back to article Reports: New Xbox could DOOM second-hand games market

Microsoft has been quite cagey about its plans for games licensing on the new Xbox One, but multiple reports now suggest there's going to be very little incentive for a second-hand games market anymore, and buyers could get stung with extra charges. On Thursday Consoledeals.co.uk received a note from a senior member of a UK …

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  1. Greg J Preece

    Alternate article title: "Public requirement for a second-hand games market could DOOM new Xbox."

    1. M Gale

      Steam games cannot be resold, or even given away.

      People are quite willing to be shafted for the shiny.

      Oh well.

      1. tempemeaty

        @ M Gale, that is so true.

        I've been stunned at how many gamers I've known willingly lined up and happily bent over and spread their cheeks for some of the most shockingly abusive game companies to get their new shiny.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yes but to have a second hand market somebody has to buy them new first...

        2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          There are DRM free games on Steam. Steam is the delivery platform, not the ball and chain (though it does sell those as well).

      2. grommile
        Pint

        Steam isn't all that comparable to this, because games on Steam are often cheap.

        Even games with a £30 list price will end up on 75%-discount sale at some point - at which point they're £7.50, making them cheaper than three pints of beer while (hopefully) providing more entertainment than three pints of beer would.

        Console games at first-hand retail, on the other hand, are ludicrously expensive.

        1. phr0g
          FAIL

          silly argument

          "New" Steam games cost a lot more than in the shops or online. When they get old they go on sale.

          just like the games that you buy in the shop or online.

          It is exactly the same.

          1. M Gale

            Re: silly argument

            It is nothing like the same, unless you're telling me that I am the Steam store.

            Really, how do you equate being able to give something of yours away to a friend, with getting shafted with DRM because it's on a sale?

            1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

              Re: M Gale

              While true, you can take the option of only buying DRM free games (Steam sells a few), or F2P/PPP (Pay per play) games (which it has a few of the former, not any of the latter AFAIK). Or you can get a game for the price that is right for you as a single user agreement contract. I'll purchase most things at the right price if there is a desire or need. The sellers need to remember that too!

          2. Mycho Silver badge

            Re: silly argument

            New steam games absolutely go on sale, just only on one-day sales to ensure you keep checking the Steam store. Today's one-day sale is six months old and at a 75% discount. Deus Ex: Human Revolution had been out for 2 months when it was first discounted by 25% (for a day) and six months when it was discounted by 66% (for a weekend)

            I wonder why I've never seen a steamwatcher app to alert you when your preferred games get discounted?

            1. Jediben

              Re: silly argument

              Because Steam has this function built in. You add a game to a 'wishlist' and Steam emails you when any titles on the list are discounted.

            2. Greg J Preece

              Re: silly argument

              I wonder why I've never seen a steamwatcher app to alert you when your preferred games get discounted?

              Because Steam already does this. Add the games to your wishlist and they'll e-mail you when they go on sale.

            3. Goat Jam
              Pint

              Steamwatcher app

              It is called Steam wishlist.

              Add the games you are interested in to your wishlist and Voila! you get an email when they go on sale.

            4. StooMonster
              Headmaster

              Re: silly argument

              Follow Vavle's @Steam_Games or look at the hash tag #SteamSales on Twitter and you'll be right up to date with new games' availability and also Steam Sales and discounts.

        2. h3

          The reason console games were more expensive was because of cartridges costing a lot to manufacture.

          If they went back to cartridge then they could justify the prices to me.

          I never sell games to shops. Thought about it a few times then saw the queues to do it and thought I really cannot be bothered and just given the games away usually to a child or teenager (15 or younger without a job).

          If I cannot do the above I just won't get the console. Metacritic is useless for me I don't like many of the games that are universally highly rated. (Most of the ones I want will be rated down by someone much younger than me because they are too hard).

