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Wednesday February 27, 2013 3:27 pm

Will the next Xbox require game installs, killing used games for good?

Xbox Infinity Used Games

The big rumor on the street about the next Xbox is that Microsoft will block used games from working with the console. Reports from sources have hit various news outlets saying that the new Xbox, which should launch later this year, will require mandatory game installs to the hard drive of the console, and will require an activation code in order to get them to play. Once the code is used, that game is activated for that console specifically (or, maybe, that specific Gamertag,) and won't work on other consoles, effectively killing the used game market.

Read More | MCV India

"With the next Xbox, you supposedly have to have an internet connection, and the discs are watermarked, whereby once played on one console it won’t play on another. So I think the generation after that will be digital-only." - Ian Livingstone, Eidos president

While many gamers count on used games in order to combat the expensive $60 price tag of new software, this change, if real, also means massive inconvenience for many homes. Case in point, Gear Live HQ. We have three Xbox 360 units here, connected to three different television sets. This allows games to be played in multiple areas, giving us time to review games on different consoles and in different environments. We are sure that there are plenty of homes out there that have more than one Xbox 360 console in them. With a move like this, these families won't even be able to take a game disc from the living room and play it in the den or bedroom--they'll need a separate copy!

Let's hope that the rumors are blown out of proportion and that, if this is the path Microsoft is taking with the next Xbox console, that at least they'll tie games to both the hardware and the Gamertag (and if tied to a Gamertag on an Xbox Live Gold Family account, that all family members get access.) Otherwise, the PlayStation 4, which will play used games without issue, may be the more enticing choice in the next-gen battle.



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