Despite Rumors, Next-Gen Consoles Won’t Block Used Games

Bryan Rowe April 9, 2012 0
Despite Rumors, Next-Gen Consoles Won’t Block Used Games

Despite rumors that Microsoft’s, Nintendo’s, and Sony’s next-gen consoles would not allow use of used games, GameStop’s CEO claims these rumors are false.  It had been alleged that new games might be tied to the console they are first played on.  These games would then not function on subsequent systems.

There would be benefits for console makers and game developers if this functionality existed.  It would increase new game sales and make used game sales nonexistent. The game developers do not see a dime of used game sales, re-sold games only prevent them from selling additional new copies.  Kotaku first reported this functionality might be on the new consoles.

However, GameStop’s CEO has claimed that this functionality will not be present on any next-gen consoles, which is to their benefit because GameStop relies on used game sales for nearly half of its profits. On Thursday during his company’s earnings call, GameStop CEO, Paul Raines stated that he does not believe the Xbox 720, Playstation 4, or Wii U will block used games.

He went on to say, “We think it’s unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn’t been proven to work. Remember that used video games have a residual value. Remember that GameStop generates $1.2 billion of trade credits around the world with out used games model,” said Raines. “So consider taking used games out of that, you’d have to find new ways to sell the games, and our partners at the console companies have great relationships with us.”

GameStop accounts for around 60% to 70% of first week game sales, and more than 21% of the total game retail market in the US according to ADVFN.  The game developers rely on GameStop for a large part of their sales and it would not behoove them to upset their relationship.  Until digital distribution is the sole means of buying games and content, physical used games will still exist, and brick and mortar stores like GameStop will still be re-selling them.

Via Digital Trends

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