So, I recall when a topic like this came out for the PS3 a long time ago, about how they were trying to patent some new technology that would prevent gamers from using a ‘used’ disc on another PS3 system to combat the used game marker. I am surprised I have seen little/no references to this yet amidst the other topics about the next Xbox and whether or not it will support used games. Now, nothing came of that Sony rumor, just as a lot of times that kind of speculation never comes to fruition when pertaining to upcoming game consoles.
That said? A very similar rumor has come up again – this time for the next generation of Xbox 360. IGN posted about it here.
I love gaming – and I have been playing them for longer than most people. I get very excited when I read reports that the next Xbox will be 6 times more powerful graphically than the current generation model. But this sort of thing is a deal killer for me if it comes to pass. A lot of people believe that digital distribution of games is the future, and it might be – but it’s not the immediate future. There’s too many problems with that distribution model (not everyone has blazing internet speeds, and as games continue to age, they also grow in size. Compare the 10 gb downloads we have for a game now to what game sizes were a generation or two ago. If rumor is true that the next Xbox will support Bluray the way the PlayStation does, that means that games could be quite substantial in size. Not only will the hardware have to compensate for these potentially 15-45 gb games, but think about our bandwidth limits. I have one ISP provider in my area, and they limit our household to 200gbs per month, and we flirt with that monthly now.
Digital at this point is an option, it’s not however the only method of distributing games.
So that leaves us with discs still, which has value because people like to borrow games from friends. They like to go over to a friend’s house with some games to play. My house has two Xbox 360’s. Would my games work on both with this model? Under the current 360 model this is a real problem because I can play titles on both systems – but my wife and kids can’t. If the title is associated to the person’s gamertag does that mean other people on the same system in the same household can’t play it?
Of course, this leaves more questions than answers, and in fairness it is all speculation for gaming sites and blogs.
Of course, Microsoft wants people talking about their upcoming console – buzz is generally a good thing and it helps pique interest. That said? This is potentially very damaging for Microsoft, and when the PS3 rumors came out several years ago, Sony was pretty quick to respond that the rumors were false. I really dislike the online passes and other codes that game companies use to try and get people to buy their games new, but at least used is still an option and it then falls on the gamer to decide the value of the code materials. This is something more, something much more potentially damaging to the market I think. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft speaks up quickly about this topic or not as Sony did a few years ago. If not, it’s only going to add fuel to the fire.