GameStop's cash cow is its used game business. Sure, you can also buy new titles, game accessories, and even tablets at your local GameStop, and you can't purchase a game without the guy behind the counter pressuring you into pre-ordering half a dozen upcoming titles. But used games are the fuel that makes the company's engine run. You can imagine, then, why GameStop refuses to believe that next generation consoles will try to kill off the used game business model by linking software to your specific hardware. Sounds unfathomable, doesn't it?
GameStop agrees, though the notion has been thrown out there. In fact, there have been several rumors about how next generation game consoles could snuff out the used game market. 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. Another rumor has Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo blocking used games by linking software to your hardware.
"We think it’s unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn’t been proven to work," GameStop CEO dPaul Raines said during an earnings call, according to DigitalTrends. "Remember that used video games have a residual value. Remember that GameStop generates $1.2 billion of trade credits around the world with out used games mode. So consider taking used games out of that, you’d have to find new ways to sell the games, and our partners at the console companies have great relationships with us.”
It's hard to imagine hardware makers joining a crusade against used games led by publishers, let alone all three major players taking a stand. Even if two out of the three main console makers were to try and kill off used games, it would give the third remaining player a huge advantage over the competition, so either all three would have to be all-in, or none at all.
Our opinion? Used games aren't going anywhere any time soon. What's your take?