          I hate Game as a company completely (Annoys me they have an exclusive on download codes for Nintendo). They only sell the absolute worst games and if you go to get an accessory they only stock junk copies gameware which is the same as the $0.99 stuff on ebay you can get from HK. They don't stock any of the good games then Nintendo thinks they are not selling well and then there is only a few copies and they are only sold by scalpers. (Think I should have got an import 3DS XL instead now there is the region lock most of my favourite DS games are US imports). Don't see what Game provides them the consoles are always cheaper in the Supermarkets so that is where parents will get them from. (My Mum used to hate taking me in there as a kid). They don't keep all (Hardly any really) the accessories. I could see it if they always kept all the stuff in stock. The whole design of Gamestation was nicer but they got rid of that not Game.

          (I would probably get Nintendo downloads direct from Nintendo if they priced them a pound or two above retail for the cartridge). Any other company that game would have probably been ok ideally Amazon.

          Stuff like Cex is going to be hit to by this most. Maybe Grainger Games. (They actually still have a shop near me - until very recently we had Blockbuster/Gamestation and Grainger Games).

          If they do steam like pricing I might consider it.

        3. Goat Jam

          This is true. If a game is cheap enough then being able to sell it 2nd hand becomes a moot point.

          I buy stuff on steam when it is on sale. I'd rather pay $5-$10 for an A title a couple of years after it was first released than pay $70-$120 when it is new. If I paid $110 for an XBOX game new and sell it for $55 later (unlikely to get that much even) then I am still worse off than just waiting for a steam sale and getting it for peanuts.

          Bioshock 2 for less than $10? I'll take that without a second thought.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Steam games cannot be resold, or even given away."

        Not yet, anyway. Valve are being sued in Germany to provide this feature to satisfy EU law. They have the capability already built into steam so they've no excuse. Also steam's cheap as owt so people don't complain.

      4. jnemesh
        FAIL

        Yes Steam games CAN be given away.

        Are you just posting whatever pops into your mind or do you actually check your facts before spouting off? Steam games can indeed be "re-gifted".

        1. M Gale

          Re: Yes Steam games CAN be given away.

          Are you just posting whatever pops into your mind or do you actually check your facts before spouting off? Steam games can indeed be "re-gifted".

          Highly misleading.

          You can re-gift a game key if you have not used that key.

          As soon as you have used that key... that is, once it is a used game and no longer a new game.. you cannot re-gift, or sell, the game.

          Please check your facts, and don't be one of Valve's useful idiots.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Yes Steam games CAN be given away.

          You can ONLY re-gift a game if it's an authorized "extra copy" or it's a gift you haven't unwrapped yourself. Once you activate it, it's yours come hell or high water.

      5. Quantum Leaper
        Go

        Most of the steam games, I have bought are under 10 bux, so what it I get shafted on a game it didn't cost me that much to begin with. I don't mind wasting 10 on a game that may or may not be good, but it is $60 or more, I will care quite a bit.

        1. Belardi

          Last month, for $16 I got from steam: A race game, Portal 1, Portal 2 (two copies, 2nd for my kid). There is no complicated system for me to play these games.

          I'm going PS4.

          1. h3

            RE: Belardi

            The thing is even if you do go PS4 you cannot guarantee anything.

            If it looks like it is working for Microsoft Sony is quite likely to introduce the same system after the fact. (Once they have the majority of the marketshare).

            They are quite willing to change things after the fact which is far worse than changing things and them being that way from the start.

            Any of these companies can do anything at any point. Barring people modding the consoles.

      6. Connor

        Whilst that's true, Steam games are a lot cheaper and sometimes a hell of a lot cheaper (many games I've bought have been £5 or less) and the restrictions are known in advance and of course you can also buy the PC DVD version of the game, without Steam, without restrictions, but for more money. There's no such option on the Xbox.

        1. M Gale

          and of course you can also buy the PC DVD version of the game, without Steam, without restrictions, but for more money.

          I only wish that were true. Sorry, but every single physical copy in the shops will have either Steam, or some other form of restrictions management, many of which will either limit the install count or, like Steam/Steamworks, prevent resale entirely.

          And all of them want bullshit online checking. Been a long while since I bought a mainstream PC game. My later titles are all Steam-free, and in many cases entirely copy-protection-free indy titles. They deserve my money. EA and Valve do not.

