Earlier today a story popped up on the popular gaming website Edge Magazine that cites "sources with first-hand experience of Microsoft’s next generation console". That, of course, immediately raises red flags, but it has not stopped many news sites and blogs from running with the information contained in the "leak". There is a lot of information in the post, but one particular piece caught big attention and is viral.
That is a claim that "Microsoft’s next console will require an Internet connection in order to function, ruling out a second-hand game market for the platform". If true, that would be a disaster for customers and cause the company a public relations nightmare on a massive scale.
Currently customers, when tiring of a game, have the option to sell or trade it for store credit at multiple game stores around the country and the internet. This is not a black market either, but a legitimate source of revenue for retail outlets like Amazon, Game Stop, Best Buy and more. Not only would such restriction hurt customers but businesses as well.
Trading in albums, CDs, DVDs and games that are no longer wanted is a time-honored tradition. It is a win-win for two people -- the one tired of the content and the one hungry to get it and looking for a deal. The practice is a source of entertainment for students who in many cases cannot afford the much higher price of buying new.
Of course we have absolutely no way of knowing if any of this is true. For now it remains in the wait-and-see category. However, if Microsoft chooses to implement the plan then here are two things I expect.
1. The company feels pressured by gaming studios that, like the MPAA and RIAA, live in fear of losing revenue to piracy or, in this case, two people being able to play one copy of a game. This is a bit ridiculous given that piracy will continue to take place and my friends can still stop by to play Call of Duty.
2. Microsoft will face a full-fledged revolt. And that uprising will not come from just its customers but also from retailers that profit from this market.
Let me stress one more time that we really do not know if this development will come to pass, but if it turns out to be true then it would likely be a nightmare for Microsoft, retailers and customers alike. Only time will tell.
BetaNews rarely jumps on rumor stories, but understands such restriction would affect many of our readers, who by voicing their opinions now could change Microsoft's plans (if there are any).