Reports Of Xbox One's Handling Of Used Games Mobilizes Playstation Fans

from the opportunity-is-knocking dept

We recently discussed the somewhat mishandled release announcement for Microsoft’s new gaming machine, the Xbox One. While a big part of the problem was a lack of firm answers to gamers’ questions, it’s clear that something is going to change in how the new Xbox handles used games. The rumors vary, but we know that the used games market that has existed for the past several decades is going to be altered to come under stricter control of Microsoft directly. Reception of this news has been cold, but it isn’t just Xbox fans reacting.

No, the ultimate effect of Microsoft’s actions may end up being a highly mobilized Playstation fandom and a massive opportunity for Sony if they want to grab it. You see, famousmortimer of the popular gaming message board, NeoGAF, decided to bring the wants of the customer to Sony’s attention through a simple Twitter hashtag, #PS4NoDRM.

I can say, for sure, that the past week’s PR nightmare for MS has not been lost on Sony and they, in fact, do have a used game ‘solution’ working and have been going back and forth for months on whether to use it. This past week is pushing them strongly into “Yeah, let’s not use that.”

He then suggests that readers politely tweet several high-ranking Sony executives, indicating that they want a free and open used game market, and including the aforementioned hashtag. While he later went on to say that he didn’t expect any of this to become much of a movement, that’s exactly what it became. Not only did something like 14,000 tweets with the hashtag go out across Twitter, it has become big enough that even the mainstream press is reporting on it.

The campaign has reached dozens of news sites including NBC News. Even now, people are tweeting messages with the hashtag in hopes of getting Sony’s attention.

“It’s much larger than I ever imagined,” Dodd told me this afternoon. “Honestly thought the post would go about 2 pages.” As of right now, the NeoGAF thread has 105 pages and 467,690 pageviews.

Several Sony executives have replied with encouraging tweets, suggesting that, at the very least, they’re seriously listening. And listen they should, because that isn’t just the sound of gamers typing on their keyboards ringing over the Twitterverse. It’s opportunity. Real opportunity.

Imagine what happens if Sony issues an official response to this campaign. Imagine further that this response acknowledges the fans, thanks them for all of their interest, and firmly states that, on its system, the used game market will go on unhindered. Let’s say that a company that has an unfortunate reputation on consumer rights flips the script completely in the gaming arena and positions itself as the consumer’s choice compared to Microsoft. What would the market’s reaction be? It would be huge.

Finally, if you believe that used games don’t harm game sales, but rather spur them along by creating added value, then this should represent the easiest no-lose choice in the gaming business’s history. Now let’s see if Sony hears opportunity knocking through those corporate walls.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: microsoft, sony

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Reports Of Xbox One's Handling Of Used Games Mobilizes Playstation Fans”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Jay (profile) says:

Not quite right...

I REALLLY want to believe that Sony will capitalize…

And I really want to believe Sony has a clue…

But given their history of boneheaded notions, fair use violations, and war on hackers, they might capitalize on this mistake but not utilize it to they’re full advantage.

I just have this notion that the PC will ultimately win since it had so many more advantages to consoles.

Strafe says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Not quite right...

I purchased a PC game yesterday. Haven’t done that since getting my Xbox 360 back in 2007. As enjoyable as console gaming has been (I really did love my 360), I refuse to support Microsoft because of all the anti-consumer, anti-gamer choices they’ve made regarding the Xbox One. If Sony makes all the right choices with their PS4 console, I’ll buy one, possibly even two. If not, it’ll be 100% PC gaming from this point onwards.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Not quite right...

Technically, if you don’t by from Apple, you’re probably supporting Microsoft, since nearly all the other preloaded computers come w/ Windows, which can cost more than the computer if bought on its own. (This is why Microsoft has so much Market Penetration.)

The only reason I even use Windows is because it’s preloaded. I got lucky & got a new computer before everyone stopped carrying Windows 7. I REALLY don’t like that Windows 8 links your computer to your Live Account & is always online & logged in.

I’m not sure who got my money on that. I like to assume the PC manufacturer, & Windows is on it for free, considering how much Windows costs stand-alone now.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Not quite right...

“I’m not sure who got my money on that. I like to assume the PC manufacturer, & Windows is on it for free, considering how much Windows costs stand-alone now.”