          Gratuitious Space Battles utterly owns, by the way.

          1. Greg J Preece

            I only wish that were true. Sorry, but every single physical copy in the shops will have either Steam, or some other form of restrictions management, many of which will either limit the install count or, like Steam/Steamworks, prevent resale entirely.

            Actually, it is optional. Not all games on Steam use Steamworks for the physical disc release. They tend to do so if both releases are simultaneous, but there's no requirement for it.

            1. M Gale

              "Actually, it is optional. Not all games on Steam use Steamworks for the physical disc release. They tend to do so if both releases are simultaneous, but there's no requirement for it."

              If it says "you must accept the Steam Subscriber Agreement (SSA)" on the back of the box, or if it says "requires an Internet connection to activate" for a game that has no need to connect to anything, then no thanks. I'm not subscribing to Steam, to play with a toy. Unfortunately, these days, that's every single game in the shop. The fact that Steam is so successful indicates that there are a large number of people quite happy with being arse-raped by the games industry. Given the nature of the product, I imagine many of these are kids and teenagers that don't know any better and think that this is how things are supposed to be.

              LIke I say, I'll give my money to people who deserve it. Valve can get fuck all, which doesn't mean I won't play their games. They just won't get paid for it.

      7. MJI Silver badge

        Steam

        But I am happy tp take the risk at Orange Box for about £12, or HL for under a tenner.

        Never paid £35 for one game on Steam

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Not just Steam

          I have had bargains off PSN as well.

          Journey with Unfinished Swan.

          Motorstorm RC for PS3 and Vita.

          Can't sell any on but they were all cheap to begin with.

          I will buy games I cannot sell on IF they are cheap to begin with.

          But then I haven't bought full price day of release since November 2011, and will not until June.

      8. Magnus_Pym

        Cost of ownership

        I might spend £50 game new and sell it for £25 when I'm done with it, or at least get £25's worth of trade in or other benefit. Then It's cost me £25 in total. I'll do that again and again. If I spend £50 on a game and find it has no resale value then I'll do that only once.

        Prepare to see good Xbox One sale for 3 months then nothing.

    2. LarsG
      Meh

      Go get a 360 when the price drops.

    3. Belardi

      Yep, you fixed it. Many many Xbox users are NOT going to go for this. I sure wouldn't.

      It'll take microfart about 6 months to figure this out... by that time, the PS4 will be 3~4x more popular than the xbox1 (what a stupid ass name) and that will be it. Another stupid greedy failure to add to MS this year.

      Really, can't wait to see this train crash. When you try to force crap down people's throats - they tend to fight back... as they did with Windows8.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This sounds strangely like what they had planned for the new office. If your laptop gets stolen, you buy a new copy of office. Greed knows no bounds

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Megaphone

      The Xbox One was already doomed.

      it's quite clearly an advertising platform rather than a gaming system...

      Still, idiots that buy one can now get Achievements for watching the latest Simon Cowell drivel...

      http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-05-24-microsoft-applies-for-patent-on-tv-achievements

    6. Levente Szileszky
      Thumb Up

      Exactly...

      ...my first thought exactly - author must have somked too much of that MSFT XKool-Aid if he thinks Xbox One can kill a multi-platform market alone and not vica versa, dying in flames when people flock to Sony and Nintendo (especially that PS4 looks to be a superior game console by every measure.).

    7. cannon
      FAIL

      Greed

      like they dont already make enough money!

      but i fully agree that this should doom the console but people are stupid enough to use steam & give up their right to sell, lend, trade or even give away aren't they?

      the next step will be "connect always on requirement" so they can charge per person watching movies & that only you, can use your account & not share it with the other members of the household.

      keep purchasing their crap ppl, keep cheering away your rights!

    8. Danny 5
      Thumb Up

      Here sir

      Have my like!

      Even the fanboys (including me) are frothing at the mouth and a very substantial number is likely to make the switch to PS4, provided they don't implement their own horrible flavour of DRM of course.

      In any case, i think Microsoft may well have made a massive mistake here.

    9. radical mit2

      How is this going to work?¨!

