Rumours Show That Next-Gen Consoles Might Kill Off Used Games
It was recently revealed that Sony are working on codename ‘Orbis’, the next-generation PlayStation console. While we’re unsure of what the specifications might be, there’s something more interesting which could come coupled with the next-gen console.
Reports, or rumours, suggested that the PlayStation 4 could boast a feature which stops players from playing used games. And while games will still be available in their traditional Blu-ray format, they could be tied to a specific PlayStation Network (or Sony Entertainment Network) account. And the same goes for Microsoft, as previous rumours hint at games being linked to a player’s LIVE account.
With the link to the player’s account, it could mean that one will need a constant internet connection to play games.
A tip-off was submitted to an online publications which revealed that gamers who purchase second hand games would need to pay an unlock fee to access the full game. This is something similar to that of EA’s online-pass.
Players who survive off second hand game purchases, and sales, will soon die out. Either that, or second hand sales will become a lot cheaper. Players generally sell their old games to purchase new ones, which actually keeps the industry going. Do publishers consider this?
Apart from that, someone is bound to modify the next-generation console where you won’t need an active internet connection. Soon after, piracy will be far greater than it is now.
Various studios had a few things to say on the issue, and Volition’s Jameson Durall stated: “It would be a fantastic change for our business. Though consumers would be up in arms, they’d grow to understand it.”
It’s not exactly a fantastic change for gamers though. And seeing that the ‘business’ is gamers, is it really great?
The Witcher 2′s Adam Badowski, in true CD Projekt fashion, disagrees: “Hardware solutions will be okay for short periods but long-term support is better.” He suggests that there should be a steady stream of DLC, where players will want to keep their games for longer.
However, as long as it’s great DLC which we’d like to play, it will be alright. Skin and weapon changes isn’t really great DLC.
While publishers don’t make money directly from used games sales, they need to realise that this market is often the reason as to why gamers can afford new games. It’s often the case where players trade old games for new games as the price is too steep. This makes new purchases manageable. From this, players who buy second hand games might become first-time buyers of new games if they like what they previously tried.
Following this, it’s questionable as to why PC games are far cheaper than console games. Is it because the ability to resell a PC game is far less? If this is the reason, will console games be priced the same as PC games?
If so, then it’s manageable. And alright. If console games stay at the current price, it’s not viable for gamers to continue gaming.
As for allowing your friends to play the game, the publishers and hardware creators could implement an Amazon Kindle-like policy, where you can lend the game for a period of time.