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RUMOUR: Next Xbox To Use Blu-Ray, Deny Used Games?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Blu-ray, Microsoft, Next-gen, Rumour, Xbox

RUMOUR: Next Xbox To Use Blu-Ray, Deny Used Games?

So many rumours, so little time. This latest one comes from usual suspect Kotaku, who have reportedly learned that the NextBox/Xbox 720/next-generation Microsoft console will feature a Blu-Ray drive... and potentially debut an anti-used game system. Powerful stuff, and we've got the full details after the break.

The addition of Blu-Ray functionality to the next-generation Xbox would grant developers 50GB of storage space to play with compared to the current maximum of 9, not to mention the ability to play Blu-Ray movies. Before you react, remember that Sony doesn't technically own the Blu-Ray format in its entirety, rather, they're a vocal part of a group of hardware manufacturers who developed and lobbied for it. This is actually plausible, and since Microsoft are keen to turn their consoles into full-blown entertainment centres, it would fit with their current business model. We'll have to wait and see.

A more inflammatory rumour, however, purports that the Nextbox will refuse to play pre-owned games. No, really. While the method has apparently not been revealed, this would effectively kill off an entire segment of the used games market. We can't see this happening (seriously), even though the battle between publishers and pre-owned retailers is reaching fever pitch. Take this one with a serious pinch of salt... and a tequila to wash it down.

Add a comment10 comments
gunnx  Jan. 25, 2012 at 19:19

That would be a big u-turn considering how often they've said that blu ray is the last physical medium and it's all going to be digital download from now on. Maybe it would be brave for MS to come out with a media-less console, but I wouldn't touch it (see psp go).

Also I don't see why the hardware manufacturer has an interest in stopping pre-owned, surely that market helps sell hardware for them, it would only be if developers were pushing for it, but even if that were true, they'd need to get all hardware makers to do it.

Lemming  Jan. 25, 2012 at 21:54

I so hope the last part is untrue. I get really **** off with the attitude of developers towards the pre-owned market. To me it's as stupid as the bands fighting internet piracy.. Neither party seems to accept that these things they see as negatives or reducing their sales are in fact bringing their product to a whole range of customers who would realistically not be bothered with it any other way.

I know a lot of people who buy games day 1 only because they intend to play them quick and trade them in for the next one. This was seen loads last year with week to week deals from HMV, Game etc so if you were willing to buy a new title, play it for a week or two then get shut, you could get the next big title for buttons... then do the same a week later!

Personally I'd rather see game developers look at making games that make people want to keep them! We only trade in games we've finished, never got in to or don't enjoy. Things like Fifa get traded on a annual basis for the next release because the developer insists on making a new game every year. Skyrim however is a game I intend to keep for a very long time and having spent well over 30 hours on it and not scratched the surface it's safe to say I'll still be playing it when the DLC hits.

Compare that to something like Force Unleashed II which I almost bought on release day (but avoided due to bad reviews) then I nearly bought it for £18 from a Zavvi deal (but was low of funds at the time and resisted). In the end I got it on rental from Lovefilm and it was posted back the next day, with the game finished on hard in less than 6 hours! For games like that the second hand market is their only hope of getting played!

Last edited by Lemming, Jan. 25, 2012 at 21:56
Tsung  Jan. 26, 2012 at 09:42

@gunnx (why we need to get rid of pre-owned games)
Pre-owned games hurt the industry; both the hardware and software side. The only winners are the shops (Game / Gamestation) who make a fortune on the pre-owned title.

When we buy a new game, the money we spend on it goes to the people who makes the game, the console manufacture and a bit goes to the retailer that sells it. This keeps the cost of the console hardware down, funds future development for more games and help fund things like on-line servers for you to be able to play the multiplayer games on.

When you buy a 2nd hand title, you are giving all your money to the retailer. You might get a bargain but it's at the cost of everybody else in the chain. New consoles are not developed; new games are not made (or only the popular titles are made) everybody eventually loses.

So what about those games people buy but do not like? should they be allowed to return them?. I do not know the proper answer to that. Should buying a game be like going to the cinema, you cannot get a refund on a film you did not like, why should you get a refund on a game you did not like?. (especially if there are demo's available). However if the game is technically faulty a refund policy should exist to protect the consumer.

