Sources: The Next Xbox Will Play Blu-Ray, May Not Play Used Games (And Will Introduce Kinect 2)

Sources: The Next Xbox Will Play Blu-Ray, May Not Play Used Games (And Will Introduce Kinect 2)

Microsoft will upgrade its disc technology for its next Xbox from DVDs to Blu-Ray discs, catching up to rival Sony, games industry sources tell Kotaku.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 currently supports Blu-Ray, which can contain 25 or 50GB of data compared to DVD’s 9GB.

But that disc detail could be far less impactful to the next generation of game consoles than the assertion I’ve heard from one reliable industry source that Microsoft intends to incorporate some sort of anti-used game system as part of their so-called Xbox 720.

It’s not clear if that means that the system wouldn’t play used games or how such a set-up would work. Obvious approaches — I’m theorizing here — like linking a copy of a game to a specific Xbox Live account could seemingly be foiled by used-game owners who would keep their system offline. My source wasn’t sure how Microsoft intended to implement any anti-used game system in the new machine.

A push in any way by Microsoft against used games would likely be cheered from publishers sick of seeing retailers like GameStop crow about their revenues from the sale of used games. But it could potentially anger consumers who rely on buying cheaply-sold used games or even pass games to relatives or friends.

One source familiar with Microsoft’s plans for the new Xbox said Microsoft plans to ship their new Xbox with a new version of its red-hot Kinect hands-free sensor system. The new Kinect would contain an on-board processor, a feature originally intended for the first Kinect. That processor would enable a new Kinect to more effectively detect users’ motions.

I’m also hearing that Microsoft is interested in making a smaller controller for its new console.

And what of gaming site IGN’s report that the machine could be six times more powerful than the Xbox 360? From some industry sources I’m hearing that that’s the right ballpark and that Microsoft is estimating they might even get to 8x the Xbox 360. But another insider clarified that no one in the industry has development kits yet and that any talk about specs right now is still hypothetical.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

“Xbox 720” is being used as shorthand by reporters like me to refer to the next Xbox. It’s not necessarily the name of the next device. Tech sites Semi Accurate and Fudzilla have reported that the first chips for 720 development kits are going into production, leading to a possible late 2013 release despite my earlier reporting which had pointed to 2014 as the year of the next Xbox and PlayStation.

Nintendo’s next console, the Wii U, will go on sale later this year.


    • If you ask me blu ray has bought nothing to this generation except load times/mandatory installs and i think MS is leaning more towards the download model than a physical disc medium

      • It’s funny you blame the load times on the blu ray and not the console.

        There really is no real idea as to why it’s one or the other.

        The only reason mandatory installs don’t exist on 360 (ie the non blu ray console) is because MS banned them. So they could sell the Arcade models(Which don’t/didn’t come with hard drives near the start of the generation.

        Because they can’t guarantee that every console has a HDD with a modicum of space on it. MS banned mandatory installs

        • The same games loads just as fast off a dvd with no install then it does with a ps3 and a mandatory install

        • There were a couple of rather in depth articles (that elude me know, it was years ago) written about the slow speed of the PS3 Blu-Ray drive that were leading developers to fill the discs with many multiples of copies of digital in-game assets so that the games would appear to load smoother, basically negating any benefits from the increased disc space.

          I’m sure things have improved a little, if only because developers are now better at eeking out performance from the drive.

          • Technology has improved since then.

            First generation PS2s had similarly slow DVD drives. If you used a dual layer DVD, the layer change took up to a second on the early models, so effectively the discs had to be mastered such that all the data you need to load is load immediately is on both layers, which is one of the reasons why they had space constraints that the 360 really doesn’t, because modern DVD drives have extremely quick layer changes.

            Similarly, PS3 shipped with one of the first generation BD drives/ I’d expect 360’s successor to have a much faster drive.

  • Great so your nextbox’s games are only useable on your nextbox., which breaks down so you have to buy new games and new console.If the reliability is the same as the 360 then this is the end of micro-soft as a games company.

    • Ahhh no, Microsoft allows the rights to anything you purchase to be moved from one console to another once a year.

    • Um pc games have been using serial keys for years.To start the game you would have to use a serial key that is checked online, if it has been used or is fake then the game does’nt start/install.If your not online then they could use a phone system like windows activation does.The tech is there and already used by micro-soft.

