Is Microsoft trying to kill the Xbox division?

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Xbox360SelfDestruct

Microsoft has made a lot of great decisions since deciding to enter the console gaming market. It’s all helped push them to becoming the number one selling console in America last year and the number 2 across the planet.

They’ve also made some mistakes which have seen them not be able to meaningfully extend their lead  over the PS3 in the early stages of this generation…but never have I seen them plan to do something so stupid that it will single handily lose the next generation and likely leave the console gaming market entirely.

According to a rumour the next Xbox (XBN) will include a feature that will block the console from playing second hand games entirely.

Yes you read that right. In what could be the latest move against the second hand market the console manufacturer has decided to show its loyalty to publishers by obliterating any good feelings it has managed to secure from the gaming public and will single handily make it the most hated gaming machine on the planet.

So why would they do something so amazingly stupid? Well it’s not only Activision or EA who gets a slice of the cash when a new game is purchased, every game sold in retail actually includes a profit slice for the console manufacturer so some pinhead accountant at Microsoft has likely tallied up how many used games were sold last year and worked out that all that extra revenue could have bought him a new summer home.

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What hasn’t entered that mind is the fact that any such move would lead to an unprecedented backlash from the independent media and would cause their brand irreparable harm leading to them losing the generation and making a strategic retreat out of the industry entirely.

But why am I so angry when I don’t have an issue with online passes I hear you ask? Well it’s simple really. I care very little about the second hand gaming market. It’s simply an industry that enriches the retailers to the detriment of publishers and really doesn’t give the buyer real value for money. But that’s capitalism and it’s not something I hold against the retailer, I just don’t care when they complain about possible losses is all.

No what I really really hate about this idea is that it will obliterate the swapping and lending market. I remember growing up and the majority of my gaming was spent on games that I had lent from friends, we all bought 1 or two games over a few months and then swapped them back and forth so that everyone got their chance.

Still to this day I lend games throughout the family and while publishers may complain that they aren’t getting money out of this it has led to everyone in the family getting themselves a console and buying games as well.

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It’s how the industry grows and it’s where it came from. Killing this is like blowing up the baby factory after you’ve grown up, because all kids are delivered by the stork from a baby factory, right?

In conclusion to my rant, let me put it simply.

Microsoft if you build in a system to stop your XBN playing second hand games you will lose the next generation and be hated by everyone. If Sony and Nintendo follow it will be the end of console gaming as we know it and someone else will come in to steal the glory.

Hey Apple or Amazon…do you guys want bucket loads of money for doing something that will take very little R&D to be competitive at?

Last Updated: January 26, 2012

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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