Next Generation Consoles "Unlikely" to Block Used Games, GameStop Says

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Rift2

Whenever I want a used game that smells like beer and smoke I goto gamestop.
w/ scratches =) Something is up majorly with the Managers at our gamestop I mean a few dozen people let go within a few years.

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Jebuslovesu

This strategy is understandable on the part of the developers, but they definitely can go to absurd degrees. Just look at Fight Night Champions. I have bought every single game in the series. That is until the last iteration. Why? Cuz "EA" decided they were only gonna let you unlock George Foreman(One of the greatest fighter in History!!! And my one of favorite boxers EVER!!!!!)if you preorder the F'N game! You can't buy him at all! WTF!?! Thats low. Even for "EA"! I haven't nor will I ever buy a Fight Night game again. On principle. And thats how you alienate you fan base ladies and gentlemen...

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SANMANx

SSX used at gamestop 47$ (compared to $59.99 new) but its essentially worthless because all the credits you earn through the game you can't redeem because the code EA provides is most likely used already. You can still technically play online and such, but you can't really upgrade anything or rank in global events. It is a good strategy. I would like to see some stats on how SSX did in the used market with the code access strategy.

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austin1789

I'm actually ok with this if it is in fact the direction they want to go. I'm fairly certain a special version of a game could be manufactured to allow the rental through GameFly and Red Box. Game rental doesn't seem to be the target as much as massive game reselling. The model to follow is definitely Steam though. Console hard drive size and customer broadband access would be the only obstacles. If PC's lead the consoles by a few years then I think we can reasonably accept that physical media games will cease to exist at some point. Even games released 20 years ago are now available to download to the consoles and played. There really isn't a requirement to hold onto old hardware and software unless you're a collector or a nostalgist. As a primarily PC gamer, the last CD/DVD I used was to install Windows 7. This was done through an external USB CD/DVD drive due to my most recent build not even having a CD/DVD drive. I believe the last physical game I played on my PC was Half Life 2 and of course it came loaded with Steam. The industry existed and survived before used games sales and I'm fairly sure it will exist and survive after if they do come to an end. I'm sure it all comes down to money and if I have to chose then I'm fairly sure Gamestop doesn't make games. If you have a Best Buy store in your town, how does the size of the "Music" section look today compared to a few years ago? Music is no more or less popular, there's just a different way to consume it and the market will shift accordingly.

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jghellion

I don't want to "shift accordingly." Not being able to hold (for lack a better word.) the media that the game comes on doesn't give me a nice warm and fuzzy feeling that I own that product. (after I've paid for it of course.) And wont be subjected to more rules, regulations, securities, DRM or other forms of having to play the way the companies want me to. Like having to be connected to the internet or somehow matching said download to my console only. Media companies already have and want more control, I don't want to give them more ammunition.

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TommM

I think GameStop is simply engaging in damage control and wishful thinking after the leaked announcement that the 720 wouldn't have an optical reader.

Let's face it, the distribution of all recreational digital media is not long from being exclusively through streaming sources. The companies making these items are salivating over the fact that they soon won't have to deal with the costs involved in burning CD's/DVD's, packaging, mailing costs, etc. And they could care less about the re-sale of those items as they don't make any money off of it anyway.

I'm thinking we are 3-5 years away from (with the possible exception of blu-ray movies) all recreational media being purchased via streaming.

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CaptainFabulous

Unfortunately there are a few problems with this scenario. 1 is that the quality and performance of streaming media sucks ass compared to disc-based media. 2 is that broadband in the US and many other places in the world also sucks ass. And with providers pushing more and more towards usage-based metering the whole dream of streaming and/or downloading everything dies really fast.

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TommM

Hmmm...we'll see. That's why I mentioned blu-ray as being the exception due to the level of bandwidth needed to view those.

However, broadband infrastructure is being upgraded and expanded by the second everywhere. I live in Seattle and in Tacoma they've pretty much wired the entire city with fiber-optics on the government's nickle. I personally don't see that as a deterrent for future game boxes going exclusively with on-line media.

Providers metering usage though is definitely a valid point.

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Papaspud

Problem is not everybody has access to fibre optic, in fact some people are still on dial-up. They don't want to have to DL all of their content, or really can't.... satellite broadband. There are many rural users that would be excluded from the market if they went to no physical media.

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TommM

I'm not saying everyone has fiber optic connections, but the people who don't have some sort of broadband access are now in the extreme minority. Hell, every Starbucks offers free broadband wi-fi and there's a Starbucks on every street corner in America it seems.

And for commercial examples , Steam certainly doesn't seem to be struggling with unbelievable levels of game sales nor Netflix with streaming movie rentals. And that's clearly the route Microsoft and Sony would like to take. No physical media to mess with, complete control over their products along with pricing.

Again, I understand you're going to have "x" demographic that's either not going to have the broadband access or want it. But that is the huge exception, not the norm and becoming more so every day.

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Raggart

If it comes to pass, it would completely redefine game ownership. And I think other media (music, movies, etc.) would soon follow up. It's already started to happen (DLC anyone?) but completely preventing the sale of used games through one mean or another would complete the transition.

This would mean that ownership of a digital good is different and separate from ownership of a physical good. I will always be able to sell back my shovel or lend it to my neighbor. Why couldn't I do the same with my video games? Agreed, a shovel is technologically limited and not that expensive, but you get the point. The same goes with practically anything.

I don't sell my games because I usually play them for years and by the time I'm ready to get rid of them they aren't worth a dollar. But if the video game industry prevents me from lending or selling back the games I bought then I will seriously reconsider buying any more games.

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jghellion

"One of them is that the Xbox 720, or whatever the 360's successor will be called, could ship without an optical drive and rely on a combination of streaming titles and local storage."

The day systems stop shipping without optical drives (or some other way of storing the game locally) is the day I finally give up on a long history of spending on gaming on consoles dating back to around the Atari (or just before) days.

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stradric

I don't want to see used games go away, but I sure would love for Microsoft to embrace digital distribution strongly for the 720. Case in point: Mass Effect 3. Why should I be forced to swap discs when the entire game is installed (it should only require disc 1)? A digital distro game would not have this limitation.

Of course, if they're not going to offer Steam-like seasonal mega-discounts on games, then I want no part.

That being said, I haven't purchased a game from Gamestop in quite a while. I do purchase used games occasionally. Mostly Steam sales though.

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LatiosXT

It would also render services like GameFly and Red Box (the game side at least) moot, because tying the game to the console means that you can no longer effectively allow multiple people to "borrow" the game. It isn't about GameStop now.

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Peanut Fox

Both Red Box and GameFly have attached themselves to a business model that many not be viable in the long term. It's quite possible that like the music and movie distribution stores that they'll be pushed to the way side as the internet swallows them up too.

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LatiosXT

Considering I see a Red Box kiosk at every corner where Blockbuster stores have all but disappeared, I'm not going to call doomsday on this yet. Heck, I'm seeing more Blockbuster kiosks now.

Besides, not everyone has bitching fast internet in the US. But Red Box can just plop a kiosk in Oakieville, population of 500. Or you can be like where I live where evenings aren't so good to the connection reliability.

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