Why would they alienate their own fan base?
In a recent report by Edge, Microsoft’s next Xbox will supposedly block playing used games. Even though there has been no official confirmation by Microsoft over this matter, gamers across the world have been taken aback by this rumor. It is obvious that if Microsoft does go ahead with this decision, it will be a move that will be claimed as anti-customer, something that no company would like to be tagged with.
The topic of major gaming hardware companies filing patents that prohibit usage of second hand or used games is not new. In fact it has been around for a decade. When the PlayStation 3 was officially revealed to the world in 2005, Sony had filed a similar patent that prohibited used games.
The patented stated (via Joystiq): ‘A device and method for protection of legitimate software against used software and counterfeit software in recording media… A specific title code is read, and if this title code has been registered, the main unit shifts to a normal operation. If the code has not been registered, verification software is initiated… If matching does not occur, the disk is processed as illegitimate software… Since only titles for which legitimate software has actually been purchased and which have been initially registered in the machine table can be used, resale (so-called used software purchase) after purchase by an end-user becomes practically impossible.’
But did it happen eventually? The answer as we all know is a resounding no.
But history has a habit of repeating itself. A month ago Sony again filed a patent that was similar to the one above. The truth is companies file patents just in case their competitors uses them. Simply filing a patent does not mean that’s it going to happen.
Let’s consider the case of Microsoft. They did not confirmed or denied that the next Xbox will have this unusual feature. Simply put they don’t need to say anything at this point unless and until it is affecting their stocks. 8 years later, despite all the negativity regarding Kinect and lack of exclusive games, Xbox 360 is still running and selling strong. Wiping out second hand games market is a move that will most likely alienate a loyal Xbox fan base.
Gamestop stock has taken a beating after this news emerged and it’s clear they don’t want it to be true considering they make a lot of money with the used games trade. However, Sony and Microsoft both need the reach that these mega retailers since they don’t have the ability of, say, Apple to sell products on their own.
In the end, rumors are what they are…just rumors. They should always be taken with a grain of salt. We will know more how the eight generation of consoles will pan out where Sony are supposedly striking it out first with the massive PS4 reveal on February 20th.
Sony’s future of gaming to be revealed soon.
Stay tuned to GamingBolt for more news and updates.