Back in January, Kotaku reported that the next Xbox system will have an anti-used game technology which in theory would prevent anyone from playing games that have been repurchased, and would disallow gamers from usiing the same code to access online content more than once. At the time of the article, no specifics had been released regarding exactly how Microsoft would be able to use this technology.
Clearly, this move would affect companies who rely on reselling used games heavily. In a recent investor call, GameStop is putting their two cents in by saying that it will be ‘unlikely’ that Microsoft’s next console system will have such a technology.
Paul Raines, GameStop CEO said,
We think it’s unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn’t been proven to work. Remember, used video games have a residual value. Remember GameStop generates 1.2 billion of trade credits around the world with our used game model. So, considering taking used games out of that, you’d have to find new ways to sell games. And, our partners are good partners. The console companies have great relationships with us.
This is the kind of news that gets out in the industry and gets people worked up and hyper-ventilating and excited. The pre-owned business is not a cannibalistic business. If you follow the popular conventional wisdom, you would think pre-owned is replacing new. The truth is, pre-owned is an opening price-point category. The average price is $18. A lot of it is older generation.
What it is, is a category for the customer who’s maybe not ready to invest in a new game, but wants to get into the console business and console entertainment. What we’ve done is create a way for that new leading edge consumer to dispose of their old games, and that’s what creates this great circle of life we talk about that so many try to imitate. That’s how we see it.”
Which is pretty interesting to say because Kokatu does have some reliable sources. For GameStop to come out and counter said article is pretty risky, especially if it’s proven to be wrong.
Microsoft has announced that they will not showcase the new Xbox at this year’s E3, so for now, speculation and information leaks will have to suffice.