Citing unnamed sources with “first-hand experience” on Microsoft’s rumored next generation console, Edge is claiming to have been told several details about the Xbox 720 (Durango) and is reporting that the upcoming system will block users from playing pre-owned games.
According to the report, the Xbox 720 will require an always-on Internet connection to function. Furthermore, all new games sold at retail will come with an activation code that must be entered and verified though Xbox Live before the buyer can use the software. The combination of the always-on connection and the activation code will make all pre-owned Xbox 720 game worthless to anyone who buys them.
This form of DRM would also seem to have the side effect of making it impossible to play any one game on more than one Xbox 720. As a result, this could be a problem for families who own more than one of the systems or anyone who borrows/rents video games.
The source also confirmed that the Xbox 720 will use 50G Blu-ray discs (a move that is sure to please Sony) and will continue to support the sale of those physical discs at retailers.
As for the Xbox 720’s specifications, the source backs up several recent rumros. Specifically, it will have an AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. The console’s hard drive capacity is “undecided”.
Finally, the report claims that Microsft is investing “heavily” in motion control interfaces and is planning to ship a “more reliably responsive Kinect” along with its new console.
None of this is confirmed, so this should officially be considered to be nothing more than rumor and speculation at this point. With that said, this is not the first time that we have heard reports that Xbox 720 will block used games, as Kotaku reported a very similar rumor back in January 2012.
Even though I have only ever resorted to buying used games when a new copy was not available — for example, I recently purchased a used copy of Too Human (for collecting purposes) as it is the only way to obtain that particular game — I’m fully against any and all efforts on the part of the video game industry to erode consumer rights. Regardless of the method (iron-fisted DRM, anti-used game sales measures, or license agreements that claim you don’t own the content you purchased) it is not something that I will support.
If either Microsoft or Sony goes down this anti-used game road with the Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4 they will do so without me. I will be more than happy to ride out the next generation with my existing backlog of games and a Nintendo Wii U.