The latest rumors surrounding Microsoft’s newest Xbox state that the console will require an Internet connection in order to function and will prevent players from playing second-hand games on the system, dealing a big blow to any gamers who frequently get their entertainment from the ‘Pre-Owned’ section.
Sources with first-hand experience of Microsoft’s next generation console have told us that although the next Xbox will be absolutely committed to online functionality, games will still be made available to purchase in physical form. Next Xbox games will be manufactured on 50GB-capacity Blu-ray discs, Microsoft having conceded defeat to Sony following its ill-fated backing of the HD-DVD format. It is believed that games purchased on disc will ship with activation codes, and will have no value beyond the initial user.
So, it looks like there are going to be some serious Xbox Live adjustments with the next-gen console; not only will you NEED to be online to play any games, it also looks like digital downloads & online purchases of games will eventually take over the market, especially considering activation codes will effectively kill the possibility of buying used games.
This development begs a few questions – Will the Xbox’s online service finally come free of charge now that it’s required? And will non-physical game purchases be less expensive than hard copies?
We’ll likely get the answers to these questions sooner rather than later, as Sony is gearing up to announce their latest Playstation console on February 20th and Microsoft probably won’t be far behind that. So far, though, it’s looking like the latter might be the more oppressive, money-grubbing company in the next-gen market.