Editorial

The Xbox One used game policy: a 'Start menu'-style issue

The Xbox One's used game policy is just asking for a mountain of problems

Microsoft has finally offered up some concrete details about how used game discs for their upcoming Xbox One console will be handled. We posted a story about those rules but here's a quick summary:

  • In terms of giving Xbox One disc games to friends, Microsoft says that those friends have to be on your own Xbox Live friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given to a friend once. Basically, your friend can't turn around and give that game to another buddy.
  • Microsoft says that "participating retailers" will let users trade Xbox One disc games for cash or credit. That means your mom-and-pop used game store that you have used for years could be denied a chance to "participate' in Xbox One used game sales.
  • Finally, Microsoft is giving control of how Xbox One disc games can be handled by third party publishers. Those companies may decide that they don't want those games to be traded in to retailers or given to friends, or if they do allow that they may put in further restrictions and fees.

All of these seem, at least to me, to be a highly complicated way to deal what many publishers think is a problem with the current game console business. They believe that used game sales hurt their bottom line because they don't get any more money from sales of those games after they are originally bought as new releases.

Here's the truth; used game sales actually help the game industry. It helps to give people who simply can't afford a $60 game a way to do so at a cheaper price after someone who can afford such a game has already bought it. That helps expand the overall game sales market and may lead to those people buying new games in the future, at full prices.

Used game sales actually help the game industry

There are some aspects of the Xbox One game set up that are attractive. Having up to 10 family members play any game attached to one Xbox Live account is nice, and it's also cool that a user can go to a friends house, sign up on his or her Xbox One console and start playing any game on their account as well.

However, the way that Microsoft is handling physical used game discs for the Xbox One is something that we have never had before in the game industry. When you bought a Super NES cartridge, it was yours, and you could play it, then give it to a buddy so he can play it, and then he could maybe sell it to someone else who really wanted to play it.

That kind of fan-generated community of used game sales is over, as least as far as Xbox One game discs are concerned. When you buy that $60 disc of Call of Duty: Ghosts later this year for the Xbox One, spending all that money still won't make that game disc your property to do with what you please.

There's a simple solution to this problem. Buyers of used Xbox One game discs should be given the option to play the game strictly on the console's disc drive, without installing the game's content to the hard drive. They can still gain achievements for that game on Xbox Live and play online if the game has such a feature. That way, a game disc owner can still trade or give the disc to anyone freely, just like they can with Xbox 360 game disc or any other game made for previous consoles.

But, if they want to download any extra content for that game, or if they just want to install the content on their Xbox One's hard drive - which would have the added bonus of keeping the game in the cloud for future downloads - then the disc can then be subject to Microsoft's current used game policies. Basically, the disc becomes much like a PC game or piece of software that's also been bought on a disc. Those products are also installed on a hard drive, but after that happens, the official license for sharing that content is restricted, as it should be.

Everyone would get what they would want. Gamers would still have the option of buying a used Xbox One game disc that's not tied into an account used by someone else, while Microsoft and publishers would still have some control over used game content if Xbox One gamers decide they want the convenience of having the game saved on their hard drive or the cloud in their Xbox One account.

The current Xbox One used game policy is not convenient at all

Ultimately, that's what consumers really want: convenience. The current Xbox One used game policy is not convenient at all, but rather a hodgepodge of policies that quite frankly sounds like something Microsoft executives came up with in a meeting just last week. It's a mess, and if Sony is smart (and we think they are) they should announce at their E3 press conference on Monday that people who buy disc games for their PlayStation 4 console will have no such restrictions on giving games to friends or trading them in for cash or credit.

Indeed, there's already evidence that small stores don't care for Microsoft's approach. MCV posted a quote from Chris Muckell from the UK game retailer Xpress Games that perfectly sums up what our own opinion is on this issue:

In a nutshell it just sounds over complicated for a consumer. There are too many rules, overcomplicating something that should be a simple process simply just to siphon out a few pounds of pre-owned revenue for the publisher/Microsoft.

The current system of used game sales may be something that publishers don't like, but the alternative Microsoft proposes is even worse. Let's hope that there's a huge outcry from gamers against this system in the weeks and months ahead, as Microsoft has proven it can reverse course based on consumer feedback. We have seen that in action in the past few weeks with the upcoming return of the Start button and the boot-to-desktop features that will be put inside Windows 8.1.

The current system of used game sales may be something that publishers don't like, but the alternative Microsoft proposes is even worse.

Indeed, this whole used game policy reminds me of the Start menu controversy for Windows 8. Microsoft decided to add the Modern UI for touchscreens, but retain the desktop for legacy programs. However, for no real good reason, Microsoft decided to eliminate the Start menu from the desktop on Windows 8, and also would not allow Windows 8 owners to boot directly to the desktop. After a massive outcry, Microsoft has decided to at least let PC users boot to the desktop for Windows 8.1 along with Start button (but not a full Start menu).

Now Microsoft wants to change something in the console games industry that consumers really love; quick and easy access to used game discs. It's something that's not needed and it's also something that I think that gamers will reject, especially if, as we said previously, Sony has a different and better used game policy for the PS4. Let's hope, for Microsoft's sake and for the entire console game industry in general, that the company will change its mind on its used game policies for the Xbox One so it won't turn out to be the console's "Start menu" issue.

Images via Microsoft and Stardock

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Here's the truth; used game sales actually help the game industry. It helps to give people who simply can't afford a $60 game a way to do so at a cheaper price after someone who can afford such a game has already bought it. That helps expand the overall game sales market and may lead to those people buying new games in the future, at full prices.

That may have been how it used to work but in the UK shops like CEX don't even sell new games, they only deal in second hand. Even large chains like GAME give more of their retail floor space over to second hand games rather than new stock.

What I don't understand is why people still want to hold onto the antiquated concept of a license hooked to media. We hated that back in the 80s when it first started, so it's good to see it finally going away. Do you really want your game license going away because the disk got scratched?