You’d like to think that, but sadly you’d be wrong. OEMs get massive discounts for Windows when it’s preinstalled on PCs. They might only charge $30 or so for Windows, a major reduction from buying a retail copy, but that money goes to Microsoft. (I admit my figures may be a little off as it’s been a few years since I’ve dealt with OEMs, but the status is the same AFIAK).

This is one of the reasons why Linux has had a hard time getting traction in the mainstream. A few years back, Dell started to experiment by offering PCs OS-free or with Linux pre-installed on a few select models with hardware pre-configured to be 100% compatible. Microsoft’s response? Stop doing that or we’ll make you pay full price for your copies of Windows.

So, if you buy a new PC, you have to buy a copy of Windows. Oh, you can technically contact Microsoft and go through a process to get a refund, but most people won’t both or don’t know, even if all they do is wipe Windows 8 off their new computer and install Linux or Window 7 instead.

MrPendent (profile) says:

Re: Not quite right...

I agree with Jay here. As great as it would be for them to jump on this, Sony has a long, storied and steady history for designing fantastic hardware and then going out of their way to fuck with the consumer.

Where would they have been had the minidisc not had self-destructing songs?
Where would they have been had players been able to burn their own PSP UMDs?
Hell, these guys won’t even let the PS3 controllers charge from a basic USB wall wart.

So, however awesome it would be, I’m nearly certain that Sony will find some way to screw this up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Not quite right...

Yes but the cost of PC games is so much cheaper. Sure day 1 they cost the same but you see more sales faster and with larger discounts on the PC. So I don’t have to buy used games 6 months later, I can just buy a “new” copy on sale for cheaper then a used physical copy, in about 3 months.

So I don’t mind not being able to resell or buy used because I pay a lot less up front. Most people probably wouldn’t mind MS’s current system (tied to a single account) if that included a 50-75% price reduction on new games.

Also, Steam seems to be making moves in a direction to allow trading. They added the games inventory section where you can trade games. They just need to add a feature to remove a game from your account and add it to your inventory. I am sure most of the publishers are not too keen on this idea though.

egghead (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Not quite right...

One of the issues with the Steam trading is that many games also involve some form of registration of the CD-Key on the developer/producer/distributor’s website. This means that those companies would also need to be willing to allow the game to transfer to another account.

However, I sincerely agree with your thoughts about the price of new games on the PC. I’ve purchased somewhere close to 200 titles in the last two years on Steam. Not a single one was over $30 with the vast majority under $15. I can wait several months to play a title, but am thankful for those that purchase the games at the full starting price. They are the ones that keep the ball rolling for the development of better games. I like to add a “me too” once the games have been played, tested and patched so I know full well what to expect from a game.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Ctrl+Alt+Del put up an article on the new Xbox’s used game policy stating basically that anyone who argues against this policy doesn’t matter. You see, if you buy used games, you don’t get a vote since the developers didn’t get any money. It was a big giant “fuck you” to anyone who ever bought a used game.

I no longer read or even respect Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Wow. Here’s a quote:
Now, you can argue the morality of used games all you want, but the bottom line is that developers feel it takes money away from their business, and so they have every right to try and combat it.
It has nothing to do morality. And it does not take a single penny from their business. And they don’t have a right to eliminate the first sale doctrine based upon their feelings.

Andrew F (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m not sure what the first-sale doctrine issue is here. The first sale doctrine is a limit to the scope if copyright. DRM and making it technologically difficult to sell used games is not the same thing as suing someone for copyright.

The more interesting issue would be if someone cracked the Xbox’s DRM and was sued under the DMCA’s anti-circumvention laws. But that’s less about first sale and more about DMCA reform in general.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What always makes my head hit the desk on these “used game sales” discussions is that they always use “gamestop” as their model of how it works.

And they want to pretend that they’re raping the seller and buyer by paying pennies for the game, and then selling it at near-new prices.

What if, on the other hand, I buy it from the seller directly? At that point, we can meet in the middle (between what the seller would have earned from gamestop, and what gamestop would have sold it for), and we both win.

Also, i see C-A-D compared this to selling a used car that has lost value due to use and that supposedly for a video game, there’s no loss of value for the used product … that’s how artificial scarcity works fellas, you can’t pretend it’s more valuable to buy digital goods “new”… that’s ludicrous, and you knew it going into this business model.