      So daughter and I share the same game to MS really think i will either purchase two of them or each time the other what to play, or I have to a fee, they have to be completely out of there tree!

      Or if i do purhcase two, then insert the wrong cd into the other ones account repay again!

      I really think not...

      I was watching the Xbox One .... sat there wondering when they would come up with a Show stopper function that really made me this i needed, one.. did not happen! how the heck they think i can watch SKY in HD over the internet, were in our Village, 1M down is fast... does the Magical XboxOne come with a SKY sat cable interface?

      when you think about it, you have fast switching, ok, nice but really needed?

      oh what else, mmmm, that was it! i think, oh, yes no back compat, yes we know why cause they can not charge us for those games, hence not there!

      I have had Xbox since the start, we have a few, family account etc, but i think we will switch now to PS/4 for games and a Small PC in the lounge for other bits, and my Sky box to Watch TV on! Xbox One, sorry the 360 does all i need...

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Here's hoping..

      About time for the backlash against companies collecting our data for free..

  2. Mr. Great Sage

    Personally, I've decided I'm not buying a 'next gen' console until after I get a new TV. (and I'm not getting a new TV because mine works perfectly fine.)

    1. The_Regulator

      I guess the opinion is out on your comment because you don't say what kind of tv you have right now...

  3. Aoyagi Aichou
    Black Helicopters

    Opinion, don't stone me

    While I find Microsoft's desire to limit reselling games perfectly reasonable, I don't think that they could ever take a moral high ground with that while at the same time making customers pay for basic services and even then having their "premium service" ridden with ads.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Opinion, don't stone me

      "While I find Microsoft's desire to limit reselling games perfectly reasonable"

      Why?

      1. Aoyagi Aichou

        @M Gale

        Funny, I always tend to forget answers for questions once I'm asked.

        There are more reasons. If I understand the console market correctly, the console makers sell their products pretty underpriced, because they expect to get sales from the sales of games. Secondly, I don't think reselling games is very healthy for the whole business... The only one profiting from that are currently the resellers - parasites. From publisher's and developer's point of you, it's the same if you just pirate the game, is it not? It's not like with, for example, books. There is a limited number of them and some are pretty hard to find. Then there is the possibility that it might push publishers to lower their initial prices or at least make them fall faster while at the same time teaching people some patience (that's what Steam taught to me).

        1. M Gale

          Re: @M Gale

          Unfortunately, the computer games industry is not some special little flower. In any other case, if I buy something, it is mine. Only in insane-DRM land do we have the case where once you have bought something, it is not yours to sell.

          I'm sorry, but honestly, I do not care about what the author thinks if I sell an old book. E-flite do not get a say on whether I give someone an old RC aeroplane or helicopter. If I have a half tube of glue that someone needs, Bostik are not going to call the waahmbulance over me giving someone some adhesive. The same applies to software, and especially computer games. If your business model cannot handle people giving away or selling their own stuff.. then you had better change that business model or go bankrupt.

          1. JimC Silver badge

            Re: @M Gale

            Oh come on. There are all sorts of situations where you shell out a sum of money but don't get to legally own whatever it is. If you don't want to buy stuff like that don't, but don't pretend its somehow unique to DRM software.

            1. M Gale

              Re: @M Gale

              Oh come on. There are all sorts of situations where you shell out a sum of money but don't get to legally own whatever it is. If you don't want to buy stuff like that don't, but don't pretend its somehow unique to DRM software.

              You mean when you're renting stuff?

          2. Anne-Lise Pasch
            Happy

            Re: @M Gale

            Good luck reselling your TV license.

            1. M Gale

              Re: @M Gale

              Good luck reselling your TV license.

              Don't have one. In any case, just like road tax, you can return your TV license for a refund of any unused time on it. The license is a tax, not a product.

              Good luck selling your TV. OH WAIT.

          3. trejrco

            Close to accurate ...

            I largely agree - the one difference being that (sometimes) the publisher does need to maintain infrastructure to support online / multiplayer games ... so it isn't quite the same as a book, but the costs should easily be covered by the existing XBOXLive account charges ...

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