for a game now to what game sizes were a generation or two ago.  If rumor is true that the next Xbox will support Bluray the way the PlayStation does, that means that games could be quite substantial in size.  Not only will the hardware have to compensate for these potentially 15-45 gb games, but think about our bandwidth limits.  I have one ISP provider in my area, and they limit our household to 200gbs per month, and we flirt with that monthly now.

Digital at this point is an option, it's not however the only method of distributing games.

So that leaves us with discs still, which has value because people like to borrow games from friends.  They like to go over to a friend's house with some games to play.  My house has two Xbox 360's.  Would my games work on both with this model?  Under the current 360 model this is a real problem because I can play titles on both systems - but my wife and kids can't.  If the title is associated to the person's gamertag does that mean other people on the same system in the same household can't play it?

Of course, this leaves more questions than answers, and in fairness it is all speculation for gaming sites and blogs.

Of course, Microsoft wants people talking about their upcoming console - buzz is generally a good thing and it helps pique interest.  That said?  This is potentially very damaging for Microsoft, and when the PS3 rumors came out several years ago, Sony was pretty quick to respond that the rumors were false.  I really dislike the online passes and other codes that game companies use to try and get people to buy their games new, but at least used is still an option and it then falls on the gamer to decide the value of the code materials.  This is something more, something much more potentially damaging to the market I think.  It will be interesting to see if Microsoft speaks up quickly about this topic or not as Sony did a few years ago.  If not, it's only going to add fuel to the fire.



  1. Well, personally, I believe that taking measures to stop used game sales is a good thing, and I know Microsoft likes to try and do right by its content partners.

    I won't say that too loudly in public, though, since I don't want to be lynched :P

  2. Well, since Kinect, RRoD, and poor exclusives are synonymous with Xbox now, I have no interest in MS's next anyway, so this doesn't affect me.

  3. I think the games industry needs to adapt around used games sales instead of completely getting rid of them. If this is true it's going to make finding hard to find games a nightmare. As much as I hate on line passes and DLC for pre-orders it's a lot better than this which really screws over consumers.I think publishers have to realise that all used game sales aren't lost game sales and platform holders need to realise how important used game sales are to the strenght and sales of their system.

  4. @Super - haven't had any investment in/dislike or like for Kinost really, but the RRoD was a major pain, and while Xbox still has had some good exclusives, I do feel they fell behind Sony over the last year or so.

    @Retr0 - I concur. I don't think it'll go away. If I'm Nintendo? I'm licking my chops right now. This is the best news they've had in probably months with Wii U coming out first and lacking this particular piece of controversy

    @Games - definitely no lynching from me, you know me - I welcome all opinions, even if I don't agree with them. But we've had chats before on forums and such before about stances on used games. I just can't see them as a bad thing. I'll use my Modern Warfare 2 example.

    I bought it used for the PS3 awhile back. I also bought the map pack DLC when it was half-off on the PSN. I would not have bought the game new. The Devs would have gotten nothing from me, but instead they did get money out of me through their DLC.

    Online Passes are annoying, but I think they're better than this. DLC is another option for getting money. Packed in exclusive codes are another means of ensuring new game purchases.

    I would be less against this if I completely confident that I could take a game to a friend's house, let my kids play or play my title on multiple systems I own. This to me just feels like the wrong answer.

  5. I normally buy games new, so this probably wouldn't affect me much. However, I still think it's stupid to just up and ban used games.

    What about little Jimmy that buys Halo used, loves it then goes on to buy every other Halo sequel brand new? A similar situation happened to me when I purchased No More Heroes used; I fell in a deep manly love with that game and bought the sequel brand new at full price. Many times gamers might miss out on games, for whatever reason, when they are first released and then seek them used at a later time.

    I hope the future isn't a primarily digital one, because that would suck. I love getting a new game and tearing off the plastic, reading the manuals and looking at art, etc.

  6. Excellent thoughts - thank you both! I definitely agree that digital-only is just not an option at this point. It's what most people would like to see - especially devs. Their manufacturing costs are pretty much nil at that point, they get higher share of the profits, customers can get the newest titles without leaving their house. Unfortunately the storage and internet infrastructure just does not support this model currently for many users, and trying to push that model now only excludes potential customers until those realities are properly sorted out.

    I've been buying more games new myself over the last year or so. I went years buying games almost exclusively used. Frankly, it was all I could afford. As I'm making a bit more money at my job and I have a bit more disposable income, I've found myself buying more titles new than I used to.

    An argument I've seen lately is that buying computer games digitally doesn't support a used game environment, and that is certainly true - but sites like Steam and Gamersgate also offer significant discounts on a lot of their titles versus what you see on consoles. I think people would be more in favor of this need to buy new and/or buy digitally if the prices of games came down, though pretty much every generation the prices of games actually goes up.

    It will be interesting to see if this happens - still no official word I've seen yet. One has to wonder though - does this in some ways hurt the devs who are exclusive to Microsoft if Nintendo or Sony don't adopt something like this? Based on the reaction to this I've seen in a lot of forums and blogs so far, customers are not happy. If this pushes customers to buy PlayStation 4 or Wii U, hasn't Microsoft potentially actually done a disservice to their Devs who make exclusive content for them? Could be interesting to see.

    Thanks again for the continued comments!

  7. Honestly, if Microsoft implemented this, it would be disastrous. Not only would it effectively kill profit for retailers like GameStop, but Microsoft would lose more than half of its player base. It just doesn't make economic sense.

    1. I'm inclined to agree, Jeff. I think that we are still a generation away from consoles being used-game free. The digital side of things isn't there yet, and there's too many companies too heavily invested in the used game market like Gamestop, Best Buy and Amazon. Plus, it sets them up to fall into a bad light as they are trying to make their new hardware more attractive to customers when there are going to be competing consoles like the Wii U and PS 4

  8. Hi,

    I have bemoaned the shift to digital distribution. I'm not always online and I like to have the box on my shelf in the same way I like a book in my library, not in my smart phone. The Pre-owned issue is not one of distribution though, its a perception by developers that pre-owned sales somehow take money from them. If their theory was to hold true then the same could be said about buying used cars. By purchasing from a local independent dealer you have robbed Toyota of a sale of a new car? No, you haven't because you were never going to pay full price for a brand new car. This is the main argument against purchasing used games and in my most recent post at my blog I talk about this (but then you know that, as you so kindly left a comment).

    For anyone else who's interested my thoughts on the same subject are at:

    I enjoyed reading your blog and have subscribed. All the best,


    1. Thanks TGG for stopping in as well. I put ilnks to your blog up here as well, and am glad you shared out that link. It's a good post he put up on this topic and I would encourage any of my readers interested in this topic to swing on over there and take a read of it.

      I have made some of the exact arguments you have both here in your comment as well as the post on your blog. The used car analogy is one I have broken out before. I know maybe 3 people who have ever purchased a car right off of the lot brand new - I certainly haven't. Ford got nothing from my purchase of a 2010 Fusion recently, and with that come certain expectations like a lack of warranty or perhaps it will break down (have scratches in the case of a disc), but you expect it will have 4 wheels and you'll still be able to get in and drive it.

      I also had a story I shared on IGN's boards about how i purchased Modern Warfare 2 used. Infinity Ward didn't get any money from that, but I bought the map packs later so they got money there. I also pre-ordered and bought Black Ops new when it came out, which I also would not have done had I not enjoyed the experience of MW2.

      I really appreciate the visit and comment, thanks!

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