With the launch of the Xbox 720 Microsoft is expected to completely wipe out the used gaming market. The reason being the console will be an always-connected device that will require a constant connection to the next version of Xbox Live in order to function.
The games will be made available to buy through Xbox Live or in physical form using a 50GB Blu-ray disc format and a one-time use activation code. The leaked specs of the machine are also accurate, with Microsoft choosing to use an 1.6GHz 8-core AMD processor, 800MHz GPU, and 8GB RAM. We can also expect the next generation of Kinect hardware, but this will again be a separate product gamers can choose to buy.
Xbox 720 could block second-hand games
Edge magazine notes that, although the console will still have the capacity to play games issued in physical form, these games could ship with activation codes effectively tethering them to the initial user's account.
The reports come courtesy of the publication's sources working on projects related to the next-gen console.
"Microsoft has asked itself what kind of consumer is going to buy its next Xbox and surmised that it's the kind of consumer with a decent internet connection," said Neil Long, online editor of Edge, as reported in the Guardian. "Like the App Store and Steam, the next Xbox will be download-first, one account, one purchase, one storefront system. It will offer far greater flexibility on pricing, but games players are used to thinking in terms of £40 to £50 games in boxes. Microsoft could have a difficult time explaining that games will now be tethered to one account."
If either of these turn out to be true then I'll definitely be switching to the new Playstation, assuming they don't go down the same road.