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Xbox 720* Dead on Arrival?


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#1 Soul Splint

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:56 PM

So far there have been quite a few claims that the new Microsoft Xbox that will likely be shown at this year's E3 will not play used games, and will require an internet connection at all times in order to enforce that. Now all of these claims have come from "multiple unnamed sources" meaning they are far from validated, but so far Microsoft has done nothing to dispel these 'rumors'.

I love my 360. Play it every day, usually. But this is a step so far in the wrong direction it's damn disconcerting, and so far the overwhelming public sentement seems to be leaning toward dismal opening sales for the system.

So here's my beef: what kind (if any) sense would it make for Microsoft to do this, if indeed they are planning on it? I'm just trying to understand why someone would make this decision and what the likelihood of them following through with it would be if people threaten to boycott (which usually never works, as gamers can be a fickle bunch). I would say only about 20 percent of my games were pre-owned, but a company dictating that I CANNOT play used games really gets my hackles up. I don't even want to think about the possibility of rising prices on games if this did go through.

tl;dr Would Microsoft dare to make the Xbox 720 unable to play used games? What would the gaming community's response be?

#2 Anorax

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

Honestly, I don't know why they'd do this, or even what sort of malformed logic would be required to make this decision.
However, I do know that it would definitely hurt companies that do deal with selling used games (Gamestamp), and they would have to stop with that part of their business dealings.

It'll just end up being a huge mess for everyone involved
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#3 Argle

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:16 PM

The corporate greed that has infected video games stinks, it stinks real bad. I guess the big game companies weren't content with shitting all over PC gamers with draconian DRM, now they're going to wage a war on console gamers. I hope this is only a rumor and my sense of outrage is misplaced.

#4 BooDidley7

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:19 PM

Honestly, I see all this rumor mongering from unnamed sources just a typical pathetic ploy from so-called videogame "journalists" to agitate the gullible and drive page views.

Are things like no used games possible? Of course. It is Microsoft after all, the company behind Vista and Windows 8, but let's look at the reality.

1) It's a much tougher market now than it was even 8 years ago when the 360 launched. 99 cent gaming and free gaming are taking a cut and raising expectations. Tablets and phones are drastically changing gaming dynamics for a whole new generation of gamers to boot.

2) Then there's newcomers with set-top boxes like the $99 OUYA and Valve. Will either of them be in the business 5-7 years from now? Who knows? But you can bet they're both gonna make a splash. And the PC market has resurrected to boot.

3) Gamestop. The industry says they hate them. But who pre-orders more games at full-retail value? Are you a sucker if you shop there? Usually. Especially if you consistently buy titles at $60, that will be $40 or less, 2 months later, but ultimately, the income they bring in, and the force they are for full-retail value shouldn't be denied. Killing the used game business would likely kill Gamestop, and that would suffocate the $60 console title.

4) Me, you, and everyone else with half a brain. If one console can play used titles, and another one of comparative specs can't, which one is gonna get most of your money and time? Especially if they share mostly the same catalog of titles. Sure there's always die-hards, fanboys, and suckers, but unless it's universal, it will be a significant sticking point.

5) Exclusives. They get rarer every year, and are less of a selling point. If Microsoft was Nintendo, they'd have a better shot of embracing the strategy of selling a console based on exclusives, but even Nintendo has somewhat abandoned that notion.

If Microsoft does move forward with this, expect a subtle, yet powerful and aggressive marketing campaign. Dozens of blogs and "journalists" will suddenly proclaim how this is a good thing, and will make gaming even better. And fanboys arguing their exact talking points will flood every comments section.

If there's one thing I've noticed over the last decade, there's a significant and vocal quadrant of the gaming population that is fucking brainless, yet think they're brilliant. Sheep and tools.

And I won't even think twice about never buying a 720.

#5 Esperado

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:22 PM

its sad that gamers boycotting games wouldn't do much. but I agree that this is ridiculous. they did this with the pspgo , they thought that making it download only would help them somehow. but almost ironically, putting 16gb of space on the pspgo made it a joy for PSP hacking, since its a nice peice of hardware, with all sorts of space to stash your pirated games . on top of the fact that law abiding gamers wouldn't touch it because of its lack of und drive. in not so short, it seriously crippled its own sales. I think the same will happen to the 720, and Microsoft will hopefully realize how terrible of an idea it is.

#6 liquid wind

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:24 PM

Sounds like a bad rumor to me, even MS isn't that dumb. Unless Sony is colluding with them on this and the PS4 has the same restrictions, which is perfectly within the realm of possibility given Sony's track record with this sort of thing...I'm still leaning towards merely a rumor though


#7 djpretzel

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

Just to play devil's advocate for a second... isn't this more or less how Steam works, and don't people more or less love Steam?

I know I do... perhaps I don't hold the same expectations for a PC-based service that I do for a console, but that line has been blurring more and more...

