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Microsoft's used-game policy could be genius

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: (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 ( 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.

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MrMister1828d ago (Edited 1828d 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...

SilentNegotiator1827d ago (Edited 1827d 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.

dedicatedtogamers1828d ago

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.

1827d ago Replies(5)
BitbyDeath1827d 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.

ABizzel11827d 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.

Automatic791826d 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

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1826d ago
Darrius Cole1828d ago (Edited 1828d 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.

Qrphe1828d ago (Edited 1828d 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.

rainslacker1827d 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.

1827d ago Replies(1)
zeal0us1828d 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 Cole1828d 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.

zeal0us1828d 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.

grimmweisse1828d ago

Bullshit strategy is bullshit!
MS is really hellbent on taking over the second hand market.

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