Next Xbox won't block used games, says retail boss

Next Xbox won't block used games, says retail boss

By Rob Crossley

March 23rd 2012 at 10:16AM

GameStop exec says a market without second-hand sales is 'unproven'

Microsoft’s next generation games console will not feature technology that blocks out pre-owned games, according to the chief executive at retail giant GameStop.

Paul Raines told investors it is “unlikely” that the so-called Xbox 720 will restrict customers to solely playing games bought brand new.

“The model simply hasn't been proven that works," he said.

Suggesting he had spoken to Microsoft about the matter, Raines said GameStop’s console partners “have great relationships with us".

"Remember that used video games have a residual value,” he added.

“Remember that GameStop generates $1.2 billion of trade credits around the world with our used game model. So, consider taking used games out of that, you'd have to find new ways to sell the games.”

Earlier this year it was claimed that Microsoft’s next home console would bar access to second-hand games, as part of a wider aim to take the pressure off publishers and developers who are squeezed by pressured profit margins.

Sales of pre-owned games returns no direct money to content creators; retail takes all the profit.

With game budgets at an all-time high, in turn making it harder to achieve profit from blockbuster games, some in the industry believe the second-hand market has become a bigger problem than piracy.