#8 Modus

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

It's terrible for consumers but makes perfect sense for MS and Sony. What's not to get? Gamestop is a multi-billion dollar company primarily supported by used games sales. When the PSPGo came out, Gamestop was up in arms and riling the public against it.

You can bet your patoot the business executives want this implemented. They want that virtual system where you trade access to games for a few bucks of online credit. I wouldn't care because I buy two games a year anymore, but I understand how it sets off a lot people.

#9 Gollgagh

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

Just to play devil's advocate for a second... isn't this more or less how Steam works, and don't people more or less love Steam?


Yes, but with Steam, you don't have a physical box that you can give or sell to someone else.
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#10 Argle

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:44 PM

Just to play devil's advocate for a second... isn't this more or less how Steam works, and don't people more or less love Steam?

I know I do... perhaps I don't hold the same expectations for a PC-based service that I do for a console, but that line has been blurring more and more...


You should be able to freely sell physical product you own. I would argue you don't really own any steam games, yer renting them.

#11 Soul Splint

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:45 PM

Sounds like a bad rumor to me, even MS isn't that dumb. Unless Sony is colluding with them on this and the PS4 has the same restrictions, which is perfectly within the realm of possibility given Sony's track record with this sort of thing...I'm still leaning towards merely a rumor though


There's been talk of Sony doing this with the PS4 for at least as long as the speculation about the 720. I doubt collusion is involved, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if one emulated the other to put a stranglehold on the market. Although what BooDidley said rings true: if one does place restrictions and the other doesn't, the latter will likely see many more console sales. (Unless the PS4 debuts with a price tag similar to what the PS3 had).

As for Steam, it's something I want to like but just can't. I want to physically own a game whenever possible, because I've had a few too many experiences in the past where digital copies have been a much bigger pain than they should have been.

#12 Anorax

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:49 PM

If Microsoft DOES go through with this, it will be a big hit AGAINST Microsoft on the hardware gaming front. Obviously, Gamestamp won't be able to buy - or sell - used 720 games, and because of the LACK of exclusives nowadays, other consoles (PS3/PS4, WiiU, even OUYA maybe?) will get more sales because they won't have the DRM restrictions.

Basically, they'll be shooting themselves in the balls if they go through with this - unless Sony and Nintendo follow suit, then it all goes to hell for Gamestamp and the used game industry.

5) Exclusives. They get rarer every year, and are less of a selling point. If Microsoft was Nintendo, they'd have a better shot of embracing the strategy of selling a console based on exclusives, but even Nintendo has somewhat abandoned that notion.


is this on Nintendo's part, or the 3rd party developers?

Take the new Rayman game (Rayman Legends I think?), which was supposed to come out real soon (April? May?) as a WiiU exclusive, but was bumped back six months by Ubisoft to develop PS3 and 360 editions just so they could make more money off of the PS3/360 markets.
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#13 BooDidley7

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

There's been talk of Sony doing this with the PS4 for at least as long as the speculation about the 720. I doubt collusion is involved, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if one emulated the other to put a stranglehold on the market. Although what BooDidley said rings true: if one does place restrictions and the other doesn't, the latter will likely see many more console sales. (Unless the PS4 debuts with a price tag similar to what the PS3 had).

As for Steam, it's something I want to like but just can't. I want to physically own a game whenever possible, because I've had a few too many experiences in the past where digital copies have been a much bigger pain than they should have been.


What's also ironic is this talk of MS doing this when Sony apparently has a patent for such a method:

http://www.gamespot....d-games-6401992

I doubt collusion would be a winning strategy as this point anyway, since Wii U doesn't have it, although it may not be seen as a direct competitor.

#14 liquid wind

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

Just to play devil's advocate for a second... isn't this more or less how Steam works, and don't people more or less love Steam?

I know I do... perhaps I don't hold the same expectations for a PC-based service that I do for a console, but that line has been blurring more and more...


I think Valve is given a free pass by many people because there's a higher trust level and because they make it advantageous to their customers(sales). MS and Sony have a completely different reputation that immediately makes people suspicious when they try to do something like this

And I also think there's something to the PC just being a different platform and there are different expectations. We're kind of accustomed to jumping through hoops for no good reason on PC's, consoles were always simple things where you just popped a cartridge in and played


#15 DarkeSword

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:17 PM

I think Valve is given a free pass by many people because there's a higher trust level and because they make it advantageous to their customers(sales). MS and Sony have a completely different reputation that immediately makes people suspicious when they try to do something like this

And I also think there's something to the PC just being a different platform and there are different expectations. We're kind of accustomed to jumping through hoops for no good reason on PC's, consoles were always simple things where you just popped a cartridge in and played

Yeah the difference with steam is that it doesn't actually make you jump through hoops. Steam makes things very easy. I can't see that kind of level of execution happening on a console.

#16 BooDidley7

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:18 PM

is this on Nintendo's part, or the 3rd party developers?


I was referring more towards Nintendo's strategy of almost exclusively supporting their systems that were unpopular with 3rd party developers, like N64, Gamecube.

