Editorials

EA Cancel Online Pass But Xbox One Has Pre-Owned Game Fees

May 21, 2013, Author: Neil Hughes, 4 Comments

UPDATE: There is a collective shitstorm of confusion over the details of the Xbox One’s alleged pre-owned fee at this point, with no one from Microsoft doing anything to clear it up. We’ll update with a fresh news story once the dust is settled and the facts are known.

Wherever you are in the world, if you are a gamer then chances are you would have found the screen of your choice to soak up the moment that Microsoft revealed their new console Xbox One. All the familiar buzzwords were repeated, such as ‘franchise’, ‘community’, ‘immersion’ and ‘innovation’. The main reason people tuned in, however, was to find out the answers to two questions that will make them part with their hard-earned cash: what does the in-game footage look like? And how much is it going to cost me?

It’s of no surprise that we are all going to have to wait a little longer yet, as Microsoft and Sony continue their little game of cat and mouse. An interesting revelation, though, is the confirmation that gamers will have to pay an extra fee to play pre-owned games on Xbox One.On the new Xbox, all game discs are installed to the HDD to play,” a Microsoft representative told Wired.

The Wired article also reveals the following: “What follows naturally from this is that each disc would have to be tied to a unique Xbox Live account, else you could take a single disc and pass it between everyone you know and copy the game over and over. Since this is clearly not going to happen, each disc must then only install for a single owner.”

It also stated “Microsoft did say that if a disc was used with a second account, that owner would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc, which would then mean that the new account would also own the game and could play it without the disc.”

In a world where customers are turning their back on Apple for being too restrictive, this could open up a whole can of worms for the gaming industry. People cannot afford to purchase a console for £400 and games for £50 a title, and this is why the pre-owned and rental market is so strong. Especially when you consider the cost of big-name games on a tablet for under £5.

Restrictions really have no place in the modern digital world, and this really could be make or break for the next generation of consoles. I understand the reasons for the parties involved, but what I don’t appreciate is being hoodwinked by EA who recently had some unlikely positive headlines by announcing that they were dropping online passes because ‘their users didn’t like it’.

5 days after EA Cancel the online pass, Microsoft announce pre-owned game fees.

Five days after EA cancel the online pass, Microsoft announce pre-owned game fees.

As EA attempt to rebuild their reputation and prove to the world that they listen to their customer base, it appears that the reality was a deal was already confirmed that an alternative method of charging users was on its way anyway.

Generally gamers are a savvy switched-on bunch that spend a long time online reading the latest stories and are never going to fall for the usual bullshit, especially when the two announcements are under a week apart. I mean come on people, what do you take us for? A quick look on Twitter reveals that many have not forgotten the recent news, which is of no surprise considering that a good memory is essential for gaming.

I am not interested in my gaming console doing essentially what my TV does anyway, and certainly don’t want to read if my mate John is eating a sandwich via its social media features. I just want to play awesome games.

Make no mistake; there is war in your living room as TV, gaming, internet and cinema are all evolving into one big bubble. Companies are fighting to the death to make you choose their product, as conventional entertainment continues its decline. Sometimes though, I just want to play games, and I hope both Microsoft and Sony do not lose sight of this.

Comments (4)

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  1. jedikv said:

    This may not be the case...we'll have to see at E3: http://www.gamrreview.com/news/90063/update-xbox-one-has-pre-owned-fee-for-used-games-no-bc

    Posted on: May 22 2:25 AM || Report || Reply

  2. Neil said:

    So much confusion and backtracking but http://majornelson.com/2013/05/21/xbox- ... sed-games/ Seems to suggest that youhave to be signed into your profile to play a game without the fee. So you can't let a friend borrow a game, unless they want to pay the fee or use your gamertag.

    You have to be signed into your profile to play a game without the fee. So you can't let a friend borrow a game, unless they want to pay the fee or use your gamertag. :?

    Posted on: May 22 3:15 AM || Report || Reply

  3. smeg9 said:

    I tend to buy pre-owned, or better still, games that have been reduced to clear because they're a couple of versions behind. With the exception of The Elder Scrolls of course... :-)

    Perhaps there would be a way of revoking your rights to the game? Allowing you to sell it on - but then the discs would need individual serial numbers, or identifiers?

    Even better, perhaps there will be a way for you to SELL your rights to the game, on the marketplace - though that would be devastating for struggling retailers like GAME....

    There are still options - and perhaps Microsoft are listening out to feedback from the industry before making any final decisions?

    I don't mind "always on" - my xbox is wired in (when Virgin Media isn't down) and I wouldn't even mind buying games online -and downloading them for convenience, like Steam - it reduces competition and would more often than not it's cheaper to get a #neilsdeals - rather than instant on and instant download.

    Tablet games - take EA's The Simpsons Tapped Out - there is an option to buy £100 worth of 'doughnuts' £100 - yes it's a good game, some good story lines, decent graphics - but the gameplay is just that, it certainly isn't a perfect cine-graphic experience - and you could spend hundreds of pounds on it! That is a very different pricing model, and one that cuts out retailers and the supply chain completely. I hope it's not the route our games consoles take - but if the consumer start to make tablet and mobile too profitable for little effort then who knows...

    Finally - all games are installed, and yet the drive is only 500GB - doesn't sound like enough to me, given that my current Sky Box has a 2TB HDD and that's almost full.....

    Posted on: May 22 10:26 AM || Report || Reply

  4. Trent said:

    This is what I have heard:

    You can lend your mate a game and what happens is when they scan the code, they can specify that they're borrowing it from you and then the authorisation to play passes to them. You still have the game installed, you just can't play it until they give it back and you retake ownership. So it's a little long-winded put pretty much the same as lending a disc out.

    If you sell a game on, the new owner can do one of two things. Either pay a small fee for rights and let you keep your rights to play the game OR simply take ownership and block your rights. So, essentially, you can give a game disc to a friend and for a fraction of the retail cost they can buy the rights to play it and you keep yours OR you sell it to a shop and the new buyer revokes your rights and gets theirs for free. So, again, kinda like selling and buying a game now, except with an extra option.

    If this is true, and it could be utter bollocks, it seems like a pretty fair enough system to me. It DOES mean that you would have to at least connect to LIVE to verify ownership so that could be a spanner in the works. Considering MS made a big-ass deal about the Cloud throughout the entire presentation, I'm guessing they're putting a lot of eggs in the 'EVeryone now has an internet connection that doesn't suck' basket.

    Posted on: May 24 2:15 AM || Report || Reply

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