I really wish these “industry insiders” and “sources close to Microsoft” could have got their acts together and leaked all this supposed information at once; it would have obviated my having to post a second Xbox 720 rumour piece in twenty-four hours.
So this is day two of the rumour-fuelled speculation on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 successor. Yesterday was all about graphics chips, processing power, supposed release dates and whisky distilleries. Today’s Xbox 720 rumour talks disc medium, motion sensors and potential DRM systems for the next console.
First off, Kotaku is referencing a “games industry source” for the information that Microsoft will switch to Blu-Ray as a disc medium for the Xbox 720 (again, the console probably won’t be called Xbox 720). Some might find this unlikely because of the misconception that Blu-Ray is Sony’s disc format; it is not. Sony was one of nine corporations, along with MIT, to form the Blu-Ray Disc Association back in 2002 in order to develop and market the new disc medium. Incidentally, Sony also helped to develop DVDs, and Microsoft has had no issues using that format.
Also according to Kotaku’s source, the Xbox 720 will ship with Kinect 2 – or whatever Microsoft names the second iteration of its motion-sensing device. What’s more, the newer version will have an onboard processor which will allow a higher fidelity of motion tracking.
Finally, and probably the most interesting report, is that Microsoft is intending to implement some sort of anti used game system into the Xbox 720. If this is true, it’s an obvious retaliation to the perceived loss of revenue to companies like Game Stop and our own BT Games. Publishers will in all likelihood love this new system; retailers and gamers who score from the lucrative second hand sales system will probably hate it.
While many will argue that publishers and console manufacturers have no claim to the second income generated off a game’s second hand sale (because they both profited the first time the game got sold), others who buy their games new loath the second hand market; it’s the reason we have things like “Online Passes”.
Exactly how this supposed anti second hand sales system will work in the Xbox 720 is not known as yet. Maybe all games will require an online activation that would tie a serial code to an Xbox Live account? If that’s the case then it would necessitate your console being online or you having to phone an activation phone number much like offline PCs need to in order to activate a copy of Windows.
It’s also possible that the game discs will remain tradable but that retailers would have to purchase a second activation code directly from the publisher in order to resell the game. That could potentially end those “Online Passes” and new copy DLC codes (ala the Catwoman levels from Arkham City).
Whatever the case may be, an anti second hand system is an interesting concept. It certainly makes massive financial sense for publishers and Microsoft, so don’t be surprised if the rumour turns out to be true.