by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 17th 2008 8:11am
An anonymous reader points us to some news concerning the latest skirmish in the battle over used goods in the video game industry. As we've noted, various execs have been freaking out over secondhand sales, despite tons of economic evidence that a robust secondhand market increases the value of the original offerings. In this case, it appears that Nintendo is selling a "Wii Speak" microphone that can be used with certain games, but in order to use it, you need to download the "Wii Speak Channel" which can only be downloaded with a code supplied with the Wii Speak (Update: as noted in the comments, this description isn't quite accurate. You can still use the Wii Speak in the game, but the Wii Channel is needed to use it outside of the game). And here's the sneaky part: that code can only be used once. Effectively, it's impossible to resell the Wii Speak, because you can't use it unless it's been purchased new. This is pretty dumb, as it certainly decreases the value of the device, and will make plenty of folks think twice before committing to it, knowing that it can't be resold.
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