Rumor: next Xbox to block used games with one-time activation codes

By on February 6, 2013, 12:19 PM

As Sony prepares to show us the future of PlayStation in a couple of weeks, rumors about its next-generation Xbox counterpart are beginning to fly left and right as well. The latest comes courtesy of Edge magazine, which cites sources with "first-hand experience" claiming that games for Microsoft's upcoming console will come with a one-time use activation code, as a measure to block the second-hand game market.

The site mentions the console will "require an Internet connection in order to function," though it's not clear whether that's for activating games against Microsoft's servers or if a persistent connection will be required as long as you're playing. Such restrictive schemes have been tried before and ultimately backfired on game publishers so it'd be surprising -- to say the least -- if Microsoft followed that route.

In any case, online functionality and a new iteration of Xbox Live will be an integral part of Microsoft's next console, as you'd expect, while games will still be offered in physical form on 50GB Blu-ray discs. Edge also says the new Xbox will ship with an improved version of Kinect, and backs up previous rumors that it will be powered by an eight core AMD processor running at 1.6GHz alongside 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

Early last year Kotaku heard from their own sources that the so-called Xbox 720 would use some sort of anti-used game protection, but could only speculate as to what exactly this would entail. For its part, Sony has applied for a patent on a hardware-based DRM technology that would let them block second-hand games.

It's no secret how most video game publishers vendors feel about the used games market, and if reports like these are any indication it would seem like Sony and Microsoft are playing along. But aside from the obvious consumer backlash heding their way if something as restrictive goes through, there'd likely be other legal hurdles to clear too, as the European Union last year declared it's legal for someone to sell their licenses for physical or digital software to another person, as long as they uninstall or otherwise deactivate their copy first.

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