Redbox Takes A Mild Shot At Xbox One, PS4 Over Used-Game Concerns

Redbox Takes A Mild Shot At Xbox One, PS4 Over Used-Game Concerns

While the rent-by-mail service GameFly is keeping quiet on what Xbox One may mean to its future, the kiosk rental service Redbox has begun a modest lobbying campaign to remind gamers that game rentals, used games, even taking them to a friend’s home are in serious jeopardy under the new console generation.

A barebones site called “The Future of Gaming is Now,” doesn’t have much beyond a few paragraphs of text, some links to next-generation coverage, and a slew of unhappy comments about restrictions the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will place on used game sales and sharing, restrictions that threaten how Redbox currently does business. But the page is signed by the Redbox logo and was registered on Friday by an employee of their marketing operation.

“The future of video gaming is being decided this week, as amazing new game consoles are beginning to be unveiled,” the page says. “Have you heard about what’s coming? Reports say that Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 might have enhanced graphics, enhanced motion control, cloud-based storage, new games and experiences. But you might not be able to play without an Internet connection, lend games freely, buy used games or rent games.”

It signs off by asking for comments on “what excites you about the future of gaming … and what concerns you.” Most of the 3,161 on the page right now address the latter.

Right now, Microsoft says Xbox One will not play used games unless the publisher of those games allow it — a cop out that kills used games while loading that decision onto someone else’s back. The truth in lending games still hasn’t been sorted out, whether they may be given only once, ever, or whether they may be given several times but have only one owner.

Sony hasn’t been much more forthcoming about the PlayStation 4, giving a statement that any registration requirement (DRM) in order to play a game would be a decision left to publishers. Other rumours suggest that it too has used games restrictions that sound little better than what Microsoft has in mind.

Who knows if Redbox’s grassroots page will go anywhere. Microsoft and Sony already know what their longtime customers think of this practice; another 10,000 comments against it probably won’t make a difference. It is nice, however, to see a business return fire — any fire, even passive aggressive — on behalf of its customers, since we’ve yet to see any meaningful advocacy out of GameStop or GameFly.

The Future of Gaming is Now [Redbox, via Gimme Gimme Games]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @owengood.

Image by Getty.


  • Im getting an xbone

    for the TV and sports! and voice commands, hope it has a VR headset too MS get on it

    • I just hope the TV and sports is streamed from local free servers like steam, and the VR has no wires

  • Do we even have anything like Redbox in Australia? I enjoyed it while I was in America but I haven’t seen anything like that in Australia.

  • I highly doubt GameStop will speak out against this, since it’s highly likely that they’ll be one of the few ‘authorised retailers’ that will be able to buy back Xbox One games. They may end up losing a bit of profit from the sale of each used game, but they’ll make it back by the virtue of being one of the only places where you can buy/sell them.

    Say goodbye to choice, say goodbye to independent game stores, say goodbye to online re-selling, say goodbye to cutting out the middlemen, and say hello go your games’ worth dropping to about 20 bucks the moment you leave the store. . .

  • We had video stores for decades where you could hire movies. Hollywood did not go broke.
    Hiring games does not mean that the games industry goes broke either.

  • That’s it hey, Hollywood has not gone broke from video rentals at all, not by a long shot, if you like the movie after a rent you buy it, if you don’t you don’t, and they have still got money from the video store buying the product in the first place, I heard about Microsoft doing this and was going to get a PS4 but if they do the same I won’t buy either, I’ll stick to my PC, hell the games look better anyway and I MUCH prefer to play with keyboard + mouse than console controller.

    • Exactly the issue I have with all this…
      Is the movie industry broke because we can rent/lend/trade DVDs and Blu Rays, No.
      Is the music industry broke because we can rent/lend/trade CDs, No.
      Are authors broke because we can rent/lend/trade Books, No.
      The Movie and Music industries even have piracy problems that are way greater than the games industry (although at last count there where no independant studies showing that piracy is actually causing any lost revenue, and certainly not the levels they like to claim).

      So if the othe media industries can manage without going to these extremes, how is the games industry failing, games are typically more expensive to buy and cheeper to make than movies… Maybe Kotaku can actually try to get an interview with some EA, and Activision big wigs and see how they justify the removal of rental/trades/ect, when the other entertainment industries have thrived with them.

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