John, I think your editorial is misdirected: Microsoft's policies are designed to *accommodate* used games, not to restrict them.

The console is catching up to PC and mobile by embracing a digital distribution model. Games for Xbox One are licensed as downloadable titles whether you buy them online or on disk. The disk is merely a convenient physical carrier; a way to avoid lengthy downloads and broadband caps.

This model has restrictions but also benefits. Games licensed to your account can be downloaded and played on any console. Without the need to swap discs, you join a party in progress almost instantly. Publishers will make games available for digital download on day one, letting you bypass the whole Gamestop preorder nonsense if you like.

Despite this, Microsoft is providing mechanisms for Xbox One to support scenarios that gamers value, *in particular* used games. For example, you won't be forced to buy online; you'll still be able to purchase titles on physical media. You'll be able to trade in used games at retail, share games with family members, and sell games to friends. This range of options is unique among modern online digital marketplaces. Competing platforms (iTunes, Steam, Play, etc.) do not allow gamers to trade or sell games; once you buy it, it's yours for life.

Even the periodic "phone home" check is only required because Microsoft has preserved the option to buy games on physical media. If there was no physical media and all purchases were downloads, then cheats for the system would be much more difficult to engineer.

I understand why some gamers are having a knee-jerk reaction, but this won't reset the clock. The online digital content model is here now, it's already common and accepted on other gaming platforms; the consoles simply catching up. Microsoft's range of options are customer-friendly compared to competing digital content stores.

I've never dealt with used games but this will put more revenue into the game developers pockets so they can keep on producing games...I don't see why people are complaining...

I don't know how they figure it is lost revenue having used games around. Someone had top purchase it for it be available now used. I will buy a game new if I really want it but otherwise I'm willing to wait for a used game. Perhaps that is where the game publishers lose out, but when brand new games are $50 and $60 well many of us can't afford that often.

They lost my business, plain and simple. If I want to spend my money on something to purchase it I intend on owning it and not simply renting it per their policies.

Do you buy software for your PC, smartphone, or tablet? What about content for your e-reader or from iTunes video?

I wouldn't call it renting. You are buying a limited license that is tied to your registered account and this is absolutely nothing new.

I buy software all the time for my PC - the ones who don't allow me to resell my content as I see fit are not in my buying category.

If I go out and buy a blu-ray and decide to resell it then that's my choice. I'm not going to sit there and shell out money to have something I can't resell, sorry.

"Buyers of used Xbox One game discs should be given the option to play the game strictly on the console's disc drive, without installing the game's content to the hard drive ."

Neowin has some of the most clueless writers. Both PS4 and ONE require install to HDD for performance reasons. Blu-Ray load times are too slow and inconsistent.

That being said I can think of a few ways to do DRM better.

Option 1) require XBL sign in to activate and deactivate games before selling or giving games. No 24 hr check. If a person hasn't deactivated the game from their account Gamestop can see this and the person trying to activate on a new machine is blocked.

Option 2) QR code licensing. Works similar to product keys on Windows PC, but instead of typing codes you hold up the disc to the Kinect before install. If you want to give or sell your 1 allowed copy of the game to someone you deactivate the game from your account and send them a photo of the QR code or send them the disc. Like PC software this transfers value from the disc to the license code. On eBay you sell the photo of the QR code.

Option 3) Optional disc in drive verification like Xbox 360. When the user installs the game give them the option to choose either cloud library verification or disc required verification. You can even give the user incentives for choosing cloud verification.

The advantage to these are that people in military and those without internet access for days can still play games. No single point of failure for all Xbox One gamers. If there is a server outage for more than a day all Xbox One users will be affected because of the 24hr check.

Edited by Avatar Roku, Jun 8 2013, 6:31pm :

This is a huge issue for me as well. I don't really care about the startmenu, I think the startscreen is fine and it doesnt hinder me at all.

However not being able to trade games or play offline for a long period is unforgivable. I won't get a new Xbox until those things are changed. I'm sure MS will find out the hard way that they can't limited such freedoms unless Sony does it too. And even then there is stil PC to fall back to...

what does offline means? In xbox, you completely removing the internet capability to console which mean, no tv, hulu, Netflix, HBOGo. My assumption, if you buy PS4, you will do something similar, which is, offline (no internet hook up). What is wrong with that pictures? Might I suggest using OTA for your local channel.

Trading is allowed in fact you can share, trade. Have you tried selling / trading Steam game to your friend or ebay or Gamestop.

steam its steam, and part of the reason why i dont enjoy pc gaming other than need of high specs its the DRM in steam, i remember my cs days steam bring a new layer of lag, sluggines and restricted gameplay but people got use to it.

In my case console gaming its different than pc because its easy, fast, intuitive, less complicated and it works. now that they want to add all those restrictions they are killing all of it, i rather get a pc and steam at least i know that there are steam deals

@ eilegz. What restriction? I can sell, share, or trade my xbox One game. It's all behind the scene for you. You don't have to know the detail because Gamestop will take care of the detail for you.

PC gaming has gotten some restriction as well such as Diablo III and Sim City online verification. There's just no standard. MS has to balance what publisher wants and what consumer wants.

minster11 said,
what does offline means? In xbox, you completely removing the internet capability to console which mean, no tv, hulu, Netflix, HBOGo. My assumption, if you buy PS4, you will do something similar, which is, offline (no internet hook up). What is wrong with that pictures? Might I suggest using OTA for your local channel.

Trading is allowed in fact you can share, trade. Have you tried selling / trading Steam game to your friend or ebay or Gamestop.

I buy a lot of used (disc) games so the XBox One isn't an option for me anyway. But even if it did allow used games I would stil have an issue with its online policity.

It's not 'online only' but you need to be only every other day. I don't even play Xbox every other day! Meaning that if I went to play some games after a week of non-gaming it would need to connect with Xbox Live first. What if my internet is out that day? I finally get around to playing some (offline) games and I can't. No way I will risk that sh*t unless I have no choice.

