Xbox One Makes It Difficult to Borrow Video Games With ‘Pre-owned Fee’

Remember when we wrote about the end of borrow and lending video games?  Well, that unfortunate reality is perhaps already here.  Microsoft has confirmed that all Xbox One games will require mandatory installation onto the Xbox’s hard drive and that if you want to install the same disc onto another Xbox’s drive, you must pay a fee.

“On the new Xbox, all game discs are installed to the HDD to play,” a Microsoft representative told Wired.  Once the games are installed on the hard drive, they can be played without having the disc in the optical drive.

Games will be tied to Xbox Live accounts, Microsoft said, meaning that the company’s new game console will be able to detect whether a game has been sold to a retailer and repurchased, or handed from one friend to another.  Now letting your friends borrow your games now just got a whole lot more complicated.

The Wired article then elaborates: “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.”

The article went on to state, “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.”

Despite all this talk of fees, Microsoft has not yet disclosed what the actual cost of the second-user fee will be.  I’m hopeful that it will be less than the cost of buying the game in-store, but we’ll see.

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— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.

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    1. What about the game developers? This is as much about Microsoft as it is about those who make the games.

  1. Well, to be honest it doesn’t sound so bad. Imagine this: I buy a game with, let’s say 5 of my friends, if the cost of the new game is 30$ (I don’t know exact prices in US) then we all have to pay 6$, then let’s say that this fee would be about 7$ so 4×7 is 28$. The total price of new game would be 58$, which gives us the cost of 11,6$ per one gamer. How funny it may sound, the more friends you have the cheaper games will be ;) the idea itself is ridiculous, and I believe that after some time it will be possible to install hacked games for the price of the fee. All we have to hope for is the reasonable price of “used game fee”.

    But on the other hand, this year Microsoft has bigger competition, and it won’t be easy to win the nextgen war agains PS4. This means that ideas such as those fees can be compared to bringing a knife to a gun-fight.

    1. I can predict the fee will be the actual cost of the game, i.e., transport via disc or internet is equivalent. It’s probably going to be similar to those extras we get in new games, however, instead of extra content, it will simply be content. Sad if I have to type a 32 digit code for every install.

  2. Can’t wait to buy the Playstation 4 and trade games with my Friend! Microsoft just kissed goodbye to millions if not billions of dollars with that one!

  3. I have heard that you cannot borrow a game disc, however up to 10 people can play your games. The catch being you must share it with them and only one of you can play it at once.
    so, their solution is actually far superior!

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