As for those who buy a game and complete it in 6 hours who's fault is that?. Is it the developers for making a short game or the person who bought the game for not researching their purchase. Personally I think it's the consumers fault, maybe games should also have a rating system which rates how long it would take an average person to complete it. Maybe games should be sold like fruit, with an average price per hour on the label/box.
Aka.. a 6hr game at £50 would have a PPH of £8.30
A game like skyrim which could take an average person 100hrs to play would have a PPH of 0.50p.

Ofc. define average might be difficult, there are plenty of people who I think are not average, they buy the game at Midnight on the release day go home and play it solidly until they complete it several hours later.

Late  Jan. 26, 2012 at 10:42

I'm with Lemming.
Developers complain about the second hand market, but I believe they benefit from it.
Most games aren't worth £40. There are exceptions, but if you're only going to get around 10 hours enjoyment from a game it's just not worth that outlay. It's worth around £20.
If it's for sale at around £40 with no second hand market, then, it's not going to sell well.
If, on the other hand, half of your potential customers can buy it for around £40, play it, then sell it for around £20; and half can buy it second hand for around £20 and keep it then you're getting a lot of sales.
Developers will always argue that they're only getting the money from half of the people who played the game. Realists will argue that at full price with no pre-owned market you'd only sell a fraction of the number of games. The only way you'd sell it in reasonable numbers would be to reduce the cost - significantly.

flalexander  Jan. 26, 2012 at 10:47

@Tsung

I know that pre-owned hurts the developer as they get no money, but i read a few days back that the head of GAME said about setting up a policy with developers to get in on a portion of pre-owned if they drop the stupid online pass.
This is probably the best way around the issue and will help everyone.

In regards to whose fault it is in completing a game in such a short time - its split 50:50.
The developers should focus more of the money into making a longer lasting game that doesn't get repetitive and holds the attention of the gamer.
The gamers should bitch and moan about everything - graphics, how boring it gets, lack of variety etc.

The fact is, you can't please everyone.

gunnx  Jan. 26, 2012 at 12:19

@Tsung
The high prices are what creates the 2nd hand market, if games were cheaper then it would at least slow down the market, and people might actually start to keep the games in order to use the MP options or download more DLC, but it's true that some people buy on day 1, finish main game and trade in.
I don't trade in games but I don't buy on day 1, I wait a few months then pick it up cheap anyway so for me I don't see that much difference. The online pass is a bad idea imo but as I'm not that bothered about online MP it doesn't affect me.

I just don't think in any industry you can sell a product and not allow the purchaser to return or sell the product to someone else.

Tsung  Jan. 26, 2012 at 12:38

First up, in order..

Games that are not worth £40, if you cannot afford to buy them on release wait.. I picked up Skyrim for £20 1 month after release. Amazingly prices have a habit of dropping once the OMG MUST PLAY IT TODAY crowd have been and gone. I now feel a bit guilty about getting Skyrim so cheaply. I'm enjoying it much more than SW:TOR which I paid £37 for, What a MUG I was.

The weird thing is, you never really own the game, people are always confused by this. The game disc is just the delivery medium, what you are really buying is a licence to play the game.

Imagine going to the cinema, the ticket is the medium they give you so you can go watch the film. I cannot take that ticket and sell it to someone else so they can watch the film after I watched it. Before I've watched it that's fine, because I haven't used it.

I suspect the Microsoft solution will be simple.. In the DVD box, will be 1 x Game Disc, 1 X Key Code. You go home, you put disc in drive, enter code, it is used.. game is playable. The console requires internet connection to unlock the game, tough luck for anyone who doesn't have a net connection. (Or a telephone unlock system will be in place).

The disc would be worthless 2nd hand, except to replace another damaged disc. A 2nd hand market could still exist, Microsoft could sell "unused" codes to public & to 2nd hand retailers for a lower price. Win for 2nd hand sales, Win for Microsoft.. Just hope the developers see some of that 2nd hand money.

gunnx  Jan. 26, 2012 at 12:48

Not sure I get your cinema ticket analogy unless you want gamers to have one shot at playing a game and that's it. If a cinema ticket was £40 you'd probably not go :) Would you also want the same for blu-rays and dvds, so that you have to enter a code to watch them and then can't sell or even let someone borrow it, I can't see it working.

