Qrphe (User)

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Microsoft's used-game policy could be genius

Qrphe | 736d ago
User blog

There seems to be a lot of confusion out there regarding what Microsoft's policy on used games really is. After months of seeing many rumors become true for the PS4 and Wii U as well as the X1, it was only natural for many of us to assume the worst when second-hand information from many gaming-media outlets seemed to confirm the rumor that the new Xbox console would not allow consumers to trade, share nor buy used games.

Let's be fair however, as far as this topic, nothing official has been said by Microsoft directly to us beyond few things like these: http://news.xbox.com/2013/0... (6th question). I understand Microsoft has had us "core" gamers feeling abandoned with the lack of exclusive games for the last part of the generation (plus things like the Kinect 1 that didn't really target us to begin), so at any sign of a bad move, most lash out against them. I do believe Microsoft does plan to allow users to trade/sell/buy used games in some way but I am also certain that the traditional game trading system we're used to is gone.

Consider this: you buy a new game and obtain a digital license for such said game where the ownership of this license can be transferred. Let's say you go to your friend's house taking the game with you: you sign into Live and play. If your friend wants to keep on playing the game, s/he could either buy her/his own license or simply (in the best case I'm hoping for) be given away your license if chosen to (which would be given back to you based on word-of-mouth just like the lending of any game). You could also trade your game for another one or an agreed amount of Microsoft points with any other user a la more advanced version of "Steam trading." What if you can't or don't want to trade with anyone yet still desire to get rid of the game? Could you still go to (for example) GameStop and sell it? According to GameStop President Tony Bartel, you can ( http://onforb.es/12sGpaU). How would this work? Possibly like you would with any other user. You'd give your license to Gamestop who would then become the owner and who would also compensate you with games, Microsoft points or cash (which would have to be done at a local store).

So why make the regular game-trading system more complicated? Well, it would definitely be frictional and drive away consumers. In addition however, and since transactions with retailers would be done trough Live, it would be possible for the publisher to make profits from used-game sales but still keep second-hand retailers around such as GameStop/FYE/etc. If this indirect way of making profit were to offset enough the profit from people giving up on Xbox for making matters alien and complicated, then it would have been a successful move.

There cannot be success without risk and Microsoft has already taken bold risks in the past (starting 7th gen with Live even as an underdog and introducing the negatively received Kinect). I know I'm just speculating and playing devil's advocate here but beyond that I'm simply trying to picture a sound scenario. In truth, we have no idea what Microsoft is planning and how it would work or if they're willing to keep such system with the backlash we've given them at all. Regardless of what they may end up implementing, nothing will be set in stone until the whole market reacts with their wallets after the X1 and PS4 have come out, and we "core" gamers are definitely not the whole market.

MrMister  +   736d ago
Delusional....I didn't see a single good point made in your entire argument. Not one. All you did is reiterate what we already know about how this used-game lock-out will work, and then you try to claim that it is somehow ingenious.

I'm scratching my head at your "logic". I suspect you have a bad case of MS fanaticism, if you think these are good points...
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SilentNegotiator  +   735d ago
A thoroughly awful blog.

"Let's be fair however, as far as this topic, nothing official has been said by Microsoft directly to us"

Interviews are good enough. They aren't going to make an advertisement all about their horrific DRM.
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dedicatedtogamers  +   736d ago | Well said
Anyone who buys an XBox One is funding the death of gaming.

There's no other way of putting it.

Go ahead and pay $60 for a physical disc that comes with Microsoft's gracious permission to play that disc on your console. Go ahead. Burn down everything that makes gaming wonderful. Destroy the very concept of a "legacy" console that you can take out in 15 years to play with your kids.
edonus  +   735d ago
It was inevitable. We all knew eventually we would be going all digital. Did you really think things would never change?

This is earlier than I thought and is a big gamble but we knew this was coming. Look at how robust the arcade store and on demand portion of the 360 and Ps3 are. Why did you think they were doing that?

