Microsoft: We understand the importance of used games

Publisher says supporting secondhand titles on Xbox One was a fundamental design criteria.

by

Speaking with GameSpot at the Xbox One reveal event, executive Phil Spencer said Microsoft understands the importance of the secondhand market in the overall console ecosystem.

He declined to go into specifics regarding how used games will be supported on the Xbox One, but did make clear that the secondhand market "is a design criteria" for the next-gen Xbox.

"So we'll talk about some of the 'how' at a later date, but I will say that we understand the importance of the secondary market," Spencer said. "The secondary market was important in the current generation. We designed Xbox One understanding secondary market would be important in the new generation as well. We'll share more details, but people should know that it is a design criteria for us on the new box."

Microsoft told Wired yesterday that the Xbox One will require secondhand users pay a fee to play used games. This fee has not been specified and Microsoft's official stance is that the platform has been designed "to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail."

More from GameSpot's conversation with Spencer will be published later today. This interview was conducted by GameSpot executive editor Justin Calvert during the Xbox One announcement event in Redmond, Washington yesterday.

Discussion

1755 comments
tomservo51
tomservo51

Microsoft: We realize the used game marking is making lots of money and we want in the action. Oops, we told the truth.

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

"...which is why we're devoting so much effort to erradicate them."


There. Finished the headline.

mjswooosh
mjswooosh

"We understand the importance of used games so well that we are willing to let you pay full retail price for each and every one. You're welcome." - Microsoft Entertainment Devices Division

Da fuq?

SeannTHEsheep
SeannTHEsheep

i have an important question.  if a second hand game doesnt work out the box what is it going to cost us to buy the second hand game from the shop?  and secondly if i want to sell my game knowing it wont work out of the box now that ive played it how much will the shop pay me for it knowing it doesnt work straight away untill its reactivated with another customers account via fee.  also if the game is scratched will i be charged a fee to repair it back to a non working quality before being resold as a non working second hand game that needs reactivating before it will install on a new users xbox one.  also if i buy the game second hand and its scratched and i pay the fee to reactivate it so i can install it but then it it doesnt boot up or sticks can i return it to shop for a refund and can i get a refund on the fee i paid to activate my faulty second hand product?

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

This might turn out to be the only sector where a used product costs more than a brand new product.

DeltaMike90
DeltaMike90

MS: "We understand the importance of used games... that's why they must be DESTROYED!!! MWAHAHAHAHAAA!!!"

jefferson1964
jefferson1964

Pay a fee to play used games? has MSFT lost it mind....see i think MSFT will support the 360 for a few years then pull the plug like it did on the first xbox.  Thus forcing a consumer to make a decision go with Xbox One or stay with a stand alone non-connection xbox.  So all those downloaded games you payed for like I did will not work, what a waste of $$$.  The other scenerio is it will give time for msft to gauge the consumer uptake of xbox one and change accordingly.  But in no way am i buying a used game and pay a fee to play, thus that means that you MUST be connected to the internet because if your not then you cannot play your game, USED or NEW....

Lamesy
Lamesy

It being a "design criteria" is exactly the problem. It shouldn't be designed around. The console wouldn't know who bought the disc if they didn't specifically design it to do so.

jcr8
jcr8

Microsoft is "supporting" used games? How, by implementing a tax on them? Lying scammers.

COPMAN221ISBACK
COPMAN221ISBACK

Boy this is getting more and more comical each day. Not even the biggest fanboy can defend this bullshit... SMH.. I love gaming and have every system known to man but Microcrap can take their Failboxone and shove it where the sun don't shine because you have to be a complete idiot to buy their POS system..

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

As a surgeon, I understand the importance of anesthesia which is why I switched to using liquor and a ball gag.

TheEveryMan
TheEveryMan

After reviewing their plans for the upcoming Xbox One, they clearly don't.

Barazon
Barazon

Huh, I guess that's business-speak, where "supporting" means "making money off of" instead of just "doing nothing and letting it happen, like everyone in the console industry has done up until now".

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

They're well aware of the used games market alright.. and they want a slice of the pie.

Selling your games directly back to Microsoft online?  A fairly genius idea, it cuts out the retailers.  If the developers don't get a cut though then this will only be bad news for the gaming market.

The 500GB hard drive also intrigues me as well (bearing in mind not all of it is actually available to use).  If you're installing every game you're soon going to run out of space, yes you may be able to un-install them again.. but i'm sensing a business strategy encouraging you to sell your old games back when you run out of space.

It's all clever thinking more than anything, but crippling for life-long gamers with huge collections.

franzito
franzito

Why I'm not surprised with this bad start of the "long awaited" next gen? Why I feel that some people will start making excuses and embracing it?

JRLennis
JRLennis

The lack of specifics at this venture is telling.  The system is now officially REVEALED, and yet the very important question of secondhand gaming has not been addressed in a meaningful way.  Why wouldn't Microsoft be ready to answer this question?  Reveals are supposed to mean something, you know?

tightwad34
tightwad34

Sure you may understand some things MS. But the main thing you understand is $$.

