The internet has been filled with Microsoft related rumors lately, and the latest is a doozy: Kotaku editor Stephen Totilo says he’s heard info from “a reliable industry source” that Microsoft’s next console will be incompatible with used games.
Totilo goes on to theorize that games for Microsoft’s new system would be forever tied to a certain Xbox Live account, and once registered, a game could no longer be shared or re-sold. A lot of major publishers have desperately been trying to limit used game sales, most notably EA, and obviously they would be very happy if this rumor proved to be true. Of course, the backlash from retailers and consumers would be enormous, so if the rumor turns out to be true, Microsoft may be taking one of the riskiest gambles in gaming history. Of course, it’s just a rumor at this point, so take it with a grain of salt, but then again, anyone who’s had the misfortune of using Games for Windows knows that Microsoft is a fan of draconian DRM measures.
It’s also worth mentioning that a similar rumor was circulated before the Playstation 3’s release, and obviously the PS3 plays used games, so again, don’t believe everything you hear on the internet.
The next rumor regarding the Xbox 720 (or whatever you want to call it) seems far more plausible: sources close to Microsoft claim that the upcoming system uses Blu-Ray, which makes sense; while it is a Sony developed technology (as was DVD,) its obvious that DVD’s, already filled to the brim with game data on the current Xbox, don’t have enough capacity to handle the next Xbox’s more complex and technically advanced games. Even Nintendo is moving ahead with a higher-capacity disc, so Microsoft’s shift to Blu-Ray seems like common sense. Of course, one could argue that digital distribution is the wave of the future, and while games are definitely headed in that direction, physical media seems like it’ll stick around for at least another generation or so.