With the next generation of consoles out on the market, speculation runs rampant over the features we may or may not see with each console. I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about one in particular: the blocking of used games. Let’s settle this right now; I do not, in any way, believe used games will be blocked from the next Playstation or Xbox. I just want to ask why this issue is such a big deal.
Are we all trying to save a few bucks in hopes of keeping it for ourselves? Look at it this way: on a long enough timeline, new games go on sale and some eventually release a “complete” edition of the game including all the DLC. When you factor in Black Friday and other major sales every year, I question people’s patience on spending their hard-earned money. So the premise of saving money seemingly moves in favor of buying a new copy of the game, at least in some cases.
Here’s where I question the outrage. What happens if/when the home console starts to distribute their games digitally? Discs become the new cartridges, and game cases become icons of a bygone era. It’s not like we can sell an XBLA or PSN game back to anyone for less than half of the price (even within a 30-day window). It might not be happening with this upcoming generation of consoles, but eventually, it could all come down to that.
Personally, I think implementing a block in used games is a bad idea. For one thing, those who rent games will be cut off. Companies like RedBox will lose some money, while Gamefly would probably go out of business. Still, the industry of gaming is an ever-evolving one, so changes will happen both good and bad. So if a company making a console wants to block used games, is it really to get more money out of the consumer, or is it to help the publishing companies and developers make more money?
Throughout the year, we’ve seen stories of game developers closing their doors because business wasn’t doing all that well. Not only that, but a major publishing company in THQ has filed for bankruptcy and auctioned off their properties because of money troubles of their own. I can only venture to guess how many of the developers would still be around today if some money from used game sales came their way.
Even with so much negativity toward the industry, there is one very simple solution: wait. Why? Because everything we’re reading right now about the next generation of consoles is only speculation. There’s still nothing solid that says they’re going to block used games. Anyone with leaked details probably has their hands on what was given to developers, and even that developer’s console is a baseline to the final product. So I’ll just suggest we all just sit, wait, and see what the future holds, rather than becoming outraged at something that may or may not actually happen. After all, we survived the Mayan Apocalypse; I think we can tolerate a block on used games…unless they stay $60 all year. Then I’ll start rioting along with the rest of the internet.
Now it’s time for you to sound off. Do you think the next Xbox and/or Playstation will block used games? Where do you stand on the issue? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.