Yesterday, after an unconfirmed report described the Xbox One‘s used game plans as a means for Microsoft to take complete control over every aspect of the pre-owned market (including killing consumers ability to conduct private sales, borrow, or even gift used games) the company issued a statement to “clarify” their position on the issue. Unfortunately, it did nothing of the sort, and left us with all the same unanswered questions.
As relayed through the Major Nelson blog, Microsoft’s official statement on Xbox One and used games reads:
“The ability to trade in and resell games is important to gamers and to Xbox. Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games. Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future.”
The statement provides no clarification as to which parts of the report were either “inaccurate” or “incomplete”, nor does it offer any official information as to what the Xbox One’s used game policy will be. Additionally, Microsoft does not deny the overall report (which was based on statements made to UK retailers by Microsoft) as being untrue, but only states that certain details were “inaccurate and incomplete.”
Furthermore, if there is any confusion over how the Xbox One will handle used games, it has been caused by Microsoft themselves. The company has provided conflicting statements on many aspects of the next-gen console (not the least of which is how it will change the pre-owned market), and they refuse to provide direct answers to any questions.
It is clear that Microsoft has some plan to change certain aspects of the used game market with the Xbox One, or else there would be no need for all the secrecy on their part. The implication is that whatever their pre-owned game plan is, there will be some aspect to it that consumers will not like. Additionally, the refusal to deny the bulk of the latest reports, seems to indicate that all but a few minor details are accurate.
If this these assumptions are not correct, then it is up to Microsoft to correct the situation by simply telling us what their exact plans are for the Xbox One and used games. It is not enough, nor is it acceptable, for them to refuse to provide details and tell us to wait for “more information in the near future.”
Consumers are being pitched the Xbox One right now, if Microsoft will not provide direct answers about the console, it is reasonable for all of us to expect the worst.