Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

May 22, 2013 -

Microsoft's messaging on how used games will be handled on the Xbox One seems to be muddled, contradictory and confused as different individuals within the company offer out-of-step messaging on the subject. At issue is a report in Wired indicating that when software purchased on discs at retail or through the Xbox Live Marketplace is installed on a system it is associated with the purchaser's user account. Since the software would be tied to that first purchaser's Xbox Live profile, if someone else were to use it on their system then they would be charged an undetermined fee.

Seeking some clarification on the subject, GamesBeat asked a company rep about used games on the Xbox One. They said the following:

"We are designing the Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games,” a Microsoft spokesperson told GamesBeat. “We’ll have more details to share later.”

As we mentioned earlier, a Wired report quoted a Microsoft representative who claimed that gamers have to pay a fee to activate used games on a second account.

But later the Xbox Support Twitter account said that there is no fee:

"Again, there is no fee to install the game. Your friend will not pay a fee. ^BA"

But Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison told Eurogamer that there is in fact a fee:

“You can purchase a game in two ways,” Harrison told Eurogamer. “You can purchase it from a retail store or you can download it. So the act of putting the bits on the hard drive — the Xbox One doesn’t really know or care what method the bits got into the machine. If it was from a disc or downloaded from Xbox Live, but obviously the users will then have to purchase that content.”

A user pointed out the Eurogamer article to Xbox Support, who said that "that information is not accurate at this time. Sorry for any confusion. ^BA"

Finally, Larry Hryb (Major Nelson) tried and failed to clarify the issue one last time:

"We know there is some confusion around used games on Xbox One, and [we] wanted to provide a bit of clarification on exactly what we’ve confirmed today. While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail. Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios. Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend’s house — should you choose to play your game at your friend’s house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile."

So we are left knowing only one fact: the games you play on Xbox One are tied to your user profile through some sort of license. What happens after that remains lost in the murkiness of PR-speak. There is apparently a fee involved should someone else buy your game at GameStop, but Microsoft is not giving a clear answer on how it will work - or if you, yourself, can somehow transfer that license to someone else... Also it sounds like your friends won't be borrowing your games from you unless you want to share your Xbox Live profile information with them...

We'll have more on this story as it develops. Hopefully at some point it will make more sense...

Source: GamesBeat


Comments

Re: Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

Yes?  No?

BOTH!  At the same time!

We'll confuse the gamers into buying our hardware.

If it works, then that's genius and we'll all wonder why we didn't think of it sooner.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

my guess is that every game will have an embedded activation/license key that is going to be hotbaked into the code of the game and once used on a console the game will check with the microsoft servers to see if that 'key' has been used or not, if not then the key and the game will attach itself to your xbox live account, if the 'key' has been redeemed then you will be given the option to purchase the game at full retail price or perhaps for very slight discount (ie: no more than $5 for a $60 game) thus killing the used game market and being truthful about all the stated statements.

"Again, there is no fee to install the game. Your friend will not pay a fee" provided you are able to sign into your friends xbox with your xbox live account.

"We are designing the Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games" provided you remember (or care to for you trolls out there) to disassociate the game you are trading in from your xbox live account or the unfortunate used game purchaser (or sap) will be forced to basically purchase the game as if it were new.

"You can purchase it from a retail store or you can download it. So the act of putting the bits on the hard drive — the Xbox One doesn’t really know or care what method the bits got into the machine. If it was from a disc or downloaded from Xbox Live, but obviously the users will then have to purchase that content" or to quote Tom Cruse from 'Jerry Maguire' "show me the money"

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Re: Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

This has made things more convoluted but this could still work out for used game purchasers.  The fact that you have to spend more money to activate a used game, to me, makes the actual disc less valuable.  So lets say a used game for the PS4 sells for about $20.    Since demand drives the market, demand for the same game for the "One" will be lower, thus to resell it the retailer would need to lower it's price to make it attractive to the consumer like say $15 if the fee is $5. 

This is how I spent money on used games that required me to buy a pass to get full content.  I bought the game when the used retail price was low enough that paying for the pass additionally was still overall significantly cheaper than buying new.

I'm not saying I'm loving the fee or anything, I'd prefer them to leave the used market alone, but I can still see saving money buying used on the One.  The big downside, though would be that selling your One games would bring in a lower amount as well.

 

Re: Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

I have to give Microsoft credit where it's due, at least they care about the core gaming market enough to try spin and damage control instead of a simple statement of reality, "We intend to destroy the used game market and frankly we don't care if you buy our console." 

Microsoft is banking on adoption among the casual and moderate gaming crowd and at families looking for multimedia centers.   The kinds of gamers who heavily rent and trade in used games are of no interest to them and welcome at the Xbox Club only if they toe the line on the used game tax. 

Re: Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

I suspect this is a case of them having the capability but lots of meetings flip flopping on what policy they are actually going to implement.

Re: Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

One of my major concerns is whether or not things will change after release. They could add this capability without too much of a (technical) problem in a firmware patch if it's already there.

 

Re: Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

Yeah they also back slid when they announced you'd have to be connected to the Internet once per day..... I am not sure what announcement was worse The Ridge Racer guy announcing the PS3 and the Playstation father telling us to get a second job to afford the PS3 or this

Re: Microsoft's Muddled Messaging on Xbox One and Used Games

This is.

The PS examples are just inflated egos. This fundamentally affects how you use the console

 

 
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