It’s fair to compare a used video game to a used CD, DVD, or book – why compare it to something that wears out like a car? That’s just a fucking stupid comparison, and anyone making such a comparison is trying to lie to their readers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I didn’t think much of the C-A-D article, but in fairness his point was that used games are not like a used car in that they don’t lose value compared to the new article. He goes on to erroneous conclusions from there, but still.

Personally, I think games and other media do lose value with age. Otherwise there would be no such thing as a discount bin. People are definitely willing to pay a premium for the latest thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Right, they don’t lose value from use, but occasionally lose value from age (although, some might even say they increase in value in other ways).

The quantity of new games increases as it loses value for the people who bought it to begin with – so it goes that if you don’t get enough new game sales before people lose interest in the game, you’re going to have to fight the used game sales in order to make a profit. This should ENCOURAGE developers to find ways to keep games relevant to the buyers by increasing the usefulness of the game over a longer period of time, increasing replayability, etc. Or finding other ways to build on the initial popularity of the game through other avenues such as merchandising, etc.

If they can’t monetize their games, then they’re doing something wrong… not the consumer. There are far far far more games out there competing for eyeballs than there ever were before, so it’s not as easy to make money in that industry. This is no fault of the consumer – it is just evolution of a market.

Passing laws and using dirty technical tricks to punish consumers for their behavior is pretty much the wrong way to solve this problem – and I think we’re starting to see the backlash here.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Or, they could figure out a business model that let’s them secure their compensation before they publish the game. If they made their money that way, it wouldn’t matter if they were purchased new, used, or just simply copied for free. Anybody that publishes content that they want to be paid for before making sure they will get paid is a moron and deserves to lose money.

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Right, they don’t lose value from use, but occasionally lose value from age (although, some might even say they increase in value in other ways).

Some games DO increase in value. If it’s a popular game, and new copies are no longer available, it tends to be hard to find even a used copy so the price goes way up.

If you make a good game, it’ll have value, even if you stop selling it and the market goes totally to used copies. If your game is crap, it’ll end up in the bargain bin unable to sell for even a couple of bucks.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Some games DO increase in value.”

I picked up the original Legend of Zelda for the NES in fairly crap condition for $35. I picked up Chrono Trigger in box for $50.

I would add that I did that not 2 years ago. This is why removing the second hand market pisses me off so much. I collect video games, it’s a hobby of mine. In 10 or 20 years, it will be impossible for me to keep my collection, let alone expand on it.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The Wii’s Xenoblade Chronicles is an example of this. I hear it’s a good game. If I could find a new copy, it’d be $50. But I can’t, it’s sold out everywhere (both new & used) in a 100 mile radius (according to GameStop). Since so few people return it, it’s used price is $60, $10 over the new game price.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a used game go for more, but that time I found one still new. ^_^ Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem for the GameCube (very fun & underrated game; & it’s based on Lovecraftian Lore) was that way, though a lot cheaper: I got it new for $10, but I think it’d’ve been over $15 used. Eternal Darkness has a Sequel being developed w/ Crowedfunding (I hope a full version shows up on Nintendo’s eShop once it’s complete; don’t like the Episodic release): via both in site & Kickstarter

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Ikaruga for the Gamecube also comes to mind. I once sold a ZX Spectrum game on eBay for about ?65 (around $90) because it had become something of a collector’s item (it still had the price sticker on it, I originally paid ?5.99).

You can argue that this is the exception rather than the rule, but ironically it’s only true that most game deprecate because of the actions of the games industry. By making so many games dependent on online components or quickly outdated licences (EA’s sports titles, for example), they guarantee that nobody will want to buy them new in a year, while games that don’t depend on these things often devalue much more slowly. Once again, the entertainment industry is partially the architect of its own problems.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Concerning the car analogy, what C-A-D has failed to notice (or else has chosen to ignore) is that depreciation due to wear has nothing at all to do with one’s right to resell an object. You have no less right to resell a mint condition item cheaply than you do a used item.

C-A-D’s patronizing car analogy is therefore no more than a sophomoric red herring.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Precisely. When you purchase something, it doesn’t matter what that product is nor in what format. You purchased it, therefore you’re the legal owner. That’s all there is to it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have a moral obligation to compensate the manufacturer. They already made their profit from the initial purchase.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

However, the car analogy is often used to point out that there is a used market for every kind of good and that the game industry is not special nor exempt from that fact. Used games impact the market just the same as any other used goods. So they trot out the “A game is not the same as a car!” excuse.

