Publishers’ War on Used Games and Why You Should Buy a PC Already

That’s Really a Dumb Idea

If the rumor that the next Xbox will bar used games sounds stupid, that’s because it is. At least, if Microsoft were to make such a change, it would certainly hurt itself more than help. Before we go too much further, it’s good to note that Microsoft has said there won’t be a new Xbox released in 2012, which makes discussion of last week’s anti-used game rumor pretty moot. But the whole thing makes for an interesting thought experiment, so we’ll continue thinking along the lines of whether barring used games in today’s market would even work, and how it would affect gaming.

First off, just about any locking software that tied a game to an Xbox would see some incredible public backlash. Imagine not being able to go to a friend’s place to play a game together? While online gaming has seen a massive takeoff in the last eight or so years, it by no means has replaced split-screen, same-couch gaming altogether. Would you want to buy an Xbox knowing you could never borrow a game from a friend or lend one, or that you’d need to buy every title you might want to rent? The market response from the buying public would be obscene and painful for Microsoft.

And that’s not to mention the backlash of pissing off just about every remaining brick-and-mortar retailer. Plenty of people get their games from GameStop, and Microsoft isn’t going to see a lot of good things coming out of pissing off one of the largest game retailers in the country. We’ve seen GameStop make large corporate efforts to put down competitors; it wouldn’t be hard for the company to just start pushing Playstation displays in front of Xbox ones.

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8 Comments on Publishers’ War on Used Games and Why You Should Buy a PC Already

Mark Burnham

On January 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Another way to think of it, is instead of buying a second console (i.e. if you already own an Xbox 360 and are considering getting a PS3), instead consider building your own PC and treating that as your second “console.”

Having one console, plus a gaming PC is a pretty strong combination. You’ve got the “media center” experience on your console and TV, with Netflix, Hulu, Zune or what have you; and with the PC, you have all the boons you mentioned with none of the “online pass” nonsense.


On January 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I’ll be a little paranoid…. Can you see that’s what they want in the long run, make everything digital and online. You can’t take a digital copy of game or DLCs to a friends house, unless you decide to take your console HDD with you(not sure if possible though). Game development is way too lazy if you ask me (i know is not and easy task but….) Rage, Skyrim, etc, shouldn’t have been released as they did, but because we already have DLCs and updates….. More and more games are being develop were “online/multiplayer” functions are taking the lead instead of the SP campaing, Ex gears of wars 3, anyone who played the first 2 knows what i’m talking. You have Blizzard and its “need to be online to install/play our game”; EA with origin. Finally SOPA and alikes. It’s all about greed and control no matter if you have a PC or a console.


On January 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Getting a PC is no better, with locked content on your drives awaiting keys, and keys tied to a gamers logon accounts and now sometimes hardware like Ubisofts new hardware monitoring DRM, activation install limits etc.
How many used PC games have you bought last few years? Oh right, NONE! Because of DRM. Pirate DRM free or find them on sale maybe.

Console users wanted the equality of having the same game experience across the platforms, hence all the lazy console to PC ports they now play with a damn Xbox controller. Now publishers and developers want to stifle console sharing of disks and/or buying of used game disk with better DRM, locking the software or keys to accounts and hardware, or install limits, like on the PC’s, and now they suddenly want to cry a river?

STFU! And enjoy the equality of having the same PC DRM experience on consoles too. Such an cruelly implemented plan by the gaming industry, couldn’t happen to a better bunch of deserving people.

Brandon J. Clark

On January 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I have a HTPC hooked up to the living room tv, so although there is an 360 there as well, we mainly use the media center pc for netflix, movies, music and live tv.

Consoles are toys….


On January 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I never understood people who complained about the price of a PC and somehow thought paying extra for games, DLC and a monthly fee just to play online is cheaper.


On January 31, 2012 at 3:34 am

I work in tech support taking inbound calls from the people ranging from computer illiterate to regular computer users. All of the people I tell who are not educated with computers are surprised to find that you can build a good machine for less that 400 dollars! Hell even the console gamers jaws drop when I tell them I built a machine for my friend from the ground up (that is including extras: monitor, keyboard, mouse, tower, upgraded psu, ect.) that plays Battlefield 3 on full settings for only $800! I’m telling every one, dump the console routine. You only will need to spend the initial lump sum once. I have been using the same system for about 8 years. Mind you I have been upgrading it about once per year, but I never spent more that $300. And when I spent the $300 I was either buying multiple parts or upgrading to the latest and greatest video card.

Also btw… What makes you think that consoles will not be effected by SOPA and PIPA or any of those foul words to describe the disgrace of the computer illiterate know it alls?


On January 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Please tell me how you have 800 rig that can play bf3 full.

Right now I have about 900 in computer and thats not counting cost of hd display, speakers, keyboards, mouse, legal copy of windows.

And I still cant play bf3 completely maxed(stupid mxaa kills framerate) out in 1080p. Even though it still looks better looking than console versions.

Phenom II x4 960T (unlocked x6 @ 3.5Ghz 2600Mhz HT and NB)
ASRock 870 Extreme3
8GB HyperX DDR3 1600 8-8-8-24
2x 1GB Radeon HD 6850
750w Antec High Current psu

Could have went intel route at time of build but i wanted a specific case and with the case my budget didnt allow an i5 2600. This was about august.


On February 1, 2012 at 5:34 am

Well… I’m already playing in OnLive, it represents all the evil in the gaming world, but I don’t have to care about any kind of hardware anymore, just playing. I’m willingly a slave of the ring, my precious.