Luckily there are alternatives: Playstation and PC. And what does Steam have to do with it? I dislike Steam and its owner and I wil have nothing to do with it. I do buy PC games every now and then and when I do I buy them on disc.

The only explanation are, when you buy the game via the disc are removing the obstacle. One which, by learning from Sony, game updates can be done while the Xbox is off. Second is game is all installed in the HD and there's no waiting for it to complete the install. Meaning Xbox will install the necessary portion just so you can play the first chapter or whatever. Again learning from Sony pitfall. Third, by installing to the hard drive, I can keep my disc just like steam or store bought PC game.

The only,downfall is, it requires internet at all time, however, MS allows authentication every 24 hours. But not because they are dicks, but since there's no need physical disc to be able to play, it has to do so. Anyone can understand that.

The pros of it is, by doing that I can go to my in law house without bringing my disc as I can play after 5 or so minute after Xbox authenticate I have the right to play the game. Another useful feature is, I can play Destiny (Bungie open world game) with my daughter without buying another copy just so I can play with her.

I think Ms did a nice transition in creating a win win situation.

My prediction, PC gaming will decline if majority shall / can embrace the Xbox DRM.

minster11 said,
The only explanation are, when you buy the game via the disc are removing the obstacle. One which, by learning from Sony, game updates can be done while the Xbox is off. Second is game is all installed in the HD and there's no waiting for it to complete the install. Meaning Xbox will install the necessary portion just so you can play the first chapter or whatever. Again learning from Sony pitfall. Third, by installing to the hard drive, I can keep my disc just like steam or store bought PC game.

The only,downfall is, it requires internet at all time, however, MS allows authentication every 24 hours. But not because they are dicks, but since there's no need physical disc to be able to play, it has to do so. Anyone can understand that.

The pros of it is, by doing that I can go to my in law house without bringing my disc as I can play after 5 or so minute after Xbox authenticate I have the right to play the game. Another useful feature is, I can play Destiny (Bungie open world game) with my daughter without buying another copy just so I can play with her.

I think Ms did a nice transition in creating a win win situation.

My prediction, PC gaming will decline if majority shall / can embrace the Xbox DRM.

of course if you have korea or japan internet speed, because seriously all offline gaming its done thanks to this kind of crap policies.

There are no pro in making physical media act like digital. each on their own and having its cons and pro

Are you Korean because you seem to defend those country?. Do you reside in Korean? Is your internet sucky? I notice there's Korean MMO games out there, I thought WoW is playable in every country. Care to explain how those country play WoW?

Physical media acts like delivery system, those 2 works together. Explain every blurry disc you buy right now comes with, blurry, dvd, and portables / ultra violet. So please elaborate what you mean

minster11 said,
Are you Korean because you seem to defend those country?. Do you reside in Korean? Is your internet sucky? I notice there's Korean MMO games out there, I thought WoW is playable in every country. Care to explain how those country play WoW?

Physical media acts like delivery system, those 2 works together. Explain every blurry disc you buy right now comes with, blurry, dvd, and portables / ultra violet. So please elaborate what you mean

you are comparing a MMO with other genres? are you serious? i mean if i wanted to play a simple fightning game in my friends house console, why should i spent time, downloading installing log in, and all those annoyance... i just want to play the game.

if physical media its there for convenience, fast, easy, instant game... all of those factors and advantages of console gaming its out. if console start acting like pc gaming i rather get steam and a gaming pc right?

you said Korean or Japanese internet speed which I knocked it down because those country plays MMO game, hence the reference to MMO.
The cost to buy PC rigs like Alienware cost double than xbox one. I read Maximum PC magazine to build a decent rigs with AMD cost $700. If you like Steam and Gaming PC because you think installing game on console is similar to PC, then that's where I disagree. Even on PC alone, when you buy PC game at the store, would you agree that physical media is there for convenience.
You missed my original post. I posted that the moment you put the disc in, you can start playing because Xbox one will install the first chapter or whatever and install the rest of the game while you are killing the first chapter boss.

I agree and disagree. I think the issue is a hot one but it isn't polarizing like the start menu one. Start menu has two camps "I NEED IT OR I'LL DIE" and "Meh, don't miss it". This is something that'll affect everyone that buys the system. It's not a learning curve like Win8, it's restrictive.

I like some things like having my game library available. +1 for that. The trading/selling part bothers me big time. If the publishers are slack on this and things carry on much the way they do now at GameStop then I'm ok with that too. I just fear that some *cough* EA *cough* will start to milk the hell out of it. In other words they'll make a game that's buy once, play once. You wanna play this? Go buy it. What if it sucks?

I don't mind the 24 hour check in as that doesn't affect me but I can see how others with spotty internet might get affected. Then again if it's cloud heavy, the once a day check will be the least of their problems.

I think games should have two modes. Regular - off the disc / Enhanced - utilize the power of cloud. That way you CAN play a game 100% offline. If you have amazing internet, great, you get the cloud stuffs, if you have crappy internet, great, you still get to play.

I'm still thinking things will change prior to launch and things will adjust. This much uproar has to be noticed by MS and if these guys detect a dip in the $$$ going into their pockets, they'll change their stance.

So win8 was having something removed and adapting. This is having a lot of possibly bad things ADDED and adapting. Time will tell.

Don't blame the game publishers blame Microsoft (and Sony if Sony implement it). Combined they have the 3rd party publishers by the BALLS!

warwagon said,
Don't blame the game publishers blame Microsoft (and Sony if Sony implement it). Combined they have the 3rd party publishers by the BALLS!

It's actually the other way around, the publishers have Sony and MS by the balls.. and its the publishers that want DRM / authentication and single user licensing.

warwagon said,
Don't blame the game publishers blame Microsoft (and Sony if Sony implement it). Combined they have the 3rd party publishers by the BALLS!

Microsoft must work with the publisher. If MS shafts the publishers, they can easily say, Ok, we will not publish a game under your platform, and we will work with someone that can handle this better.

