The man at the top of the #1 video game retailer in the US does not believe all the hype about rumors Microsoft’s next home console will be able to block consumers from playing pre-owned games. Rumors surrounding this mechanic have said that Microsoft will implement technology that essentially creates a one-to-one relationship between a game disc and the console.
That means that if you played a game, then tried to sell it to Gamestop, and someone bought that pre-owned game, they would be unable to play it since it would still be registered to your system. Of course, that also means that if you want to take your game to a friend’s house, you’d need to take your Xbox with you, or if your Xbox was broken and you bought a replacement, none of your legitimately purchased games would work.
In his quarterly earnings call this week, GameStop CEO Paul Raines said, “We think it’s unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn’t been proven to work.” Raines, probably more than anyone else, does not want anything like this kind of technology to develop. New video games have razor thin margins, but GameStop can buy a game from a cash-strapped gamer and sell it back to a new customer at more than double that value. That is the bread and butter of GameStop’s business, and it would be instantly dead if anything like this was implemented on the new Xbox.