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How Are Used Games Going to Work With Xbox One? Microsoft Finally Offers Details, Kind Of

Microsoft releases official policies on Internet connection, used games for the new console with gaping holes where important details should be.


For months, pretty much the entirety of the Internet has been devoted to clearing up the rumors — Always on connectivity? No more used games? — surrounding the Xbox One. In the past couple of days, Microsoft itself has taken the opportunity to clarify how the new console will change the way we play…kind of. While the company has offered new takes on the system’s connectivity requirements and used game policies, some big questions about how exactly those policies will be put in place remain.

First, the easy one. The “not always on” Xbox One is kind of always on. While it won’t require a persistent connection, the console will always be looking for new updates for itself and your games while humming away in a low-power mode. And while you can play single player games offline, there will be a 24-hour limit on doing so before you have to check in online to establish that you are who you say you are.

Now for the more complicated matter of buying and selling used games, which will be registered to your account under the coming glorious Xbox One regime. Here’s what Microsoft had to say about what the process of buying and selling used games will look like for the Xbox One:

Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers.  Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.

In other words, the future of used games is…confusing. When you buy a game, it will be registered to your Xbox account — a registration that you can take with you to play on other consoles. Whether you can sell that game back, though, appears to be up to the game’s publishers, who are generally such noted fans of the used game market. That smells like a policy in which used games are technically feasible on the Xbox One, but leaves some big questions as to how the process will work. The fine print of the article, though offers some clues, though, suggesting that while publishers will have the final say on whether their game can be resold, transfer fees could get them a cut of used game sales and sweeten the pot for developers:

Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers.  Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.

What’s still unclear is whose pocket that cut could come out of — consumers or used game retailers. And correct me if I’m wrong, but it also seems like a pretty good way to make the fairly simple transaction of buying a used game more complicated than it needs to be.

(via The Next Web)

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