I Learned The Hard Way That Digital Games Won't Last Forever

Kyle Bradford at GameSpew writes: A trip down memory lane coerced me to buy an original Xbox 360 for its blades dashboard. But its inability to play my digital games got me worrying about the future.

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darthv72151d ago

This is common knowledge. If one were to use a flash drive with their profile and digital games on it and plug it into a different system (like what this person did with the hdd) it would not contain the license files and therefore treat each game as if it were a trial. Unless the person were to sign into their live account and then it does an online verification to let those games be played, but on the original system they were initially installed to can work offline because the license file exists there.

Another thing to note, if the profile that purchased the game exists on the same system as yours, you can play those digital games without having to own them yourself. It's because the license file and profile that purchased them are there to validate the game even in offline mode. I got my buddy's 360 slim when he moved and he had bought the full game of outrun online arcade (now delisted) and I am the new owner of the system so my profile is first and i've done a license transfer from my old system to this one and now al of his games are my games (so long as i dont delete his profile). He had some good ones like gauntlet and ikaruga and radiant silvergun.

IcarusOne151d ago

It's the same principal as setting a "family" on your consoles. My buddy and I share games because my xbox is listed as his primary and his xbox is listed as my primary. So now whenever one of us downloads a new a game, it automatically shows up on the others xbox and gives them rights to play it.

Did the same with my PS4. It's pretty fetch.

Petebloodyonion151d ago

Sorry but no! the point of the article was that the guy could not play his digitals purchase on his old 360 because he wanted to keep the blade Interface and so he didn't connect to the Internet.

KillBill151d ago

@indyman77 - you are wrong. Try reading the article again. @Petebloodyonion basically summed up the actual point of the article.

You can play digital Xbox 360 games as long as the games match the latest update of the system. He wanted to NOT update his latest bought system.

UnHoly_One151d ago

I like how indyman comes on here and screams completely false insanity, and has a 2 to 1 upvote ratio.

So there will be some people that don't read the article, and just read the first few comments, and they will probably believe that moron.

darthv72151d ago (Edited 151d ago )

sorry indy, but you are totally wrong. It isnt even really about the OS level for the games or the servers. Its about two things. Profile and license. If you have the profile and license on the system then you can play the games just fine offline. If you decide to use your profile and games on another system, and did not do a license transfer, then the games will be seen as trials. If you go online with that system, it will verify their purchase against your profile and they will be playable for as long as you are connected online.

the servers for the games can be shut down and the games delisted but that does not stop them from being playable if you have the license to play or the means to validate it online. this writer just wanted to use an older blade system but chances are if he moved the hdd back to his original it all becomes unlocked again... like magic.

i forgot to point out that the games purchased are tied to two things. the profile as well as the console ID (which is why when you trade up consoles you should always do a license transfer through xbl). So a profile can validate a game purchased so long as you are online where as a system can validate a purchase if the console ID matches the digital license it was issued. Which is how I am able to still play outrun online arcade. Because this system has both the console ID to match the digital license as well as my buddy's profile (just inactive). If I were ever to try and move the games to another console then I would lose those games that he purchased because doing a license transfer only applies to the profile you specify. and i dont have his sign on info anymore since he canceled his xbl membership.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 151d ago
Cobra951151d ago (Edited 151d ago )

You can also change your home console a number of times per year. If you replace a dead Xbox with a new one, going through this process online will have everything working the way you're used to again. I've had to do that twice so far, with the 360.

Edit: "Digital games don’t work without digital services, ya dummy!"

Yes, they will, on your home console. You need digital service to download digital games (no, duh) but not to play them on the system designated as your home console. If you want to play your digital games on someone else's console, then you need online authentication, by logging into your account.

sprinterboy151d ago

You typed all that just too say sign in or out

Jmanzare151d ago

Yea this has been the case its not something that changed over night. Some people are so paranoid. Just set yourselves consoled to your home console if you're ever going to be offline and you won't have to worry about it.

darthv72151d ago (Edited 151d ago )

funny thing is, he brought it on himself by moving the hdd to a different system. It isnt about the blades or the servers, its about matching the console ID with the digital license. Moving the hdd to another system, and not doing a license transfer, results in the games looking like trials.

Move the drive back to the original and voila... they work again.

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Jinger151d ago

Yeah but a good amount of my 360 games are becoming BC!

Tesal151d ago

This is what I love about current Backward.