EA can no more complain about used games than Ford can complain about used cars. Each has a second hand market and each has to accept that. Though, software developers everywhere try to get around the right of first sale by claiming that you don’t “own” your copy, it’s only a license despite the fact that section 109 of the copyright act states that you are permitted to sell the copy you own without authorization. It’s really just semantic sophistry. They claim you don’t own the software, which is true, but you do own the specific copy and you may sell it granted that you transfer your copy in whole and unedited to the buyer.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“When you sell a car, you get less money for it because its used. Its overall lifespan and value has decreased. The person buying your car is getting a less valuable product than you got when you bought the car brand new. It’s got miles on it, maybe some dents and dings. There are unknown mechanical problems lurking under the hood that the new buyer may have to address.

There is a tangible value disparity between a brand new car, and a used car that accompanies the differences in price. However a video game that is used is exactly the same product as it was when it was new. The programming does not deteriorate. Bugs and crashes aren’t going to suddenly pop up due to age. No matter how many times the game is resold, the used product remains identical to the new product.

If you walked into a car dealership and there was a brand new car sitting there for the same price as a used, beat up model of the same car, anyone in their right mind is going to take the new car for the used car price. And it’s the same with used video games. Why would someone pay $60 for a game when they can get the exact same game for $40?

Except now your money is going to GameStop, not the people that made the game.

Now you can say “But they already got their money from the original sale! Car companies don’t get a cut every time someone sells a used car!” That’s true. But somebody shopping for a used car is not in the market for a new car. A used car buyer is not “stealing” a potential new car sale. However a used game buyer is stealing a potential new game sale. So whereas the developer might have sold two games, they have now sold one, and GameStop has sold one. It’s not about ownership or “its my property”, it’s about used games presenting a threat to new game sales.”

It amuses me (actually it irritates me) when I hear this ignorant line of logic. It would be applicable if you could make copies of the game disc, but you can’t (well, you aren’t permitted). So, as the game gets worn, scratched, etc., the disc it’s inseparably tied to degrades. What’s more, the game also loses value. Madden ’06 doesn’t bring in the same trade-in/sale value that Madden ’13 will as well as the many CoD titles go down in value as you go back to earlier releases. This blind argument focuses on the nature of binary data and ignores the physical hardware it’s tied to like a gas station bathroom key. They want very badly for their industry to be a special case that gets special treatment.

“Now, you can argue the morality of used games all you want, but the bottom line is that developers feel it takes money away from their business, and so they have every right to try and combat it. The most definitive thing you can do is simply not buy the console if it’s a big deal to you, but let’s be honest… you were clearly going to buy the games used if that’s the case, so the developers won’t know the difference. They weren’t getting your money either way.”

Claiming that used games takes away revenue is no different than saying that used cars take away revenue. A used car sale could just as easily be equated to a lost sale for a new car. After all, if you buy used, it negates the possibility of buying new (for most people with limited means, like the 99% of us). The reason a person buys a used car is the same reason they buy a used game. They want an item, but they don’t want to, or can’t, pay full price.

The second part of this morality argument, not buying the console doesn’t matter because you buy used and they won’t get any money regardless, that’s just stupid. Refusing to even buy the console means that you won’t buy any of those games, used or new. So they’ve missed out on an opportunity to lure a customer to buy new. Now, they won’t buy the games at all, unless it exists on a platform they do have. So, buying used might not put money in developer’s pockets, but not buying the console at all negates any chance of ever turning that around.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“You see, if you buy used games, you don’t get a vote since the developers didn’t get any money.”

As you probably know, that’s only half the equation. A lot of people buy games new, complete them in the first couple of weeks, then trade them in to get another new game at a greatly discounted price. Without this ability, those gamers may not buy the games new, at least not at full price. On top of that, there’s a certain level of security that comes with buying a console where games can be resold. I know that in the past, I’ve been able to make some quick cash by selling off a few titles I’ve completed or didn’t like when I’ve found a need for it. Would I want to invest in something that’s a completely sunk cost, with no ability to resell? $5-10 DLC or game downloads? Yes. A full price retail game? Hell no.

That also assumes that there’s only 2 kinds of gamers – those who buy new and those who buy used. I can assure you that I fit both of these categories at the same time, and I’m not the only person currently buying brand new 360 games who won’t even consider an XBox One if it blocks the ability to sell and borrow games.

