Potential customers of the latest gaming consoles from Sony and Microsoft are concerned about the impact the games and whether or not users will own them or merely be licensing them as they currently do with computer software.
At the heart of the issue in both cases is whether gamers will be allowed to play games they buy on more than one console. That impacts everything from reselling games to taking them over to a friend’s house to play, but that could be at odds with game creators’ desire to make sure everyone playing their games have paid for them.
Microsoft’s pre-owned game policy for their new Xbox One consolehas been a source of confusion and contention. The company has issued conflicting statements about whether installing a game on a second console would require a fee, or whether doing so would lock the game on the original console.
The used video game market is huge. My household is a player in that market as we don’t clamor to pay $60 for every new game that comes out. We’re content to wait and get it at a discount after a few months when used copies become available.
It seems once again, part of the entertainment industry thinks the best way to serve customers is to make it that much more difficult to acquire content. If Sony and Microsoft go down this path, they’ll be falling into the same trap the movie and music industry fell into for years. They’re just starting to claw their way out.