Late  Jan. 26, 2012 at 13:15

Games that are not worth £40, if you cannot afford to buy them on release wait.. I picked up Skyrim for £20 1 month after release. Amazingly prices have a habit of dropping once the OMG MUST PLAY IT TODAY crowd have been and gone. I now feel a bit guilty about getting Skyrim so cheaply. I'm enjoying it much more than SW:TOR which I paid £37 for, What a MUG I was.

I fully agree that it's worth waiting, to get games cheaper - but that's a completely different and completely irrelevant matter. Developers and retailers know that they'll maximise revenue by selling it at a high price to start with before gradually reducing the price. Most people might want it for £20, but let's get £40 out of those who'll pay it, first. Perfectly sensible strategy.
But you're still not considering the fact that a lot of those who paid £40 for it did so knowing they'll get half (or more) of that back once they've finished playing it. (Of course I have no data to back that up, as it's effectively impossible to measure whilst the situation's largely hypothetical.)
Fully agree with your sentiments re Skyrim, btw. I, too, got it new for about £20 a few weeks after release. Again, that's irrelevant to the argument, though.

The weird thing is, you never really own the game, people are always confused by this. The game disc is just the delivery medium, what you are really buying is a licence to play the game.

Imagine going to the cinema, the ticket is the medium they give you so you can go watch the film. I cannot take that ticket and sell it to someone else so they can watch the film after I watched it. Before I've watched it that's fine, because I haven't used it.

:lol: :D Wow - the internet is of course home to the massively flawed argument, but I'm constantly amazed at how people exercise their right to partake of that!
When I go to the flicks I can sit there and watch the film once. If I buy the film on BD/DVD I can watch it as many times as I want, and then sell it if I want to.
Which of those two scenarios do you think buying a computer game is most akin to?

I suspect the Microsoft solution will be simple.. In the DVD box, will be 1 x Game Disc, 1 X Key Code. You go home, you put disc in drive, enter code, it is used.. game is playable. The console requires internet connection to unlock the game, tough luck for anyone who doesn't have a net connection. (Or a telephone unlock system will be in place).

The disc would be worthless 2nd hand, except to replace another damaged disc. A 2nd hand market could still exist, Microsoft could sell "unused" codes to public & to 2nd hand retailers for a lower price. Win for 2nd hand sales, Win for Microsoft.. Just hope the developers see some of that 2nd hand money.

You're talking sense on that part. It's a system they've been moving toward in recent years, and arguably it's an inevitable consequence of DLC.

flalexander  Jan. 26, 2012 at 16:17

Games that are not worth £40, if you cannot afford to buy them on release wait.. I picked up Skyrim for £20 1 month after release. Amazingly prices have a habit of dropping once the OMG MUST PLAY IT TODAY crowd have been and gone. I now feel a bit guilty about getting Skyrim so cheaply. I'm enjoying it much more than SW:TOR which I paid £37 for, What a MUG I was.


I'm not disputing that. I do the same thing. I got Skyrim for £22.50 from gamestation a few weeks after it launched. Same with Saints Row the Third. Rayman Origins cost me £18. And these are just the ones in recent months.
Soul Calibur V is a game i've been looking forward to since SC4 came out. I also love collector's editions. Am i going to spend £70 to OWNall that stuff? No. I'm going to rent the game from LoveFilm, and buy the CE in 2 or 3 months when it costs £20.
And that ties in wonderfully to the next point.
The weird thing is, you never really own the game, people are always confused by this. The game disc is just the delivery medium, what you are really buying is a licence to play the game.

Imagine going to the cinema, the ticket is the medium they give you so you can go watch the film. I cannot take that ticket and sell it to someone else so they can watch the film after I watched it. Before I've watched it that's fine, because I haven't used it.


I Hope you understand how wrong you are here.@Late summed it up perfectly. You WATCH the film once, you BUY the DVD/BR and OWN it for as long as you want.

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