You have to realized, that this is not Microsoft's fault totally. If fact, blame GameStop for making second hand gaming so popular. Granted, consumer do get the benefit for second hand game, but publishers are getting shafted for not receiving any revenues. What Microsoft did was just stay in the middle of it all with XONE.

spudtrooper said,

It's actually the other way around, the publishers have Sony and MS by the balls.. and its the publishers that want DRM / authentication and single user licensing.


I strongly disagree.

Without the console, the games wouldn't have a home and the consoles are the main source for game revenue. Hardware companies have the power because they control the ecosystem they're creating. Publishers don't have any direct control, they just can have input. If a publisher turns away from console manufacturers because they wont support such rule, then where the hell are they going to release their game with a ecosystem which can support their development costs?

This is simply MS giving some flexibility and power to the publisher so they can keep a tighter control on their revenue. Its business. If a publisher is more favorable to Microsoft, then where are the games going to go?

RommelS said,

Microsoft must work with the publisher. If MS shafts the publishers, they can easily say, Ok, we will not publish a game under your platform, and we will work with someone that can handle this better.

You have to realized, that this is not Microsoft's fault totally. If fact, blame GameStop for making second hand gaming so popular. Granted, consumer do get the benefit for second hand game, but publishers are getting shafted for not receiving any revenues. What Microsoft did was just stay in the middle of it all with XONE.

yes but if Microsoft AND Sony say they won't support their limitation on used games, then where do the 3rd party developers have to go? Thus Sony and Microsoft have them by the balls.

warwagon said,

yes but if Microsoft AND Sony say they won't support their limitation on used games, then where do the 3rd party developers have to go? Thus Sony and Microsoft have them by the balls.

And yes, that is a big IF, and IF that happens, then the publishers will eventually make you pay a fee to get second hand games. My point is, you cannot blame this solely to Microsoft, and as I said, Microsoft just put themselves in the middle - they will not charge, however, it is up to the publishers if they want to or not.

In addition, the publishers can always develop for the PC platform.

Sorry Neowin, but this article is rubbish.

The start menu was removed because it simply didn't have a purpose with the start screen. With it there would of been 2 completely different but complete ways to view programs on your computer. People complained that the 2 UI's were too disjointed, but people want to add the start menu in the desktop which would literally remove any joints the two UI's had?

Regarding the Xbox, I totally agree with the complication. There is just too many rules around it which really shouldn't of been released this early. MS would of never wanted this news to come out this early but due to the rumor mill, its pretty much destroyed their reveal plans because they've had to clarify rules around the games before even showing them.

These grumbles have been going round for ages and markets like Steam have been doing this for a long time. I really don't understand the massive uproar around it. People are angry about not lending their games out. Yet I know, like most people, I hate lending games out. They get scratched and people don't return them.

All the news websites including Neowin seem to writhe on the negatives around the situation and not point out the positives. I've not seen any mention of being able to play your whole game library on any-ones Xbox? You can download full games from the cloud when you sign in. No carrying games, loosing them and scratching them.

There's also a very big business point which no-one has picked up on at all, just because people are so caught up in this. If the PS4 does not support these policies and Sony are essentially sticking their middle finger to the publishers then who are these publishers more inclined to release exclusive new IP's to? To actually make games for? These means MS have the upper hand every time in negotiations. If a console is supporting your business and one isn't, which one are you going to release your game for?

warwagon said,
The thing is if Microsoft and Sony both gave them the middle finger where are the 3rd party publishers going to go?

By 3rd party do you mean companies like EA/Activision? If so, then that's what I'm referring to sorry.

There's always negotiations between publishers and manufacturers with new IP's, if MS return back an offer with a pot of cash and a solution for the publishers to have their revenue increased by controlling used game sales. Then who are they going to release it for?

This is all simply business and in the end it will benefit the consumer. If publishers start getting more revenue from games, they're more inclined to make new games. Whether that be a sequel or a new IP. How many articles have you seen recently about games being canned? I know I've seen many.

EDIT: A good example of this is Ryse from Crytek. I've seen many articles about them being hurt by piracy and such things. The Crytek Engine already will work on the PS4, so they could happily release it there. They could of been very much persuaded by MS with these policies and a pot of money to launch it as an exclusive IP.

I hope Xbox One fails miserably, to send a message that not all consumers are nodding dolts that will buy anything and everything. Sure there are good things about the new box, very good things, but they don't outweigh the negatives and I went from looking forward to picking one up to never buying this product regardless of price, I just don't need it. Playstation for games is my new choice...and only if they keep their nose clean.

I don't want it to fail completely. I want these asinine restrictions to go into effect and show the publishers (and MS) that it's overly complicated and overall crap. They'll knock it off and all will be well.

Here's the truth; used game sales actually help the game industry. It helps to give people who simply can't afford a $60 game a way to do so at a cheaper price after someone who can afford such a game has already bought it. That helps expand the overall game sales market and may lead to those people buying new games in the future, at full prices.

Do you have something to back that up, or did you pull that truth out of thin air?

He can't because it's made up BS.
Why would someone that can't afford a game for $60 now buy a full priced game in the future?
Why don't people take this approach? New game comes out..too expensive. Wait a few months for the price to drop!! Shocking!
For example: I picked up a brand new copy of Halo 4 on Tuesday for $11.35CA

XerXis said,

Do you have something to back that up, or did you pull that truth out of thin air?

There is nothing to back that up. It is pulled from thin air.

Digital sales of games are growing at a fast rate with Xbox Arcade, Steam, Apple's App Store, Android Marketplace etc all becoming very successful. Within the next 5 years, all games will only be available in this form and will end the Used Games market for good.

My parents have two 360s and one PS3. All they buy are used games, mostly Xbox. Sometimes multiple copies so they can co-op (Borderlands2). They also play a single game back on forth on either console. So, yeah, no Xbone for them. No way in hell. And they have plenty of money, being retired. It's just the principle of the thing. Don't reward Microsoft and the publishers for this sh*TTY behavior! Next gen will belong to PS4.