Essentially if you bought those systems, most if not all the games you got for them were Nintendo exclusives. But that was all you bought for the system.

Nintendo is the only one who has stable of exclusives to do that, and even they are trying to do more with 3rd party developers. They missed out on all the GTA money, and most of the CoD cash, for essentially doing nothing more than hosting the title.

But MS has Halo and Gears of War. Not enough to make sustain a company when everyone (or almost everyone) will be trying to purchase non-exclusives on the systems that let you swap discs with friends or use gamefly.

#17 Melbu Frahma

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:50 PM

I'd actually been considering getting an X 720 or a PS4 when they come out, as a way to help introduce my wife further into the world of gaming. But if they have some sort of used game blocker, I'll just go buy a PS2, or a Wii, and buy the games for those systems. (Kinda tempted to just get her a Wii anyway - Mariokart and Smash Bros seem to be the kind of games she enjoys, anyway.)


Re: Steam, I think for me the difference is permanence and convenience. Yeah, I may not be able to resell a game if I get bored of it, but I also know that my favorite games that I have on Steam will still run on whatever computer I have a dozen years from now, or two dozen (albeit with minor modifications, maybe, if they don't like that version of Windows or something like that). I don't know that my console will LAST twelve years, and I sure as heck don't know that there will be backward compatibility in the current gen console of that era to, say, my PS1, or the N64/SNES for that matter (which there obviously won't be). As long as Steam is up and running, I don't have any reason to fear about the playability of my games.
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#18 Dyne

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:15 PM

Even if they were able to execute this, and as I understand it Sony is going to attempt the same thing with the PS4 (or so I've heard), the only people that they would be affecting besides the gamers who play used games, are places like GameStop. And honestly, with the way GameStop treats its customers at times (not always, but I've heard more bad than good), I almost agree with the step.

Still, Best Buy now deals in used games, and while I haven't heard anything good or bad about that, it will hurt them too. My question is, will this affect my current game library? Because if so, then I'd rather stay away from the next gen consoles and stick with the current gen until they burn out.

#19 Toadofsky

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

I'm going to just quote a website I frequent on this particular subject:

http://www.learntoco...iracy-part-one/

Used video games are firmly established in the modern history of the medium and I’m sure that back in the seventies, people sold their Odysseys, their Telstars, and their Fairchilds to relatives, friends, and consumers. The traditional video game industry knew about resale, they saw it grow, they gave no fucks, and only decided it was bad once it stopped being good. They’re as much responsible for the problem as GameStop.


Since 2007, a period that seems oddly consistent with the industry’s cockamamie fetish for distribution control there has been zero growth. All signs point to a broken business model, and if the pay-to-own video game industry collapses in the next five years, do you know why it will be? It will be a combination of terrible business practices, out-of-control game development budgets, saturation of the market with year-to-year sequels, a total misunderstanding of the casual gaming demographic, the use of motion controls and three-dimensional displays as a step sideways, and further restriction on what the consumer can do with hardware and software, the restriction of potential consumers from sampling your wares. It will not happen because of used games.


And lastly...

Why does Microsoft respond to the most visible and successful period in the history of computer video games by releasing a video game console? Because the personal computer is an open-source platform. Anybody can make a game for the personal computer. At the turn of the century, “creating a closed-source platform and convincing people to make games for that platform” seemed like the only way Microsoft could charge companies for distribution and licensing fees on a Microsoft operating platform. (And I’m sure that Bill Gates spent the years after Steam’s release hitting himself over the head with a hammer.) Microsoft created the Xbox as a means of controlling distribution.

Why would Activision CEO Bobby Kotick state that he is interested in developing versions of Guitar Hero where the software does not require a game console?* Where the software and the hardware come as a single package? (Well, at least before the series tanked and collapsed.) Activision would do this to circumvent the distribution policies of a Microsoft or Sony, where Activision offers a cut of revenues for their software sales on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Activision would like to design their games so that they can circumvent the distribution process. Activision wants to control distribution.

Why does Blizzard Entertainment design StarCraft II so the multiplayer game mode cannot be accessed locally? (“Connect to the server and tell the server you want to play offline” does not count.) It wasn’t about piracy on its lonesome. It was to make sure that the South Koreans and Western tournament organizers cannot create televised StarCraft tournaments and play the game without paying licensing fees. It was to make sure they can control the price point of their software, assuring that they do not have to compete with unlicensed copies of the game. Blizzard designed StarCraft II and Battle.net 2.0 to control distribution.


In short, to control distribution, the game industry will do whatever it takes, even pissing off consumers until they all just finally bend over and take it, just like the fanboys do.
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#20 EC2151

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:29 AM

Toadofsky's quotes bring up the basic gist: the game industry has grown so bloated and fragile, that it will commit suicide for fear of death.

You should be able to freely sell physical product you own. I would argue you don't really own any steam games, yer renting them.


Valve Corp would like to hire you to their legal division.

That distinction is why by and large I haven't bought a Steam game in over a year. There's enough on GOG to keep me occupied!




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