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Xbox One Will Require Mandatory Game Install, Used Games May Require Fee To Play

Matt Gardner
DRM, Microsoft, Pre-owned games, Used games, Xbox One

Xbox One Will Require Mandatory Game Install, Used Games May Require Fee To Play

Right, let's get what we know out of the way right now: it will be mandatory to install all Xbox One games to the console's hard drive before those games can be played.

It is unknown at this point, however, exactly how this will affect any sort of pre-owned game use, although a fresh report suggests that players will have to pay a fee if they want to use a disc with a second account.

A report from Wired earlier today quoted a statement issued by Microsoft has explaining that all games will require installation on the Xbox One's hard drive, after which they can be played disc-free:

"On the new Xbox, all game discs are installed to the HDD to play,” the company said in an email.

According to Wired's Chris Kohler, "Microsoft did say that if a disc was used with a second account, that owner would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc, which would then mean that the new account would also own the game and could play it without the disc."

Microsoft are remaining tight-lipped on the exact nature of the console, and Kohler's piece blurs conjecture and fact rather significantly. However, Microsoft have at least issued a statement, vaguely expressing support for continuing to allow gamers to trade and resell games:

"We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later."

Neither confirmation nor denial. Indeed, tonight event appears to have left us with many of the same questions we had hoped it would answer.

Moreover, given that the European Court recently ruled that digital items were fair game for resale, should Kohler's report be accurate, that could potentially lead to a few legal difficulties for Microsoft's new console on this side of the pond.

More as we know it.

Add a comment7 comments
titch2608  May. 21, 2013 at 21:04

This is what I was dreading really. Why should people be forced to pay a fee to play a game that they have already purchased pre-owned. So lets say a family has two children both with a new xbox each, the parents are going to have to fork out for either two copies of the game or one then pay extra just so both children can play the same game that has been purchased. I also hope that Microsoft do run into some legal issues regarding digital resale as regardless whether an item is physical or virtual the owner should be allowed the means of reselling that item since they had previously purchased it. This is also going to screw over major game retailers as people could in theory just purchase a pre-owned game, pay the fee and then re-trade that game in. Depending on the cost of both the fee and the actual game people could end up saving money by just buying the game, installing then selling on.

lukekey  May. 22, 2013 at 08:12

If it was a small charge it would be easier than buying 2 or even 3 copies of the games...I don't like it but if it makes it easier and cheaper that would be great for myself and my two boys, unlikely but I can dream.

DivideByZero  May. 22, 2013 at 09:35

I wonder who gets the fee... seeing as it's the developers who are really suffering the most here.

They spend loads making a game, then have to pay MS to release it on Xbox... then MS will take a chunk of the "resale" money... I wonder who this will really help.

Tsung  May. 22, 2013 at 10:36


Major Nelson confirmed you will be able to trade in / Resell your games at Retail. I suspect how it will work is as follows.

You take your used game into an authorised reseller store. They will check the disc is ok, and have a terminal / method of de-registering the game against your account. Once un-registered your xbox will ensure the game has been removed and thus that game will then be available to purchase again.

Rose tinted specs time ... Good news for everybody, you can trade your games in, the shop can sell the game on, Microsoft can charge for de-register service which can go towards developer costs and keeping servers alive.

Reality Specs Time ... The de-register service will be chargeable, that charge will be passed onto the Seller (lower prices offered) and the buyer (2nd hand titles close to RRP). Microsoft might decide to have different charges depending on titles (so new releases will cost more to de-register). The customers wont have the ability to sell the games privately without the dreaded 2nd hand fee.

It's a brillant system, faultless. Games wont need to be put into the console to play if you have an internet connection. If you haven't got one, you will need the disc.

DivideByZero  May. 22, 2013 at 11:30

If that is right, then that would be alright.

A happy balance between current 2nd hand games and Steam (which locks games to your account forever).

But it is very important where this extra money goes. Some if not all needs to make its way back to the developers so that by buying a 2nd hand game, you are still investing in the future of the franchise.

sdutton007  May. 23, 2013 at 10:29

What an absolute joke. As much as I prefer the 360 over the PS3, this behaviour is abhorrent and I would much rather get a PS4 than give money to a company that treats its customers this badly.

When you buy a game/movie/album, it is YOURS TO KEEP. It is NOT a rental, and once you no longer want it, you have the right to sell it on. Microsoft are clearly breaching this right with these tactics - the EU court have said pre-owned sales are a legitimate business, but Microsoft have decided to give them the finger and rip customers off instead.

I've already got about four Xbox Ones - the 'new' name is completely stupid. I can't wait for Windows 1. Maybe Apple could release an iPhone 1 aswell?

Last edited by sdutton007, May. 23, 2013 at 10:32
sdutton007  May. 23, 2013 at 11:26

Oh, and the pathetic little 500GB hard drive - how many Blu-Ray games will this be able to hold? As few as 8 or 9!

Yes, you can add an external hard drive but this will be far slower, increasing load and install times.

Unless Microsoft change their mind and make massive changes, the Xbox One will lose the next generation console war by a long way!

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