news\ Mar 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Xbox 720 'unlikely' to have anti-used game tech

The back and forth argument over used games continues as GameStop executives said Microsoft's alleged move to eliminate the playing of used games on the Xbox 720 is "unlikely".

You may recall, back in January, when Kotaku reported that sources said Microsoft's next Xbox console (aka Xbox 720 or Xbox Durango) would not only play Blu-ray discs, but that it would also contain some sort of tech that would prevent used games from being played, though no specifics were mentioned.

"We think it's unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn't been proven to work," said GameStop CEO Paul Raines during an investor call today. "Remember, used video games have a residual value. Remember GameStop generates $1.2 billion of trade credits around the world with our used game model. So, consider taking used games out of that, you'd have to find new ways to sell the games."

"And, our partners are good partners," he added. "The console companies have great relationships with us."

Specifically, Microsoft, who Raines claimed they have highest market position with.  According to him the two talk almost "every day" - so you'd think they'd be aware of any such next-gen Xbox being made.

"This is the kind of news that gets out in the industry and gets people worked up and hyper-ventilating and excited," Raines added.

"The pre-owned business is not a cannibalistic business," Raines said. "If you follow the popular conventional wisdom, you would think pre-owned is replacing new. The truth is, pre-owned is an opening price-point category. The average price is $18. A lot of it is old generation. What it is, is a category for the customer who's maybe not ready to invest in a new game, but wants to get into the console business and console entertainment."

"What we've done is create a way for that new leading edge consumer to dispose of their old games, and that's what creates this great circle of life we talk about that so many try to imitate. That's how we see it."

GameStop pointed out that the majority of the $1.2 billion trade credit generated, most went back into purchasing a video game.  GameStop said that for many gamers, this made buying games more affordable.

Industry leaders have begun to speak about the controversial issue.  Volition developer Jameson Durall voiced his approval of the rumored technology saying it would be a "fantastic change" for the gaming industry if the next Xbox preventing pre-owned games from playing.  Others, like Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch, have said such an idea would be wrong and suggested an alternative model.


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