JIMDOG4442002
JIMDOG4442002

Hmmm.. Seems like they want to drain more money out of us.

FordFairlane
FordFairlane

I'm not totally letting Sony off the hook yet because in this coming generation saying a console CAN (is capable) of playing used games is far from saying it is a hassle-free experience. On the whole, if you need a special press conference to explain your used games strategy, that doesn't sound good for your consumers.

Also, if Sony doesn't follow MS, doesn't Gamestop become full-on PS4 cheerleaders? If one company has declared war on your business and the other is letting you be, who's going to get all of the love from retail?

I do see a couple of ways that this could be good for gamers. Say you take your game to your friends house, he likes it and wants to buy it. He pays the fee and installs the game from your disk and he owns it right then and there. No going to the store or waiting for Amazon to send it there. It might not be a terrible idea to give the account that purchased the game new an XBox Live credit for basically making a sale.

Also a game exchange where you sell your games for more than you'd get at trade-in and the buyer pays less than they would for a used game at retail could be a winner. This has been in place for textbooks forever.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

"Publisher says supporting secondhand titles on Xbox One was a fundamental design criteria."

Maybe growing up in the U.S. has impaired my English (well, more than living in the U.S. already does), but wouldn't you have to go out of your way to  make playing secondhand games a "design" issue? I mean, I've never had a problem playing used games before, and I started gaming with an Atari 2600 and a Commodore 64.

And yes, I know what they were trying to say, but don't act like you're doing me a favor by working out a "problem" you created in the first place.

JayQproductions
JayQproductions

They are going to basically have a digital version of Gamestop where you can buy/sell/trade your license for a game to and from Microsoft and/or another person. They will still give you a form of used games and trade ins but digital and one that they control instead of Gamestop.

nuclearV2mssile
nuclearV2mssile

Microsoft: We understand the importance of used games

No you don't.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Look I buy loads of used games but I never thought it would continue to go on as long as it has with the digital age now here in full force.  I count myself lucky that there is even the chance of being able to get used games.  If every company goes the route where we can't buy used in the not so distant future and it stops piracy I can understand them doing this and yeah it will make things harder on my wallet if I want to buy games possibly but these companies have a right to do what they want so I would deal with it.  

ZOD777
ZOD777

Guess what?  You don't have to design around used or 2nd hand optical drive discs being accepted or not.  They are either read by the drive, or they aren't.  Blu Ray drives aren't specifically designed to accept movies from Netflix because they go through so many hands and devices, they just read the damn discs.  So, to say something like "people should know that it is a design criteria for us on the new box", clearly indicates that there is some sort of recognition system, be it game keys, or some other way of determining the difference between new or old discs to the consumer.  Buyer beware, they are already warning you now, while making it sound like they are on your side regarding second hand software.  Just remember, the Kinect is going to be spying on you too.

FULGOREY2K
FULGOREY2K

yeah, the used games matter, they get more income when players pay to be able to access the game again 

suddenkiller
suddenkiller

I'm thinking the used game retailers or gamefly are going to give you a redeemer code. much like what we use today. you know saying that this person has the authority to install this used game on his console. Something along those lines. 

I think what Microsoft is trying to kill, and not tell us, is say your buddy buys a game, finishes  playing it and then gives it to you. Cutting out the resale and lost revenue. 

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

Here are my problems with all of this.

1.  If used games are hurting the industry so ****ing much, then how the hell are they still making all of the money that they are making?  if used games were hurting the industry THAT badly then we'd be hearing about companies going out of business on a daily basis.  Instead, I keep hearing about how the games industry is making more money than Hollywood these days.  Something doesn't add up...

2. Gamestop is the primary 'offender' in the used games market, so again, if the industry is hurting that badly, then why not sanction Gamestop?  I don't know what could be done, but I'd rather the industry go after that pathetic POS company than us, the gamers.   Make THEM suffer for it, not us.

3. Make better games.  I rent certain games because I can't trust their quality.  I don't know if a game like Madden is going to be worth buying from year to year, so I rent it first.  I also rent certain other games to see if I'll like them before I buy them.  If EVERYBODY put AAA effort into EVERY game, then I wouldn't have to worry as much about the quality of a game, which means I'd have more confidence about buying games new, which means used games would be less of an issue.  Instead, I now find myself not even being able to trust the companies that I used to trust most.  There was a time when I would have bought anything with a Bioware logo on it, but now that trust is gone, and I'll be renting before I buy, or buying used outright.  I didn't make that happen, they did.  Fix it.

caketoo
caketoo

Its very important. Very important that they can make money off it.

jcfra420
jcfra420

@jefferson1964 Pretty sure you all ready have to pay a fee for used games in regards to multiplayer. I think either the COD or BF3 franchise makes you pay a registration fee if you buy a used copy before playing multiplayer on it. 

And this is more the gaming developers that are pushing this on MS. They don't like losing all that money from the used game market. So they more then likely strong armed the hardware makers (IE MS and Sony) in regards to their new generations.

