Talking tech since 2003

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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