Look at it from another perspective. What makes you so sure that DRM is a push from Microsoft? It's very likely its a push from publishers, after repeated occurances of pirated games & no intake from used sales market.

The majority of games published on the Xbox aren't by Sony or Microsoft, but the third party publishers. Sony definitely have something similar, with the only diference beeing that they haven't said anything about it yet.

Thats my view of the next-gen consoles. If you ask me, the ****storm Microsoft has been getting over online drm is blown out of proportion. Although i would prefer a console without DRM, i haven't really had any problems with it yet. Just waiting for the game announcements before i choose my gaming platform.

Edited by Espen Lund, Jun 8 2013, 3:30pm :

Do some of you guys even do your own research or are you just selective parrots?
With XB1, you don't need to buy multiple copies of a game. Anyone on your family list can have total access to any game that is installed on the system.

Benda said,
It's just the principle of the thing. Don't reward Microsoft and the publishers for this sh*TTY behaviour; Next gen will belong to PS4.

Well said, we as consumers should be sticking together and when there is a blatant raping coming lets take a stand with our wallets and hope they get the message when no one buys into this crap

I have to agree. The worst part is that this is basically a solution to a problem they created... They really need to make some changes before release (And probably preorders)...

MS if ur gonna keep this rule in place...
Listen closely, U CAN'T CHARGE $60 PER GAME...
Everyday better be a 'STEAM DEAL LIKE DAY'....
U can't charge people full price to something they don't technically own

Showan said,
MS if ur gonna keep this rule in place...
Listen closely, U CAN'T CHARGE $60 PER GAME...
Everyday better be a 'STEAM DEAL LIKE DAY'....
U can't charge people full price to something they don't technically own

Newsflash, you never did. Since the dawn of console games, you've only ever bought a license to run the code. You never owned the game.

Showan said,
MS if ur gonna keep this rule in place...
Listen closely, U CAN'T CHARGE $60 PER GAME...
Everyday better be a 'STEAM DEAL LIKE DAY'....
U can't charge people full price to something they don't technically own

1st. Did it ever hit you that if the publishers got paid for all users(even new users who bought the game used) they might be able to have a sale more often or lower the full price?
2nd. Xbox HAS daily and weakly deals throughout the year. And with XOne ALL games will be available online on launch-day, which makes it possible for more sales(because they have more games) and cheaper prices.
3rd. Steam/Origin etc. uses lisences too. You don't need the disc, and you can't give it to a friend because he would still need a license. So how are these rules different?

TCLN Ryster said,

Newsflash, you never did. Since the dawn of console games, you've only ever bought a license to run the code. You never owned the game.


That may be true...
But it was never on this level...

Some old games may have claimed to only be licensed, but they seems a lot like more like owned to me when 10 years later I can still pop it in my console and it plays just fine, and I can sell it or give it away for free, and it will work in any other functional console.
These new restrictions are abysmal and should not be tolerated. The next wave will only be worse.

1. There is no "Start Menu issue", except for a few Internet ramblings that don't matter from "advanced computer people" who can't adapt to change. Normal people don't care.

2. Do you think Microsoft invented this to annoy customers, or do you think it's something the game publishers really, really wanted? If the latter, you have to assume that they will push it on as many console manufacturers as possible, or maybe just not develop too seriously for those that don't go along. People hate EA but keep buying their games because they are good. EA will love this new scheme. Without good games, the console isn't much use.

3. The whole scheme does sound complicated, but so did Windows Activation. It's only complicated when you go looking for the complexity. The benefits they'll be able to sell -- such as logging in from any console to access your games -- will probably outweigh the negatives to a lot of people.

4. I am kind of happy that public libraries will no longer be able to lend video games. There are better uses for my tax dollars.

mbg said,
1. There is no "Start Menu issue", except for a few Internet ramblings that don't matter from "advanced computer people" who can't adapt to change. Normal people don't care.

2. Do you think Microsoft invented this to annoy customers, or do you think it's something the game publishers really, really wanted? If the latter, you have to assume that they will push it on as many console manufacturers as possible, or maybe just not develop too seriously for those that don't go along. People hate EA but keep buying their games because they are good. EA will love this new scheme. Without good games, the console isn't much use.

3. The whole scheme does sound complicated, but so did Windows Activation. It's only complicated when you go looking for the complexity. The benefits they'll be able to sell -- such as logging in from any console to access your games -- will probably outweigh the negatives to a lot of people.

4. I am kind of happy that public libraries will no longer be able to lend video games. There are better uses for my tax dollars.


As much as I hate when people do this, I'm going to have to stop reading at 1... 'Normal' people DO care...

M_Lyons10 said,

As much as I hate when people do this, I'm going to have to stop reading at 1... 'Normal' people DO care...

Really? Because out of all the people I've installed Windows 8 for and gave them a brief overview, none of them really gave a ****.

M_Lyons10 said,

As much as I hate when people do this, I'm going to have to stop reading at 1... 'Normal' people DO care...

My parents didn't complain. My mother don't understand sh*t at computers, but after W8 she found it easier to use. The flag on the keyboard is her home button and now all icons she needs is so large that she can read them without her glasses. I'd say she's the definition of a normal person. "Normal" is a broad term, "SOME people do care".

JonnyLH said,

Really? Because out of all the people I've installed Windows 8 for and gave them a brief overview, none of them really gave a ****.

And the ones i've supported DO. So your point isn't really valid.

Master of Earth said,
If Sony and Microsoft use the same policy, PC GAMING FTW!
Yeah because overloard gabe doesn't have that already ruined with online bloatware

omgben said,
I didn't know that you HAD to have Steam to game on the PC...

Do PC gamers really use anything else than Steam in the most recent years? I know when I was a PC gamer a while back before I was working full-time, Steam was the only platform I used then.

TPreston said,
Yeah because overloard gabe doesn't have that already ruined with online bloatware

If said bloatware lets me not give a slightest damn about remembering to update games and sync friend lists, server lists and saves in the cloud then I'll gladly take it. Even if the client itself is unresponsive at times.

