Weekend Reading: Used Gaming on Next-Gen Consoles

Sony and Microsoft need to be brave in order to eliminate second-hand gaming

This week has been dominated by reports about used gaming and how it might not even be technically possible on the upcoming next-generation platforms, like the Xbox 720 or the PlayStation 4.

Second-hand gaming has been at the center of a crucial debate in the gaming industry in the last few years, as many retailers, including GameStop, are making a lot of money by buying back games from their different customers and then selling them at a lower price than all-new copies.

As you can imagine, this has resulted in lots of profit for GameStop itself and plenty of lost money for the actual developers and publishers, who aren't getting any money when a used game is sold, and for the console manufacturers, as they're also not receiving their royalty fee.

While plenty of companies are afraid to speak out against used gaming for fear of upsetting their fans, it seems that Microsoft is willing to brave the anger of customers, as a new report claims it will add a special online activation requirement to all games that will appear on the Xbox 720.

This will essentially transform the console into a PC, as this activation method, together with the fact that it ties a game to an account, Xbox Live in this situation, is the norm on the computer.

Meanwhile, recent reports haven't mentioned anything about an anti-used gaming feature on Sony's PlayStation 4, but the Japanese company did trademark a special technology last year that could also stop the console from playing second-hand copies of games.

While without a doubt such features will make plenty of customers angry, it's certainly going to please developers and publishers, who will increase their sales figures even if their games don't reach as many people as before.

As of yet, however, we still don't know anything about the Xbox 720 or the PlayStation 4, so it's unclear what their stance in terms of used gaming actually is.

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