Xbox 720 could block used software, says Eidos president

Microsoft's next Xbox will require an always-on Internet connection and block preowned software, says Ian Livingstone.

Industry veteran and Eidos life president Ian Livingstone has said Microsoft's next Xbox could block preowned games and require an active Internet connection.

Speaking to MCV India, Livingstone said the next-gen consoles weren't prepared to go towards a digital-only method of distributing games. "The next iteration of consoles--the PS4 and the next Xbox--have got optical disc drives even though they probably don't want to have them," said Livingstone. "Broadband speed globally isn't at a level that justifies digital-only."

As part of its PlayStation 4 unveiling last week, Sony confirmed that its next-gen console wasn't going to block preowned software. Microsoft, on the other hand, has "gone halfway" between physical and digital distribution with the new Xbox, blocking preowned in the process according to Livingstone.

"With the next Xbox, you supposedly have to have an Internet connection, and the discs are watermarked, whereby once played on one console it won't play on another," said Livingstone.

Over the weekend, an events management company which has previously worked with Microsoft registered the domain XboxEvent.com, causing many to speculate that Microsoft will shortly announce its next Xbox. Earlier this month, UK gaming magazine Edge also said the new Xbox would block preowned software.

Ruminating on the future, Livingstone said that he thinks the "generation after" the PlayStation 4 and new Xbox will be digital-only.

Microsoft declined to comment when approached by GameSpot.

For the latest on Microsoft's next-generation Xbox, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

975 comments
Lord_OfThe_Sith
Lord_OfThe_Sith

When the Xbox 360 was about to come out the rumors swirled that games would only work once and be attached permanently to the first console they were installed to via a key or the like.  They said games would also be $100.00 for basic games and special editions would go all they way up to $500.00.  We can see how much of this has come true.  Yes, MS is in business to make money.  However, they are not going to cut off their nose to spite their face.  MS knows we live in a world that cheaper is better and if you have something I want you need to give it to me because I deserve it as much as you do.  I do not know how well they are doing with the Season Pass but I am sure this is something they are using to assist them in gauging an always on box with a subscription based setup.  I have more than 50 Xbox 360 games, I am considered an average consumer.  If Xbox does all of the weird things they are being accused of I will take my money to Sony.  While we can expect A LOT of surprises this year from MS, I can honestly say I believe they will be the pleasant kind. 

XAF1
XAF1

If MS goes this route I think the 3rd Xbox will be a strikeout this round instead of a win. To be honest, I think that it needs to be straight-up about it, no need to alienate its consumer's trust.  There is always a trend with console makers---they usually do things right once or twice and screw up some way the third round. I think it's a rule in the console business to do so. I don't care for having to have my console always online to play a single player game---especially if I'm traveling somewhere that I won't have that privilege. As far as the next generation after the PS4 and what ever the next Xbox will be called I don't think they will be consoles at all but just set top PC boxes marketed to consumers with brand names.  I really think that this will be the end of true consoles as we know them after this coming generation. I can't really blame MS or Sony for trying to please developers/publishers but I also can't blame consumers for just walking away either. It may not happen all at once but it will gradually happen if this is true.

Defender1978
Defender1978

Looks like I am going to be saving a lot of money on games and consoles for the next 5-7 years.  Already opted out of the Wii U and PS4.  Doesn't look like Xbox will get my dollars either.

AceCometh
AceCometh

Don't get your panties in a wad. The guy said Microsoft "COULD" block used games. We won't know for sure until it's unveiling. Which will hopefully include a glimpse at the actual hardware......

xuchilbara23
xuchilbara23

and what if the console dies? you have to buy everything again? f*ck you microsoft

quantumtheo
quantumtheo

So, we have to have a kinect so they can see how many ppl are in the room, we have to pay a yearly sub fee, we can't play used, rented or friends games, and if a friend wants to play one of my games or watch one of my videos they will have to pay as well..... This is F'd, and it looks like I won't be buying any new consoles... This last decade I've slowly turned from a console to a PC gamer, and all the more glad for it! :)

ApocaLeepse
ApocaLeepse

Looks like Sony have the advantage now. Although I am sure that most retailers would refuse to even sell a console that blocks used games, since used games is where they get a lot of their profits from. If this rumour is true, then it is a terrible, terrible idea that will royally screw the gaming industry and gamers in the long run.