Anyone who thinks that players of used games don’t matter is completely ignorant of the marketplace, or at least so obsessed with screwing over Gamestop that they don’t see how the market works as a whole..

Kane99 says:

Re: Re:

You realize that you are part of the problem, right? Gamestop is as big as it is because it literally says “Oh, this guy didn’t want this game anymore, and I gave him $5, so now I’ll turn around and sell it for $40 to you.” The developers DON’T get a dime, and Gamestop gets LOADED. They have stores EVERYWHERE because of this, while the developer of the game often only sees first sell value.

It’s not right, and THAT’S what Tim was getting at. Interpretting what he said as anything other than “Yeah, your favorite developers are screwed by the Used Games market, and that’s why they are frustrated with it and working against it” is just reading stuff into what he was saying. Essentially, Gamestop is ThePirateBay, but they charge you for it and it’s technically “legal”.

Used games done RIGHT would send revenue to the developers to create bigger, better projects, and that’s what they are trying to capitalize on. I think Microsoft can manage a decent system, if they draw on some of the natural economies you find in games like Rappelz, or Galaxy Legion, or Galaxy Online II, or WOW, or other MMOs that include an economic system of a sort.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s not right, and THAT’S what Tim was getting at.

How the hell is it not right? This is a series of voluntary transactions. All these parties sold and/or bought because they decided the price was fair:

– publisher
– wholesaler (I don’t know if there are any for video games)
– retailer
– first purchaser
– second purchaser (eg Gamestop)
– third purchaser
– etc

If the developer isn’t getting enough money from the publisher they should find a new publisher or publish their own games. If the publisher isn’t getting enough money from retail sales they should reduce costs or figure out how to increase volume. And so on with everyone else in the chain. Where is the injustice you’re referring to?

Developers and publishers have no right to get any of the money from second, third, etc. sales. They got fully paid the first time. I think you can fill in the car analogy yourself.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Since you’re one of the obsessive anti-Gamestop types, can you explain this to me: every other industry, from cars to houses to DVDs to books allow resales without a penny going to the original creators. Yet, I’ve never heard those industries whine about “lost revenue” because they couldn’t get a second bite of the pie.

What makes the videogame industry so uniquely broken that the existence of used games is killing it?

“the developer of the game often only sees first sell value.”

That’s all they’re entitled to. Why are they unable to build their business around the reality that exists for every other industry?

Ima Fish (profile) says:

I would not mind Microsoft’s attempt at killing the used game market if the price of new games were drastically reduced. There is simply no way I’d ever buy a new game for 60 dollars if I could never sell it again. If games cannot be resold, they’re going to have to get cheaper. 10 to 15 bucks.

But if Microsoft attempts to keep new prices high while eliminating cheaper used games, I predict the Xbox One will bomb and bomb hard. The console industry has crashed before, the Wii U has already bombed and the PS3 failed compared to the PS2. So Microsoft’s actions could push the entire industry over the cliff.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

But here’s the key point – they seem to think that 100 sales at $60 are better than 10,000 sales at $20. I know that they were rumored to be charging a $40 “activation fee” for playing a game on a second account, none of which went to the developers.

So, you can either spend your money at places like Gamestop, or you can seemingly pay Microsoft and publishers to use the game again.

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You can always lower the price after release, but you can’t increase it.

Sure you can, it’s called a sale. You put the new game on sale for a few days to boost sales and get buzz about the title, and it goes back up to regular price afterward. Steam does it all the time with games, admittedly not with new releases usually.

They just don’t want that, in their minds selling it for less means less profit. The games industry overall seems to not understand that you can make more money from higher volume. They seem to think it’s all higher per-unit profit or nothing at all. At least Valve gets it with Steam, but they’re unusual in that regard.

Andrew F (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

A sale is just a temporary decrease though. You can’t increase the price past its original position after a sale. That’s why there’s an incentive to start high. You can capture more of the surplus.

The risk, of course, is that if you wait too long to drop the price, gamers will just spend their money elsewhere and forget about your game. But all publishers follow this strategy to some degree. It’s why you can buy the 2008 game of the year for $20.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Unrelated to the article, but the AUD fell below parity on the 10th, and has been falling since then to date.

Still, FX has never seriously been a consideration in Australian local pricing of imported goods. We see the same problem with cars, books and movies!

One of the joys of going to Singapore is going to the cinema for an undiscounted cost of $9 per adult ticket. Unsurprisingly, most sessions are pretty full, and the cinemas seem to be doing MUCH better in Singapore than in Australia.

