First rumors claimed that Xbox 720, the presumably titled
follow-up to the Xbox 360 game console, would find a new way to
oust the functionality of used games.
While that rumor has been
dispelled by an analysis of the industry
insist that Microsoft (NASDAQ:
) and Sony (NYSE:
) are still trying to prevent access to used games. Now
is adding another report to the list, claiming that "sources with
first-hand experience of Microsoft's next-generation console"
have said that Xbox 720 will require an Internet connection in
order to function.
This will reportedly allow the company to stop consumers from
playing used software. New games will ship with activation codes
that will link each game to the console it is activated on.
While it is possible that Microsoft has considered these
measures, it is very unlikely that they will ever come to pass.
Microsoft knows better than anyone that it cannot lock games to
one machine. If it does, it will miss out on millions -- if not
billions -- of additional sales.
Consumers do not simply buy games for their own personal
enjoyment. They like to lend and borrow them from friends, rent
them from GameFly and Blockbuster (NASDAQ:
) and buy rare (often used) copies from GameStop (NYSE:
) and Best Buy (NYSE:
This format has fostered great growth within the industry.
6.4 million people
purchased the first Halo, but
consumers purchased the sequel.
Halo 3 performed even better, selling
11.72 million units
. Halo 4, the latest game in the series, is a little too new to
match or beat
that figure. However, it has already sold at a faster pace than
its predecessor, earning
more than $220 million
during its first day at retail.
) Call of Duty series has exhibited a
similar sales pattern
How is this possible? Why would the sequels perform better
than the originals? It is not because consumers suddenly wanted
to play a series they had never touched before -- it is because
they had the opportunity to experience an older chapter (through
a friend, relative, rental shop, used game store, etc.) and then
decided to buy the latest iteration.
As one of the beneficiaries of this format, Microsoft is not
about to rock the boat and deconstruct an industry that has
provided its coffers with billions in revenue.
While it is possible that Microsoft could still require users
to remain online for other purposes, it is highly unlikely.
Ubisoft, one of the largest supporters of the always-online
dropped this requirement from its games
after PC users complained.
Not every consumer has persistent access to a broadband
Internet connection, nor can every consumer afford that service.
By requiring users to be online to play a single-player game (or
a multiplayer game on one console in one location), Microsoft
would prevent those consumers from enjoying its new console. That
is another reason why this rumor is unlikely to come true.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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