CaptainGamespot
CaptainGamespot

I hope they don't, but it wouldn't surprise me if 720 blocks used games.

Nekator
Nekator

oh well.. will save me some money, ok with me.

ceromaster
ceromaster

I'm amazed how incredibly stupid some pple are for believing in a RUMOR

moodyfoo
moodyfoo

instead of blocking used software they should find better ways to fight back piracy which is waaay  more damaging to the industry then used software

ceromaster
ceromaster

First of all...I doubt the Nextbox will block used games, but if it does then..oh well

I'm still buying :)

Double-Ego
Double-Ego

The name will be "Xbox Infinite" and not ''Xbox 720''.

We will see the number 3(as it is the third xbox) slowly changing into the number 8.

The number 8 stands for eternity/infinity as it has the same principle as a circle.

Write down a 3 on a piece of paper and see how easy it is to turn into an 8 ;).

Wesleypipes777
Wesleypipes777

If this is true then thanks for deciding which next gen system I will, and will not be purchasing ahead of time for me. Much appreciated.

kmkaks
kmkaks

Fuck MS because we people in india are subject to frequent internet connectivity issues!!! This is unbelievable so i wont be able to play destiny

tightwad34
tightwad34

MS cannot be this stupid. If we all know they will go in the shitter(OK not MS as a whole, but their console market) if they do this, they have to know it too. If they do go ahead with this then Sony has pretty much sowed this thing up. Also, remember we heard about both MS and Sony blocking used games and the uproar that followed may have influenced Sony to go the other route if those stupid rumors were true. MS hasn't made billions by being idiots.

twentymooseman
twentymooseman

If this is true, microsoft is not just shooting themselves in the foot; they are shooting themselves in the foot with an elephant gun, bending over and saying to sony, "eh, just fuck it". If xbox 720 requires an internet connection and blocks used games, I am definitely buying a PS4. It wouldn't matter if they put out the best exclusives or had hardware that outperformed ps4 ten fold, blocking used games not only creates social stratification in the gaming community, it kills our best way of preserving games as an art form and showing them to other people. You basically shut out everyone who can't afford a brand new game and then you give your games a limited lifespan by only allowing them to be played on one console. It's almost as bad as film studios destroying reels to make room in their vaults the way they did in the 30s. Whatever major hits and extremely innovative games are released on xbox as exclusives will be lost because no one will be able to play them past a generation. We may very well lose a masterpiece because of Microsofts' greed and ignorance. Fuck them, this is total bull shit. If it's true, that is.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Cliffy B drives a frigin Lamborghini and can afford to retire already, and he wasn't even the owner of the studio. So used games aren't having that big of an impact if they can afford to pay his dumb ass that much money.

OldSchoolPlaya
OldSchoolPlaya

The speed of broadband is not the problem, it's the availability.

racerxgundam
racerxgundam

I have never bought an xbox product...but with the 360...i did admire what they did from a distance. Good games...overall catered pretty well to the hard core shooter crowd and handled what should have been a system ending/marketplace ending hardware glitch as best as i think a major company can do in this day and age...now with that being said..if this is true i hope to high heaven that they FALL ON THEIR FACES WITH THIS BS...THAT THERE BOX GETS HACKED AND GUTTED AND THAT THEY ARE KILLED IN SALES. THIS IS BEYOND RIDICULOUS. F%^&* YOU MICROLOST!!!!!!

Vodoo
Vodoo

We as gamers need to ban together and make a pact. I propose that if the PS4 and Xbox 720 block used games in any fashion whatsoever (even leaving it up to the developer like the PS4 will probably do), that we stick with our current gen PS3's and 360's until they totally abolish the feature. 

