Gamestop thinks Xbox 720 won't have "anti-used" technology

Posted by Mike Luttrell

One of the most talked-about - and most controversial - rumors of the next Xbox won't come to pass, says the leading US games retailer.

Gamestop has said it really doubts the claims that the Xbox 720, or whatever Microsoft's next platform happens to be called, will be able to lock out players if the system detects that the game they're trying to play was not purchased as new.

Rumors surrounding this mechanic have said that Microsoft will implement technology that essentially creates a one-to-one relationship between a game disc and the console.

That means that if you played a game, then tried to sell it to Gamestop, and someone bought that pre-owned game, they would be unable to play it since it would still be registered to your system.

Of course, that also means that if you want to take your game to a friend's house, you'd need to take your Xbox with you, or if your Xbox was broken and you bought a replacement, none of your legitimately purchased games would work.

Gamestop CEO Paul Raines disputed this idea in a quarterly earnings call this week, saying, "We think it's unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn't been proven to work."

Of course, if true, this technology would be a huge killer for Gamestop, which gets much of its annual revenue from used game sales, which is about the highest-margin segment that exists in the games industry.

"Remember, used video games have a residual value. Remember 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. And, our partners are good partners. The console companies have great relationships with us," Raines said.