    • I can’t see them relying only on an online system, as so many people don’t connect their boxes to the net. Maybe when you first put the disc in the drive, it burns your consoles id onto a small blank area of the disc, which permanently locks it to that console? It sounds extreme, but I don’t think it would be very hard to implement.

      • Yeah that was my thinking too, it burns both your console ID and Gamertag ID into a small sector of the disc, the catch is I could than go re-write that sector with some sort of Burner and some apps.

        While Game Publishers may all be onboard with the no used games concept I can’t see MS putting that into a machine, it would be suicide. Because if the Wii U and PS4 don’t do it, your the odd one out and while I don’t buy used games I wouldn’t want to buy a machine where I can’t do that. Heck the easiest way for Nintendo to profit from this (remember Nintendo never sell their machines at a loss) would be to advertise they don’t lock games to the machine. Everyone buys the Wii U, and the developers go to where the customers are.

        Maybe the publisers and distributors need to attack the fact that the used game is $10 off, by dropping their prices quicker.

  • If the second hand games thing comes in bahahha i can imagine the pissed off people with good reason.

        • People who use ebay, loan games to friends/family you know how you used to without being called criminals but hey…. This culture now we have just accept everything will we are bent over and receiving it from the game developers…

          • I understand not being able to lend games anymore would be a pain. But when there are options such as ozgameshop, steamsales and online serial key stores which offer international prices which are far more affordable, I don’t see this sort of thing pricing people out of gaming …

      • its about taking away the choice of consumers. Some games I preorder /buy new. Others are decent titles that I’d rather pick up when their cheap. Not to mention it’ll be the end of dedicated games retailers (not sure if that bothers me too much though).

        • What if I want to lend games to myself. Since about 2000 I have always had multiple same consoles in my house be they flat mates and uni, family members after for a while and then a gamer wife. We have 2 ps3s a wii and 360 at the moment (not to mention a bunch of ds’s and psp’s).

          it’s bad enough that they try and lock online content to individual machines but locking the whole game would seriously annoy me bless there was a bit games price drop (which there should be to increase market and as steam shows total revenue)

      • it does for me. 7/10 games I buy arse pre-owned due to price. Generaly because of 3 for 2 deals etc that EB and GAME tend to run. I love playing games, but I don’t have the money to buy new every single time a game is released. Removing the option pretty much makes every purchase a gamble without the safety of knowing you COULD buy it used in some time. And if that’s a bad thing, then even AS an XBOX fan, fuck that.

        But seriously, M$ wouldn’t be stupid enough to implement such a thing!

        • why not use ozgameshop? Half the price of retail for brand new releases rather than 5-10 bucks off at eb for a used disc

          • dlc issues and cd keys are another issue for games that give you extra content via code…..

          • One thing you have to realize with ozgameshop is ALL their games are imported either from england, china, japan, etc. If games require a serial code per say, it probably wont work on aussie consoles due to region locking and the game is now a 60 dollar frisbee.

          • I’ve bought a few games from Ozgamshop with online pass codes in them and they have all worked on my Aussie console/Live account…. so far.

          • Uk versions tend to. USA not as much, my lbp2 collectors avatars are all attached to the US account =(

      • An inability to play pre-owned games will destroy any twilight years the console might receive if it does not have such a feature. Reselling bad games will also not be an option.

  • I have a feeling that if Microsoft seriously did build some kind of anti-used technology, big retailers like GAME and EB/GameStop would refuse to stock it, much like they did with the PSP Go.

    • Yeah they wouldn’t be happy and would surely try to put some pressure on – but not stocking the PSP Go isn’t the same as not stocking the next Xbox. I think they’d just end up having to accept it, lest some other retailer takes over as the dominant game/console seller.

    • It would be interesting to see how both the industry and the community responded. Sure, banning the purchasing of used games gives more cash flow towards the developers and what have you, because used games don’t fund them. However, if people are going to be vetoing the entire system because they don’t want/can’t afford to buy new games, then the entire games sales that exist now, ignoring sales of used games, would most likely drop anyway, resulting in less revenue earned by producers/developers, and then distributors and game shops would suffer as well.

    • Even if EB/Game etc refused the stock it the dept stores (Big W/Kmart etc) still would which makes a lot of difference. I remember back in 2004 dept stores stopped stocking Gamecube altogether to make more room for PS2 while the boutiques continued right up to the Wii’s release but the drop out of dept stores is what really killed it in this country.

  • Lastgen graghics chip….Fail
    Kinect shoved down your throught….Fail
    No 2nd hand games……fail
    Sorry Bill 3 strikes your out.