We dont know the details but there are plenty of models set up for digital content. I have programs that have to check in to the internet every so often. I didnt even know until I got a new computer and couldnt activate the program because it was registered on a computer that crashed.

There are still few details, this could be for online sections of games only. Single player and MP sections maybe begin to sell separately. You may be able to transfer the license with no issue. Its still up in the air.
rainslacker  +   735d ago
You are right in the fact that there are still some unknowns right now. But this is on MS for the time being, and to a lesser extent Sony...again for the time being.

But this is not the time to be taking a wait and see approach, or trying to rationalize the meaning or appeal or benefits of it. You can't do that until you know all the details, and to rationalize is to do what the companies want you to do so they can take advantage of the situation, and move the industry in the way they want, instead of in the interest of the consumer.

This is the time to speak out and let our voices be heard. This didn't happen with online passes and you saw how readily they became accepted. This idea is far far worse, and as gamers and consumers we should do everything in our power to make sure these companies hear our voices, and make sure they understand that we won't back down.

If this was a positive thing for consumers, then they would have explained it. All this PR talk and dodging the question just means they aren't sure yet on how to present it to us to make us like it, or they are just hoping the fuss will die down...like it did with the original rumors because we played the wait and see game.
HammadTheBeast  +   735d ago
And what you're saying will kill the industry.
SilentNegotiator  +   735d ago
" It was inevitable. We all knew eventually we would be going all digital. Did you really think things would never change? "

Xbone isn't all digital.

"You may be able to transfer the license with no issue. Its still up in the air"

There will be a fee, confirmed. How is that "no issue"?
edonus  +   735d ago
We dont know what we are fighting against. The message gets lost. more than half the people on the net are complaining about cableboxes the others are still focused on hating kinect even though its a new one that hasnt been seen with 1 game yet. You cant be vocal about what you dont know about.

We dont know what the new ecosystem they are setting up is. What this be an issue if the DRM and online check in is only related to online portions of games? There was a report a while ago that said companies were considering selling the MP section of games separately. The issue is you need to know what you are complaining about or you lose your strength.

You are right about the PR talk thats what got me frustrated. This stuff doesnt really affect me but i still want to know what I am buying. But this is a bold new approach you may have to walk it down. pretty much everything that was in that leak was true so far.

It wont destroy the industry. It will change it but not destroy it. If anything this would save the industry. But we still dont know the details.

The Xboxone basically is full digital download, especially if rumors are true. Think about it... if you download a game its on your console and its yours. You cant share it or give it to your cousin for the weekend. The only difference here is you can buy it as a physical disc to put in your system instead of download.

The details arent out yet, its confirmed that if someone tries to play a game they havent purchased and with out the permission access from someone that has purchased the game they will have to pay a fee maybe full price to access the game. They havent said what happens if you want to completely give your rights as an owner away.

I had Adobe Suite Cs3 I later got Cs4. I gave Cs3 to my friend I had to unregister the activation codes that were linked to me the he was able to activate the program without cost. There are models out there we just need the details
rainslacker  +   734d ago
If it was just a fee for online, they would have stated as such. People have become so accustomed to the online pass, I doubt many would blink an eye. However, the fee talked about was directly said to be if you want to play the game, and you aren't the original purchaser, you would have to pay a fee. I don't know how much clearer it could be. Basically under your scenario, anyone could pass around the disc purchased by one person, and then only pay the online pass fee. Yeah that's not going to happen, and it doesn't take much common sense to extrapolate exactly what they are talking about, what they are trying to do, and why they are doing it. They want to control the market. They want to control the software. They want to control the consumer. Plain and simple.