Andrew F (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Interestingly, Microsoft might lower the price of a used game and increase the amount you can get for selling it — i.e. some of the value you get by cutting out the middleman (Gamestop) could go to the gamers. Or maybe it’ll just go to Microsoft and software publishers. Probably mostly the latter but maybe a bit of the former.

The other thing to consider is how a mostly digital used games market would affect pricing. The obvious end game for Microsoft here is a global “instant” used-games market. From what I’ve read, selling a “used” game on Microsoft’s system doesn’t require transferring a disc. It’s simply a matter of unregistering the game from your account and downloading the game to another person’s account. That eliminates a lot of arbitrage opportunities — I’m curious whether people as a whole perceive that as raising or lowering prices though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This, right here, is what the game makers simply fail to get through their heads. The see used games as a lost sale (to them) but fail to understand that a lot of new games are purchased on the cash/credit people get for selling used games.

Nor, from the sounds of it, are you going to let your friends borrow your games either (without them paying a fee) because each game will be specifically tied to your user profile (and when you sell it, that title will be wiped from your profile).

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re:

I would not mind Microsoft’s attempt at killing the used game market if the price of new games were drastically reduced.

Won’t ever happen.

Once you no longer have to compete, why lower the price at all?

Remember this, the RIAA said that once they changed everything from cassette to CD the prices of albums would go down.

Except that they didn’t, they went from 17.99 for a CD, vs 14.99 for a cassette, to 22.99-25.99 for a CD within a year.

You think Microsoft won’t go “hey, no more used game market” and take the price from $60 to $80 or $100 in the US and push higher prices in Australia and the E.U. as well? And since there’s no used game market anymore, older games on the console will remain at an extremely high price until the servers are no longer working, so, if you wait, you get screwed heavily.

Transmitte (profile) says:

Here’s whats bothering me about this whole mess: I always thought the price of the game was set for various reasons, one being to fairly compensate the producers of the game at first POS(Yes I understand they take a bit of hit on the price, but they make that up in units sold). This trying to get money on the back end smacks of double dipping. Imagine if the RIAA were trying to pull this on used CD sales(not the those are much of an issue in the age of itunes, spotify, pandora, ETC.)

I can understand how the companies and the game producing houses are unhappy about not getting a slice of the pie after the first sale, but does GM or Ford get a cut on used cars sales? Nope. If they are so worried about making a dollar, they could be fool hardy and jack the prices up on the game to 75, even 100 dollars, but that would alienate a lot of gamer/fans on multiple levels for multiple reasons.

This whole issues just stinks of greed and companies trying to get over on the consumers who helped get them where they are in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

If Sony decides to go in the opposite direction as Microsoft, I wonder how much third part support will jump over to the XBox. Microsoft should know that they’d be shooting themselves in the foot doing something like this if it didn’t benefit gaming companies, and the large gaming companies have almost all been vocal on the issue of piracy and used games as well. Of course the game devs who actually care about the consumer are likely against Microsoft, the sad reality is that the collective net worth of those devs is significantly lower that that of the ones who care only about their bottom line. I can’t see Sony taking a hard stand against Microsoft in this. The best we can hope for is that they continue the system used with the PS3.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

Everything is useless speculation at this point

We have to consider the fact that, regardless of what people think of the Xbox One (especially the vocal internet gaming community), the majority of consumers will buy the Xbox One if they release one of their signature exclusives, like Halo 5 or another big franchise exclusive to the Xbox console family.

Hell, people will do that for any of the big three consoles (case in point, when/if Nintendo gets around to releasing Bayonetta 2, I’ll be heading out to my nearest store to pick up a Wii U).

Personally I’m gonna with-hold saying that this is the “death of console gaming” like a certain self-righteous PC gamer I know has been going on about ever since last week. At least until we see what’s happening at E3.

As the Zen Master says, “We’ll see.”

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Everything is useless speculation at this point

We have to consider the fact that, regardless of what people think of the Xbox One (especially the vocal internet gaming community), the majority of consumers will buy the Xbox One if they release one of their signature exclusives, like Halo 5 or another big franchise exclusive to the Xbox console family.

I can only speak for myself, but I have every Halo game ever made (other than Halo for Mac) and I will not buy an Xbox One to get Halo 5. If it doesn’t run on the 360 then I’ll just find something else to play.

