So, we've heard from a source that the next Xbox may feature some kind of anti-used games technology. When you first read that, your first instinct was probably to think it's either bullshit or the worst idea a video game company has ever had.
It is, I believe, neither.
In fact, if it ends up being correct, it makes total sense. Why? Over the past year we've seen developers, publishers and then even platform holders like Sony embrace the idea of the "online pass", a concept designed to either prevent game trade-ins or get more money out of those skipping new purchases.
It's a movement that, as time goes on, will only pick up steam. And now that nearly all major publishers are on-board with the idea in one form or another, the next logical step is to embed the practice in gaming hardware.
Remember, our source didn't tell us the machine would permanently and irrevocably bar the playing of second-hand games. Just that there'd be measures in place to prevent it. No company would lock a machine from ever letting you borrow a game, or ever trade one in. There'd be too much resistance from consumers for the former and from both consumers and retailers for the latter.
But restrictive measures implemented on the hardware side of things would eliminate the need for publishers and developers to come up with their own cumbersome and inconsistent "online pass" systems, such as we're stuck with today. It could suddenly be universal, part of the console itself, tied to user accounts or disc serials or something. If such measures were in place, every game would require an unlock code or online pass to be played if bought second-hand. Or even borrowed. Which would suck, but then, I'm not saying I like this idea. Just that this is where I see it headed.
It would satisfy publishers, who would be seeing massive incentives given for people to buy games new. It would also, I guess, satisfy pre-owned retailers like GameStop, who if able to sell "online passes" for these games would at least retain the option of trading old games in for new ones.
Know that, well, this is not what we know. All we know is what Stephen posted earlier, when he wrote there'd be "some sort of anti-used game system as part of [Microsoft's] so-called Xbox 720". This is just me taking current industry trends, this rumour and building outwards.
But I think it's entirely feasible. What do you think?