The fighting against Kinect that I've seen is that it's required, and to a lesser extent people just don't want to use Kinect to play games. Now, that wouldn't be so bad, but the Xbox system is constantly in a low power state, which means that the Kinect is always working. Being able to say "Xbox On" proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now, since the Xbox is required to check in every 24 hours, it means that the Kinect always has a gateway to MS servers. While I don't play the conspiracy nut, the simple fact of the matter is that people value their privacy, and this whole set up is a threat to that privacy. Again plain and simple. There is nothing more they need to confirm, because anything else they say is all PR. This isn't a massive anti-Kinect conspiracy or media "poisoning"(as you like to call it), this is something that people simply do not want, and they are upset about it. They complain because they would like MS to change this policy.

@your response to Hammad
It's this change that people are worried about. It's not a change that is really beneficial for the consumers. It's beneficial for the console makers and the developers. If the industry changes enough in a way that disillusions enough customers, then it could lead to a crash. Although extreme, there is that possibility.
BitbyDeath  +   735d ago
"Anyone who buys an XBox One is funding the death of gaming."

Well Said +Bubble

Xbox was made to take out Sony, this has been stated on numerous occasions.


MS doesn't care about gaming, they are likely trying to destroy it as they know they can't compete with Sony.
ABizzel1  +   735d ago
The only good of MS fee is that it can help developers keep a 100% profit. My example still stands.

Heavy Rain sold 2 million copies, yet 3 million people have trophies in the game. It sucks for their business to miss out on those sales, but that's just how it is.

The smart thing to do is like Heavy Rain, make new, interesting, and innovative games that don't need $50+ million budgets so they can make a profit.

At the same time gamers need to buy games new if at all ever possible, it's not worth saving $5 buying used over new, especially if it causes the game to miss out on a sequel (Alan Wake for example) or worse causes the developer to close.

I don't agree with MS model, but I can't really say it's any different from any digital distribution services (which is going to happen soon). However, with services like Steam there are constant sales and the benefit of buying games at a cheaper price Day 1 vs retail and console.
MichaelLito79  +   734d ago
@dedicatedogamers according to you Xbox One is funding the death of gaming.

To funny

If MS showing and telling the following:

That E3 is all about the games(Isn't E3 for gamers)
Showing console and how it works
Call of Duty Ghost
EA Sports Games
15 Exclusive for first year alone, 8 brand new IP's and 7 existing franchises
New IP Remedy Quantum Break
Forza 5
New Controller
Halo Show being developed by Steven Spielberg
Xbox powered by Cloud
300 thousand servers will be available for Xbox live

Post Game announcements Ryse, Tusk Studios New IP, Rare bringing back a franchise.
Skype intergration will power cross chat
Microsoft investing billions on Game developement
Remote play to allow friends to assist you in games
Kinect 2.0
Bungie's Destiny
UbiSoft all games coming to Xbox 1
Not always online but yes will require a connection for Multiplayer and update's (just like current gen systems)

Then the truth is nothing will convince you not even E3. As for me I am in on day one. See all of you at E3
Darrius Cole  +   736d ago
You draw at least one incorrect conclusion. There is no way that Microsoft is going to allow users to transfer their licenses so freely. I users could do that then there would be no reason to restrict their usage. If I could just transfer my license to you, then I don't have to give Microsoft or anyone else a cut. I could just give you my license to Gears and you could give me your license to Halo and we both keep rolling. The whole point of this entire excercise is to eliminate that type of transaction so the Microsoft can get a cut.

I guess I will write my own blog about my theory.


Microsoft is going to be vague on the issue until AFTER E3 because they don't want the gamers to know the truth. They want their faithful Xbox live subscribers to fall into the trap. So they are not going to give any clarity by E3 because the media machine would broadcast it to the heavens and ruin their strategy.
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Qrphe  +   735d ago
I'm just trying to be objective regarding the whole issue. If you want my opinion then yes, blocking used games would be a mistake, it would be a fatal mistake since MS would be basically handing out the console market to Sony. But because such a plan is just too stupid, I doubt a room full of investors and advisers coming to the conclusion that used games are a market that must be done with without there being a financial incentive at all. And be honest, what conclusion can you make out of:

"Q: Will Xbox One allow players to trade in, purchase and play pre-owned games?
A: We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later."