JonnyLH said,

Do PC gamers really use anything else than Steam in the most recent years?

Yes, and that's a silly statement to make.

Raa said,

Yes, and that's a silly statement to make.

So you correct me, diminish what I've been saying and give no other examples.

This is pathetic. It's almost guaranteed that the PS4 will have the *EXACT* same DRM restrictions. Guaranteed I tell ya!

I think MS just actually pulled the trigger announcing early so they can focus on content while Sony will have to face the wrath of DRM eventually.

And to be honest, I hope I have to eat my words. I'd rather be wrong, but I doubt it.

kaotic said,
They have to have similar rules other the publishers won't support the console.

not really i mean xbox brand its not that strong as playstation brand outside of the us.. plus this kind of rules should not apply in other places where there are not gamestop or used game sell issues.

Well, it would be VERY odd for the publishers to let sony do as they please while having microsoft enforce DRM. They want to stop used games across the board, not just on the Xbox.

kaotic said,
Well, it would be VERY odd for the publishers to let sony do as they please while having microsoft enforce DRM. They want to stop used games across the board, not just on the Xbox.

in the end what they are making its people go to pc gaming or piracy on there in the end, if consoles its going to start acting like a pc then what its the point.

publisher will still get affected if people wont buy their games at launch. publisher must understand that people sell their used games to buy new ones, its the way that market go, if they are killing the used market they are just slowing down their sales.

"Article"

But, if they want to download any extra content for that game, or if they just want to install the content on their Xbox One's hard drive - which would have the added bonus of keeping the game in the cloud for future downloads - then the disc can then be subject to Microsoft's current used game policies. Basically, the disc becomes much like a PC game or piece of software that's also been bought on a disc. Those products are also installed on a hard drive, but after that happens, the official license for sharing that content is restricted, as it should be.


Brilliant!

I'm thinking this one... "In terms of giving Xbox One disc games to friends, Microsoft says that those friends have to be on your own Xbox Live friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given to a friend once. Basically, your friend can't turn around and give that game to another buddy." still needs proper clarification from MS.

Ultimately, that's what consumers really want: convenience
Depending on how you buy your games, being able to play them without the disc, and getting access to them on any console by logging in (whether you brought it from their online service, or a disc) is pretty convenient.

Being about to share you game library with "family members" solves the issue for households with more than one console.

The only policy that people need to know about is that they need to trade their games in at participating stores only, and that the publisher has enabled whatever flags that allow the game to be traded.

Sony is in a good spot right now, I sure hope they don't announce a bunch of similar rules at E3.

Used games always seemed crazy to me. You can't own code, I mean you buy a disk but that is just the method of delivering the code to a device it isn't the actual product. It is a broken system. Xbox Arcade was the first system I can think of to solve it but since then Steam and Apple have really run with the idea.

The result is games are getting cheaper but developers are making more money. It is really a win win situation. We all hate change but the truth is that this is a fix to a problem.

incendy said,
Used games always seemed crazy to me. You can't own code, I mean you buy a disk but that is just the method of delivering the code to a device it isn't the actual product. It is a broken system. Xbox Arcade was the first system I can think of to solve it but since then Steam and Apple have really run with the idea.

The result is games are getting cheaper but developers are making more money. It is really a win win situation. We all hate change but the truth is that this is a fix to a problem.

The difference is, with Steam, you are actually rewarded for buying the games on that platform.
Buy a game on the steam store, and if its supported on Windows, Mac or Linux it'll work... on the other hand, if you buy a game on the Microsoft store, you'll get it for just one platform, even if the same exact game exists across multiple Microsoft platforms, xbox, windows phone, windows 8 app, it's actually retarded.
Steam is the only DRM that's done it right, people actually WANT to use steam and have their games in one place. I know a lot hate the idea of even steam, but there is a reason why steam works and people hate uplay and origin so much.
I know you can't give your friend a game on steam if it's already in your library, but the steam games usually have a demo, have lots of free weekend plays and the sales make it ridiculously cheap even by used xbox game prices to buy the actual game yourself, and that's without having to pay an extra fee for online gaming as well!

incendy said,
Used games always seemed crazy to me. You can't own code, I mean you buy a disk but that is just the method of delivering the code to a device it isn't the actual product. It is a broken system. Xbox Arcade was the first system I can think of to solve it but since then Steam and Apple have really run with the idea.

The result is games are getting cheaper but developers are making more money. It is really a win win situation. We all hate change but the truth is that this is a fix to a problem.

Ways Steam is different than Xbox One:
Games go on sale all the time.
Games are basically totally "backwards" compatible. If I upgrade my PC, I can keep playing the games, even the ones from 20 years ago.
I can play offline, without internet checks.
I can play my games on other's computers without restrictions.
PC games have mods that keep games alive for as long as the community keeps contributing.
I'm sure there are others, but I've hit the good ones.

shakey said,

Ways Steam is different than Xbox One:
Games go on sale all the time.
Games are basically totally "backwards" compatible. If I upgrade my PC, I can keep playing the games, even the ones from 20 years ago.
I can play offline, without internet checks.
I can play my games on other's computers without restrictions.
PC games have mods that keep games alive for as long as the community keeps contributing.
I'm sure there are others, but I've hit the good ones.

Way's you are completely wrong.

* Xbox 360 games go on sale all the time. Deal of Day, Week, Annual and Holiday sales
* Backwards compatibility? ok.. i'll give you that.
* games, even the ones from 20 years ago? they're on the 360 as well.. Are you sure steam will be in business 20 years from now?
* You can play offline, but steam still requires you to get online to authenticate/install and update games and to be honest, you can't use steam unless you have internet.
* Depends entirely on the game
* Console games get updates,
* you missed a lot

I love steam, but its not magic. I've purchased a lot of xbox games on demand for 1.99 to 5.99 - and arcade games as cheap or cheaper than that.

all of your reasons are also reasons to avoid smart phones, android games, ios games and so much more.. did you revolt against your iphone/ipad/android/wp?

