There’s one feature of Xbox One from which we can infer quite a few conclusions: You can install any game from the disc to the console’s hard drive, and then play that game whenever you like without having to put the disc in.
Wired asked Microsoft if installation would be mandatory. “On the new Xbox, all game discs are installed to the HDD to play,” the company responded in an emailed statement. Sounds mandatory to us.
What follows naturally from this is that each disc would have to be tied to a unique Xbox Live account, else you could take a single disc and pass it between everyone you know and copy the game over and over. Since this is clearly not going to happen, each disc must then only install for a single owner.
Microsoft did say that if a disc was used with a second account, that owner would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc, which would then mean that the new account would also own the game and could play it without the disc.
Update 2: Our man on the ground Tom Bramwell was able to speak to corporate vice president of Microsoft Phil Harrison about this hot-button issue and was able to confirm that a second user can install a game from a friend's disc for a fee, though it's unclear how much this will be. Harrison also confirmed that several users sharing a console can access the same game at no additional charge, and Microsoft has "a solution" for the resale market, though it's staying mum on those for now.
Say goodbye to ever preserving these games.
Here's how the system works: when you buy an Xbox One game, you'll get a unique code that you enter when you install that game. You'll have to connect to the Internet in order to authorize that code, and the code can only be used once. Once you use it, that game will then be linked to your Xbox Live account. "It sits on your harddrive and you have permission to play that game as long as you’d like," Harrison said.
But what if you want to bring a game disc to a friend's house and play there? You'll have to pay a fee—and not just some sort of activation fee, but the actual price of that game—in order to use a game's code on a friend's account. Think of it like a new game, Harrison says.
"The bits that are on that disc, you can give it to your friend and they can install it on an Xbox One," he said. "They would then have to purchase the right to play that game through Xbox Live."
"They would be paying the same price we paid, or less?" we asked.
"Let’s assume it’s a new game, so the answer is yes, it will be the same price," Harrison said.
Want to lend a game to a friend? Fuck you, pay me.
Want to lend a game to your little brother? Fuck you, pay me.
Want to rent a game? Fuck you, pay me.
Want to play a game after the activation server dies? Lol. You're fucked.
These are the games you'll be able to play in 10 years
A look into the future
Used games do the following:
- They allow people at a very low investment risk to branch away from their select few titles and try new games. This means that used games allow the consumer to become part of a market that was once too exclusive for them thus growing said market into a more stable brand for later titles.
- DLC still can be purchased on current gen used games. This means that instead of limiting a single physical copy of a game to just one person in potential DLC sales each title can be resold to the consumer market innumerable amounts of time to get more DLC sales per physical unit. In other words DLC lets publishers penetrate used games for sales more than new games. Used games account for 1/3rd of the business in the industry currently.
- A used market creates a resale market allowing consumers to sell back their old titles. The majority of games resold have been documented to go toward the purchase of NEW games and consoles. In other words the used market is helping the consumers to be able to afford to buy new games and hardware. Remove the resale market and many wont be able to afford new titles or systems.
By eliminating the used market through the methods Microsoft is trying to do they will likely cut down on some piracy and they will guarantee all profits go to them and the developer, but they will be MASSIVELY shrinking the size of their markets as most cannot afford to reside exclusively in the new game market's price point level.
What they have done is effectively ignore the law of large numbers in business. "More coming in than what is lost" is how insurance companies and bank's thrive. Microsoft has bottle necked their market so tightly that they have vastly reduced their market in favor of a near 100% revenue model. 100% of a much smaller market still isn't as good as allowing the HIGHLY profitable used market to continue on their console. 1/3rd of the profits in the industry are from the used market and its completely incalculable how much this will hurt them with consumers let alone developers in the long run.
Who ever came up with this business model was not only blind to resale business markets, but they were absolutely wreckless in ignoring the consumer's reaction to this topic this past year.
Plus if this was a way to attack piracy I'd say it will backfire. The more unattainable you make it for the consumer to receive something they want the more you popularize piracy and the more you empower pirates to find ways to steal and distribute your goods.
Gabe Newell gets that...apparently Microsoft doesn't.
Dark times ahead for both gamers and developers at this rate as the industry is about to lose some money.