As far as your point, it's just an idea (I feel the EU could have issues with this). Maybe trading could be restricting to only trading with retailers, who knows. Maybe after all I'm being too fair and MS does want to block the used games market and desires to kill Xbox as a brand.
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rainslacker  +   735d ago
I honestly believe they'd be much better off clearing it up before E3. E3 is apparently going to be about games, and rightfully so.

However, have no doubt that this is going to be the number one question they start to receive at E3. It's going to overshadow everything that they are trying to present. E3 is close enough where the community isn't going to just forget about these two things, like what happened before.

If it comes out to be as bad as we predict, then no amount of E3 awesomeness is going to save them if we get confirmation during or after E3. It will overshadow everything they say, just like it's overshadowing the reveal now.
edonus  +   735d ago
Actually you are wrong because there is a perfectly valid reason for MS to allow you to transfer license between each other. The license is a barrier for pirates, if every game has a license then that means someone purchased it so you cant have 1.2 million copies in the world when you only sold 1 million.
If someone bought the game MS and the devs have got their money from that license.

They also said there would be a trade in system in place that was confirmed just as much as there being a fee if someone tried to play a game that they didnt own or was burrowing. This means your game retains value, you could trade it in towards another game with MS and the devs setting the price of what you get back instead of Gamestop. That opens up a lot of opportunities for things like PS+ type programs or stuff like the Gamefly unlimited PC play program because they know the value of that game in the entire ecosystem of their console. So if they receive 80% of the license traded in of a game released a year and a half ago they could then add it to their PS+ copied program for free.

This is all speculation of coarse but there are tons of business model and route that can be followed. Thats why I say wait to get the full picture.
rainslacker  +   734d ago
Ummm...you know that there is anti-piracy tech available on the Blu-Ray disc itself don't you? Things that simply can not be done by the average person downloading on torrents.


Or even that RF chip patent that Sony had last year that everyone though would be used to block used games. It could just as easily be used to verify discs. And it would be nigh impossible to recode for the average person.

If they were so worried about piracy, they wouldn't be installing completely to the hard drive. There is no more perfect system than breaking that form of DRM for a pirate.

Don't let them trick you with the anti-piracy thing. There are already things available which could be implemented to prevent piracy that would be invisible and harmless to the honest consumer.

Trade in system operated by the console manufactuers I'm not interested in. It limits the market. Even if there is a nominal fee for the average Joe selling on Ebay, this technology puts a unknown but definite expiration date on the console and the software itself. Yes, 10-20 years from now, whatever has come out for the upcoming gen, may be completely unplayable. You may think that MS will be around forever. You may think that they would never just drop a whole generation from the face of the planet. But they do that with quite a lot of their products, and by a lot, I mean all.
zeal0us  +   736d ago
Honestly if Microsoft and other big gaming companies wanted to get a cut of the used game market they could do it a better way without having to rely on such a silly system.

They could buy back their consumer's games and offer a better price than Gamestop. Why go to Gamestop and buy a used copy of Madden 14 for $55 dollars when you can get a used copy from EA for $45 with free shipping?
Darrius Cole  +   736d ago
Why compete when you can use control over the platform to eliminate competition?

Besides, if they buy the game back from you then they would have to acknowledge your right to sell it.
zeal0us  +   736d ago
Sure they're eliminating the competition but it comes with backlash. As the backlash you're currently seeing.