  • Every damn game for this thing had better use full native 1080p. That is my sole gripe with console gaming right now. The games look freaking terrible when they’re upscaled to 1080p from 720p.

    • I don’t get why people obsess over how a game looks so much.

      It wasn’t that long ago we were all happy with PS2 level graphics on SD TVs.
      Don’t get me wrong, 1080p games look great and I enjoy them, but gameplay over graphics surely?

      Would you rather a shit looking game in your fave genre or the best evr looking game that’s as boring as crap to play?


    • The games that play in 720 are usually programmed that way so the developers can boost the game with more impressive onscreen effects

    • My hopes are if they take so long with this next gen, they start coming out with 1440p technology. PC’s can already do it on what’s now last gens cards, even though I know rumours are that 720 will have a ‘entry level’ 6000 series Radeon card. But if Sony or Microsoft were to implement something like a 6950 or 6970 with custom clock speeds, 2gb graphics memory and etc that shouldn’t have any problem running native 1440p. Although FPS might be as bad as we’ve been seeing this gen and visually besides higher res developers may not have so much more room to work with. But this could be a great step forwards if we got mainstream 1440p TVs as well, which we already have in monitors that’d mean we could get 1440p Blu rays and everything else. It wouldn’t just be a new step for consoles but an entire technology leap.

  • If they find a way to block usd games. I won’t be getting.
    No so much to make a “stand” or anything like that ,mostly because I can’t afford to.
    This ould also knock out the hiring of games and borrowing?
    That’s terrible, if I did have to pay full price for an old game how would I make an informed decision which to buy?

    I can’t afford that kind of console.

      • Review sites? Massivelt biased and you can’t trust them
        Demos? “Not indicative of final product”
        Blogs? Almost as untrustworthy as review sites.
        You can’t trust what other people think about a game, you have to play it for yoruself to see if you actually like it.

        • If retailers would want to sell product they would then have in store demos from the completed copy, just like they already do. Back in the day, you could select from a variety of games to try them out, so no reason they couldn’t re-implement that.

          • The problem with that is cost of implementing a system like that in every store and the lack of space in most. Parramatta GAME has a setup where you can try all of the consoles, but that’s because they’re the largest store (physically) and can therefore fit it. There’s also the problem of classification of games. Most games released nowadays are MA15 and soon, maybe, there will be R18 games, these obviously can’t be shown in a store because of the family environment. I wish it wasn’t like this, but unfortunately it’s unlikely we’ll see demo kits in every store again for a long time.

        • I agree you can encounter bias on the internet, but does that mean you automatically disregard any opinions you read online (or anywhere for that matter) as they may be dishonest?
          To use a dining analogy, would you go to a restaurant which was reviewed well or recommended by a friend? Or would you just pick a restaurant, go there to eat half a meal before deciding whether you liked it or not, then leave without paying if it was not to your liking?

  • I prefer Xbox over Sony, but yeah, if they do go with the no used games thing, then it’ll be pure playstation.

    And if Sony implement the same thing, then they’ll be pushing me to download pirated games on the computer.

    With the amount of games I buy new and used, the money I’d save by pirating would be enough to upgrade to a top of the line computer every year or so.

  • If they stop used games then I won’t be getting one, I don’t buy used games but I occasionally like to trade them in towards other new games. I dislike how game companies are putting more and more restrictions on us, so this better be a rumour that doesn’t come true.
    If the PS4 goes down the same path then I’ll be moving exclusively to PC, which ironically has even more restrictions, but when I can buy games for $5 in a steam sale then I’m not so fussed about being stuck with them forever.

  • calling BS on the used game comment. No way MS will stop someone from borrowing a game off their friend to play for the weekend.

  • Anti used system. Leave a little blank space on each disc and have the console write some unique data to the disc when you first put it in.

    Also didn’t I hear something about Sony maybe having some sort of powers to keep Blu ray exclusive to them?

  • I don’t know I reckon this (the anti-used games system) has been coming for some time, they already do it on PC – you have to register your copy of whatever it is – so long as the new Xbox has wifi as a standard feature (remember that’s only been the case for all SKUs since the S model) then there’s no reason why they can’t do it – except for perhaps a consumer backlash.

  • If they put something in place to stop second hand game sales, that means that you won’t even be able to buy a game, try it at home and then return it if it sucks…
    If MS tries to block second hand games sales and Sony doesn’t, then I forsee all the game-only retailers (who now depend on preowned sales) dropping MS and focussing on Sony and Nintendo. And Sony will absolutely slaughter MS in the console wars if that happens.

