There’s been a lot of brouhaha that the next Xbox (which I refuse to call “Xbox 720”) could include technology to combat used games sales. Of course, developers have already been attempting this by implementing one time use DLC and Online Pass codes with new games. Even still, people remain trading used games. An outright disable of used software, however, would be detrimental to Gamestop’s profits. During a conference call with investors, GameStop CEO Paul Raines today voiced his disbelief for such technology.
“We think it’s unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn’t been proven to work, 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.
The pre-owned business is not a cannibalistic business. If you follow the popular conventional wisdom, you would think pre-owned is replacing new. The truth is, pre-owned is an opening price-point category. The average price is $18. A lot of it is old generation. What it is is a category for the customer who’s maybe not ready to invest in a new game, but wants to get into the console business and console entertainment.
What we’ve done is create a way for that new leading edge consumer to dispose of their old games, and that’s what creates this great circle of life we talk about that so many try to imitate. That’s how we see it.”
The good news is that if he’s right, you can continue to pay $5 less than a new copy for a coverless, grimy copy of a game.