Andrew F (profile) says:


What’s interesting about the uproar is what people are using for their point of reference.

Microsoft’s long game here is to set up an entire digital distribution system akin to Steam — e.g. one of the interesting announcements was that if you went over to a friend’s house and forgot the disc, you could easily download the entire game from the Internet.

Yet Steam doesn’t allow resale of used games. As far as I know, no digital distribution does, yet for the most part, they charge the same price as the boxed goods and do quite well.

From that perspective, the fact that Microsoft is considering a a used games system at all is incredibly consumer-friendly.

madasahatter (profile) says:

Used Games

Used games do not directly support publishers. But they support the infrastructure the publishers need such as retail outlets. Also, used games are a form of advertising that costs the publishers nothing even if the buyer does not like the game.

Sony and Nintendo could really hammer MS if they continue to support used games.

Also, MS appears to be pursuing “everything is in the cloud” strategy which requires users to be permanently connected to MS.

Spaceboy (profile) says:

Gamestop exists for a reason.

And that reason is used games. Used game sales contributed to the success of Xbox and other consoles. It is a fixture on the landscape and EA and MS have hatched up plan to kill used game sales off. EA recently announced no more Online Passes because they weren’t working. Well, the other shoe has dropped and it stinks too.

Even though there are plenty of people that hate Gamestop they are thriving. In fact there are over 6600 locations. That’s a lot of consumer-level support for used games.

If I get an XBOX One, I will not be using it for any video functionality. I will be using this to motivate me to build my HTPC.

Arthur Moore (profile) says:

Sony has a habit of launching with a feature and then getting rid of it later.

Also, say good by to rented games. A market that no one here seems to be talking about.

The only two ways for a system like this to work are the steam model (Code in the package) or to have a code on every disk. Of those, only the first is currently feasible.

My bet is Sony will have an “Unlimited Use” activation code with all the games. Then three years down the road, they’ll make it single use because “piracy.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The only two ways for a system like this to work are the steam model (Code in the package) or to have a code on every disk. Of those, only the first is currently feasible.

Sony has filed a patent for a method to write a DRM code to an RFID tag on the disk when it’s first inserted into the console.
This code is meant to prevent the disk from ever being played in any other console.

Anonymous Coward says:

Anybody whos buys from Sony or Microsoft or EA

DESERVES to suffer. These companies routinely abuse, rip off, stonewall, and lie to their very best customers.

Yet games, in some mass demonstration of the Stockholm Syndrome, continue to line up in desperate attempts to hand them even more money…which they will use to engaged in more abuse, ripoffs, stonewalling and lying.

I have ZERO sympathy for gamers who do this. And I do wish they’d stop their incessant whining, because it’s becoming most tiresome.

Atkray (profile) says:

So conflicted...

I really want Sony to embrace this and be on the side of gamers,

But then they have lost all my trust.

I work on a Microsoft shop so I want Microsoft to be successful,

But they they go and do crap like this.

In the end I fear that the Xbox one is going to become a huge hit and will be the go to media device for millions of less technical people because they will discover that when they let little Cris hook it up to the TV then everyone else can use it for movies and facebook.

Anonymous Cowherd says:

Just don't buy them

I stopped buying PC games when they started demanding internet activation and will stop buying console games too if they do the same.

I don’t care how they “handle” it. I don’t want to hear their excuses. I’m not interested in any “services” they bundle with the DRM to put a positive spin on it. It’s not up for debate in any way. If I can’t play without jumping through hoops, then I’m not buying it.

Nurlip (profile) says:

i haven’t read all the other posts so someone may have mentioned this already but Sony’s biggest concern with committing to maintain the current used games system with the PS4 has to be with the game developers/publishers. If Microsoft moves forward with their newfangled used games market strategy, publishers will have a new revenue stream and publishers like that. Even if you argue that the new revenue won’t exist b/c ppl will essentially stop buying used games, that will still translate to more revenue from the publishers’ perspective. If Sony doesn’t have a way to match this added revenue, some publishers may stop making games for their console and/or Microsoft may get more exclusive games. That may not actually happen but Sony has to consider the possibility and take steps to ensure that it won’t happen before they can commit either way.

Of course the other side of the coin is that if Sony would seize this opportunity as suggested in the article their overall games sales would theoretically be much higher (and more immediate) than Microsoft’s and in that case, publishers would make more many that way than on reclaimed used game sales.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...