GameStop’s stock took a 6 percent hit after rumors emerged that Microsoft’s next Xbox would block all used video games. It goes without saying that such a major player in the industry who makes an overwhelming 46 percent profit on its second-hand market would like to have a say in the matter.
GameStop spokesperson Matt Hodges took to Bloomberg to issue his response to Microsoft, stating that the “desire to purchase” their latest console would take a huge hit.
“We know the desire to purchase a next-generation console would be significantly diminished if new consoles were to prohibit playing pre-owned games, limit portability or not play new physical games.”
Words to live by. I don’t know if GameStop’s stern response confirms the rumors or not, but they are obviously flexing their muscles for the long haul on this one.
And I stand with them. I’m not interested in any console which will prevent me from purchasing a game at a used price, and such an anti-consumer policy will make my migration to PC gaming that much smoother.
As an expatriate living abroad, I constantly find myself struggling to keep up with digital distribution through my home country’s channels. Steam has me blocked from all Capcom, SEGA and EA games. Google Play will only allow me to download games officially released through the Japanese market. Xbox Live already has several shooters, including Duke Nukem 3D and DOOM, which can’t be accessed while in Japan.
With physical games and the second-hand market, I not only have the freedom to pay the price I want for games, but I also am free to play the games I choose to play. The thought of big brother Sony or Microsoft simply flipping a switch and denying an entire region of the world access to a game is what really terrifies me in this whole mess. No more imports, no more uncovering Holy Grails, no more fun.
But, then again, this is all speculation and rumors so far. Microsoft and Sony have yet to officially announce anything regarding their next generation consoles. PlayStation is up first come February 20th, and that will be the day these rumors have a bit more light shed on them.