Although I have my issues with the One, this isn't one of them. But I am STILL not purchasing it and letting MS play Big Brother while I am playing.

inthepastxx
inthepastxx

@COPMAN221ISBACK Even though I will own both systems, I'm shacking my head to this connection thing.  I live in an area where my internet service is good one day and will be so bad I'm screwed for 4-5 days sometimes, by not being able to connect anything.

Like most are saying as well the xbox is so young they never had that downfall sony and nintendo had.  By that I mean huge mistakes in system design.  This is starting, to seem like Their mistake and screw up, lets hope they learn from this.

SeannTHEsheep
SeannTHEsheep

@warhawk-geebyi have an important question.  if a second hand game doesnt work out the box what is it going to cost us to buy the second hand game from the shop?  and secondly if i want to sell my game knowing it wont work out of the box now that ive played it how much will the shop pay me for it knowing it doesnt work straight away untill its reactivated with another customers account via fee.  also if the game is scratched will i be charged a fee to repair it back to a non working quality before being resold as a non working second hand game that needs reactivating before it will install on a new users xbox one.  also if i buy the game second hand and its scratched and i pay the fee to reactivate it so i can install it but then it it doesnt boot up or sticks can i return it to shop for a refund and can i get a refund on the fee i paid to activate my faulty second hand product?

vahythelord1
vahythelord1

@FallenOneX

 this is the sweetest comment i heard...tanx fallen..i defntly support ps4 cos sony support me with free psn and passing used games 's problem(not for us) to the developers

green_scorpion
green_scorpion

@DeViLzzz How exactly would blocking used games stop piracy?  That would only encourage piracy, as far as I can tell.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@aldronlin Heh..

"Another source speaking to Eurogamer suggested that a Sony patent uncovered in January, which would register software to one machine, and one machine only, never had anything to do with PlayStation 4 in the first place."

That just screams to me an incredibly brilliant bluff by Sony to Microsoft.  They act like they're going to and then don't.  Unless something more gets announced at E3 obviously...

wizemanschaos
wizemanschaos

@kungfuj0 Recently actually a few small developers have gone out of business while I do doubt it is all attributed to use game sales consider that developers only ever get paid once when a game is bought no matter how many people play that one disc. This is troublesome because people who would have otherwise bought a new copy of the game decided to buy used and didn't support the studio at all with its money, all the profits went to gamestop.

Charging a fee ultimately hurts gamestop because they are now forced to either lower the price of their ludicrously priced use games (seriously just 5 dollars under a new game is nothing) or they will have to make a deal with the Studios or publishers to be able to provide an activation pass at the time of purchase. 

Atleast this way developers will see some profit when it comes to used games and help provide funds for new projects. If you really want to become optimistic, we may even see a price drop back to 50 dollars.

Ultimately the only way this hurts us if we stand for the price gouging brought to us by our friendly neighborhood gamestop. Best thing to do is be an informed gamer, in all honesty spending 5 bucks on a rental is too much for me to put into sometimes.

INF1DEL
INF1DEL

@kungfuj0 As much as I hate Gamestop, attacking the middleman won't accomplish anything. If you kill them more will rise to take their place.

racerxgundam
racerxgundam

@kungfuj0 if you really do leave it up to publishers/developers not all would go batshit crazy against the resale market. 

Sure bigtime American companies....EA for instance...sure they would do anything in their power to kill that market

Japanese companies...that REALLY depend on fan loyalty in region 4 (japan) to a greater extent, prolly let it slide..or find a way to charge as low a fee as possible. i can't see any way Square would do this. Literally their fans would crucify them.

It would be suicidal for one of them to do what is proposed. I wouldn't be surprised if they skip the shoebox

Oh and btw....we all know this won't go over here. The shoebox will be the most monumental tank worldwide. M$ greatly overestimates worldwide internet connections. 


> wii u

DrHyde
DrHyde

@farcorners I wonder about this too, farcorners. I've always wondered about the pissy comments about used games when I was certain they were covered under First Sale. Though you are paying for the license to play the game, not the delivery method I suppose. We'll know when the first lawsuit hits.

jefferson1964
jefferson1964

@jcfra420 @jefferson1964 maybe so, I do recall my buddy loaning me battlefield 3 and had to pay a fee to play multiplayer since I did not have a code.   We will see how it plays out, im content with my 360 and ps3 for now, just do not like the thought of being nickel and dimed and watched over by a console.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

@green_scorpion @DeViLzzz I never said it would stop piracy.  I just said I would understand why they would try certain measures and deal with it.

JesperJotun
JesperJotun

@wizemanschaos THANK YOU! I have been saying this for months now and I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets it. I'm also glad you wrote your comment in a completely non-invasive or insulting way. Congrats.

wizemanschaos
wizemanschaos

@INF1DEL @kungfuj0 I doubt more people would rise to take over an idea that is being faded out. Consider blockbuster as an example, remember we are talking business and not bugs.