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Microsoft Hints at Pre-Owned Fee For Xbox One Games

| 21 May 2013 19:11
Xbox One

It's not looking good for fans of used games.

Microsoft has heavily implied that the Xbox successor, dubbed the "Xbox One" in brave defiance of traditional math, will charge users to install pre-owned games. Before we get into the nitty gritty of why that's a horrible, horrible idea, let's see what Microsoft's reps actually said.

Talking to Wired, a Microsoft rep confirmed that, much like PS3 games, Xbox One games will require a mandatory install to the console's 500GB harddrive. That makes sense, the Xbox One is using a Blu Ray drive with much slower read times than traditional a DVD drive. However, unlike PS3 games, once installed, Xbone games can be run without the disc in the drive.

Clearly there has to be some kind of system in place to tie specific discs to specific drives, or else gamers could just pass the discs around, installing them on various systems. That's where things get scary. The Microsoft rep did say that if the disc was used with a second account, on the same console or a different one, the new user would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game, attaching a new copy to their account that they can play without the disc. There was no info on how much this fee will be.

Now I see you eying your torch and/or pitchfork, but let's wait on that for just a moment. The rep's choice of words seems to indicate that, while installing the game to the HDD is mandatory, running it without the disc is not. This could mean that borrowed or rented Xbone games might offer players the opportunity to buy the game for a reduced price, while still functioning as regular game discs. Or it could, as many fear, be the spear tip of Microsoft's oft-rumored impending attack on used games.

When asked whether the fee was mandatory, the Microsoft rep apparently couldn't provide an answer. Oh dear. If this is a legitimate attempt to curb used-sales, it's the most blatantly anti-consumer decision in the history of the industry. Good show, Microsoft.

Source: Wired

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