Previous rumors have pointed towards the fact that Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox 360 will introduce a method of blocking used titles from being played. The Internet was abuzz regarding the speculation, and indeed the countless rumors pertaining to the next-generation Xbox itself. Meanwhile, talk relating to Sony’s next major console had been noticeably quiet.
That came to an end, in some style it must be said, when sources recently suggested that the PlayStation 4 is known as ‘Orbis,’ and that it will include an anti-used games system. US retailer GameStop has already expressed their belief that the next Xbox won’t feature a pre-owned blocking feature and, according to one analyst, the firm will go as far as not selling the PlayStation 4 if it utilizes such a system.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter stressed to GamesIndustry International the importance of Sony and Microsoft not going down the path of implementing a system to block used games within their next consoles.
“It isn’t really in Sony’s or Microsoft’s best interests to block used games. It would benefit Activision and EA slightly, and would hurt GameStop a great deal. If Sony unilaterally did this, I could see GameStop refusing to carry their console, and sales of the PS4 would therefore suffer.”
Pachter also continued to state that if a single platform holder were to integrate the system, they’ll face the ramifications via a loss of market share. He elobarated on this by telling NowGamer that a “collusion charge” would ensue if various platform holders were to release anti-pre-owned games system. Moreover, Pachter added that neither Sony, Microsoft nor Nintendo “are stupid enough to do this unilaterally,” whilst the manufacturers aren’t “evil enough to do it together.”
DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole, meanwhile, shares the same sentiments as Pachter. He believes it would be imprudent to block pre-owned games as a console which utilizes such a system would ultimately fail to capture a considerable portion of the hardcore gaming market.
“A system that tried to stop used game sales would probably turn off the core consumers that rush to trade in their old product to buy new product. In other words, I don’t think it would do so well in the core mark.”
With all the talk regarding Sony and Microsoft preparing their rumored consoles to support blocking the devices’ owners from playing used games, what financial benefits could entail for the companies? Not much, it seems, as Pachter says that both platform holders’ used-games software sales amounts to “less than 10 per cent of sales on their respective consoles.”
Do you agree with Pachter’s appraisal of the situation? Could a console be successful if GameStop refused to stock it? Let us know what you think in the comments below.