At least my way they could get some money back, cut out the middleman and take a chuck out of the used gaming market with little to no backlash at all.
grimmweisse  +   736d ago
Bullshit strategy is bullshit!
MS is really hellbent on taking over the second hand market.
nix  +   736d ago
i've been thinking a lot about second hand games. i understand that lots of games are shared or bought second hand because of which the devs don't get the money they could have been got.

as much as i care for the devs, last time i checked, if i buy a second hand car, the car manufacturer never gets the money. same goes with the toothpaste that's shared. or the newspaper. i mean the manufacturers of every single thing that can be shared never gets the money from the second consumer so why are we treating the games differently?

it's just the thought though.
caseh  +   735d ago
' i mean the manufacturers of every single thing that can be shared never gets the money from the second consumer so why are we treating the games differently?'

Because people who buy their products will effectively allow it to happen. In the exact same way that DLC has become acceptable, so will the whole pre-owned argument.

If no one ever bought DLC, devs would have simply started baiting people with free chunks of DLC until they eventually figure spending a few £ here and there does no harm.

Same will happen with pre-owned, majority will hate it however many will still pay. Even if it spans out and it turns out that devs make no extra money (even though this will never be proven either way) it will end up staying, purely down to the users buying into it.

Those of you buying CoD map packs for example seriously need to wake up and realise you will end up paying £90 (About $150) for the game by the time you're done with DLC.
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sway_z  +   735d ago
Dude you are as bad to gaming as Joe Biden....awful, awful, awful!!!
zerocrossing  +   735d ago
There's absolutely no confusion going on as far as I can tell, gamers are just reacting to the knowledge at hand.

If MS seriously believes they can charge gamers a "fee" to play used games they most likely already payed for anyway, then they have lost me as a consumer at probably a great many others.

It's the principle of the thing, If I buy a game used have I not already earned the right to the content through legal transaction? also what if I decide to sell it on or give it to a friend or relative? then they should have every right to play the game freely without MS tryng to pilfer additional money from them.
maniacmayhem  +   735d ago

There is is no genius in locking out used games. I can see if every game ever made was a Super Metroid or Bioshock 1 but sadly there are just to many Duke Nuke'm Forever and Xmen: Destiny games.

It makes no sense to me why MS would even do this. Think about it, you insert the game disc, it installs the whole game, thus making the disc useless. There's no reason to have that disc anymore. It has literally become a place mat for you mountain dew cans.

Also, if the game is tied to your account and that account is supposedly in their cloud service then why haul the disc to a friends house just so that you can sign in to your account and play a game that is already there?

Or am I missing something?

If anything MS should have just went with the all digital route as early rumors suggested. It would make more sense and even justify this absolute ridiculous locked used game dilemma.

Used games are needed I recently picked up Lost Odyssey for 10 bux! That is a game that you cannot buy new anymore for the simple fact that it's not in production. And I played it a long time ago through gamefly but never finished it. Now I own it 5 years later.

MS is killing any great deal like my example and now the consumer will have to wait for an HD version or a digital re-release at an insane price.

No thank you.
Darrius Cole  +   735d ago
You are indeed missing something, and not missing anything at the same time. You can't see the forest for trees.

You had it correctly in this paragraph...

"If anything MS should have just went with the all digital route as early rumors suggested. It would make more sense and even justify this absolute ridiculous locked used game dilemma. "

That is exactly what Microsoft wants to do. It's just that they know that if they came out with it from the outset that the entire game community would summarily dismiss them as soon as they announced it. So they are trying to game the system and lead their blind followers along slowly.

If they kill off sales of disc based used games, and require all of their users to have the internet, it won't be long before their users realize that there is no point in them going to the brick and mortar store to buy a disc. So they will buy it online for full price. Eventually almost all of the Xbox Live faithful will buy all of their games online from Microsoft at full price, regardless of how old the game actually is.


