Lately there were some posts on the next PlayStation not accepting used games. This has also been said about the next generation of Xbox. These rumors have come up recently as the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft start getting closer to announcement, although both companies have confirmed no announcement at E3 this year. These rumors come up every time someone new says something new about any new console.
As far as blocking used games goes there was also a report (or dumb rumors, here is a link to this source in question, Kotaku) saying that there will be no backwards compatibility for the PS3 library on the next Sony console.
We here at NAPS took into consideration what it would like with out used games. Firstly, games (and games saves for that matter) would have to be linked to your Xbox live or PSN account and you would need to be online as in the PC environment. Secondly, there would need to be a way to block games when a second or even third person tries to play the game, this is where is gets tricky as there would need to be a complete network block or the feeble “online pass” technique that is employed when the link to accounts are not matched up. The article also talks about having on disc blocks, such as limiting the used game buyer to part of the game or have the game not play at all unless a fee was paid to the developers. The easiest way to do this would make the games download only, but the problem with that is that lots of people have bandwidth caps and/or slow internet and don’t want to wait 2 days for a 16gb game to download (most of the games aren’t that big, but this article is about games of future consoles and sounded reasonable).
Yes, it does hurt the companies that make the games when people buy and sell their games used, and probably raises the prices of games over time. However, companies might want to take into account what their game is actually worth.
Most games that come out for the current consoles are priced at 59.99, a lot of people cant afford every time a new game that looks good comes out, when in reality its not all that great of a game or is very short (a lot of games are around 10 hours of gameplay unless it’s got some decent online).
Games that have a smaller story or are more focused on the online aspect might not need to be priced so high to begin with. On a more positive side, we also need to take in to consideration that if the console makers put a fee on buying the games used, then retailers such as GameStop my sell the games for even cheaper, which could encourage players to buy it used while still giving some revenues to the developers. However this is only effective if the game has been around a while and is already lower in price. For example, if you go buy Mass Effect 3 used right now then its only going to be a few dollars less then new, so the new copy would just be bought anyways cause a fee on top of that would make a used copy more expensive then a new copy.
So do we here at NAPS think that the consoles of the future will block used games? The Answer would be no, in the end we believe that when you buy a new game you are not just buying a “limited license” of sorts but are buying the game itself, entitling you to do as you please with it as long as it doesn’t hinder other peoples gaming experiences. Blocking used games would also significantly shrink the gaming community, further pushing people towards mobile gaming on their phones or casual games on web or something just like what happened when big companies stopped buying your used PC games. Also if game developers put more time and effort and made games that were awesome then the issues of used games would not be so great because people wouldn’t care to buy a new copy. You don’t hear much from game companies with great games complaining about it often do you? Companies like Rockstar I don’t see complain as often or at all about this because they take the time to make games the masses will enjoy (yes this is a debatable point, but in the end the total sales are the point being made, and games like grand theft auto sell like pancakes)
We also don’t believe the reports that say there wont be backwards compatibility in later consoles. We can see from the early PS3 systems, they were highly priced and sold slowly, after that the slimed them down and took out the ps2 compatibility and the consoles still sold very slowly. I personally have a hard time believing that it would be that hard to have similar hardware (though Sony wont be using cell based CPU’s in the next PlayStation. Also all the recent Sony consoles have (ps3 and vita that is) have had some sort of backwards play. It doesn’t make sense to me, that after 7 years of games piled up in peoples library, that they still play, then coming out with a console that wont play them does not provide a motivation to actually get the console. Naturally after a few years when console prices go down and start picking up in sales then the backwards compatibility would work its way out, but at launch it is a selling point to the ability to play older games.
When it is all said and done these are just rumors and probably shouldn’t be taken seriously. Especially when speculation is everywhere and could comefrom a place that has no idea what they are talking about. Until you have confirmations from the companies making the consoles then your assumptions are just as good as anyone’s. So I think I will start a new rumor of my own, DreamCast 2 anybody? Yep, that starts here.