#1 Posted by manicraider (100 posts) -

The rumor has been going around for years now that both Sony and Microsoft will make it so you cannot sell used games. You will have to activate a code that says the game is yours and it will not work on any other console. It seems that in 2013 you see this story every other week. But would this work? Or would people reject the idea and force them to go back to the old/current format?

#2 Edited by Morningstar (2321 posts) -

It sure would be interesting to watch it unfold =)

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -

I'd only go for it if this also came with the ability to install and run a game directly off my system, no disc needed.

#4 Posted by jakob187 (22338 posts) -

I look at it from two places:

1. I live in Texas, where there are many rural homes who own the current consoles from both companies. They do not have online access, and even without being rural, I remember that Microsoft and Sony both said that something along the lines of 60%+ of their consoles sold have never been online. This leads me to believe that the rumor could easily be false as it would kill a lot of their potential install base.

2. Both companies supporting always-online DRM features like this could possibly force internet companies to begin rapid expansion and more aggressive action in offering better pricing.

It's a toss-up really. Honestly, I have no problem with always-online, as it's what I deal with a lot on PC already.

#5 Edited by Cathryn (574 posts) -

Didn't Sony say this week that they're definitely not going to do this?

My only real problem with this is that a lot of games go out of print pretty quickly -- especially more niche titles. I've had to buy used copies of a lot of games in my collection just because I discovered them a few years after they came out and no new copies were available. If used games hadn't been allowed, I'd never have had access to those titles, or I would've had to pay a lot of money to some schmuck on ebay who kept a sealed copy just in case.

I know that digital distribution will help with this problem, but I'd still prefer having physical copies, especially since I don't buy loads of games.

#6 Posted by Marcsman (3376 posts) -

What about those of us who own mutiple consoles?

#7 Posted by GaspoweR (4120 posts) -

@Marcsman said:

What about those of us who own mutiple consoles?

By that statement, do you mean more than one of the same console (e.g. mutiple Xboxes)? I think that would be easily addressed by having the same account logged on to those multiple consoles and said game would be tied to that one account. So if that account, isn't logged in or saved in that console from a previous log-in, then you won't be able to play the game.

#8 Posted by Vexxan (4624 posts) -

I think it's a bad idea to block out second hand selling but personally I haven't sold or bought a used game in maybe 10 years with the exception of some N64 games I bought on Ebay.

#9 Posted by djou (895 posts) -

@Cathryn: If you're referring to the Sony post by Jack Tretton that was on this site, that was misleading since the citation was more than a year old before this hoopla started stirring.

Sadly, I expect to get screwed over by Sony and MS on this front, it would be a minor miracle if they don't system lock disc. I'm not sure either company gives a damn about the used market and I constantly see news about more Gamestops closing (link) so that part of the business is probably becoming less important. What I imagine will happen is that the disc are system locked and if you have a used disc you need to buy a code to activate it.

If the game goes out of print there will probably be a digital edition to replace the physical copy. Like the all the Final Fantasy games Square peddles to get people to double dip.

That said I rarely buy used games and if this DRM leads to cheaper prices for new release I would welcome it, but I'm not holding my breath about this either.

#10 Posted by sprode (113 posts) -

I didn't think it would happen next generation, but if Sony and Microsoft are in cahoots, then they can make it happen.

It's a terrible idea though and should go against any sense of consumer justice. But it seems bound to happen someday. I doubt too many people are thinking of how their convenience harms others or even themselves.

#11 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

@Vexxan said:

I think it's a bad idea to block out second hand selling but personally I haven't sold or bought a used game in maybe 10 years with the exception of some N64 games I bought on Ebay.

You raise an interesting point in a sort of roundabout way. What happens in 15-20 years when somebody wants to go back and play a PS4 game? Will that even be possible?

#12 Posted by Hosstile17 (788 posts) -

That functionality is already in the PS3 and it has never been utilized. Is it possible that some games will be locked down? Yes. But, I think it will be on a case-by-case basis, just like online passes. I think we should all be calm until someone says something that is a confirmation or denial of this rumor..... Well, I feel the same about all rumors. Let's just be cool.

#13 Edited by GaspoweR (4120 posts) -

@manicraider said:

The rumor has been going around for years now that both Sony and Microsoft will make it so you cannot sell used games. You will have to activate a code that says the game is yours and it will not work on any other console. It seems that in 2013 you see this story every other week. But would this work? Or would people reject the idea and force them to go back to the old/current format?

To borrow what Jeff mentioned on Twitter, I think what they'll do is make use of an online pass policy so if you buy a used game you'll also have to purchase a seperate online pass OR the re-seller (e.g. Gamestop) will also include that with your purchase. I think they're not trying to exclude the second-hand market as much as they are trying to find a way to also get a cut from it and I think making use of an online pass is another way of doing this. I mean publishers are already doing it this gen with multiplayer features now I believe they've found a way to extend it to the entire game disc and not just the multiplayer features in the next- gen.

