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How the Xbox One will allegedly handle pre-owned game trade-ins

Xbox One Screenshot - Used Games

***Update***

A new report, stemming from a "high-ranking UK industry source, has explained that the consumer won't actually be the one paying the £35 activation fee for a used Xbox One game. Instead, the retailer will be paying the fee, so you will only be forced to pay whatever the retailer is selling it for. Although you can bet that a £35 fee -- which Microsoft is said to still be deciding on -- can result in some pretty pricey used games.

In essence, Microsoft will control the cost of used games because of this fee. If the activation fee -- which will go to both the publisher and Microsoft -- is too high, the retailer won't be able to offer the game for much cheaper. It's unclear if the fee will increase or decrease depending on time, but you can bet that pre-owned games will be a tad bit more expensive then they are now.

Sony's plans for pre-owned games have not fully been explained either, but the source doubts we'll see something similar on the PS4.

***Original Story***

Coming out of Microsoft's Xbox One reveal this week, there's one very big question on gamer's minds: will it support pre-owned game trade-ins? We've heard mixed reports on the issue, Microsoft has attempted to make the point clear that the Xbox One will support pre-owned game trade-ins, in some fashion. Exactly how it will do so remains a mystery, however, as Microsoft has yet to actually explain its system.  The lack of official word could be because the Microsoft has just this week begun to brief key retail partners on on the new system, and retail sources have now begun to shed light on how the new pre-owned market will work with the Xbox One.

MCV has been told that only retailers that have agreed to Microsoft's terms and conditions, and have integrated Microsoft's cloud-based pre-owned system, will be allowed to accept Xbox One trade-ins. Upon trade-in, the game will be wiped from your Xbox account and registered as traded in. As MCV notes, this could explain why your Xbox One has to "check in" to Microsoft's servers every 24 hours -- so that it knows your most recent game library.

The retailer can resell the game for whatever price it likes, but the game's publisher and even Microsoft now get a slice of the resell value. Another report, currently unconfirmed, suggests the retailer's slice will be as little as 10%, a cut that's more in line with what the retailer receives from the sale of a new game and significantly less than what the retailer would receive from selling a pre-owned game. This would effectively destroy the benefits of a pre-owned market for the retailer.

As for the consumer, the unconfirmed report suggests that the activation cost for buying pre-owned games will be £35. It's unclear if this would be in addition to what you buy the pre-owned game for, but current belief is that this is the only price you'd have to pay. This doesn't make much sense to me, though, seeing as how different games resell for different values.

"While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail," Microsoft's Larry Hryb explained earlier this week. "Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios."

If the above scenario is indeed how the next Xbox One will function with the used games market, does this change your opinion on Microsoft's new console?

Matt-liebl-profile
Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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