As I have been saying, expect Microsoft to remain cloudy on this subject until AFTER E3. They know that they have a dedicated Xbox Live following that buys their products without question. They want these people to fall into this trap, and explaining this clearly at or before E3 will broadcast the truth to everyone. If the gaming world understands what MS is trying to do, then the second Xbox 1 will be competing with the Wii-U instead of the PS4. Microsoft will let E3 pass before they come clean.
cunnilumpkin  +   735d ago
devs and publishers are going to LOVE used games being blocked!

we will hate it, but that doesn't matter unfortunately...

its what's happening, and we're stuck with it
s45gr32  +   735d ago
Why does it reminds me of PC gaming. Back in the day and even today if you buy a physical copy (they still exist mostly in Europe) of say PC game you install say say data onto the hard drive rendering the physical copy only useful for CD key and re-installation. If it is like that it pretty much ends trading, sharing (unless you haul the xbox one to your friends house or log in to your account), lending, etc. Again no official and the full details are not out yet. Despite of this it would be best for the gamer to get vocal via email, forum, phone, etc. in regards to what are their plans based on the second hand market.
Hicken  +   735d ago
As the Professor would say, "Ohh, myy, noo."
imahustla19  +   735d ago
i cant belive comedy central canceled that show, better keep makin movies.
imahustla19  +   735d ago
microsoft said they're working on a way to trade games in online. so i have a feeling gamestop will be pushing PS4. i don't buy the whole trade in online deal tho. you'll probably be forced to trade thru microsoft which is bad. with them being the only trade in game in town they can set trade in prices crazier than gamestop and theres nothing you could do about it but keep your game or take the 10.00 they'll offer you for that week old game(that's in mint condition by the way since its downloaded lol). without competition in the trade in market gamers will be raped in the wallet.
imahustla19  +   735d ago
looks like i was kinda wrong still i dont see gamestop being to happy about this.

Darrius Cole  +   734d ago
You were not too wrong. Just because Microsoft is using the retailers, it doesn't mean that they still won't offer their own online trading system. After all, they are forcing the retailers mentioned here to use Microsoft's proprietary system. And just because Microsoft starts off allowing trade-ins now, that doesn't mean that they will continue to allow them in the future. They could offer trade-ins until everybody gets used to coming to them for games. Then they could just stop taking trade-ins once there are no competitors.

Brick and mortar retailers are going to push the PS4 really, really hard. Microsoft seems to be willing to choke life out of the video game industry in order to control it. That means that they expect to make their money back later. But the Gamestops of the world will not want to go out of business. I suspect that the brick and mortar retailers are going to push the PS4 to the point of giving customers deals to entice them to buy a PS4 over the second Xbox 1.
imahustla19  +   734d ago
I said kinda wrong lol but ur right Microsoft is tripping if they think stores are Gona offer a system they make 10% of used game sales on befor a system they make almost all profit from used sales on.
Christopher  +   735d ago
This blog is filled with hopes and dreams.

Wake up call: Microsoft has said that you would be able to sell a game to a specific retailer, who will be able to work with the publisher in order to resell the game. Individuals will not be able to sell/handoff games to others. People who want to play a game without buying their own disc will have to pay a fee equal to the cost of the game.
rainslacker  +   734d ago
Which is just as bad as it forces us to use the retail market. No Ebay, no Amazon sellers, no personal trades or giveaways, etc.

I'm not even sure what's worse to be honest.
Embolado  +   735d ago
From a business standpoint it makes senese to try and maximize revenue by cutting out the modding done on current get systems so they can torrent games and play without giving revenue to the Publisher/Devloper by purchasing the game.

These have to be corrected to help maintaine the industry. I for one get tired of seeing so many talented devlopers closing their doors because it is becoming harder to make it in the market as is. Piracy should be snuffed out, not one person has the right to steal services and believe that this is ok. YOU are destroying the Industry.

Now I can see how trading games complaint and it is legitement concern, but I would be very supriesed if Sony does not do this to help protect its devlopers. PC has been trying as well, with blowback of course. Steam is a nice middle ground for me, I know money is going to the companies I want to support, one account to run games.

Fees I agree have no place or reason to exist and should openly fight, but we will have to wait till both companies tell us their stance come E3. Once a object has been sold that should be where our ownership starts and have free will to use however we see fit.

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