That's my plan anyway. And if they never get rid of the feature, then I'll never buy one of those consoles. With the enormous install base there's no way that games aren't gonna be made for current gen systems for a very long time.

howitis2000
howitis2000

I would have never bought Fallout New Vegas or Skyrim on day 1 release. Had i not bought fallout 3 secondhand and realised how awesome the series is. Even in the sales old games are to expensive £7 for soul reaver on steam or 50p for secondhand copy from cex. bunch of robbing gypsy's   

mattress805
mattress805

I would have a huge problem with used games being blocked in the next generation. And I don't buy used games. I buy about 6 to 7 AAA games on day 1 per year. The 2 main problems with blocking used games for me are 1) I trade in numerous games everytime I buy a brand new game which gets the price down to 20$ or 30$. 2) I rent games all the time. Blocking used games would mean that I could no longer rent games or get a lower price on AAA new releases.  Microsoft would be shooting themself in the foot if they enacted this plan. Bad Idea! I'm sure there are 10s of thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands of gamers that do the same thing I do. And you know what? that would seriously impact the sales of new games, ironically. 

GamerFader
GamerFader

I never buy used games, although I do ask my friends if I could borrow some of their games and I lend them mine. 

judahstarguy
judahstarguy

Cars = object bought for money.  Games = object bought for money.  Connect the dots.  Any other argument is just the greed talking making things more complicated for the sake of greed.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

I hope they don't block used games.  If they do, all Sony has to do to beat them out is not do it.  That would put Microsoft at a serious disadvantage.

dre256x
dre256x

You know what.. If they launch with said feature, and sales are tanking, it will be patched. 

MS isn't this dumb are they?

deathstream
deathstream

This doesn't impact my opinion about the next Xbox at all.  Used games are a scam.  Gamestop is little better than piracy.  Used game sales will kill the industry if they aren't stopped.  Look at what they did to Dead Space to increase the sales base.  Every gripe about "greedy publishers" you see on game boards has its roots in Gamestop's highway robbery.  Anyone who pays $55.99 for a used copy of a new game instead of paying the extra four dollars is actively hurting the gaming industry.  I know most here don't want to hear it, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

XAF1
XAF1

@ceromaster It would be stupid except there has to be some credibility to it when the people developing the games are the ones doing the talking.  That usually means MS or Sony has passed the idea by them to see what they think.  So, MS may be heavily considering it but I think a huge number of developers would have to agree to having their games DOA on a console and that's a huge risk to take on a console succeeding.

danusty
danusty

@ceromaster there was a rumor going around that bin laden was dead and it turned out to be true.

moodyfoo
moodyfoo

@Double-Ego actually the infinite logo is a 8 on the side. 8 itself represent nothing else then well 8. educate yourself...

danusty
danusty

@kmkaks you could play destiny of an emperor on the NES

Wesleypipes777
Wesleypipes777

@Vodoo I believe Sony has already stated they will not be doing anything so ridiculously stupid.

twentymooseman
twentymooseman

@Vodoo Seriously. Let's all just get Steam accounts if that happens. At the very least they sell you a product that can't be resold anyways. Plus, at the right time, whatever you want to buy will be so dirt cheap that it won't matter whether or not it can be resold. They make their money by providing a good service and treating their customers like the people who pay their bills rather than miserly bastards that want to rip developers off. That's a novel concept, isn't it, Microsoft? 

twentymooseman
twentymooseman

@deathstream Blocking used games will kill games as an art form because it limits their preservability and availability to the public. What happens when a gem is put out by a studio that goes under in a year or two after its release? That game effectively dies once it stops being produced. Used copies are absolutely useless. No one else can enjoy that game once it's been purchased. It's bull shit. Imagine what would happen to record collecting if the music industry had somehow managed to make each record only playable on one turntable. The hobby would be dead. Record stores would be dead (well, more dead). There would be titles that would become totally lost because they weren't re-pressed. You'd be stuck with records you couldn't pass on to anyone else to enjoy. The hobby of sharing and listening to music would have died out before we got to the mp3 era. We'd all be stuck in our own, stupid little media bubbles with our own tastes never being expanded by someone else's suggestions and generosity. Think of what would happen to a stone cold gaming classic like Golden Eye if used n64 cartridges were blocked. The game that was crucial to the popularization of console FPS's would be totally forgotten, or at least rendered unplayable for future generations. We can't afford to let potential masterpieces and cult hits die out just because they want to peddle a few more copies. Plus, c'mon, everyone knows that Gamestop is highway robbery and only an idiot would go there to get a fairly new used game. But places like Game Over Videogames (It's a Texas chain of used game stores) help people discover old games and give them some sort of legacy.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@deathstream

 @deathstream Fighting back the urge to completely skewer you, I will open by asking you a question?

