Report: Next Xbox May Be Designed To Destroy Used Games
Fresh off the failure of SOPA is the frustrating realization that the video game industry is extremely supportive of such efforts. It’s consistent, naturally, with the industry’s constant attempts to redefine the relationship between customer and developer as renter/owner rather than purchaser/seller that has led to lawsuits and onerous copy protection schemes that do little to solve the problem of piracy but do much to impact the consumer experience. And now there is a disturbing new layer to the problem as details about the next version of Xbox emerge. If the reports are true, prepare to give up consoles forever.
Kotaku is reporting word a source that the next iteration of the Xbox may make it impossible to play used games. “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,” Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo says. There is no word on exactly how this would work. Totilo theorizes a system linking specific copies of a game to specific XBLA accounts. Perhaps, though I can’t imagine the means of detecting a disk unless the user is forced to input individual serial numbers just to play a game, which would be a major pain in the ass, or the system has some built in tech that would jack the price up.
All of this is to say that I am skeptical that they’d go this far. Unless I’m wrong, the choices are either inconvenience the hell out of your players, or inconvenience AND overcharge them. Not a smart move for a console maker to make, especially when PC gaming is making a big comeback and mobile devices are so prominent. There’s also the fact that it would further codify the idea that we don’t own the discs we buy, we only use them at the pleasure of their seller. Would that other industries tried to impose this kind of restriction on their customers – imagine if Rolex made a watch that only works for the original buyer, rendering resale and even inheritance obsolete – we might be able to convince legislators to tackle this problem.
Meanwhile, rumors are also mounting that the next Xbox will have a blu-ray player. This is a sad day for those of you who still have HD DVDs you bought to watch on the early version of the Xbox 360. You have our sympathies.