Edited by spudtrooper, Jun 8 2013, 2:39pm :

shakey said,
Games are basically totally "backwards" compatible. If I upgrade my PC, I can keep playing the games, even the ones from 20 years ago.
I can play offline, without internet checks.
I can play my games on other's computers without restrictions.

ROFL no.... 20 year old games MIGHT work and its not because you installed a STORE FRONT called steam, valve dont make the games work they just sell them, plenty dont work on later rigs that are still sold anyway.
You dont get automatic rights to other OS versions either, its a choice for the DEVELOPER like MS is doing.
Yes you can run games as long as you log into your account and thats the account accessing the game, 2 different account dont share games though unlike xbox.
You can only play offline if the game doesnt NEED online AND you have activated at least once online, its not a magic solution.
Steam is good but its not perfect, I wonder what they do when they ban steam id's.....

sagum said,

The difference is, with Steam, you are actually rewarded for buying the games on that platform.
Buy a game on the steam store, and if its supported on Windows, Mac or Linux it'll work... on the other hand, if you buy a game on the Microsoft store, you'll get it for just one platform, even if the same exact game exists across multiple Microsoft platforms, xbox, windows phone, windows 8 app, it's actually retarded.
Steam is the only DRM that's done it right, people actually WANT to use steam and have their games in one place. I know a lot hate the idea of even steam, but there is a reason why steam works and people hate uplay and origin so much.
I know you can't give your friend a game on steam if it's already in your library, but the steam games usually have a demo, have lots of free weekend plays and the sales make it ridiculously cheap even by used xbox game prices to buy the actual game yourself, and that's without having to pay an extra fee for online gaming as well!

Not even sure why you would compare Steam with XONE. It is a totally different type of gaming environment. It is like that old saying, you're comparing apples to oranges.

sagum said,
Steam is the only DRM that's done it right, people actually WANT to use steam

And if they don't they cant play the game because it wont load without overload gabes bloatware on your pc. Oh and if your on a secure network that doesn't have the over 9000 non standard ports needed for steam it wont work so no games for you. But that's ok because its gabes and we love him and will let him install whatever drm he wants on our computers.

sagum said,
Games go on sale all the time.
So they bribe you basically ? Its no different than the online music stores that use drm except if you don't use steam no fallout new vegas for you.

sagum said,
but there is a reason why steam works and people hate uplay and origin so much.
Yeah and that reason is Gabe Newell. Steam origon uplay its all the same **** just a different...

Steam is just uneccessry bloatware bundled with games just like uplay just like origon and its not far off the xbox one.

@zeroHour: Very well said. Steam is the closest model to Xbox One that is out right now. They are very similar.

I love Steam, so that is a very good thing!

incendy said,
Used games always seemed crazy to me. You can't own code, I mean you buy a disk but that is just the method of delivering the code to a device it isn't the actual product. It is a broken system. Xbox Arcade was the first system I can think of to solve it but since then Steam and Apple have really run with the idea.

The result is games are getting cheaper but developers are making more money. It is really a win win situation. We all hate change but the truth is that this is a fix to a problem.

and you are missing the point here. people enjoy consoles because its fast, not annoying put and use, now with this kind of DRM its just pc gaming but even more annoying and restrictive at high price.

i cant agree with it, hopefully sony wont implement this kind of bs

eilegz said,

and you are missing the point here. people enjoy consoles because its fast, not annoying put and use, now with this kind of DRM its just pc gaming but even more annoying and restrictive at high price.

i cant agree with it, hopefully sony wont implement this kind of bs

I guess if you have trouble with app stores on phones, tablets etc. Personally I find it much easier. You open the marketplace on the device and you buy the game. Couldn't be easier.

sure most apps its less than 100 mb, but we are talking about blu ray disc with min 25gb thats take long time even for installing, that remidns me how annoying it was for mgs4

You can use Steam without internet, just use the automatically login feature and quit Steam, remove internet access, start Steam and see for yourself.

Emil2k said,
You can use Steam without internet, just use the automatically login feature and quit Steam, remove internet access, start Steam and see for yourself.
Unless your on campus it wont even open then due to the genius that programed it using non standard ports for http/https

At which point your games collection is inaccessible ... kind of like the xbox one

eilegz said,
sure most apps its less than 100 mb, but we are talking about blu ray disc with min 25gb thats take long time even for installing, that remidns me how annoying it was for mgs4

They are streaming the content because of this exact issue. In the conference they specifically addressed this, saying they would load the initial bits to get started and then stream the data as you play until it is all cached.

TCLN Ryster said,
You mean the policy where they don't have a policy and its up to publishers?

EA.

Enough said.

TCLN Ryster said,
You mean the policy where they don't have a policy and its up to publishers?

You know, MS only built the system... they couldn't possibly be at fault even though they designed the whole system and network that is giving the publishers the freedom to do as such.... But ya, let them blame the publishers. MS just pointing fingers now.

shakey said,

You know, MS only built the system... they couldn't possibly be at fault even though they designed the whole system and network that is giving the publishers the freedom to do as such.... But ya, let them blame the publishers. MS just pointing fingers now.

I can almost guarantee the PS4 will have the SAME DRM..

I hope i'm wrong, but I pretty much see the PS4 having the exact same concerns. Just think about it, if they don't DRM and they do allow installs then piracy will be as easy as renting the game once and handing it to all your friends and playing without regard.

spudtrooper said,

I can almost guarantee the PS4 will have the SAME DRM..

I hope i'm wrong, but I pretty much see the PS4 having the exact same concerns. Just think about it, if they don't DRM and they do allow installs then piracy will be as easy as renting the game once and handing it to all your friends and playing without regard.

Exactly, it is a necessary means to protect the developers. That story won't get any hits though

incendy said,

Exactly, it is a necessary means to protect the developers.

The developers don't need protecting on this issue. Like every other content media sale, from DVDs to Bluray to even a physical book, they already got their profit of the single sale. They don't get to keep milking it for extra nickels and dimes, anymore than the rest of these content media examples do.