How old are you, child?  Used Games have been a reality in this Industry since the days of the Atari 2600.  That would be all the way back to 1976, the year I began gaming.  That's nearly FOUR FUCKING DECADES.

Now, did that kill the industry?  Did every Video Game Publisher go out of Business?  No, they did not.  In fact the industry is just fine.

Now, assuming you aren't stupid and completely bereft of basic intelligence and thought processes, There is far more to used game sales than Just Gamestop (Which, although an entity I personally despise, to call them anything close to Piracy means you need to be seriously evaluated by a mental health professional).

There is ebay, Craigslist, Yard Sales, etc.  Now, I am not sure what kind of Orwellian Planet YOU live on, but when I Buy something, I OWN it.  It is MINE, to do do whatever I please within the legal limits of ownership (So stop your fucking Piracy Crying before you even Start).

Then there is Gamefly, Redbox, etc.  The rental Market.  Are you going to shut THEM down, too?

Let me tell you something, little boy.  Whoever paid you to write this nonsense is getting RIPPED OFF, and should fire your ass the minute you walk in whatever Boiler Room you work in, in the morning.

Take Your Authoritarian Banter, And STFU.

I despise Gamestop, but I despise idiots like you even more.

racerxgundam
racerxgundam

@deathstream You are looking at pricing though...at a very limited and short term manner. Yes gamestop is a RIP OFF but there are other ways to purchase used products. THE SCREWJOB THAT IS COMMING TOOL is the following situation...Look at the price for the Wipeouts on the PSN network for the psp as compared to new copies/used copies that you see on say amazon or ebay.......THEY ARE SELLING THE DOWNLOAD FOR 20 BUCKS WHILE A NEW HARD COPY I JUST SAW ON AMAZON IS GOING FOR 12 with FREE shipping AND IF U SEARCH FOR IT U CAN SCORE A USED FOR 8 BUCKS COMPLETE. LOOK AT THE ENTIRE LIBRARIES OF THE SYSTEM AND NOT JUST THE TRIPLE AAA NEW RELEASES AS, YES U DO GET SCREWED IN THAT ONE INSTANCE YOU MENTION. BUT THEY RAPE YOU HORRIFIC ON THE BACK CATALOG. THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE TOOL. 

judahstarguy
judahstarguy

@deathstream The only people mad about used games are those that are losing money from their sales.  Those people are a minority and they do not need to cause the majority to suffer because they can't quiet afford that 6 million dollar house payment AND retire early.  Go steal candy from some babies or something.


96augment
96augment

@deathstream Used game sales have been around for decades. But the Industry is fine. In fact, it's growing. 

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@danusty @ceromaster Didn't you get the memo?  Bin Laden was a pawn of the US government in a serious ploy to rule the world via the oil in the middle east.  Who really bombed the 2 towers?  The US government.

Double-Ego
Double-Ego

@moodyfoo @Double-Ego Sorry for leaving out some info and thank you for adding what i missed, however you dont have to be a bitch about it. I'm educated well enough thank you very much.

ceromaster
ceromaster

@twentymooseman @deathstream 

Ummm do any of you know that ALL of that info hasn't been confirmed by Microsoft?

You all look real stupid getting worked up by rumors...

6orange6
6orange6

@ceromaster "With the next Xbox, you supposedly have to have an Internet connection, and the discs are watermarked, whereby once played on one console it won't play on another," said Livingstone.

That is not a rumor, it is a quote from an industry president, unless you are calling him a liar. He is using very careful language so not to fall foul of a non disclosure agreement. Open your eyes man.