  • It’s interesting to see the uproar from this no used games rumour. Most people are concerned, understandably, with their own experience and the way they are being cheated but it seems most people are glazing over the fact that by buying a used game, you are NOT supporting the developer. Used games generate $0 in revenue for Microsoft and for the developer. If I was selling a product, which was protected under copyright and saw that someone else was selling the same product for a lower price, which was generating me nothing, I would engage my copyright protection and force that person to stop. This doesn’t seem to be the case with games/movies. Retailers are selling the same copy of a game 2 or 3 times and are making money each time, by the second time it is all profit or the retailer and none for the developer. In this way, used games are screwing developers out of money and because of, what I assume to be, their agreements that retailers are allowed to sell and resell product, there is no way to exercise their rights.
    It just goes to show where our society is headed when people won’t pay an extra $30 for a game they will, likely, spend 6+ hours playing. I rarely buy used games, but often get them as gifts and each time I look at it and think “I appreciate the thought but I would rather have a gift card to support the developer”

    • There was already an anti-used game implemented on a DS game, I forget which one, but it would not allow you to delete your saved file, which effectively means you couldn’t play it again and no-one else could either. It’s not quite the same, and I don’t agree with the way that was implemented, but it was step 1.

      As to Microsoft’s anti-used games, it might move onto downloadable games only, I know this will get me a ton of “National Broadband Network” and download limit comments/thoughts, but Microsoft is an American company and will look to service American consumers first. It is quite conceivable that the Nextbox would game downloads only, with retailers given the option of selling download codes. If this was the case, people with no internet might be able to go to retailers who would have a download station, register the game to their gamertag and take the game home on some form of media. This media could, of course, be loaned out if you kept your boxes offline, however it would cover most people who go online a lot.

    • I feel like your comments run along the vein of “understand why”, which I can appreciate. But why is it that Developers are getting “screwed” out of their money in the second-hand market and retailers not? Purely from a philosophical standpoint of course. Is the second-hand goods market not a legitimate and legal business? Is the revenue of devs/publishers paramount over the jobs associated with the retailers? Now, I rarely buy used games but when I do it’s generally a rare or RC (refused classification, Aus) title. A title not available in stores new or online. Consumers will have no such option if this goes ahead. Not to mention in some regions like Aus where brand new game prices are inflated upwards of 200%. I would LOVE to support developers and 90% of the time I do. I have a problem however, when they complain about being undercut by a legitimate business and claim it to be somehow immoral to sell off your own property that you don’t use anymore. What if car manufacturers did this?

      You’re assuming retailers actually make significant profit in the first place off new games. Again, I can only speak for Aus but a number of full-price new games released this year cost around $85-$90 a copy to buy from the publisher direct and sold at $99.95. Integrating costs and that’s actually very little profit for the retailer. Not to mention that department stores buying through different avenues and not direct was significantly cheaper. That’s why many have adopted the trade model.

      There is a business aspect to this argument which I understand but I will always believe the side of the customer, the people for whom you actually produce games, is paramount. Second-hand goods are not piracy. Despite the evils (apparently) of EB Games, Gamestop etc. They are a legit business and totally destroying their entire industry (which this will do) just isn’t on. Offer better incentives, drop prices etc. but don’t disadvantage the community at large for more profit.

    • Its a tricky situation but, If I buy a second hand couch from a garage sale or a used car from a Car yard, or even a house. The original makers get no money either.

    • Okay, let’s make it illegal to sell pre-owned video games, movies, cars, books, bikes, houses, land, buildings, clothes, companies. Heck, if you’re wife/gf has had a previous romantic relationship with someone you’ll face a law suit from evolution.

  • I like the subtle “6 times more powerful than the Xbox 360” remark. It’s not very impressive at all considering the specs are from 2004-2005.

    Getting onto the used games topic, I honestly can’t say I’m surprised. Microsoft and pretty much every publisher out there has changed this generation from being about games to being about control and money. With the shit they pulled with DLC, patches and online passes this generation, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the next-gen consoles won’t play used games.

    The games shops won’t take this lightly at all imo. If the next consoles won’t play used games, they won’t even sell. Retailers aren’t going to stock an item if they aren’t gonna make money off of it. Just look at the PSPGo.

