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Xbox One's preowned games strategy involves a single-use code
Xbox One's preowned games strategy involves a single-use code
May 21, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

May 21, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
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    23 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Installing a used game on your Xbox One will not require a fee, says Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison. At least, not exactly.

Speaking with Kotaku, Harrison expounded on data already gleaned from Official Xbox Magazine, that Xbox One games must be registered with a single-use code tied to the player's account. To install the game data on another Xbox One, the owner of the new machine pays the game's list price on Xbox Live.

"The bits that are on that disc, you can give it to your friend and they can install it on an Xbox One," says Harrison. "They would then have to purchase the right to play that game through Xbox Live."

With the physical game discs essentially worthless without an activation code, this may have profound implications on the used games market.

Harrison also hinted at an additional feature to be explored later, which would allow players to trade and sell their games -- or rather, the right to play them -- through Xbox Live. Details on that will presumably arrive close to or during E3 in a matter of weeks.

UPDATED: Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has commented on the issue of used games with the following:

We know there is some confusion around used games on Xbox One and wanted to provide a bit of clarification on exactly what we've confirmed today. While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail.

Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios.

Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend's house should you choose to play your game at your friend's house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile.

UPDATED (5/22/2013): Harrison has attempted to clarify on preowned game discs again, via Eurogamer.


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Comments


Alex Owens
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So when you buy a new Xbox One game you will have to enter a code to activate it and if anyone buys that used game later they will have to "buy" a new code to use that game. Essentially the same as the EA online pass program they just recently ended due to "customer feedback." Oh, and EA also announced an exclusive partnership with Microsoft. Well, that's very suspicious activity to me.

Joe Zachery
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It didn't end due to feedback. Microsoft and EA clearly have a deal to use the same system. Now Microsoft will deal with the negative feedback, and allow EA to recover from all the bad press. Look at it as cover fire!

Jonathan Murphy
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I dare them to do it. You hear me Microsoft?! I dare you to do this! Go ahead. Your sales will be the best your company has ever seen on the console market! Retail will adore you! People will make a holiday to celebrate what has to be the best decision ever made in business!

WILLIAM TAYLOR
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I hope the code is just a QR code that you can stick in front of the Kinect for a second and then move on.

Ron Dippold
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So that's effectively the death of used games. There's no point in buying one used when it's the same price as buying it new.

Unless they let you swap right across with someone else who has another used game. Then they take a $10 fee from each and still completely cut out the game studio, GameStop style.

Joel Bennett
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Either way, it sounds like there is going to be a lot of very unhappy people out there - customers because they can no longer buy used games the same way they have, other customers who can no longer trade in used games as they are basically now worthless, and a lot of upset store owners who now can't really sell used games.

Adam Rebika
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The death of used games, OR gamestop simply asking all of its employees to discourage people from buying any console that features this functionnality.

Greg Findlay
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There is potential for that $10 to get divided up with the developer but we'll have to wait and see.

Definitely worse for people looking to buy used though. How-ever, the point of buying used is to get cheaper games, which could be solved with different pricing strategies. Things like Steam sales...

John Flush
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So can the rest of my family use my games? Maybe they can't play online, but as long as they are on the same console that is okay? Can I actually play with people that sit next to me again? Seriously, someday I hope some of this hardware power brings back local multiplayer and less dirt under the fingernails.

Joe Zachery
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Sony is the next to "mess up" along with Microsoft. EA didn't just drop the online pass on all future titles because only one of the next gen systems was implementing it at the hardware level. PS4 is next. Have fun people.

Kujel s
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Exactly, this is likely a big part of why EA isn't supporting the Wii U, they don't curb used sales.

Chris Oates
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Harrison's comment is pretty clear that the full-price code comes in to play only if you still have the game installed and playable on your Xbox and your friend wants to also play on his Xbox. I imagine that if you unregister your copy (sell it) then the game can be installed on another Xbox without the fee. It begs the question as to how onerous the process of deregistration is and whether someone can cheat the system.

TC Weidner
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yeah this has nightmare written all over it.

I also love this microsoft suit speak, umm we are going to release this in a few months, but umm we have no idea how its gonna work right now.....

I mean wtf have you been doing these last 6 years?

Dave Smith
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I was reasonably sure the game industry was going to pick up at the end of the year. Now im thinking a crash is inevitable. Maybe the ps4 will shock me, but im not hopeful any more.

TC Weidner
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Its the old hollywood problem of singers want to be actors, actors want to be directors. In the game industry no one is happy just making money in their own niche.

There is room for markets that cater to mobile, to casual, to pc, to console, to hardcore, etc etc, but noooo, everyone has to try to be everything to everyone.

I agree I see a crash coming but I dont see gaming going away, I see a renaissance. We just have to get these suits out of the industry for awhile. They wreck everything they touch, no matter what industry.

Adam Bishop
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"Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend's house should you choose to play your game at your friend's house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile."

So it will require you to pay a fee if you lend a friend your game and don't give them your gamertag to sign in with, which is exactly what people are saying.

David Marcum
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The fees are for Xbox live.

Phil Harrison:
"The bits that are on that disc, you can give it to your friend and they can install it on an Xbox One," says Harrison. "They would then have to purchase the right to play that game through Xbox Live."

Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb:
"We know there is some confusion around used games on Xbox One and wanted to provide a bit of clarification on exactly what we've confirmed today. While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail."

At least that's the way I read this

It seems like pay again if you want multiplayer.

I could be wrong.

Bob Johnson
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Sounds like if there is used games then you have to go through MS which will take a cut and possibly share it with publishers. All done digitally.

Otherwise why have the code?

Even if they allowed retail used game sales at GameStop would you trust that the code for the game is legit?

Anyway this has been the pcgaming system for awhile now. Most if not all pcgames I get now are tied to an account. I can't trade them.

Ian Brown
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IF (and it's a pretty big if) they allow and facilitate selling of 'used' games through XBox Live with a cut going to the developer, I totally support that. However, that seems to be at best a vague intention at present.

How about this, Microsoft?
Set up an auction system like ebay or the D3 RMAH where people can post their used games licences for sale not just to their friends, but to anyone that wants them? A cut to MS, a cut to the developer, the remainder to the seller.

Given the markups to used games some stores apply (buy it back for 5, sell again for 25) this could even be a three way split and still be better for the consumer.

Mario Kummer
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This and the possibility to just give a game to a friend/relative ...

Sean Kiley
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The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers...

Mario Kummer
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I wonder if they ever think about the following:
- people not having money to buy your games because they can't get money from selling the old ones
- people not knowing your franchise and not buying sequels (although they would have if they exchanged games with friends)

When I was a kid I had 2 friends in the neighborhood, we exchanged games all the time, without that I would have never played Zelda or Secret of Mana. Poor kids :( And of course my brother played the games too, can't imagine that parents will accept this.

I expect this to have a bad impact on sales, it will happen and then they will wonder again what happened and try to but in more restrictions...

Robert Heist
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Why is every one mad about this? I get it but I haven't taken a game back in 2010 and the last time I got a use game was like 2008. One thin is that Games Designers don't like them they hate them so much, and Sony hasn't say what there doing with it, it can be the same thing or not we don't know. Really Sony hasn't say really anything on there console yet like Bungie with there new game Destiny


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