If MS keeps supporting more and more even BC for Original/360/Xbox one at next gen - then nothing to worry about anymore " other than missing a chance to buy a game before it is done from the store.

If Sony Just listen 'n bring at least all of PS1/PS2 store ready titles

InKnight7s151d ago

Yeah I have decent amount of classic games. I don't mind overcome the fact that PS3 is impossible to emulate in PS3 due to the complexity of its structure, but no reason to don't support PSN except this trophy rule crap which can be altered easily by CEO and such decision makers.

indyman7777151d ago

Until they turn those servers off two. When they turn off xbox one servers you will have the same problem you have with the ORIGINAL xbox servers...and the xbox 360 servers.

bolimekurac151d ago

and that happens over time, keeping the game on disc or cartridge doesnt ensure they will work 15 years later either, some times people need to get with the times

Teflon02151d ago

So what will stop you from playing say, horizon Zero Dawn 50 years in the future from a disc? I'm just curious. How about gears, yooka laylee etc. The consoles still exist even then. You have absolutely no reason to not be able to use a disc in the future unless its a online title

Gh05t151d ago

Okay and your physical games work until they break.

What is your point?

Both have pitfalls. Neither is a perfect solution.

bolimekurac151d ago

teflon, all 3 of my xbox ones og disc drive do not work anymore, my ps4 og disc drive doesnt work anymore, so thats what will stop me from playing the games you mentioned 50 years from now and by then i bet the discs wont be good either. get with the times

indyman7777151d ago

@Gho5t okay so your TV works until it breaks what is your point? See what I did there? YOUR TALKING ABOUT A PHYSICAL thing. My Genesis still works!!!!!

darthv72150d ago

when they turn the servers off the only thing you really lose is access to that portion of the game that relies on those servers. I can still play any og xbox game on my og xbox so long as it does not require xbl to play (since xbl servers are turned off for og).

so if the day comes for 360 servers to be shut down then a game like titanfall will no longer function because that is an online only game for the 360. although it prob sold better on the xbox one so people will be able to play that one still until the day those servers go offline.

My point is nothing lasts forever but this write is going about it all wrong in his piece. His issue is his own and is easily rectified by moving the hdd back to his original 360 that he used to purchase the games. Then everything matches up and the games are playable again, even offline.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 150d ago
Christopher150d ago

It is pretty sweet. Dante's Inferno just added...

If Microsoft keeps up the promise of forward and backward compatibility, I'll likely always own a Xbox console just to play my old games and to be invest in any future games. It's hard not to argue with the idea that all XBO games and many previous games will always be playable.

Sgt_Slaughter151d ago

If you stick with physical, these issues wouldn't happen.

darthv72151d ago

That's not really an option for the majority of games on xbla (or even the ps store). There are those few that were give compilation treatment like the capcom digital collection on 360 as well as konami classics vol 1 and 2 but for the most part, if the game was a digital release chances are it may not end up ever getting a physical one.

Kavorklestein151d ago

Yeah.. Good luck buying a copy of Shadow Complex on Disc!

Shiken151d ago

As long as those games did not require a day one patch to cover a game breaking bug that is.

SegaGamer151d ago

What about the many games that didn't get a release in physical form and the games that have DLC?

bolimekurac151d ago

oh so every 20 year old game system and cartridge and disc is working perfectly?
get with the times

OhMyGandhi150d ago

Um...Yeah. They actually do. I have beat up SNES/N64, even 32X cartridges and PSX disks scratched to hell that work damn well...And I am far from the only person.

Gh05t151d ago

You say this like physical media doesnt present its own issues or problems.

NeoGamer232151d ago

So what happens as the media disc player on your console dies?

What happens when the media gets too old and doesn't work (DVD lifespans are short). Or the discs can get damaged.

What happens when they update the OS and the game breaks because it did not get an update?

There are many ways games stop working. In the past 10 years I have lost 7 Blu-ray/DVD discs to physical issues. In the same timeframe I have only lost two digital games to digital issues.

OhMyGandhi150d ago

DVD lifespans are short?

"What happens when they update the OS and the game breaks because it did not get an update?"

Funny enough, most games released prior to the 7th generation of consoles were more often than not, released in an actually finished state. Most can be played start to finish, no massive patches, no chunks of the game being chopped off and resold as DLC. They were an actually completed and finished, and fully working product.

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x_xavier_x151d ago

Do you know what else won't last forever?


OhMyGandhi150d ago

Does...Does that mean I'm....not going to last forever?!?