  • Any move like this would ultimately require the game publishers to offer the retailers a bigger margin or else the retailers might end up refusing to stock this sort of product. I’m sure though that this just wishful thinking from M$ and some cooler heads might point out that it’s usually been the more open and dare I say vulnerable platforms which have succeeded as mega-sellers.

    I myself only buy a used game if I can’t find it new because the price differences are usually so slight, but I do trade games, especially ones that frustrate me

  • so what happens when you have 100 games for the system, then the console dies and needs to be replaced completely?

    there is no way they will make it so you cant play a used game, they might make it a single online pass system for playing anything online, but thats about as far as they can take it imho

    • Well with an X-Box your account is more important than the machine so it would probaly bind the games to your account rather than to your machine.

      Hence replace the machine re-enter account details and re-download games.

      • if you log into your account on, theres an option there when you register a new console to transfer licences over from one xbox to another, problem solved, its how arcade games work now. you can’t play them unless your account, which you purchased the arcade games with, is on the xbox.

  • All they are doing is inviting piracy by stopping the used game trade. Why would you bother buying a $100 game and then not be able to trade it in or give it to a friend when you can pay $0 for a game and not worry.
    There has to be a better way.

  • If they were to implement competitive downloading options. Like steam on there I would consider it (if you can’t play used games) however if it’s a rip off to have a digital copy and retail is the cheapest way, thre is no way I would. Once I finish a game there is few that I go back to. I sell all my used games on eBay so I don’t have hundreds lying around that I will never play.

    Although if you needed to buy an activation pass, similar to the online passes, provided they are not too overpriced I don’t think it would be a huge deal.

  • I heard it was going to be able to make pancakes and shoot double rainbows when achievements popped, but only if it had a valid DNA sample to lock ownership of the game and console to.

  • When trolls are calling the new xbox a fail when its not even detailed yet and where comenting on rumors thinking we know it all already

    I love Kotaku’s community it really shines in times of having no idea what there talking about

    The fact is the New Xbox 360 no one knows a thing or has any solid data.

    So trolls back under the bridge thanks!

  • The only way I can thing of them implementing a anti game system is if each game sold has a serial number or key that is activated once the game is first played. I don’t see the point of such a system. I’m sure the use game market is not robbing them of to much profit.

  • Wow… it must hurt Microsoft to use blu-ray, iirc they were the ones invested in HD-DVD going back into the days of yore when blu-ray and HD-DVD were battling out for supremacy.

    But the thing i dont agree on is with them making it so it cant play used games, (cue sad violin music) when i was growing up my family couldnt afford to buy new games and 90% of the games we did own were second hand, my point is that some people cant afford to buy every game brand new.

  • I doubt hey would block used games, however I can see developers implementing a system whereby anybody that picks up a used game will have to pay for an online subscription to access Xbox live multiplayer gameplay. Battlefield 3 already has this system and it sucks!

    I took my copy of BF3 with me when I went on holidays to visit my brother. I couldn’t even play it online using his gamer tag……unless I was willing to pay for an online pass.

  • Blu-ray – not bothered. Kinect 2 – not bothered.

    Used games – if this goes through there’s no way in hell I’m buying it. What sort of machine doesn’t let me play the games that I’ve bought? I don’t care who I’ve bought them from, they’re MY games.

    Games go off the market extraordinarily fast. I just got Outrun 2 Coast to Coast for the Xbox (great game, play it on the 360’s BC). Of course it’s used. You try finding a game that got no attention brand-new that’s three years old, let alone six! DVDs don’t have this problem – I can walk into a shop and find a copy of, say, City Of Men (the poorer sequel to City Of God, which also had a TV series) brand-new with little problem.

    The only way Microsoft could mitigate some of this would be to have EVERY game available, on the day of release, online for a big discount (unlike what I’ve heard of PSP Go). But even then, it’d still leave a hugely sour taste in my mouth and I probably wouldn’t buy it out of principle.

    As an aside, there were rumours (with a fair bit more substance I think) of Sony considering the same thing before the PS3’s release. A console manufacturer who does this is, in my eyes, committing suicide.

  • I quickly skimmed most of the comments here, so forgive me if this has been mentioned. And maybe for most of you this isn’t a huge deal, but wouldn’t the whole “can’t play a used game” lockout also destroy the perfectly legitimate game rental business from Blockbuster an Video Ezy, etc? Somtimes you don’t want to own, or sometimes you want to try before you buy. I already get pissed off with EA because you can’t go online if you rent one of their games….

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