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Microsoft’s Xbox 720 Could Block Pre-Owned Games – Trade-in Market to Suffer

The pre-owned games market could take a kill shot if plans to bring a second-hand blocking system to Microsoft’s next Xbox, currently referred to as “Xbox 720”.

This would be one of the first steps towards phasing out disc-based games, introducing digital-only content and would reinvent the gaming market. But this would come at much to the trouble to our high street trade-in stores, who would soon be out of a business niche. Developers however are enjoying the proposal, with Red Faction: Armageddon designer Jameson Durall, speaking from his blog, saying he believes the idea would offer a “fantastic change for our business” and that “even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first… they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them.”

He believes every “physical” game would require a kind of registry key which would lock any use on another Xbox console, but allowing other gamers who use the same console to play the game. This would not only stop second-hand sales but also prevent gamers sharing their enjoyment of certain titles with their pals.

This, and players not wanting to pay full whack for a game they may not like, are a few faults in the current idea that Durall refers to on the other hand. Going on to mention the possibility of a Microsoft-owned rental service, he says “I could see Microsoft implementing their own rental service which would maybe give them a code that activates the game for X days and they are charged a small amount.”

This backing by the games makers themselves will come as foreboding news for UK retailers such as GAME, which itself is still suffering a post-Christmas sales low, and making up a percentage of its profits from the trade-in and resale market.

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