EDIT: Another way of looking at this is like what they do with PC applications like MS Office or Adobe Acrobat wherein you purchase a license and in this case, they'd be implementing that kind of system with next-gen games. If they actually decide to do that with used games, the re-seller might not get as big of a cut now unless they raise the price of the used game.

#14 Posted by Pr1mus (4102 posts) -

I've always wondered how this would affect the companies bottom line. I'm sure that in their magical world 100% of games sold used would transfer into 100% of said games sold new at the same prices they have in place now would there be no used games market.

There are tons of variables at play. What about that guy who can afford 10 new games a year only because he is able to trade in 7 of them? What about the one who bought a game used only to buy the sequel new 2 years later, would that person even have tried the first game otherwise? What about the one who buys a game used and likes it so much that he convinces 2 or 3 other people to buy the game? Word of mouth can be surprisingly effective for everything but the biggest games out there and every sources of it are important. Of course there's everyone who don't have a reliable internet connection if they go for an always-on approach. These are just a couple examples.

It worked for Steam or PC digital distribution in general because PC games are on average priced a bit lower at launch, drop in price faster and are discounted more often and more substantially. I'm certainly not trusting Microsoft or Sony to do this. If they go ahead with no used games systems and keep the same pricing model they have right now this will blow in their face.

People aren't stupid, you can't take something this important to this many people without giving something in return to make up for it. People can and will cope with a lot of shit like crappy DRMs or "real endings" sold separately as DLC but for many this would lead to the reality that they simply can't afford as many games anymore. There is no coping with that if you don't have enough money even if you wanted to.

So if they do decide to emulate what Steam has done, i hope they take the time to understand why it worked for Valve.

#15 Posted by Jayzilla (2643 posts) -

i am cool with consoles not being a thing in my life anymore. i'd rather play online without a fee anyways. if MS got rid of gold status, and i couldn't buy games used, i would be ok with used games not being around. i am not cool however with always online features in single player games. they don't work the way they should. i dont think the tech is there for it yet.

#16 Edited by Barrabas (339 posts) -

I swear this rumor comes out like every six months, and people act it like it's a new thing every time. I'm starting to question my sanity because of it. I just can't wait for it to be proven or disproven once and for all so sites can stop posting rumor stories about it.

#17 Posted by LornHg (46 posts) -

I'd say that from an indie game devloper perspective, that "game on a physical support" is a dying model. You try a game for free, you pay a small amount for the full version and you monetize afterward, this is what I feel players want. So with that in mind "being able to run used game" is a non-issue imo.

#18 Edited by ExplodeMode (851 posts) -

I think if they actually go through with it, then the current console game model should be over and they need to be doing something new. Variable pricing, aggressive publisher pricing or very cheap games with focus on paying through DLC rather than at a register.

If it was just, same as it ever was, give us $60 BUT -- then I feel like it would backfire massively.

Personally, I don't think I would buy an always online all sales are final console.

Maybe if there were some kind of internal buyback/deactivation program. For example, I buy and download hotnewgame for $60. I play it and enjoy it, but now I'm done with it and never want to play it again. Maybe I flag it for account deactivation and then Sony or MS give me 30-50% of the games current cost as store credit. Then I buy more crap on the store.

It would be better to have good pricing than shitty pricing that you allow people to subsidize, but it would be something.

#19 Posted by chrismafuchris (1154 posts) -

If the end result of all this is that I have to pay more for games because I can't buy them used, or I can't play the games I want to because they came out three years ago and are not being made any more, then fuck em. Otherwise, I really don't care.

#20 Edited by eternalshades (106 posts) -

I never sell or buy used games, but I do rent a lot of games. Killing the ability to play second-hand games would likely kill the ability to rent games, and I am therefore completely against it.

There's a lot of games out there that I would never consider buying but I still want to try playing anyways, hence renting. For example: Call of duty games, I only really care about playing the 4 hour single player campaign on the easiest difficulty for the theatrics, and that is quite simply not worth $60 to me, but I'm willing to pay the $5 it takes to rent it for a couple of days.

And no, demos are not a proper substitute.

#21 Posted by djou (895 posts) -

@ExplodeMode: I agree with what you say and think the same myself.

But the question I've been asking myself lately, what price would the console have to be to make me buy an always online, game disc locked to the console, pay to play online?

Maybe I'm a sucker but if the PS4 comes with a 500gb HDD with all the specs that have been flying around for $400 I will be there day 1. Especially if they launch with a few decent first party games.

Even if they pull all this shit with game pricing, DLC, online codes, its been 7 years since I got my PS3 for the same price and I'm ready for something new.

Would $400 entice people, $350?