There is a growing amount of speculation that the next generation of Xbox consoles will know if a game is pre-owned and will prevent it from being played. This is causing a lot of anger from the gaming community at large, as you might imagine. But for the people who make games, it is seen as a boon to the industry, especially one Jameson Durall.
Durall, who was a designer on Red Faction: Armageddon, was quoted as saying, “There’s another big rumor about the next Xbox console that could really start to shake things up… it won’t play used games at all. Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business.” The way such a system would work would be for every Xbox 720 game to require registration from the console, and at that point there would be a one-to-one relationship between game and system. If you popped it into another Xbox 720, the registration would fail.
Obviously this has a huge cascade of effects, including preventing someone from playing a game at a friend’s house, renting games from sources like GameFly, or re-authenticating games if your Xbox 720 breaks and you buy a new one. But Durall says those issues can be ironed out. “I could see Microsoft implementing their own rental service which would maybe give them a code that activates the game for X days and they are charged a small amount,” he said. Sounds like a lot of work to us, but who knows? We’ll see what happens.