Any reason game developers deserve special consideration compared to every other physical media content producer and distributor?

I can't really think of any.

excalpius said,

The developers don't need protecting on this issue. Like every other content media sale, from DVDs to Bluray to even a physical book, they already got their profit of the single sale. They don't get to keep milking it for extra nickels and dimes, anymore than the rest of these content media examples do.

Any reason game developers deserve special consideration compared to every other physical media content producer and distributor?

I can't really think of any.

All the industries are going through the same changes and have been trying to fix this issue. It is really an issue for artists in general. There is no resale market for experiences, you must pay the creator to experience it. It has been an issue since the beginning but now due to digital sales and persistent internet they finally have a way to fix it, or at least try.

you know what else I was allowed to do in the past? smoke a cigarette in the mall and talk on my cell while driving.

You seriously just compared a cancer causing agent and a distraction that endangers road safety to lending my friend a game?

Sadelwo said,
You seriously just compared a cancer causing agent and a distraction that endangers road safety to lending my friend a game?

what ive been learning the last few months. gamers don't have internet,or ****ty internet connections,they all go to their buddies house to play games,and they are so generous they lend out their games more than they play them . Tv sucks, Call of duty and sports are for losers and not that popular. sounds more like the life of a mommas basement squatter.

He's just showing how crazy a person can be towards a company even when that companies actions have a negative affect upon the consumers. They will try and compare cancer to selling used games. It's crazy, and we should treat them as such.

Sadelwo said,
You seriously just compared a cancer causing agent and a distraction that endangers road safety to lending my friend a game?

Yeah, clearly he's on the ball... LOL

Only John would actually write up a very good article that says it like it is.
Nice dude. Games should be able to be sold and traded, thats how games get brought. Usually someone will buy a game, and play it, then recommend it to friends, by giving them their game disc to install and play. When they like it, they go out and buy the game in full for co-op/multiplayer. Xbox One has really shot itself in the foot with all this DRM stuff.

Anarkii said,
Only John would actually write up a very good article that says it like it is.
Nice dude. Games should be able to be sold and traded, thats how games get brought. Usually someone will buy a game, and play it, then recommend it to friends, by giving them their game disc to install and play. When they like it, they go out and buy the game in full for co-op/multiplayer. Xbox One has really shot itself in the foot with all this DRM stuff.

Absolutely.

Honestly, this comparison is ridiculous and shows the unprofessional-ism of the journalism here. The article is complete rubbish, but there are some points in it which I agree with.

The game company already got their revenue from the sale of their single unit. It's the same for a DVD, bluray disc, physical book, etc. etc. etc.

There's no reason game publishers should be treated differently than every other used content media market.

I won't be buying the XboxOne over this issue and I'll be warning everyone I know about it as well.

Only you John would compare the used games policy to the lack of a start menu in Windows 8/8.1

Bravo

NinjaZidane said,
Only you John would compare the used games policy to the lack of a start menu in Windows 8/8.1

Bravo

Seems like it's a policy issue that can easily be reversed, not sure why you are so butthurt over someone talking about the xbone

gregalto said,

Seems like it's a policy issue that can easily be reversed, not sure why you are so butthurt over someone talking about the xbone

The only "Easy" fix is requiring the game to be in the tray to play at all times and to not install to HDD... which I think isn't all that great either.

spudtrooper said,

The only "Easy" fix is requiring the game to be in the tray to play at all times and to not install to HDD... which I think isn't all that great either.


Is putting the game in the disc tray really *that* big of an inconvenience? LOL

gregalto said,

Seems like it's a policy issue that can easily be reversed, not sure why you are so butthurt over someone talking about the xbone

Butthurt over the Xbox One? lmao, okay! Not that you will really care but I've had no intentions to ever get that console (especially once my DRM concerns were validated) and my comment was made because John made me laugh at how he is making this comparison out of no where.

Neowin reminds me of a posse of adolescent menstrual teenage girls. Say one thing and you guys flip out.

M_Lyons10 said,

Is putting the game in the disc tray really *that* big of an inconvenience? LOL

I stopped doing that on my PC 10 years ago, heck, most of my pcs and laptops don't even have built in CD/DVD anymore.. USB sticks ftw! I for one *WANT* to download my games. I don't *WANT* to sit in a store and pre-order nonsense or drive around to find a redbox with a disk. If anything DRM download rentals would be an awesome solution to the rental problem too or even DRM resell of DRM digital games so I can resell my digital content. Maybe Microsoft can go that route.

Going backwards to running off a spinning disk will only hold the platform back as it would be the weakest link...

M_Lyons10 said,

Is putting the game in the disc tray really *that* big of an inconvenience? LOL

Yes! Then I need to have all my discs nearby, and it gets messy in the living room.

An even bigger problem is this: there is something wrong with the disc from factory, you break it etc. I'd have to buy the game again or I'm not able to play the game(that I've already installed). If you'd played Fifa 13, you might have had this problem. The Fifa 13 discs have been rubbish on X360. 5 of 6 attempts result in disc unreadable and I can't play it even though I've installed it. Replaced the dsic, and still having problems.

gregalto said,

Seems like it's a policy issue that can easily be reversed, not sure why you are so butthurt over someone talking about the xbone

Or a policy that does not need to be reversed because it is false outrage manufactured by the POS4 fans who are trying to make sure their console is the winner?

StephenBratz said,

Or a policy that does not need to be reversed because it is false outrage manufactured by the POS4 fans who are trying to make sure their console is the winner?

I have 3 Xbox 360's that I use regularly, and 1 PS3 that is gathering dust. My outrage is not false or manufactured.

NinjaZidane said,
Only you John would compare the used games policy to the lack of a start menu in Windows 8/8.1

Bravo


Some people just can't get over it, they see dreams where lack of start menu makes they computer totally unusable, they just sit at their computer and stares at default desktop background cause they can't do anything with their computer because there isn't damn start menu!