After the initial reveal of the Xbox One earlier this week, many fans were left confused
as to what Microsoft's exact stance was on the online DRM system and whether the Xbox One would allow used games. Various conflicting reports surfaced suggesting that the system can support used games, while others suggested that this wasn't the case.
Official word on the matter has yet to be completely clear, however according to Polygon
and sources close to the publication, the Xbox One will allow used games but will utilise a "regular online spot check to verify the authenticity of games being played." It is unclear as to how long a Xbox One console can go without being checked online, however Microsoft's Phil Harrison has previously stated to Kotaku
that the console would require an online check every 24 hours, however other officials have confirmed
this is one possible scenario.
To continue the confusion MCV
are reporting that several anonymous retail sources have detailed just how gamers will trade in their used games, revealing that a system designed by Microsoft will allow gamers to de-authenticate their copy of the game and trade it in, removing it entirely from their account. MCV has detailed the potential process:
A gamer walks into a retailer and hands over the game they wish to sell. This will only be possible at retailers who have agreed to Microsoft’s T&Cs and more importantly integrated Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure pre-owned system into its own.
The game is then registered as having been traded-in on Microsoft’s system. The consumer who handed it over will subsequently see the game wiped from their account – hence the until now ambiguous claim from Phil Harrison that the Xbox One would have to ‘check in’ to Microsoft’s servers every 24 hours.
The retailer can then sell the pre-owned game at whatever price they like, although as part of the system the publisher of the title in question will automatically receive a percentage cut of the sale. As will Microsoft. The retailer will pocket the rest.
It is currently unclear exactly how big of a cut retailers will be taking from traded-in games, but ConsoleDeals.co.uk
that it could be somewhere in the ten percent mark, however these are unconfirmed. These same reports also suggested a activation cost of £35 for pre-owned titles, though Polygon's sources are reporting that this is no longer the case.
Microsoft has yet to reveal a full statement on how exactly their next-gen console is going to work in today's market, however Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has revealed that the "ability to trade in and resell games is important to gamers and to Xbox."
Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games. Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future.
Hopefully with this large amount of confusion we'll be able to get some direct and clear answers come E3 2013 in early June. Until then the guessing will continue.