Rumor has it that the next-generation Microsoft console – the successor to the Xbox 360 – won’t play used games. Am I the only one who finds this completely out of fucking line?
I really don’t understand this move on the part of the game publishing industry. Well, I do – they’re obviously upset at outfits like GameStop buying a game off someone for $15 in store credit and then re-selling it used for $55, especially since the publishers and developers don’t see a single penny of that money. Well, boo fucking hoo – does GM get your money when you buy a used Chevy Blazer from your Uncle Maurice down the block? Does Random House get a kickback when you buy a used copy of How to Succeed at Fellatio Without Really Trying from HalfPriceSexBooks.com? No, and if anyone besides the video game industry even tried to do it there’d be god damned riots.
Game publishers obviously have a very low opinion of their customer base, especially if they’re going to honestly institute such an ass-backwards bit of technology in order to safeguard their profits from used game resellers like GameStop. Their attempts to protect their revenue streams are almost certain to backfire, especially if they persist in pricing their games at the $60-or-higher price point, as many people in the current economy simply lack the ability to purchase brand new games at launch. Thrifty gamers buy used whenever they can in order to save money if it’s practical, but taking that choice away from cash-strapped people isn’t going to push them towards buying a new game at full price; instead they’ll simply wait for the price to drop, which will slow sales figures to a crawl and most likely lead to the collapse of the gaming industry – and will almost certainly spell the end for GameStop and any other storefronts that act more or less like video game pawn shops.
The problem is that when you buy any type of software nowadays – whether it be for a PC or for a game console – most of the time you’re simply buying a license to use the game. The physical media is actually worthless, as you’re technically getting it for free; instead it’s the license that you’re actually putting money towards, and you’re accepting the terms of the license by running the game, whether from a physical copy or from a digitally downloaded source. Most game licenses are indeed transferable, which means you have the legal right to give it to someone else in exchange for some sort of compensation (also known as he gas, grass, or ass rule ), physically barring consumers from transferring their game licenses in the future is going to create a massive legal problem; I can only hope that someone sues the motherfucking pants off of any console developer that puts these stupid restrictions in place. In fact, this has already started, considering how there was a recent EU ruling that gives Europeans the right to resell their license for any digitally download game.
I highly doubt that I’ll be buying an Xbox 720 or whatever the fuck it’s going to be called if Microsoft decides to go forward with this anti-used game feature. Maybe if the game industry wouldn’t keep trying to sell me products with 5 hours of game play for $60 a pop it would be a different story, but I don’t have the patience for this bullshit any longer – especially when I have an untold number of gaming console generations that I can turn to for my own entertainment needs and desires.