Retail: Don’t block pre-owned

UK retailers are rallying against reported plans to prevent pre-owned sales on the next Xbox.

Website VGLeaks reported last week that Microsoft’s next console will require a permanent online connection and will not need to read optical discs once a game has been installed.

The report adds weight to persistent rumours that Microsoft’s next console will block second-hand games – something Sony says will not happen on PS4.

If Microsoft blocks pre-owned, it will be shooting itself in the foot,” says Insane Games’ Gregory Smith. There could well be a shift in the market towards Sony and the PS4.”

Games Centre boss Robert Lindsay added: The publishers are completely out of touch with consumers if they don’t understand how important pre-owned is in funding new releases.

A new release with no sell-on value will put a massive hole in consumers’ spending budgets. At a time when retail is struggling, this will create an even quicker downward spiral.”

Some retailers stated they may consider not stocking the device if they are unable to make money from it. Others expressed concerns over the dependence on an ‘always-on’ internet connection.

The UK broadband infrastructure isn’t robust or fast enough for this to be a prerequisite,” said Dixons Retail’s category manager for gaming Christopher Rogers. Surely the teething troubles with SimCity are a warning against this?”

Chips boss Don McCabe surmises that Microsoft may focus on customers who regularly spend on Xbox Live.

Blocking second-hand and forcing always-on connection will make the retail market shrink rapidly, but Microsoft will still make a profit out of Xbox,” he said. As for the rest of us, tough titty.”

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